What legacy will François Legault want to leave for this probable last mandate?

The second term of the CAQ has barely begun when journalists are already questioning François Legault on his possible political legacy. The question may seem premature. In fact, it is not.

It is indeed difficult to imagine that in 2026, when he will have blown out his 69 candles, the Prime Minister would want to tempt fate a third time instead of going to enjoy life, his family and his health.

In this probable last term, it is therefore difficult to imagine a François Legault not asking himself the question of his possible political legacy.

The pandemic having snatched up more than half of his first term, Quebecers are also likely to scrutinize his policies more closely. Despite his massive win, expectations are high. Particularly in health and social services.

In an aging society, citizens expect its minister Christian Dubé to be able to tame the multiple dysfunctions of a mastodon undermined for too long by a seriously ossified bureaucracy.

What about the education network? Half-public and half-subsidized private, it has become the most unequal in Canada. Will he have the audacity to make it more egalitarian and therefore more effective?

And what about the decline of the French language? What new concrete actions will he take to curb it as he swears to commit to do?

Democracy weakened

Will François Legault also want to remedy the worrying state of a Quebec democracy weakened by an outdated voting system? Which, in a multiparty situation, is unable to provide voters with a fair representation of the distribution of their votes in the National Assembly?

As proof, on October 3, the CAQ won 72% of the seats thanks to 41% of the vote. Despite the 59% of the votes they share, that leaves only shots to the Liberal Party of Quebec, to Quebec solidaire, to the Parti Québécois and to the Conservative Party of Quebec.

For the moment, Mr. Legault refuses. Could it nevertheless surprise us? Could he decide to leave behind him the surprise legacy of a new voting system?

If the Prime Minister wanted to help build a much fairer Quebec democracy, he would reconsider his refusal. Will he? Very clever the soothsayers.

Only one thing is certain. In this second “strong” mandate, the opportunity is served to him on a silver platter. But will he want it?

Agreement broken

We hear that by abandoning his promise of a new voting system made before the 2018 elections, Mr. Legault is not behaving differently from his predecessors, including René Lévesque.

All promised a reform of the voting system, but once in power, all backed down to continue to benefit from the same system. It has always been a classic for a leader to renounce a commitment once in power, since that only commits him and his party.

Very true. There is, however, a size difference. In 2018, this commitment to reform the voting system actually came from a cross-party agreement signed by the CAQ, the PQ and QS.

By reneging on this promise, the CAQ is at the same time breaking a tripartite agreement without the consent of the two other signatory parties. Politically, this is not trivial.

Quebecers do not fight in the buses on the subject. However, the Prime Minister knows that many of them want a fairer voting system. So who knows?…


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