The end of federalism in Québec?

Québec has a corruption problem and, despite the population's remarkably constant demands, Jean Charest is stubbornly staying away from anything closely related to a public inquiry. Anyone who's seen the result of the Gomery Commission on the Liberal Party of Canada can easily understand why. The party's importance at the House of Commons has been declining ever since.

Mr. Charest argues that the best approach to solve the province's corruption problem is to let police forces do their investigation. Some members of the Sûreté du Québec leading Opération Marteau, a special task force to address the problem, apparently don't agree with the Premier.

In a letter sent anonymously to Montréal's La Presse [Google translation], members of the special task force are demanding a public inquiry to support their work. Authors of the request put forward that political powers are steering their investigation away from potential leads that involve the government. "Our investigations are focused on specific targets and our investigators must constantly keep their superiors informed. No government official will be investigated without informing these superiors. And they directly report to the government." Authors of the request also dismiss Charest's arguments that an inquiry and an investigation are incompatible, citing examples where both were complementary to one another.

Will the only federalist party remaining in Québec follow the fate of its Canadian counterpart? Since the last federal elections, English language media have largely been focusing on the setbacks of the sovereignty movement. But the way things are going, all that might be left at the next provincial elections are nationalist and sovereigntist parties. The voter might very well be facing a choice between left wing and right wing, but none defending the merits of the federation.


Raman said...

If there's anything that can be sais about Quebec since the last elections, is that it's moving fast into unprecedented and unexpected directions. So, at this point, only a very skilled wizard could guess what the future holds...

What I wonder is if there will be any kind of evolution in the English vote. The Quebec Liberals have always been able to count on a massive (some say tribal) voting block on their part, skewing the results in their favour. Is there any chance that this scandal will finally bring some democratic fragmentation?

Michel Bolduc said...

I read a lot of discontent from Anglo-Québécois over the direction other provinces are taking with Harper. The NDP rallied a lot of people against that direction at the expense of both the Bloc (on the French side) and the Liberals (on the English side). I think there is a change of mindset for many Anglo-Québécois.

MarcManCan said...

Insofar as the Anglo vote is concerned the Charest liberals are probably safe. On the francophone side Francois Legault's new party may capture a lot, and I mean a lot, of this vote. My guess is that the next Quebec election will result in a very fractured legislature split along several fault lines; urban versus rural, anglophone versus francophone, Montreal versus the rest of the province...

Raman said...

At the provincial level though, who would they vote for ?

François Legault would appear the rational choice for Anglo voters discontent enough to switch away from the Liberals (well, he seems to be the choice of discontent for every and anybody just right now...).
But he is/was a sovereignist. And even though that's not on his agenda, I'm not ready to bet that it won't matter.
After all, at the municipal level, corrupt Tremblay won over Harel, at least in good part, because the latter couldn't get the English vote, even though being a sovereignist has nothing whatsoever to do with municipal politics.

Quite telling.