Photo cred - Radio Canada Info

After only 19 months since the last provincial election, Quebec Premiere Pauline Marois has dissolved the PQ minority government and sent the province into election-mode. Gearing towards this election (that everyone saw coming) a swirl of issues has sprung up in Quebec, adding fuel to the campaigns of the major parties.

Taking note from the recently conducted approval poll and the  Gazette's senior political correspondent Phil Authier's podcast, we've condensed all the relevant info so you can look knowledgeable about politics when someone inevitably brings up the election during some routine small talk.

The Three Major Parties

Parti Québécois (PQ)

Leader: Pauline Marois

Public approval rating: 37%

Major focus: Provincial pride, Quebec sovereignty, Charter of Values

To consider: The PQ has requested only one public debate, meaning voters will see Marois onstage and talking with her competitors a single time. Is hiding Marois from the public view and the eyes of voters a strategic move? Maybe she's just bad at debating, which truly isn't that important for a political leader.

Parti libéral du Québec

Leader: Philippe Couillard

Public approval rating: 35%

Major focus: Education, healthcare, public finance

To consider: The Liberal party's recently released slogan ("together, we can take care of real business") implies a strong economic focus in the party's platform. It will be interesting to see how much attention the party pays to the cultural issues of Quebec. such as language laws.

Coalition Avenir Quebec

Leader: Francois Legault

Approval rating: 15%

Major focus: Lowering taxes and economic reforms

To consider: The CAQ's campaign is using its leader to sell the party to the public, their slogan is literally "We Give Legault." I'm sure the party will focus on real issues, but it will be interesting to see how far they go with the "celebrity-politician" campaign-style.

Major Issues & Debate Topics

  • Charter of Values: Of course the CoV would be one of the major issues of this election. The three major parties attitude towards the CoV is fairly simple: The PQ is all for it, the Liberals are totally against it, and the CAQ sit in the middle with a watered-down version they want to employ.
  • Quebec's Economy: Everyone loves more money, and each party will have a platform-plug on how they will make Quebec citizens richer. Hopefully Montreal's place in Quebec's economy will be addressed by all parties, especially given the recent BMO report.
  • Montreal: A lot of talk has been going on regarding Montreal's unique position as the metropolis of Quebec. Expect parties to be asked (if not bring up) how they will strive to make Montreal thrive.

What do you want to see from the campaigning parties?

For relevant updates on the provincial elections, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte
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