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The Quebec Election of April 2014: Initial Impressions

1 , *

London Journal of Canadian Studies

UCL Press

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      The outcome of the 7 April 2014 general election in Quebec proved to be a surprise to many observers. Voters across Quebec chose to support a pro-federalist, Liberal Party majority government, led by Philippe Couillard. Pauline Marois’s overtly separatist Parti Québecois (PQ) was soundly and unexpectedly defeated. The 33-day electoral campaign, marked by a heightened focus on Quebec independence, identity politics and the proposed extension of further protections for the French language, illustrated that Quebec society was far more concerned with issues surrounding the scope and delivery of healthcare, education and a whole host of related economic issues, including employment, provincial debt levels, public expenditures, taxation and the pace of economic growth. This essay, in examining the election campaign, suggests that the preferred message of the PQ failed to resonate with Quebec public opinion; a message that was only further muddled with the introduction of ‘star’ candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau. The results of the 2014 election, this essay concludes, further points to significant shifts underway in Quebec society; shifts that portend important new currents in public attitudes and the very relationship between the province’s residents and the Quebec state.

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      [1 ] State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, USA
      [* ] Correspondence: kirkeycj@
      London Journal of Canadian Studies
      UCL Press
      15 December 2017
      : 32
      : 1
      : 87-97
      Copyright © 2017, Christopher Kirkey

      This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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