(Former!) PQ Leader and (former!) Premier of Quebec Pauline Marois suffered a crushing defeat Monday night – and I mean crushing. Not only did the Liberals win a majority government, Pauline Marois lost her own seat in Charlevoix-Cote-de-Beaupre and resigned as leader of the Parti Quebecois.
Pauline Marois became the province’s first female premier only 18 months ago, as the once-dominant Quebec Liberal Party struggled amid widespread allegations of corruption. But her time in office wasn’t… the best. Marois promised to cut taxes and end government corruption but instead spent a lot of time re-igniting the push toward Quebec independence and defending the controversial Charter of Quebec Values, designed to regulate religious identity. Determined to win a majority mandate, Marois dissolved the provincial government back in March and embarked on a campaign riddled with referendum talk.
Turns out running a campaign without a substantive platform but with a strong focus on separatism and religious discrimination wasn’t the smartest idea. But on the bright side, it will be a great case study for future politicians on how not to run a campaign.
Monday’s provincial election was not kind to Marois. In her own riding Pauline Marois lost a tight race to Liberal candidate Caroline Simard. Simard took 35.1 per cent of the vote, and Marois 32.6 per cent.
The premiership race wasn’t quite so close. The Quebec Liberal Party returned to power with a majority government – mostly by default. With a mandate to be anything but the PQ, Philippe Couillard, a former neurosurgeon, became Quebec’s newest Premier. Now the province can finally put the issue of separation aside and return to what they know best: complaining about Liberal Party corruption.