In the first of two provincial leadership races this week, Quebec NDP leadership election 2018 resulted in the choice of Raphaël Fortin.
Quebec’s New Democratic Party, which has not fielded a slate of candidates under that name since the 1994 election, is back for the province’s next poll to be held later this year. That organization disassociated with the federal party in 1989, and eventually, the twists and turns of Quebecois politics would lead to the formation of Quebec solidaire. With the reformation of the NDPQ, a new leader was needed. Enter Fortin.
The NDP and Quebec’s 2018 Election
Fortin leads a party that on the provincial level still has that new car smell, but has done damage on the federal level. It will be interesting to see if any of this will transfer to provincial politics, where the Liberals seek a second term.
The NDPQ is positioning itself, much like their federal counterparts, as a left-wing party. Unlike Quebec solidaire, however, Quebec’s New Democratic party is not sovereigntist. There is only one current alternative for federalist voters in Quebec: the Liberal Party. Coalition Avenir Québec, another of the newer parties, is not a full-on sovereigntist party, but they are Quebecois nationalists. Politics in this province do not quite follow the left-right paradigm, with the third dimension of Quebec’s independence a factor.
Quebec’s new NDP could take votes from federalist Liberal voters looking for a more left-wing political bent. Perhaps they could also take votes from Quebec solidaire, though QS and the New Democrats are a mismatch on the sovereignty issue. There may be 2014 Quebec solidaire voters who like the party’s ideology on the left-right spectrum but are not pro-sovereignty, and those voters could have a home again in the NDPQ.
For now, Fortin has an uphill battle as the New Democrats try to find their way with less than a year until the next election.