Federal Conservatives look at the election of Quebec for new & # 39; nationalist & # 39; partner

The Conservative Party of Canada remains officially neutral in the upcoming election in Quebec, but finds out that it has much in common with the center-right party that is currently the favorite to form the next government of the province.

A few days before the official launch of Thursday and weeks after the October 1 election, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) heads the polls with a nationalist agenda and plans for a renewed relationship with the rest of Canada. In particular, the CAQ calls for new powers in the area of ​​immigration and culture, as well as more control over the infrastructure expenditure in the province.

The Conservative party, led by Andrew Scheer, has some of the CAQ's proposals to modify the platform that it will present to Quebec electorate in the 2019 federal elections. It seems that there is a natural alliance would arise between the CAQ and the CPC on a number of issues.

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The politics of Quebec are inherently different from those in other provinces. There is no official link between the Liberal Party of Canada and the Liberal Party of Quebec, and the provincial versions of the Conservative Party or NDP are not well entrenched in the province. The provincial Parti Québécois and the federal Bloc Québécois have functioned synchronously for a long time, but the bloc stands for another existential crisis and the PQ performed worse in recent polls.

The CAQ is now a relatively new party that has attracted important players from various political backgrounds, including the bloc, liberal and conservative parties. After finishing in third place in the 2014 Quebec election, the CAQ went to the October elections in the polls, with a strong position among French-speaking voters.

A former minister of Parti Québécois and sovereignty, CAQ leader François Legault now wants to govern Quebec within the federal framework, albeit with a nationalist agenda. The party will not hold a third referendum on sovereignty, but will try to acquire new powers from the federal government.

"We have a pragmatic and step-by-step approach, and we want Quebec to make a profit", said CAQ MNA Simon Jolin-Barrette in an interview. "If Quebeckers supports the nationalist project of the CAQ on October 1st, it will send a very clear message to Ottawa that they want more autonomy and power in the Canadian federation."

There is a clear link between the main requirements of the CAQ and the positions adopted by the federal Conservative Party as part of its strategy in Quebec. Under Mr. Scheer, the Conservative Party would negotiate a deal under which the Quebec revenue agency would oversee the collection of federal income taxes in the province, and would be open to transfer of more power to the province in the cultural sector.

. Scheer & # 39; s Lieutenant from Quebec, Conservative MP Alain Rayes, said the provincial elections are likely to show how a majority of Quebeckers support a fiscally responsible approach to government and balanced budgets. In next year's federal election, he said, the Conservative Party of Canada will attract the same voters who have supported the CAQ, the Liberal Party of Quebec and the Conservative Party of Quebec on October 1st.

"The provincial election gives us a clear picture of what our potential electorate is," said Mr. Rayes in an interview.

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The liberal party of Canada will be officially neutral in the October elections. Some Liberal MPs may campaign with their provincial counterparts, but Liberal Ministers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are expected to sit on the sidelines.

"The citizens of driving will make their choice.As far as I am concerned, I am willing to work with everyone," the Federal Minister of Infrastructure, François-Philippe Champagne, who represents a ride in Quebec, told reporters this summer.

For the NDP, the race offers an opportunity for progressive voters in Quebec to express their views regardless of their constitutional position.

"It is the first election in a long time during which the head debate will not strike federalists against sovereignists," said NDP MP Guy Caron, who will be neutral in the election. "It will be interesting to see how Quebeckers respond to a debate between left and right, between progressives and conservatives."

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