François Legault and the CAQ: a new style of governance

François Legault et la CAQ: un nouveau style de gouvernance

We are the 1st of October 20: 30. The major television networks announce the election of a majority government for the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ). At the party’s headquarters in Quebec city, only a handful of activists are present to celebrate.

The image will mark many minds. The CAQ takes the power, despite having significantly fewer members and funding than the other parties, the liberal Party of Québec (PLQ), the Parti québécois (PQ) and Québec solidaire (QS).

It was used for half a century, the alternation between the PLQ and the PQ to the orders of the State, each presenting with its team. And then comes the CAQ with elected officials from all political formations, and the offices where the staff comes from all parties, but most often the PQ.

Led by François Legault, a former accountant and businessman, multimillionaire, and ex-minister of the parti québecois, this third party, which campaigned under the theme of “change” is happy to have blown up the traditional model. Tour of the horizon.

The multi-party system

For the first time in the history of Quebec, four political parties are officially recognized to the national Assembly.

Thanks to the CAQ, the PQ and QS have been able to obtain the status of a parliamentary group, even if they do qualify not according to the rules established.

This status allows both parties to benefit from a budget of $ 1.6 million to hire staff, ensure their presence and their right to vote in all parliamentary committees, and acquire a speaking time increased during the question period.

Mr. Legault has seemed to regret his decision on 6 December last year, after the PQ was prevented to make his Christmas wishes in the Room.

The issues of proximity

Ended the debate federalism/sovereignty, for the time being. François Legault promises to practice a nationalism moderate. He is advocating greater autonomy for Quebec within the canadian federation.

Saying neither separatist nor federalist, the founder of the airline company Air Transat is pragmatic. He considers that the time has come to adopt an approach of “business” in the management of certain records of the State, he wants to be more efficient.

During the election campaign, it covers issues on the ground, such as the effectiveness of the first line in health, the creation of pre-kindergarten four years old, and the renovation of NURSING homes, rather than major reforms.

The other parties also exploit issues of proximity, at the risk of accusations of a lack of content. Think of the promises about the lunch box of school children, plastic straws and dental insurance, to name a few.


After having experienced government lawyers, university professors and doctors, Quebec has today a government of contractors.

Mr. Legault has also shelled during the election campaign a series of 35 candidates to the economic profile, including Christian Dubé (Caisse de dépôt), Nadine Girault (Investissement Québec), Eric Girard (snb), Peter Fitzgibbon (Partner Walter Capital) and MarieChantal Chassé (JMJ Aeronautics).

Handpicked by the chef himself, several candidates caquistes have also developed their management skills. Thirteen of these managers and entrepreneurs now occupy a seat on the Holy of holies, of which Ms. Hunter, who heads the department of the Environment, and Ms. Girault, that was sent to the international Relations.


This is thanks in large part to the CAQ if the national Assembly is now composed of 42 % women, which far exceeds the record of the election of 2012, which was 33 %.

Of the 125 candidates that the CAQ has presented to the elections this year, 65 were women and 60 men. This is the highest percentage (52 %) of female candidates ever achieved by a political party in Quebec.

The only one to be approached is QS, which presented 63 women out of 125 in each campaign since its inception.

The prime minister, Legault has also formed a council of ministers of parity, composed of 13 men and 13 women. It has recently welcomed another woman in his caucus : Nancy Guillemette replaces the ex-prime minister Philippe Couillard in Roberval. Remains to be seen what influence they will have on the power.

The centralized power

The exercise of power seems to be concentrated around the person of the prime minister. When the fence Beaucours, one of the last great secrets of the Vieux-Québec, was discovered in November last, it was Mr. Legault, who himself moved to the announcement.

During the presentation of the economic update, it is Mr. Legault who has attracted all the attention on him, by holding a press conference to show before a quarantine of the “extras” and a Quebec flag oversized, bearing serious shade to his minister of Finance.

A fortiori, the prime minister has taken the habit of getting up in the Room to answer questions in place of its ministers.

Shopping policy

The year 2018 has been marked by the shopping policy. The defectors have been many.

The great patron of the Centre hospitalier de Québec-Université Laval, Gertrude Bourdon, is particularly well known for his flirtations policies with the PQ, the CAQ and the PLQ.

The ex-liberal minister Marguerite Blais has supported the liberal candidate Naömie Goyette, before donning the vest of the CAQ and stand against it in Prévost.

Enrico Ciccone, the liberal mp in Marquette, admitted to having approached the CAQ before you choose the QLP, while Vincent Marissal has approached the liberal Party of Canada (LPC) prior to joining QS. The powerbrokers in Quebec have cried at the lack of convictions, and of loyalty.

The dress code

Topic that has almost overshadowed all the rest, the new president of the national Assembly, the member caquiste of Lévis, François Paradis, is quickly shown to be favourable to a relaxation of the dress code agreed in parliament.

The former tv host, who says he wants to restore the confidence of the Québécois in their institutions, announced upon his arrival that he would review the dress code, after that the members of QS, Catherine Dorion and Sol Zanetti, had worn jeans, t-shirts, sneakers and boots Doc Martens at the blue Room.

The CAQ, PLQ and the PQ, which hold to decorum, showed their disagreement.

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