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Québec solidaire
Leader De jure leader:
Benoit Renaud;
Official spokespeople:
Françoise David and Amir Khadir;
President Françoise David
Founded February 4, 2006 (2006-02-04)
Headquarters 7105, St-Hubert, bureau 304, Montreal, Quebec, H2S 2N1
Ideology Democratic socialism,
Quebec sovereigntism,
Civic nationalism
Political position Fiscal: Left-wing
Social: Left-wing
Official colours Orange
Seats in the National Assembly 1
Politics of Quebec
Political parties

Québec solidaire (QS) is a left-wing, feminist and sovereigntist political party in Quebec, Canada, that was created on February 4, 2006 in Montreal[1]. It was formed by the merger of the left-wing party Union des forces progressistes (UFP) and the altermondialist political movement Option Citoyenne, led by Françoise David. The party uses the name "Québec solidaire" in both French and English, as does the mainstream media, but the party's name is sometimes translated as "Solidarity Quebec" or "Quebec Solidarity" in English.[2]



The party advocates sovereignty for Quebec. It also hopes to appeal to environmentalists, feminists and socialists[citation needed].

The aim of QS is in part to widen the appeal and organizational structure of the UFP, and to give a formal political voice to altermondialist movements like Option Citoyenne. As such, QS aims to bring together progressive forces across the broad left wing of the Quebec political spectrum.

The party's declaration of principles does not specifically endorse social democracy, socialism or communism, although it includes certain activists and tendencies that do[3] [4] [5].

Quebec's Green Party, the Parti vert du Québec, had tried to avoid running candidates in ridings where there was a UFP candidate, although it reserved the right to run anywhere it wants to (even ridings with a UFP candidate)[citation needed]. However, such an arrangement will not be renewed since the Green Party has taken a new direction.

QS presents itself as an alternative to the main three parties in Quebec: the Parti Québécois, the Parti libéral du Québec, and the Action démocratique du Québec, saying that all three are but different faces of the same right-wing ideology called neoliberalism. It also holds that its view of an independent Quebec is a completely different project than that of the PQ. Rather than working for independence for its own sake, QS works for an internationalist independentism - an independence based on principles of social justice. Independentism is, for QS, a means to an end, not an end in itself.[citation needed]

For several months after the party's formation, it had no official colour or logo. After more than an hour of discussion on the subject, the founding congress decided to postpone the vote on these questions until later, with a probable delay until the party's first National Council meeting 3 months later. An official logo was subsequently adopted, along with the colour orange.[citation needed]

Declaration of principles

At the party's founding, the congress unanimously adopted a document called the Déclaration de principes which laid out the principles and values that led the two organizations to merge. They are:

  • "Nous sommes écologistes" ("We are environmentalists")
  • "Nous sommes de gauche" ("We are on the left")
  • "Nous sommes démocrates" ("We are democrats")
  • "Nous sommes féministes" ("We are feminists")
  • "Nous sommes altermondialistes" ("We are alter-globalists")
  • "Nous sommes d'un Québec pluriel" ("We are from a plural Quebec")
  • "Nous sommes d'un Québec souverain et solidaire" ("We are from a sovereign and united Quebec")
  • "Un autre parti, pour un autre Québec!" ("A different party for a different Quebec!")


Françoise David and Amir Khadir are the two spokespersons[6]. Régent Séguin is the secretary general and will act as party leader for the purposes of the Loi électorale du Québec. Alexa Conradi was president from the foundation of the party until June 2009 after which Françoise David was named president-spokeswoman[citation needed]. However, as with its predecessors, Option Citoyenne and the Union de Forces Progressistes, there is no "party leader" in this new party. Instead, the duties generally entrusted to the leader are instead divided among the president, secretary general and male and female spokespeople. The party leadership is assumed by the National Coordinating Committee, composed of 16 persons elected by the founding Congress. A person from the team of volunteers will always have a seat.

The national spokespersons of Québec solidaire have greater visibility than the secretary general and are best known. Françoise David has been named Personality of the Year by Le Point and Amir Khadir is known for becoming the first elected member of the party in the elections in Mercier in 2008.

The basic unit of the party is the local association. There is a local association for each of the 125 ridings in Quebec. These local associations are grouped into 19 regional associations[citation needed] whose primary mandate to support the establishment of local associations. In March 2007, Québec solidaire has 61 local associations organized. Students and staff at institutions of higher education are grouped in campus associations[citation needed] that also participate in the democratic life of the party. Two national commissions are also part of the structure of Québec solidaire: the Political Committee and the National Commission for Women. The first is composed of 14 thematic committees and is responsible for proposing a program to members. It was responsible for drafting the electoral platform of the party in general elections of 2007. The National Commission for Women is composed of delegates from each region and is responsible for ensuring that feminism is a transversal value within the party[citation needed].

There is within Québec solidaire what are called collectives. A collective is a set of members in good standing of the party which may, in compliance with requirements, to promote their respective political views within Québec solidaire. Contrary to what existed at the UFP, these groups do not have formal representation in Congress, the National Council or other bodies of the party[7]. Québec solidaire currently counts 2 environmental collectives and 5 with more radical principles than the party itself. These include the Communist Party of Quebec, Gauche Socialiste, the International Socialists and the International Marxist Tendency. QS also includes activists drawn from the Rassemblement pour l'alternative progressiste and the Parti de la démocratie socialiste, as well as anarchist, radical and pacifist tendencies.


Communist Party of Quebec

The Communist Party of Quebec is a Marxist organization. It considers it necessary to create a revolutionary workers party which aims to eliminate global capitalism. The CPQ has as a priority the construction of socialism and independence for Quebec while promoting international solidarity. On its website, it is asserted that the opinions expressed therein "are those of the authors and/or the CPQ" as appropriate. They do not necessarily express the official position of Québec solidaire as a whole[3]. Four members of the Communist Party of Quebec were candidates in the Quebec general election of 2008[8]. This collective, by the party it represents, is historically associated with the Third International.

Gauche Socialiste

Gauche Socialiste (Socialist Left) raises "the reality of national oppression of Quebec" and criticizes "the dominance of the Canadian bourgeoisie" acting in "complicity [with] the Quebec bourgeoisie". It criticizes étapisme. It rejects "interclassist separatism"; to Gauche Socialiste, it is necessary to "mobilize the working majority in a class party". In sum, Gauche Socialiste wants "a democratic and socialist Quebec" in "an internationalist perspective[4]. This collective is attached to the reunified Fourth International[9]. 1 of 16 members of the National Coordinating Committee of Québec solidaire is a member of this group[10]. This is Josée Larouche, Head of Finance[11].

International Socialists

The International Socialists describes itself as "an international network of socialist and anti-capitalist activists. We participate in struggles against globalization, imperialism, war, police brutality, racism, sexism, homophobia, the assault against the rights of workers, in short, against everything that divides us and weakens solidarity"[12]. The coordinator and secretary general of Québec solidaire, Benoit Renaud, a member of the International Socialists[13].

International Marxist Tendency

The International Marxist Tendency is a Marxist collective of Trotskyist affiliation. It is composed of the Quebec members of the International Marxist Tendency, who affiliated to QS at the fourth party congress in June 2009[14]. It advocates that "QS must become the party of the working class" by "uniting with the main unions" and "mobilize the support of workers and youth by adopting a socialist program"[5]. It publishes a journal called La Riposte[15].

Election results

Québec Solidaire Logo, (2006-2009)

Québec solidaire's first political venture was to field a candidate, Manon Massé, in an April 10, 2006, by-election in Sainte-Marie—Saint-Jacques. She received 22% of the vote.

On August 14, 2006, there were two by-elections (Pointe-aux-Trembles and Taillon) in which QS received 8% and 7% of the vote.

Québec solidaire contested the 2007 Quebec election. It won 3.65% of the popular vote and received 144,418 votes, 0.21% behind the Green Party of Quebec. They were also endorsed by the Montreal Central Council of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux which represents 125,000 members in Quebec. According to an analysis on Canadian Dimension, this is the first time a trade union in Quebec has endorsed a party more left-wing than the Parti Québécois.[16]

On December 8, 2008, the first Quebec Solidaire candidate was elected in the Quebec provincial election. Amir Khadir was elected in the Montreal riding of Mercier. [17]

Hezbollah controversy

In late July 2006 a controversy arose when a local newspaper quoted one member of the party, Ginette Lewis, as declaring her "unconditional support for Hezbollah" at a Quebec City rally and welcoming Hezbollah's "fierce resistance" as a "sign of hope" (« résistance farouche », « signe d’espoir »).[citation needed]Françoise David, the party's official spokeswoman, dissociated the party from Lewis's statements the following day, emphasizing that the QS is a pacifist party. Lewis herself later claimed that she had been misquoted : "I never supported Hezbollah. I said that I was on the side of solidarity, justice and peace (...)"[18]

See also


  1. ^ Québec solidaire. "Historique."
  2. ^ "Québec solidaire: Quebec's “left” party in the orbit of the big business PQ". World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2009-06-15. ; "A Day of Protest and Teargas at Prosperity and Security Summit". Translation from Le Devoir. Watching America. 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2009-06-15. ; "Northern Lights: Socialism 2007 a Big Success". Labor Standard. Socialist Action. June 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  3. ^ a b Parti Communiste du Québec, 29 octobre 2008, Part communiste du Québec. Retrieved 29 October 2008
  4. ^ a b Gauche socialiste, « Manifeste de la Gauche Socialiste », s.d.. Retrieved 29 October 2008
  5. ^ a b « Notre Programme », La Riposte, June 2009
  6. ^ Robert Dutrisac « Khadir prête serment d'allégeance aux « mal pris » », Le Devoir, 18 December 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  7. ^ [pdf] Québec solidaire, Statuts provisoires, Québec solidaire, Magog , p. 12.
  8. ^ Fabien Deglise, « Québec Solidaire, nid de communistes! Vraiment? », 1 December 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2008
  9. ^ Gauche socialiste, « Gauche socialiste » Retrieved 29 October 2008
  10. ^ Eve, « 10 mythes sur Québec solidaire », 3 December 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008
  11. ^ Québec solidaire, « Vacant : financement », s.d.. Retrieved 31 December 2008
  12. ^ RÉSISTANCE. « Des luttes anticapitalistes à la révolution », Socialisme International/International Socialists.
  13. ^ Québec solidaire, « Benoit Renaud, coordination et secrétariat général », s.d.. Retrieved 31 December 2008
  14. ^ « La TMI s’affilie à Québec solidaire », La Riposte, September 2009
  15. ^ Dimitri Gallos, « Lancement de La Riposte: le Journal de la Tendance Marxiste Internationale au Québec », 19 June 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2009
  16. ^ Richard Fidler. Some Notes on the Results of the Quebec Election. Special to Canadian Dimension magazine, March 27, 2007.
  17. ^ [1]CBC News
  18. ^ "Québec solidaire rectifie le tir," Radio-Canada (in French).

External links


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