- Québec solidaire
Québec solidaire President Françoise David Founded February 4, 2006 Headquarters 7105, St-Hubert, bureau 304, Montreal QC, H2S 2N1 Ideology Democratic socialism,
Official colours Orange Seats in the National Assembly Website quebecsolidaire.net Politics of Quebec
Québec solidaire (QS) is a democratic socialist and sovereigntist political party in Quebec, Canada, that was created on 4 February 2006 in Montreal. It was formed by the merger of the left-wing party Union des forces progressistes (UFP) and the alter-globalization political movement Option Citoyenne, led by Françoise David. The party uses the name "Québec solidaire" in both French and English, as does the mainstream media, but the party's name is sometimes translated as "Solidarity Quebec" or "Quebec Solidarity" in English.
QS formed in 2006, centering on a number of activists and politicians who had written Pour un Québec solidaire, a left-wing response to Pour un Québec lucide. Pour un Québec lucide presented a distinctly neoliberal analysis of and set of solutions to Québec's problems, particularly criticizing the sovereignty movement as distracting from Québec's real issues and the Québec social model as inefficient and out-of-date. Pour un Québec solidaire presented an alternate analysis, and later its writers formed the party Québec solidaire, taking its name from the manifesto.
The party advocates sovereignty for Quebec. It also hopes to appeal to environmentalists, feminists and socialists. The aim of QS is in part to widen the appeal and organizational structure of the Union des forces progressistes (UFP), and to give a formal political voice to altermondialist movements like Option Citoyenne. As such, QS aims to bring together progressive forces across the broad left wing of the Quebec political spectrum.
The Green Party of Quebec had tried to avoid running candidates in ridings where there was a UFP candidate, although it reserved the right to run anywhere it wants to (even ridings with a UFP candidate). However, such an arrangement will not be renewed since the Green Party has taken a new direction.
QS presents itself as an alternative to the main three parties in Quebec: the Parti Québécois (PQ), the Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ), and the Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ), saying that all three are but different faces of the neoliberalism, which QS considers right-wing. QS also holds that its view of an independent Quebec is a completely different project than that of the PQ. Rather than working for independence for its own sake, QS works for an internationalist independence - an independence based on principles of social justice. For QS, independence is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
For several months after the party's formation, it had no official colour or logo. After more than an hour of discussion on the subject, the founding congress decided to postpone the vote on these questions until later, with a probable delay until the party's first National Council meeting 3 months later. An official logo was subsequently adopted, along with the colour orange.
Declaration of principles
At the party's founding, the congress unanimously adopted a document called the Déclaration de principes which laid out the principles and values that led the two organizations to merge. They are:
- "Nous sommes écologistes" ("We are environmentalists")
- "Nous sommes de gauche" ("We are on the Left")
- "Nous sommes démocrates" ("We are democrats")
- "Nous sommes féministes" ("We are feminists")
- "Nous sommes altermondialistes" ("We are alter-globalists")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec pluriel" ("We are from a plural Quebec")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec souverain et solidaire" ("We are from a sovereign and supportive Quebec")
- "Un autre parti, pour un autre Québec!" ("Another party, for another Quebec!")
Françoise David and Amir Khadir are the two spokespersons. Régent Séguin is the secretary general and will act as party leader for the purposes of the Loi électorale du Québec. Alexa Conradi was president from the foundation of the party until June 2009 after which Françoise David was named president-spokeswoman. However, as with its predecessors, Option Citoyenne and the Union des forces progressistes, there is no "party leader" in this new party. Instead, the duties generally entrusted to the leader are instead divided among the president, secretary general and male and female spokespeople. The party leadership is assumed by the National Coordinating Committee, composed of 16 persons elected by the founding Congress. A person from the team of volunteers will always have a seat.
The national spokespersons of Québec solidaire have greater visibility than the secretary general and are best known. Françoise David has been named Personality of the Year by Le Point and Amir Khadir is known for becoming the first elected member of the party in the elections in Mercier in 2008.
The basic unit of the party is the local association. There is a local association for each of the 125 ridings in Quebec. These local associations are grouped into 19 regional associations, whose primary mandate to support the establishment of local associations. In March 2007, Québec solidaire has 61 local associations organized. Students and staff at institutions of higher education are grouped in campus associations that also participate in the democratic life of the party. Two national commissions are also part of the structure of Québec solidaire: the Political Committee and the National Commission for Women. The first is composed of 14 thematic committees and is responsible for proposing a program to members. It was responsible for drafting the electoral platform of the party in general elections of 2007. The National Commission for Women is composed of delegates from each region and is responsible for ensuring that feminism is a value which transverses the party.
Québec solidaire also includes a number of collectives, made up of members in good standing who may, in compliance with requirements, promote their respective political views within Québec solidaire. Unlike the UFP, these groups do not have formal representation in Congress, the National Council or other bodies of the party. Current collectives include:
- Alternative Socialiste, the Quebec section of the Committee for a Workers' International.
- Décroissance conviviale, a collective which promotes degrowth.
- Gauche Socialiste, the Quebec section of the reunified Fourth International.
- Laïcité, a collective which promotes the separation of church and state.
- Mass critique, an anti-capitalist collective.
- The Parti Communiste du Québec (PCQ), a communist collective.
- The Parti Communiste du Québec - Parti Communiste du Canada (PCQ-PCC), the Quebec membership of the Communist Party of Canada.
- Socialisme Internationale, the Quebec membership of the International Socialists.
- Tendance Marxiste Internationale, the Quebec section of the International Marxist Tendency.
Québec solidaire's first political venture was to field a candidate, Manon Massé, in an April 10, 2006, by-election in Sainte-Marie—Saint-Jacques. She received 22% of the vote.
Québec solidaire contested the 2007 Quebec election. It won 3.65% of the popular vote and received 144,418 votes, 0.21% behind the Green Party of Quebec. They were also endorsed by the Montreal Central Council of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux which represents 125,000 members in Quebec. According to an analysis on Canadian Dimension, this is the first time a trade union in Quebec has endorsed a party more left-wing than the Parti Québécois.
General election # of candidates # of elected candidates % of popular vote 2003* 73 0 1.06% 2007 123 0 3.64% 2008 122 1 3.78%
In late July 2006 a controversy arose when a local newspaper quoted one member of the party, Ginette Lewis, as declaring her "unconditional support for Hezbollah" at a Quebec City rally and welcoming Hezbollah's "fierce resistance" as a "sign of hope" (« résistance farouche », « signe d’espoir »).Françoise David, the party's official spokeswoman, dissociated the party from Lewis's statements the following day, emphasizing that the QS is a pacifist party. Lewis herself later claimed that she had been misquoted : "I never supported Hezbollah. I said that I was on the side of solidarity, justice and peace (...)".
- Parti de la démocratie socialiste
- Parti communiste du Québec
- Politics of Quebec
- National Assembly of Quebec
- Political parties in Quebec
- Gauche Socialiste
- International Socialists
- Communist Party of Canada
- ^ Québec solidaire. "Historique."
- ^ "Québec solidaire: Quebec's “left” party in the orbit of the big business PQ". World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). 2008-12-08. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/dec2008/qubc-d08.shtml. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- ^ "A Day of Protest and Teargas at Prosperity and Security Summit". Translation from Le Devoir. Watching America. 2007-08-21. http://www.watchingamerica.com/ledevoir000004.shtml. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- ^ "Northern Lights: Socialism 2007 a Big Success". Labor Standard. Socialist Action. June 2007. http://www.laborstandard.org/New_Postings/Northern_Lights_June_2007.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- ^ http://thetyee.ca/News/2007/03/27/QuebecAngryAndTorn/ Analysis from the 2007 Quebec general election mentioning the role of the manifesto
- ^ Parti Communiste du Québec http://www.pcq.qc.ca, 29 octobre 2008, Part communiste du Québec. Retrieved 29 October 2008
- ^ Gauche socialiste, « Manifeste de la Gauche Socialiste » http://www.lagauche.com, s.d.. Retrieved 29 October 2008
- ^ « Notre Programme », La Riposte, June 2009
- ^ Robert Dutrisac « Khadir prête serment d'allégeance aux « mal pris » », Le Devoir, 18 December 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
- ^ [pdf] Québec solidaire, Statuts provisoires, Québec solidaire, Magog , p. 12.
- ^ Alternative Socialiste. "Qui sommes nous?"
- ^ Gauche socialiste, « Gauche socialiste »
- ^ RÉSISTANCE. « Des luttes anticapitalistes à la révolution », Socialisme International/International Socialists.
- ^ « La TMI s’affilie à Québec solidaire », La Riposte, September 2009
- ^ Richard Fidler. Some Notes on the Results of the Quebec Election. Special to Canadian Dimension magazine, March 27, 2007.
- ^  CBC News
- ^ "Québec solidaire rectifie le tir," Radio-Canada (in French).
- Official website
- La Politique québécoise sur le Web
- New Party fills gap on the left
- Québec solidaire: A Left-of-the-Left Formation? by Roger Rashi, The Bullet #286, December 11, 2009.
- After A Highly Successful Year Québec Solidaire Starts Debate On Program by Roger Rashi, The Bullet #406, August 24, 2010.
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