Sovereignty in the Quebec Election


Well, Quebeckers head to the polls a week from today, in their provincial election. Many had predicted the campaign would overwhelmingly focus on the clamour of pots and pans of unhappy students, and corruption. But like elections of recent past, there's been no escaping the one issue that cuts a deep cleavage through Quebec society. Today, we're talking sovereignty and whether it's a real issue in this campaign or just a distraction.

Today's guest host was Piya Chattopadhyay.

Part One of The Current


It's Tuesday, August 28th.

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois worries that two rival sovereigntist parties may split the vote.

Currently, a separatist's fears that divisions may fragment the unity of a divisive political agenda has the rest of Canada quite... broken up.

This is The Current.

Sovereignty in the Quebec Election - Panel

Last November, former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister Francois Legault announced that he was founding his own party, the Coalition Avenir Quebec or CAQ as it's known in Quebec. The idea was to push Quebec past its polarizing debate over sovereignty and to create some space to talk about other issues.

This morning, with Quebeckers a week away from going to the polls, the CAQ is threatening to be a spoiler for either the Liberals, the Parti Quebecois or both. And yet, the further we get into a campaign that was supposed to be about student protests and government corruption ... the more PQ leader Pauline Marois and Premier Jean Charest turn the subject to sovereignty.

For their thoughts on the persistence of the sovereignty debate, we were joined by Geoff Kelley. He is a Liberal MNA running for re-election in the Montreal area riding of Jacques Cartier. Dominique Anglade is a first time candidate running for the CAQ in the Laval riding of Fabre. And Daniel Turp is a former Parti Quebecois MNA and Bloc Quebecois MP who teaches international and constitutional law at l'Université de Montreal. We requested a candidate for the Parti Quebecois but the party declined.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino and Montreal Network Producer, Susan McKenzie.

Other segment from today's show:

The Hand of Fate: Documentary Repeat

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