A split on values charter good for PQ's election chances: analyst
Published Saturday, October 12, 2013 6:29PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 12, 2013 6:36PM EDT
New poll numbers suggest a strong split in support for the proposed Charter of Quebec Values, findings could be to key to whether or not the Parti Quebecois decides to call a snap election before the end of the year.
The new poll shows that 46 per cent of Quebec voters are in favour of the charter that would ban public workers from wearing obvious religious symbols. Another 41 per cent is against it.
Could the proposed charter be the springboard to a snap provincial election?
Perhaps, said Haroun Bouazzi of the Association of Muslims and Arabs for a Secular Quebec, but if that's the PQ's plan, Bouazzi said it's a dangerous strategy.
“It’snot a game or a political tool to get an election; it’s something we leave for other generations. It’s the first time ever that we are actually putting in place a charter to take out rights from minorities,” said Bouazzi.
The same poll found that 36 per cent of voters would choose the Liberal Party if an election were held this week, 34 per cent would go with the PQ, 17 per cent would choose the CAQ and 8 per cent would vote for Quebec Solidaire.
The charter issue has divided Quebec voters, which may work in the PQ’s favour. Analysts tend to suggest that playing the identity card might work, because when it comes to the controversial charter, the majority of Francophones seem to be in favour of it.
“With the latest polling numbers it would be a PQ minority government, even with the Liberals slightly ahead. When they are that close, it's always going to be the PQ because there are more Francophone seats,” said political analyst Bruce Hicks.
“If the values charter numbers were what was deciding the election, it's a PQ majority because the majority of Francophones are in favour,” he said.
So far Premier Pauline Marois has been mum on any election plans, but since introducing the charter, has announced a slew of economic incentives, including this week's $2 billion job-creation strategy.
The PQ's actions in recent weeks led some to believe an early December election is almost inevitable.