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The Progressive Economics Forum

BQ Demise- Not Good

We have a lost a lot with the demise of the Bloc Quebecois as a significant presence in Parliament. Social policy in Quebec has been more progressive than elsewhere in Canada for a long time. This is particularly important for policy related to women’s rights, including labour and social policy that allow women’s full participation in society.

This strong progressive voice in Parliament coming from Quebec was a distinct voice and Harper’s recognition of that distinctiveness was responding to this.

The NDP, as Quebec’s voice in Parliament, is not going to be able to fill the space that the BQ had on progressive issues. I fear Quebec will be simply not be part of the equation whenever social policy is at stake. Harper will simply reject the NDP voice on these issues as socialist programs we can’t afford and since no other opposition party will have the political credibility the BQ had, Harper will be free to do his worst.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from Rentier Fungicide
Time: May 3, 2011, 12:46 pm

I think Ms. Cohen is right about the Bloc’s political weight, but wrong about their progressiveness. The Bloc, after all, was the party that voted against anti-poverty measures, raising the federal minium wage, investments and regulations to support minority language communities, federal environmental regulations to limit municipal wastewater release and treatment, and staunchly opposed any federal intervention in labour market policies, especially those designed to faciliate the operation of the national labour market (i.e. all the social infrastructure ancillary to UI/EI programming). And then there was the Bloc’s continuous opposition to the Canada Health Act.

The Bloc was, essentially, a right-wing party with an occasional progressive impulse, like Brian Mulroney. Good riddance. Let’s hope we can get rid of Mulcair and Layton too, and then we might have some glimmer of hope for progressive opposition.

Comment from Travis Fast
Time: May 3, 2011, 1:20 pm

Hi Marjorie,

I think you are being a little to glum. The PQ will probably get a majority and they will have to do so by playing to their left to fend off QS. The NDP victory in Quebec also makes clear that the nationalist and federalist vote is strongly progressive. Harper can brush off the NDP but not so easily a PQ government. Or to put it differently to play brinkmanship with the PQ is a dumb idea.

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