Electoral promises: “time is running out” for Legault
It’s a real race against time that the CAQ is starting for the provincial elections. François Legault's party has achieved 46% of its promises made upon his election according to the Polimètre, an independent initiative developed by political scientists.
The party has abandoned only 4% of its commitments. 28% of its promises are being fulfilled and 11% of the promises have been partially fulfilled. The remaining proportion, 11%, represents proposals that are still pending.
“It's a record quite similar to what we see in many past governments in Quebec,” notes the doctoral candidate specializing in Canadian politics at the University of Toronto, Alexandre Fortier-Chouinard. There is, however, a potentially high level of variation between now and the election.”
In recent decades, the government of Philippe Couillard, defeated by Mr. Legault in 2018, had done well in terms of promises made. The Liberals had accomplished 59% of their commitments. But fulfilling a high proportion of its commitments does not guarantee victory in the following elections.
“However, research shows that citizens can avoid voting for a government that has broken important promises. On that, there seems to be a consensus.”
Called to comment, the cabinet of François Legault underlines its “record number of commitments”, which amounts to 251. “We are indeed a hyperactive government”, comments the press secretary Ewan Sauves. By adding its promises made to those in progress, the CAQ obtains a rating of 84%.
“This score is expected to increase to around 90%, taking into account what comes out of the budget and some actions planned by June,” says Ms. Save.
“Finally, we went through an unprecedented health crisis, an extraordinary event in a mandate, totally beyond the control of the government, continues Mr. Sauves. Obviously, this can have an impact on certain commitments.”
But Mr. Fortier-Chouinard does not subscribe to this theory. “A slowdown was seen in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, but its effect is not very strong. The evolution has rather been constant,” he comments.
Lots to do
There are 27 outstanding promises for the CAQ. Among these, the continuation of a tramway project in the east of Montreal – which has since become the REM de l'Est –, the extension of the original REM from Du Ruisseau station to downtown de Laval, the revision of patient-to-nurse ratios and the abolition of compulsory overtime for nurses (TSO).
A similar total of promises has been partially achieved. Among the lot, there is the extension of the blue line in Montreal, for which investments have been announced, as well as the possibility of making an appointment with a family doctor on the Web. But there are also more abstract commitments. For example, Quebec’s gaining autonomy vis-à-vis Canada, better management of early childhood centers (CPE) and recognition of the key role of the forest in the fight against climate change.
The CAQ has broken 10 of its promises, including the reform of the voting system. The party has not managed to reduce the waiting lists in CPE. It also failed to provide more care to CHSLD residents.