Sovereignty: Supreme power or authority
Quebec; the second largest province in Canada by population and the largest
French-speaking population in Canada, is also home to the Bloc and Parti Québécois.
While the two parties are not directly related, as the Bloc is on a federal level of politics
and the Parti only provincial, they both support one another and share similar views.
Quebec has been through a great deal of uncertainty over the years, going through two
referendums on the topic of leaving Canada and having their own government. As
everything stands today, Quebec remains a Canadian province.
Section one: The Bloc Québécois
The Bloc Québécois formed on June 15, 1991. The members of the party came
together to make up the Bloc after disbanding from the Liberal and Progressive
Conservative parties who were members in Quebec. They came together as a result of
the failed Meech Lake Accord act, leaving their original parties in hopes of sovereignty
for Quebec. The Bloc Québécois was intended to be a temporary party, however, the
party remains today. The first leader of the Bloc was Lucien Bouchard, and the Bloc’s
first involvement in a federal election was in 1993. The Bloc Québécois made a fast
start out of the gates onto the federal election scene in 1993, earning 49.3% of votes in
Quebec, and gaining themselves 54 out of 295 seats in the House of Commons. In
doing so, the Bloc Québécois had the second most number of seats out of all the
parties, thus making themselves the official opposition to Jean Chrétien’s Liberals. After
tremendous success following the 1993 federal election, the Bloc fell to the third-party in
the 1997 federal election. Lucien Bouchard was no longer the leader of the party, rather
Gilles Duceppe, who was thought to be a less charismatic leader than his predecessor,
Bouchard. The 1993 election was the only time that the Bloc finished second and
became the official opposition. Since 1993, the Bloc have been the third-party, or have
had no status. After the Bloc’s poor performance in the 2011 election, the party has had
As the Bloc Québécois only runs candidates for the federal election in the 75 provincial
ridings, only residents of Quebec can vote for the Bloc.
Section two: The referendum of 1980 and Meech Lake Accord
The first of two Quebec referendums was the referendum in 1980. The question
posed to the public by the Parti Québécois was as follows: "The Government of Quebec
has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada,
based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the
exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad — in
other words, sovereignty — and at the same time to maintain with Canada an economic
association including a common currency; any change in...