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Bloc Québécois

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The Bloc Québécois, or "The Bloc," is a Québecois nationalist political party, created to protect Québec's interests at the federal level and to promote the idea of Québécois independence. Between 1993 and 2011 the Bloc held a large majority of Québec's seats in Canada's House of Commons, but it was routed in the 2011 Canadian Federal Election, losing more than 90% of its seats, as well as its official party status, to the (federalist) New Democratic Party. Its discourse and policymaking (such as prohibiting the wearing of Sikh ceremonial daggers in Parliament even when they were not useful as weapons) display a predictable persecution complex.

History of the party[edit]

The Bloc was created in 1991 by a group of conservatives and liberals from the province of Québec as a way to promote political action on the question of Québec's separation from Canada. It is center-left both fiscally and socially. The party played a prominent role in the 1995 Québec referendum (vote for Québec separation) which ended up as 50.58% "No Non" to 49.42% "Yes Oui."

You know how Bloquiste MPs only speak French on the floor of the House of Commons? That was because of Bouchard, because although he was bilingual, most of his large caucus could not speak English well enough to use it in debate. As the Official Opposition, Question Periods during the 35th Parliament were dominated by issues of national unity, but the governing Liberals still held the Reform Party (led by Preston Manning) as their go-to rival for all other matters - seen in how Bill Clinton invited both Bouchard and Manning into a meeting with the President.

In each subsequent election, the Bloc would dwindle in stature due to the uncomfortable nationalism and the Conservatives later holding most of the publicity. In 1997, the Bloc Québécois dropped to 44 seats, losing official opposition status to the Reform Party. In 2000, the Bloc dropped further to 38 seats, but only because the Liberals merged several major Quebec cities, such as Montreal, Quebec City and Hull/Gatineau together, which produced Liberal victories, and this was still more than the number of seats the Liberals had won in Quebec. This reorganization of the cities ended on 2006.

In the wake of the sponsorship scandal, most of which occurred in Quebec, the Bloc won 54 seats in 2004, but could not become the Official Opposition. In 2006, the Bloc took six seats from the Liberals, but Stephen Harper's Conservatives became the minority government, largely from their unexpected surge in and around Quebec City; the Bloc lost eight seats to the Tories, and we haven't forgive them since. Sure, sure, Duceppe pointed out that Harper would've had a majority government without the Bloc, but the fact that he became PM at all is partly your fault, you Franks!

Federally, they were all but eradicated in the 2011 election, replacing nearly all previously Bloc candidates with Dippers. Duceppe quit, then came back because Mario Beaulieu lacked a certain je ne sais quoi.[1] And they lost yet again in 2015, but this time to a wave of Liberals. The party's fortunes would not improve until the 2019 election, when new leader Yves-Francois Blanchet capitalized on the unpopularity of every other party and led the BQ to a partial recovery.

References[edit]