Quebec election debate: informative but also a loss for Pauline Marois. Couillard,Legault and David hold their own.

Last night’s Quebec provincial election debate (the election is April 7) was very informative and mostly operated on substance with each party leader defending their turf, attacking their opponents in a polite manner but also revealing their differences on a number of key policy issues, including public finance, economic development strategies, health care, education, social policy, the question of sovereignty and the charter of values. Voters who watched the debate should now have a clear sense of whom they are voting for. On the most dramatic issue that of holding a third referendum on the creation of an independent Quebec and the fracturing of the Canadian federation Madame Marois was unconvincingly evasive despite strong efforts by M.Legault the leader of the right of centre CAQ and M.Couillard to get a straight answer about her commitment to holding a referendum if she wins a majority. On this issue outside of her core supporters she will be seen as unreliable by voters who otherwise support the PQ and some former Liberal voters who have been supporting the CAQ but don’t want a referendum. This posibility and her less convincing performance on the question of unemployment and economic development raised strongly by Legault and also by Couillard may  well erode some of the support for the PQ and improve the vote for the Liberals who are now ahead by five percentage points in the latest poll. Françoise David’s performance was also effective and should strength the vote for Québec solidaire enabling them to win 2-3 seats in Montréal.

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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