political formations facing the youth

The absent are always wrong. François Legault had declined the invitation of the Institut du Nouveau Monde and the daily The duty to participate this Friday in the event Youth Dialogue. For nearly two hours, with the exception of the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, the leaders of the main political parties in Québec answered questions prepared by young students on August 19.

Dominique Anglade (Liberal Party of Quebec), Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois (Québec Solidaire), Paul St-Pierre Plamondon (Parti Québécois) and Éric Duhaime (Conservative Party of Quebec) gave an overview of what the election campaign will look like . And they took advantage of the absence of the outgoing Prime Minister to criticize his record.

“Mr. Legault is an accountant. He made a calculation: it didn’t really count to come and debate with the young people, ”launched GN-D in his introductory word. Later in the middle of the evening, and on all the topics discussed, he was accused of having created division within Quebec society, in particular on his positions on identity, but also on his management of the health crisis. .

“We made calculations and voted for Legault, we were bitterly disappointed,” also underlined Éric Duhaime.

The leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec Éric Duhaime./Clément Bolano, Métro Média

The 18-35 year olds account for approximately 1.5 million inhabitants in Quebec. They represent a third of the population of voting age. The young people present at the event invited the candidates to position themselves on various subjects. Rouyn-Noranda, access to property, the shortage of manpower: the news has invited itself to the heart of the debates.

The questions were drawn at random for each of the candidates. Although they covered a variety of issues, many of them placed the environment at the heart of the discussions.

The environment at the heart of young people’s concerns

Dominique Anglade presented the fight against climate change as the challenge of the 21st century. For this, the leader of the PLQ hammered it all evening, the solution is her ECO project. She believes that to do without hydrocarbons, it will be necessary in particular to carry out a major electrification project. Ms. Anglade also wants the environment not to be the responsibility of a ministry, but the responsibility of the Prime Minister. “If I am elected, I will be responsible for it,” she said.

Dominique Anglade, leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec./Clément Bolano, Métro Média

If there is cynicism [des électeurs], is that we lied too much about targets, ”thinks the leader of the PCQ Éric Duhaime. The latter intends to draw inspiration from Norway, and believes that “Quebec could exploit its own resources”. A reference to the exploitation of shale gas. According to him, this would be to avoid bringing in hydrocarbons from abroad.

PSPP has not yet presented the measures he intends to put in place if he becomes the new head of government. But the leader however, the PQ has indicated that it wants to invest massively in public transit. And to promise a “rigorous plan that will be up to it”. “We must add our forces, it is our last chance and we are capable of it”, he expressed, calling for the alliance of the parties on the environmental question.

Finally, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois promised as a climate law as the first measure of a QS government. “It will not be sacrifices, it will be things that we will win. A better quality of life, less time in our tanks, more time with the people we love,” he said as a slogan.

Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois./Clément Bolano, Métro Média

How to bring voters to the polls?

In the general elections of 2018, the participation rate of 18-35 year olds was 53%, 5 points less than in 2014. If the leaders were there, in front of around 200 young people, it is because the candidates know that their vote is valuable. With a massive electoral weight, the new generation represents an important source of votes to be obtained.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon believes that the CAQ of Legault relies on the division of society, especially between generations. Unsurprisingly, the solution for a prosperous Quebec, “it goes through independence”. Asked about this by Subway, PSPP says it believes that independence remains dear to many young people. “Just look at our candidates: with an average age of 39, we are the youngest.”

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois./Clément Bolano, Métro Média

The leader of the PCQ also believes he can better carry the voice of youth. “We have to represent everyone. We have a Prime Minister who represents himself as a party leader, ”he decides. He later subtly recalled that he was in favor of lower state spending. “We must restore equity with the future generation, we must not pile up the deficits.”

To attract the voices of young people, Dominique Anglade boasted of having a program in place for a long time. By attacking her opponents who have not submitted their project, she says she presented it “upstream because we want transparency”. The liberal leader thus wishes to place her speech for youth in the register of the environment. A positioning similar to that of its rival Quebec Solidaire, which has made it its mantra.

“Our social project is to make Quebec a country that joins the club of the greenest countries in the world.”

Among the other themes discussed that drew applause in the room: inclusiveness. Mr. Nadeau-Dubois insisted on the relationships to be renewed with the Aboriginal peoples. In particular, he considers that “it is up to the indigenous peoples to have the leadership on the path that leads us to reconciliation”.

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