The Weekly Writ for Aug. 31
Quebec's election begins, some Atlantic premiers are in trouble and who will be running for the Green leadership?
Welcome to the Weekly Writ, a round-up of the latest federal and provincial polls, election news and political history that lands in your inbox every Wednesday morning.
Sunday marked the official start of the Quebec election campaign. Voting day will be October 3.
I get it, it isn’t the most suspenseful race ever.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot at stake in the Quebec vote — both for Quebecers and Canadians as a whole.
While Quebec is no longer at the centre of debate over the state of Canadian federalism (hello, Danielle Smith), what happens in Quebec still has a significant impact on the rest of the country. Beyond the fact that it is home to nearly one-in-four people and about a fifth of Canada’s economy, the issues related to identity and language the swirl around Quebec’s politics have their reverberations in the rest of Canada, too.
François Legault is the odds-on favourite to win another majority government. But the size of the stamp of approval Quebecers might give him will have a bearing on the rapport de force Legault believes he has when he says he is standing up for Quebec’s interests.
The election could also be the latest chapter in the realignment of Quebec politics away from the old federalist-sovereignist divide and toward more “normal” politics that are split along economic and cultural lines.
Will the Quebec Liberals, bereft of the spectre of independence looming over the province, find a purpose and come out of this election as more than just the party of anglophones and allophones?
Will the Parti Québécois, which has had such an enormous impact on the history of Quebec over the last half century, be hammered with another nail in its coffin?
And will new-ish opposition forces like the left-wing Québec Solidaire and the right-wing Quebec Conservatives replace the parties of the old duopoly?
Don’t tell me this isn’t an election worth watching!
Speaking of which, on Monday I hosted a YouTube livestream in which I laid out the stakes of the election and answered viewer questions. If you missed it, you can watch it here:
I’m also happy to announce that Philippe J. Fournier of 338Canada.com will be joining me throughout the campaign to break down the latest polls and developments. He’ll be on The Writ Podcast this coming Friday and then will join me at the beginning of every week for subscriber-only bonus episodes. If you’re already subscribed, you won’t miss a thing! If you aren’t already subscribed, now’s the time to get off the fence!
Alright, let’s get to this week’s Weekly Writ.
We start with the Green Party leadership, which passes an important milestone today. I also have some news about a just-published political book you’ll want to check out.
Then, I break down the latest polls in Quebec and a series of new numbers out of Atlantic Canada. Which premiers are in trouble and which are sitting pretty?
Finally, I close with a riding profile of a Saskatchewan seat where a provincial byelection has just been called, mark an anniversary for the premier of Nova Scotia and tell the story of a Prince Edward Island election in which voters decided they should go along to get along.