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.