Despite the fragmentation of the opposition, the start of the second term of the Avenir Québec coalition promises to be difficult due to the climate of economic uncertainty, which could pose difficult decisions for the government, although expectations are high, observers believe.
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“The government must set achievable goals and they must achieve them, otherwise we will say: you had all the powers and you did nothing! starts political scientist Félix Mathieu, who believes that the CAQ is now tied to a “result obligation”.
Fulfilling campaign promises would be the “priority of the first year” of the government’s second term, according to a former adviser to Prime Minister Legault.
“We can expect a rich legislative menu. The Prime Minister will want to avoid a bottleneck like the end of the last legislative period, I’m sure of that,” explains Pascal Mailhot, today Vice President of the TACT agency.
However, nothing is gained. After four years in power in a fairly benign economic environment and a climate where the threat of recession looms large and where glaring staff shortages have weakened health and education networks, the CAQ is entering its second term.
Of course, inflation brings a lot of revenue to the state, thanks in particular to the QST.
But since it also puts pressure on the costs of infrastructure projects, it could present the government with “difficult decisions,” believes Pascal Mailhot.
Because all infrastructure projects are de facto in competition with each other, although the resources are limited.
“Schools, hospitals, roads and major transport projects are all funded from the same bank account. When everything costs more, it becomes more difficult to manage,” the former consultant illustrates.
Help people in need
The inflationary context is also forcing the government to find a way to help those hardest hit by the rising cost of living, according to political scientist Martin Papillon.
“So far he has been handing out checks to the population, a measure whose effectiveness has been questioned, at least by economists. His challenge will really be to take compelling and reassuring action within a budget that promises to be very prudent,” he explains.
If the Legault government has been “good at reading public opinion” so far, it needs to be careful “not to lose touch with the population,” believes Mr Papillon.
To do this, he must avoid sinking into “complacency at all levels,” which consists of “giving something back to the friends of power” and showing himself arrogant towards the opposition, adds the political scientist.
“François Legault can only win if he sees the opponent as his equal. He will also have to strive to deliver a speech that is not only coherent but also nuanced on sensitive issues, in order to speak as much as possible to the population at large and not just their constituency. It’s about his political legacy,” adds Félix Mathieu.
BILLS WILL BE INTRODUCED AT THIS SESSION
- Supervision of the work of minors
- Supervision of care agencies
- Foundation of the agency Health Quebec
- Expansion of medical euthanasia
- water charges
Parliamentary work will resume next Tuesday
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