The Québécois Bloc is a Political party social democrat souverainist , established exclusively with the Quebec, although it is a federal party of the Canada. The mission first of the Québécois Block is to set up the requirements at the realization of the sovereignty of Quebec, while defending the interests of the Inhabitants of Quebec and Québécois at the Canadian Parliament.
The Québécois Block is supported by several labor movements of Quebec and works in close cooperation with the Parti Québécois. The members and sympathizers of the Québécois Block are usually called “bloquists”, term formed by analogy with “Péquiste” (sympathizer of the Québécois Party).
Because of the nature of the political party, the candidates of the Québécois Block present themselves only in the Québécois federal districts because the objective of the Block is to defend the Québécois interests. The Block is also the only federal political party represented with the House of Commons of Canada to being active in only one province. It is also the only one of the four political parties which cannot mathematically form a majority government, Quebec having only 75 of the 308 seats to the communes.
BeginningsThe idea of a Québécois nationalist party with candidates arising to the elections House of Commons is not new. Québécois the Bloc term appeared as of 1926 in the magazine the French Action , in which an article asked for a party of Inhabitant of Quebec to defend the interests of the Inhabitants of Quebec with Ottawa.
From March to May 1941, the magazine the National action renewed its request for a party of this kind, especially to be opposed to the conscription of 1944. In October 1941, the Canadian popular Bloc was created with these very precise objectives.
In September 1971, there is a similar request in the National action , this time to be opposed to the federalism of the Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. One year after the Crisis of October, there was a desire to express frustration through democratic ways: “Time had just played hard; and it is necessary that can take place on the parliamentary level to avoid the other forms of violence…”
The Rallying of the creditists, directed by Réal Caouette, was the Québécois wing of the Parti social Credit which separated from the remainder of the party and which gained great successes in the rural regions during the Années 1960. The ideology of the social Crédit was based on the ideas of a Scottish engineer, the Major C.H. Douglas. The creditists eclipsed the remainder of the Parti social Credit Canada; even after the remelting of the party with its Québécois wing in 1971, he does not manage to make elect deputies in the remainder of Canada. The party continues however to send deputies to the communes until 1979. Even if the party were regarded as being rather line and conservative, contrary to the social democrat approach of the Block, and even if Réal Caouette were resolutely federalistic contrary to the Block, the party were the principal vehicle of expression of the dissatisfaction and the nationalism of the Inhabitants of Quebec during decades.
The Popular union was a minor political party which tried to build around the success of the Parti Québécois at the provincial level by introducing candidates souverainists to the federal elections 1979 and of 1980. The PQ, however, rejected any participation in the federal elections and did not offer any help to the party which did not have that a poor success.
The nationalist Parti Quebec was founded in the years 1980 like an alternative to the federalistic parties (those opposed to the independence of Quebec) and can be seen like a modest predecessor.
Finally, the Left Rhinoceros, founded in 1968 by the doctor Jacques Ferron, a famous author of Quebec, gained many votes of people disapproving the federalistic politicians. Jacques Ferron, the poet Gaston Miron and the singer Michel Rivard opposed to the Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau in his own county of Mount-Royal, without much success however have regard with the important political weight and the great influence of Trudeau. Guy Bertrand, former candidate pequist, had the idea to create a federal political party in favor of the independence of Quebec, a Québécois Block, in the years 1970. Rene Lévesque, founder and chief of the Parti Québécois, wrote in its autobiography that he was opposed to this project, considering the time not very favourable.
After several decades of reflection and failures to launch a party souverainist at the federal level, deputies souverainists were elected for the first time in the years 1990.
OriginsDuring its creation, in 1990, the Québécois Block was an abstract coalition of the Québécois members of the Parti progressist-conservative Canada (PC) and Liberal party of Canada which had left their party respective on the question of the Accord of the lake Meech. The existence of the party was to be only temporary, and it had been given for goal to promote sovereignty at the federal level. The party was intended to be dissolved after the victory with a referendum over sovereignty. The term “temporary ad hoc rainbow coalition” is now used by the Liberal party of Canada to refer to the group of deputies who founded the Québécois Block. This referred mainly to Jean Lapierre, which was formerly member of this group, but which since gave up separatism and joined the liberals under the supervision of Paul Martin.
The initial coalition which led to the creation of the Block was directed by Lucien Bouchard, Minister of environment until his reference by the Prime Minister of the time, Brian Mulroney. The coalition was formed with several liberals, in particular Gilles Rocheleau and Jean Lapierre, and certain conservatives, like NIC Leblanc, Louis Plamondon, Benoît Tremblay, Gilbert Chartrand, François Gérin and Jacques Proulx. The first candidate bloquist with being elected was Gilles Duceppe in the district of Laurier— Sainte-Marie, at the time of the by-election of the August 13rd 1990.
See also: Canadian Federal election of 1993
During the federal elections of 1993, the Block gained 54 seats in Quebec. Since the political parties which sat at the opposition in the remainder of Canada were divided between the Parti reformist, the Parti progressist-conservative and the Nouveau Democratic party, the Block had largely enough seats to become the second party of many seats to the House of Commons, becoming thus the official opposition. The election of a so great number of bloquists constituted the first of the three points of a supposed plan to lead to the independence of Quebec. This plan had been set up by that which was to become Prime Minister for Quebec at the time of the general election of 1994, Jacques Parizeau.
New chiefs for the BlockAccording to the departure of Lucien Bouchard of Ottawa, Michel Gauthier became chief of the Block.
Even if the party is formally in the democratic social category of the political spectrum, it does not have a particular ideology to rejoin its members other than the promotion of the sovereignty of Quebec. Following the defeat of the referendum, Michel Gauthier is remained unable to maintain to the unit of the caucus deputies bloquists and resigned of the cheffery of the Québécois Block one year later.
Its substitute, Gilles Duceppe, currently directs the party since 1997. The May 11th 2007, it announces its intention to stand as a candidate to the succession of André Boisclair, with the head of the Parti Québécois what opens the question of its succession until the following day whereas it announces, with the general surprise, that it will not stand as candidate. The question of its leadership thus does not arise more officially.
See also: Canadian Federal election of 1997
During the election of 1997, the Québécois Block fell to 44 seats, thus losing the title of official opposition to the profit of the Party Reformist. Years 1997-2000 were remembered by the fight of the Block against the law C-20, attempt of the Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Stephan Dion, a Québécois minister of her cabinet, to make sure that it is impossible for a province unilaterally to reach sovereignty.
See also: Canadian Federal election of 2000
During the election of 2000, the Block is gone down to 38 seats, although it obtained more votes than during the preceding election. The Block however obtained more seats in Quebec than the Liberal party. However, the Liberals succeeded in gaining several seats in bys-election, seats which enabled them to obtain the majority of the seats of Quebec for the first time since 1982, year of the unilateral repatriation of the Constitution by the Liberals. Thereafter, the Block continued to denounce the interventions of the federal government in the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces. Its actions were thereafter used to discover what became the Scandale of the mixed liability companies.
To also note, the Block supports the Protocole of Kyoto, the Homosexual marriage, the Décriminalisation of the marijuana and is against the financing of the American anti-missile Bouclier. The Block supported the Canadian participation in the invasion of the Afghanistan in 2001, but the invasion of Iraq in 2003 did not support, being opposed to the fact that it had not been carried out under the aegis of UNO or of NATO. In 2006, the Block voted at the Parliament against the prolongation of the mission of the Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan until 2009, but because the conservative government Stephen Harper had granted only a few hours to discuss this question.
In a long discourse which he made in January 2007 in front of CERIUM in Montreal, Gilles Duceppe raised any ambiguity on the fact that the Québécois Block supports the war in Afghanistan (See Conference of Gilles Duceppe in front of CERIUM: Afghanistan should not become another Iraq). He reiterated that " the Québécois Block supported this international intervention since the beginning and continues appuyer" (p.2), concluding its speech by declaring " that the international intervention in Afghanistan is noble a cause" (p.15).
It is as thanks to the Québécois Block as the minority government of center-droite Stephen Harper could be maintained with the capacity. Indeed, the Québécois Block gave to the conservatives the voices necessary for the adoption of the two budgets deposited by the conservative government since its election in January 2006.
The returnSeveral opinion polls in Quebec continued to indicate the decline of the Block in 2003 after the victory of the federalistic Prime Minister Jean Charest to the head of the Liberal party of Quebec. But the things changed at the winter 2003, which is explained mainly by the marked unpopularity of the Charest government, which made go up the fever souverainist (49% of favorable opinions in March). In February 2004, the Scandale of the mixed liability companies is discovered by the auditor general of Canada, Sheila Fraser, and strikes full whip the liberal government.
Election of 2004
See also: Canadian Federal election of 2004
For the election of 2004, the Block used the slogan: “A party specific to Quebec”. The block gained 54 seats with the House of Commons, newcomer to equalize its preceding record of the countryside of 1993.
Speculations stated the possibility that the Block forms an alliance with the other opposition parties with a possible minority government. Gilles Duceppe saw his leadership confirmed after the election when he declared that the Block would cooperate with the other parties when those would propose laws and motions which would not go against the interests of the Inhabitants of Quebec.
Election of 2006
See also: Canadian Federal election of 2006
In May 2005, the Minority government of Paul Martin had to face a hard test. The three opposition parties were intended to make fall the government. But because of certain ramifications of the Canadian laws, this motion of distrust failed. A few weeks later, the deputies of NPD were combined with the Libéraux in exchange of modifications made to the budget. This made it possible to the Liberals to obtain the equality of the votes in room. The President of the House of Commons sliced for the status quo.
At the time of the parliamentary reopening of September, the alliance of NPD and Libéraux ended and in early December, the House of Commons was dissolue.
The bloquists adopted the slogan of countryside: “Fortunately, here, it is the Block. ” the beginning of countryside was exceptional for Gilles Duceppe. It was of all the platforms (e.g. Everyone speaks about it) and of all the popular assemblies. The surveys gave it gaining almost everywhere to Quebec and even allowed him to hope to obtain the proportion of 50% + 1 (by the vote for all) of the Québécois votes.
However, Gilles Duceppe did not make good figure at the time of the first debate of the chiefs (in French), mid-December. The rules of the debates of this countryside prohibited to the heads of party to cut the word. On the other hand, the second debate of the chiefs in English made it possible Gilles Duceppe to gain points, even in English Canada. Allured by the chief of the Québécois Block, certain Canadian out-Quebec english-speaking affirmed that they would vote readily for the Block if the party gave up sovereignty.
At the beginning of January, two Libéraux scandals burst. December 28th, 2005, the Minister for Finance, Ralph Goodale, was put under investigation by GRC following alléguations of offense of initiate. Goodale was bleached thereafter. The second scandal related to Option Canada, a lobby having operated in violation of the Québécois laws during the referendum on the sovereignty of 1995. Gilles Duceppe did not fail to be based on these two events at the time of the second debate of the chiefs.
During the end of campaign, the surveys suggest the possibility for the Conservateurs of forming a majority Gouvernement, and of even gaining some seats in Quebec.
The federal parties, as for them, constantly called in question the validity of the Block at the federal level.
The result of the countryside of 2006 worse than was planned for the Block. In spite of some historical openings on the island of Montreal, where it in particular adapted the counties of Pierre Pettigrew (Papineau) and of Liza Frulla (Jeanne-Le Ber), two liberal counties, eight districts went to the Conservative party of Stephen Harper in the area of Quebec and to the Saguenay. The popular support of the Block is descended from 48,8% to 42,1% in Quebec.
The opinion of the Inhabitants of Quebec compared to the Block varies enormously: a survey carried out on behalf of the Journal of Montreal in August 2006 suggested that the conservatives of Stephen Harper lost points in Quebec in the tread of the war in Lebanon and of the positions pro-Israelis of the government of Canada. Having qualified “measured” counterpart of Israel to removal by the Hezbollah Israeli soldiers, Stephen Harper saw its supports decreasing. Consequently, the support of the Québécois Block somewhat went up.
The presence of Gilles Duceppe to a walk organized for peace in Lebanon raised the controversy, because of the presence in the crowd of demonstrators holding up of the flags of Hezbollah and stressing slogans in support with this group officially classified like terrorist organization . Chroniqueuse of the National Post , Barbara Kay, signed a text entitled The Rise off Quebecistan (rise of Québecistan) in which it showed the political Inhabitants of Quebec souverainists and their representatives to be anti-semites. Certain federalistic politicians however had also taken part in the walk, of which Denis Coderre of PLC. The Israeli ambassador in Canada, Alan Baker, showed Gilles Duceppe to have caused “an irrevocable wrong to Israel” while taking part in the demonstration.
Many answers were formulated for submission to Barbara Kay and of Alan Baker. The Prime Minister for Quebec Jean Charest condemned the remarks of the journalist, describing them as “coarse”. Rezeq Faraj and Bruce Katz, copresidents of the organization Palestinians and Jews plain (PAJU), denounced the nature of these attacks against the Block and its chief, affirming “that such an unjustified declaration on behalf of the ambassador of Israel in Canada aiming at the chief of an independence party constitutes an interference in the internal policy of Canada. ”
At the end August 2006, a deputy of the Québécois Block, Benoit Sauvageau, lost the life in a road accident. It is the 2nd time in the short history of the party which one of its deputies dies in these circumstances. The November 27th, the priest Raymond Gravel is elected to succeed to him at the time of a by-election.
In March 2007, the relevance of the Québécois Block is again called into question with the defeat at the polls of André Boisclair. Some militants proposed that Boisclair is replaced by Gilles Duceppe.
See also: 39e legislature of Canada
The current deputies, in date of September 2007, are:
Lucien Bouchard (July 25th 1990 - January 15th 1996)
- Gilles Duceppe (January 16th 1996 - February 16th 1996 chief by interim )
- Michel Gauthier (February 17th 1996 - March 14th 1997)
- Gilles Duceppe (March 15th 1997 - present)
- Official site of the Québécois Block
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