I have a lot of friends — federalists, minorities, anglos, even — who say they are voting Quebec Solidaire this time around. In many cases, I can even understand why. In this cynical era of politics, they’re the “feel good” option — a vote for the environment, for equality, for reduction in poverty, etc.
But if this includes you, I urge you to read their platform first before you cast your ballot. Here are just a few things that they stand for, which you may not even realize:
1. Sovereignty. Yep, hardline, hardcore Quebec separatism. Even harder-line than the PQ these days. And sure, you can always be that person who says “I’ll just vote for the party now and vote no if there’s a referendum”. But galvanizing momentum towards a referendum is dangerous — if you haven’t lived through October 1995, maybe you don’t remember how much. Not to mention, how much do you trust the judgment of a supposedly post-colonial, forward-thinking party that believes separatism is necessary to achieve its global aims?
2. Slashing doctor salaries. By a lot. Because in Quebec Solidaire’s book, doctors make good money and therefore they’re the bad guys. Never mind that their income isn’t just their salary, but their entire business income for their practice — out of which they must pay staff, rent, heat, administrative costs, you name it. Never mind that they study for years longer than other professions, incurring debt in the process. And never mind that slashing their salaries dramatically would make them leave Quebec in droves, worsening our doctor shortage. After all, who needs doctors anyway when you can have CLSCs, right, Mme Masse?
3. Massive tax hikes for the “wealthy” (anyone making over $100k/year) and corporations. And I do mean massive; they want to make them “pay their fair share” in order to fund the utopian ideals of universal free everything for everyone. Because they clearly don’t seem to understand that we already have a progressive tax system where the wealthy pay the most, and that the wealthy and corporations are the most mobile and able (and, if QS wins, motivated) to relocate elsewhere, taking their tax dollars and jobs with them. This isn’t Soviet Russia; people are free to cross provincial borders. And they will. Far from being able to afford everything, QS’s plan would bankrupt Quebec, leading to us being able to afford nothing.
4. Forced francisation laws for businesses with at least 10 employees (up from the current threshold of 50). This would effectively mean most SMBs would be forced to apply the Charte de la Langue française at work, leading to mountains of paperwork, and causing hundreds or even thousands of companies to relocate to Ontario or elsewhere.
5. Scrapping Uber (and AirBNB) in order to, respectively, appease the taxi lobby and eliminate “illegal” hotels. Not regulate them, but entirely scrap them.
That’s just to name a few. But please, read what you’re voting for and seriously consider whether it makes sense before you cast your ballot.