- Quebec Liberal Party
party_name = Parti libéral du Québec
party_wikicolourid = Liberal
status = active
class = prov
July 1, 1867
Liberalism, Quebec federalism
headquarters = 7240, rue Waverly
Montreal, QuebecH2R 2Y8 1535 Chemin Sainte-Foy, suite 120 Quebec City, QuebecG1S 2P1
int_alignment = None
seats_house = 76
website = [http://www.plq.org http://www.plq.org] The Quebec Liberal Party, (or PLQ), is a liberal
political partyin the Canadian province of Quebec. It has been independent of the Liberal Party of Canadasince 1955.
The party has traditionally supported
Quebec federalism; i.e., Quebec remaining within the Canadian confederation. It has also supports a role for government in the economy, although in recent years due to government debt its economic policies have moved towards free enterprise. It remains, however, a socially liberal party.
The Liberal Party is descended from:
Parti Canadien, or Parti Patriote who supported the 1837 Lower Canada Rebellion, and
Parti rouge, who fought for responsible governmentand against the authority of the Roman Catholic Churchin Lower Canada.The most notable figure of this period was Louis-Joseph Papineau.
The Liberal Party has faced various opposing parties in its history. Its main opposition from the time of Confederation (1867) to the 1930s was the
Quebec Conservative Party. That party's successor, the Union Nationale, was the main opposition to the Liberals until the 1970s. Since then the Liberals have alternated in power with the Parti Québécois, a social democraticparty that is based on the idea of Quebec sovereignty.
The Liberals have always been associated with the colour red; each of their three main opponents in different eras have been associated with the colour blue. In 2007, however, the
Action Démocratique du Québec, whose official colours are blue and red, became the official opposition in the provincial parliament.
The Liberals were in opposition to the ruling Conservatives for most of the first 20 years after
Confederation, except for 18 months of Liberal minority governmentin 1878-1879. However, the situation changed in 1885 when the federal Conservative government executed Louis Riel, the leader of the French-speaking Métis (mixed race) people of western Canada. This decision was unpopular in Quebec. Honoré Mercierrode this wave of discontent to power in 1887, but was brought down by a scandal in 1891. He was later cleared of all charges. The Conservatives returned to power until 1897.
The Liberals won the 1897 election, and held power without interruption for the next 39 years; the Conservatives never held power in Quebec again. This mirrored the situation in Ottawa, where the arrival of
Wilfrid Laurierin the 1896 federal election marked the beginning of Liberal dominance at the federal level. Notable long-serving Premiers of Quebecin this era were Lomer Gouinand Louis-Alexandre Taschereau.
By 1935, however, the Conservatives had an ambitious new leader,
Maurice Duplessis. Duplessis merged his party with dissident ex-Liberals who had formed the Action libérale nationale. Duplessis led the new party, the Union Nationale (UN), to power in the 1936 election. The Liberals returned to power in the 1939 election, but lost it again in the 1944 election. They remained in opposition to the Union Nationale until one year after Duplessis's death in 1959.
In 1955, the PLQ severed its affiliation with the Liberal Party of Canada, and, at times since then, relations between the two parties have been strained.
Jean Lesage, the party won an historic election in 1960, ending sixteen years of rule by the conservative Union Nationale. This marked the beginning of the Quiet Revolution, which dramatically changed Quebec society. Under the slogan "maîtres chez nous" (masters in our own house), the Quebec government undertook several major initiatives, including:
nationalizationof the electricity industry through expansion of the government-owned Hydro-Québec— this major initiative of the government was led by the minister of natural resources, René Lévesque;
* creation of a public pension plan, the
Quebec Pension Plan, separate from the Canada Pension Planthat exists in all other provinces of Canada;
* creation of a Ministry of Education, taking responsibility for the schools away from the
Roman Catholic Church;
* pressuring the federal government of Canada to renegotiate federal-provincial relations.
Under Lesage, the Liberals developed a Quebec nationalist wing. Some Liberals, including senior
Cabinetminister René Lévesque, left the Liberals to join the sovereignty movement, participating in the founding of the Parti Québécoisunder Lévesque's leadership.
Relations soured between the Quebec Liberal Party and the federal
Liberal Party of Canadaunder Lesage, and particularly under Robert Bourassa.
First elected in 1970, Robert Bourassa instituted Bill 22 to introduce
French languageas the official language in Quebec, and pushed Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeaufor constitutional concessions. Reelected in 1973, his government was also embarrassed by several scandals. Bourassa resigned from the party's leadership after the loss of the 1976 election to René Lévesque's Parti Québécois.
Bourassa was succeeded as Liberal leader by
Claude Ryan, the former director of the respected Montreal newspaper, " Le Devoir". Ryan led the successful federalist campaign in the 1980 Quebec referendumon Quebec sovereignty, but then lost the 1981 election. He resigned as Liberal leader some time later, paving the way for the return of Robert Bourassa.
When Bourassa returned as Premier in 1985, he successfully persuaded the federal Progressive Conservative government of
Brian Mulroneyto recognize Quebec as a distinct society, and sought greater powers for Quebec and the other provinces. This resulted in the Meech Lake and Charlottetown constitutional accords. Both of these proposals, however, were not ratified. While a Quebec nationalist, Bourassa remained an opponent of independence for Quebec. Daniel Johnson, Jr.succeeded Bourassa as Liberal leader and Premier of Quebec in 1994, but soon lost the 1994 election to the Parti Québécois under Jacques Parizeau. In 1993, after the failure of the Charlottetown Accord, many nationalist members of the Liberal party led by Jean Allaireand Mario Dumont, including many from the party's youth wing, left to form the Action démocratique du Québecbecause of the Liberal party's dropping of most of its autonomist demands during the negotiation of the Charlottetown Accord. As in 1980, the PLQ campaigned successfully for a "no" vote in the 1995 Quebec referendumon sovereignty.
Since the election of April 14, 2003, the Liberals have formed the current government of Quebec under Premier
Jean Charest. Charest is a former federal Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and leader, who still holds to the ideals of his former party. Under the leadership of Charest, the Liberals have moved to the right as former supporters of the federal Conservatives during the Brian Mulroneyyears gain prominent positions in the Liberal party under Charest's leadership. The current Liberal government has proposed a policy of reform of social programs and cuts to government spending and the civil service similar to those of recent Progressive Conservative governments in Ontarioand Albertaand Liberal government in British Columbia. It has also maintained the nationalist bent of previous Liberal administrations, for example, supporting Bill 104 to restrict the entry of otherwise-qualified students into the English school system.
Midway through its prior mandate, polls indicated the Charest government had been riding on the highest dissatisfaction rates ever recorded for a government in place in Quebec. Highly controversial proposals to reform education, labour and social policy, stalled attempts to "streamline" the provincial civil service, growing labour unrest, and other factors gave the Parti Québécois a chance to win the
Quebec general election, 2007. The Liberals, however, did win the election, although in a minority position, losing francophone ballots to the Action démocratique du Québec. [ [http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=ed4f5ebb-fc08-4a91-95af-49154a128aba Liberals' identity crisis ] ]
Charest, in his speech at the beginning of the most recent legislative assembly in May, criticized newcomers on their responsibility to Quebec and indicated francophones want preservation against minority groups. To firm up party support, Charest empowered a task force which asked for more policies to strengthen build the French language and nationalism. But party delegates were as a majority dismissive of it, calling it not sufficiently federalist. Minorities, usually unconditionally federalist, were upset that Quebecers are being split between "us" and "them." [ [http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=ed4f5ebb-fc08-4a91-95af-49154a128aba Liberals' identity crisis ] ]
The party includes among its members supporters of the federal Liberals, some federal Conservatives (whose loyalty is split between the PLQ and the ADQ.), and some supporters of the federal
New Democratic Party. In terms of voter support, it has always been able to rely on the great majority of non- francophones. Leadership reviews normally reach member approval ratings around 90%. [ [http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/columnists/story.html?id=8f51f810-3eec-40a3-9b6b-d3593a931392&p=2 Firing of aides won't save Charest for long ] ]
Leaders of the Parti Libéral du Québec
Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière(1867–1883) (premier 1878-1879)
Honoré Mercier(1883–1892) (premier 1887-1891)
Félix-Gabriel Marchand(1892–1900) (premier 1897-1900)
Simon-Napoléon Parent(1900–1905) (premier 1900-1905)
Lomer Gouin(1905–1920) (premier 1905-1920)
Louis-Alexandre Taschereau(1920–1936) (premier 1920-1936)
Adélard Godbout(1936–1948) (premier 1936, 1939-1944)
Jean Lesage(1958–1970) (premier 1960-1966)
Robert Bourassa(1970–1976) (premier 1970-1976)
Gérard D. Lévesque(interim) (1976–1978)
Gérard D. Lévesque(interim) (1982–1983)
Robert Bourassa(1983–1994) (premier 1985-1994)
Daniel Johnson, Jr.(1994–1998) (premier 1994)
Jean Charest(1998-) (premier 2003-)
Election results (since 1867)
Contributions to liberal theory
List of liberal parties
Politics of Quebec
List of Quebec general elections
List of Quebec premiers
List of Quebec leaders of the Opposition
National Assembly of Quebec
Timeline of Quebec history
*Political parties in Quebec
* [http://www.plq.org/ Parti libéral du Québec] official site
* [http://www.assnat.qc.ca/fra/patrimoine/ National Assembly historical information]
* [http://www.quebecpolitique.com/election/generales.html Liberal Party Election Performances] fr icon
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