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    Younger Gen’s Support for Independence Behind Quebec Election Results - Analyst

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    Sputnik discussed the outcome of the provincial elections in Quebec with Professor Eric Montigny, a political scientist at Laval University in Quebec City.

    A new center-right party has won the election in the Canadian province of Quebec. The Coalition Avenir Quebec, founded in 2011, has won 73 seats in the 124-seat chamber. The party is led by former business executive Francois Legault. The former businessman has promised to take 10 thousand fewer immigrants annually and suggested to expel new residents who fail to pass tests in French and on Quebec values within three years.

    Sputnik: Let’s talk about the results of the election in Quebec. What do they reveal about the mood in the province?

    Eric Montigny: It is a major shift. This is the first time since the 1976 that the new party comes into power. It is a big shift in Quebec power takes. And it means that Quebecoise were really in need for change. The Liberals were in power for almost the last 15 years, so the will of the people was to express the will for the change.

    Sputnik: Let’s talk about how a Coalition Avenir Quebec managed to secure victory. What were the main points of the campaign? What was it that won people over?

    Eric Montigny: The first issue was economy and healthcare. Those were the first issues debated during the election. But I would say that the first thing we have to know is that the first election was not the independence issue that was on the table. So it helped equals in the Quebec, once more the autonomy within Canada to be able to be together a majority.

    Sputnik: It is interesting that François Legault described the party’s approach as nationalism, which he defined as putting Quebec’s interests first, while remaining in Canada. This is a new twist, isn’t it?

    Eric Montigny: Yes, because what we have, even though I refuse, was the debate surrounding north campaigning dependents. And what we feel and what we look forward, number one option, is to have Quebec  more powers within Canada. So, I guess we will see in next years some negotiation, discussion between “I don’t want go back on constitution, but would rather more power goes back within Canada”.

    Sputnik: More powers but still within Canada, I suppose this appeal to people because it ensures more stability and less upheavals, right?

    Eric Montigny: Yes, exactly. And that’s what we have seen amongst the younger generation in Quebec is that support for independence is the way amongst the younger Quebecois. So this shift in the electorate can explain those results.

    Sputnik: To what extent do these results show that the people had grown tired of the liberal government? What were they unhappy about?

    Eric Montigny: Many things actually. First, they were empowered since almost 15 years. And there was lots of dissatisfaction towards the [F Carry Shou] First of all, the management of the weeping, sore for services. There were also big cuts in education and that was part of the debate in the election. And I would say the initial issue was not on top of the accentuation in this election but at the same time Legault delivers on problems of managing, integration policies. So the report from the editor general few years ago that said that this was very poorly managed and there were problems towards integration.

    Sputnik: Let’s take a talk more about how these victories will change the policies in this province.

    Eric Montigny: We would see a new premier in his cabinet just two weeks from now. He is going to go next week to [French words] international gathering. But what we will see is that agenda is to lower taxes to make Quebec open for business. We have our government in Quebec now, so the economy is the priority. So I think in the first days of this new government we will see a small budget, lowering taxes for the middle class. Those are his main goals for the next month.

    Sputnik: Do you think that further shifts to the right could be expected in other regions of Canada, because of course this week tree follows what we saw in Ontario where also 15 years of liberal rule ended. Do we see something like this happening in other regions?
    Eric Montigny:
    We see it in Alberta as well as in New Brunswick, the fall of the Liberals also. We can’t link those because in Canada each level is independent towards the party. So we can’t make a trend but at the same time for interesting time to do it is going to be more difficult to the arid provinces in the arid part of the country. Yet it is quite careful about Quebec, how to react to this new government. It seems to one too corporate. And you can explain that because is going to be running for the reelection next year. He doesn’t want to be offbeat with the electorate in Quebec.

    Sputnik: What about the immigration stances did they have any sway in the decisive vote?

    Eric Montigny: I would not think so because it was not one the main issues of this election. And what we have heard  is that in Quebec, if any immigration targets are lowered, we are still going to have more immigrants than French cars per capita. So that was not the big issue in Quebec. Those biggest issues were economy, healthcare, education.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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