Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois have won a minority government in the province of Quebec, revitalizing the souvereignity movement. Madame Marois will become the first female premier of Quebec. The Parti Quebecois won 54 of the 125 seats in the Quebec National Assembly, while Jean Charest's Liberal Party won 50 seats. The popular vote was 31.9% for the PQ, while the Liberals received 31.2%.
Pauline Marois took to the stage around midnight to give her victory speech. During her speech she was taken off the stage by her security as there was a shooting near the rally. Police say Madam Marois was not in danger anytime. It is not clear if she was targeted. A 62 year old man, Richard Henry Bain, was arrested after a 42 year old was killed, and another critically injured. The gunman had an AK47 and a handgun. The details are still sketchy. The man apparently said that the English in the Province of Quebec are awakening. Bain runs a fishing and hunting lodge in Quebec.
The incident took place right after Marois took the stage at Montreal's Metropolis and told her supporters that Quebec needs to become an independent country.
Marios also reached out to all Quebeckers, stating that she would govern with all parties in the national assembly. In a direct address to Anglophones, she told them not to to worry as their rights would be protected, adding that "all Quebeckers share a common history".
"Voters have made a choice and we will respect it, and we will govern with all other parties at the national assembly."
Premier Jean Charest, who lost the election, was also defeated in his riding in Sherbrooke, a riding he has held for 38 years. Based on the election results, Charest told his followers that he is a very proud Quebecker and Canadian. He said the close results of the election speak to the fact that the future of Quebec lies within Canada.
There is likely to be a tense relationship between Marois and the federal government. Marois is a progressive and has vowed to give some pushback to the prime minister on social issues and the environment. The prime minister said the government had no intention of reopening the old constitutional issues and it would continue to focus on jobs and the economy.
While Marois will continue to push for Quebec independence, her mandate is very thin. In any case, it should make for interesting politics between Canada and Quebec.
The victory is a very thin minority government and overall there is very little appetite among Quebeckers to reawaken the the souvereignity question.