The Green Party of Quebec is a left-wing federalist party that differs from classical Canadian federalism. Our eco-socialist program is fully achievable within Canada and we are committed to working with progressive people across Canada for the protection of the environment and the common good. While we recognize Quebec’s right to self-determination and the legitimacy of succession followed by a legitimate democratic process, we believe that Quebec has everything to gain by remaining within the Canadian federation. Most of the environmental, education and health jurisdictions are already under provincial jurisdiction.
The Green Party of Quebec supports a reform of the voting system to make the National Assembly more representative of the popular vote. To this end, we propose a mixed regional compensatory voting system. Under this new voting system, voters would be invited to vote in two stages; first for a MNA in their riding and second for the political party of their choice. Of the 125 members of the National Assembly, 75 would be constituency members (elected under the first-past-the-post system) and 50 would be regional compensatory members.
Representation of Aboriginal nations
In a perspective of reconciliation with Aboriginal nations, the National Assembly of Quebec should offer at least one seat in the House for each of the 11 nations of Quebec, as well as for those who live off-reserve. This change should be the subject of consultations with First Nations and should be implemented with their consent and with respect for our nation-to-nation relationship with Aboriginal peoples.
Reviving democratic participation
In Quebec, we are witnessing a significant decline in voter turnout and a profound lack of interest in Quebec democracy. The status quo can no longer be sustained; the Quebec government must therefore take action to reverse the trend. Here are some of our proposals.
Offer positive financial incentives for voting: The Green Party of Quebec proposes to offer each citizen a lump sum of $50 for voting on official election day, and a lump sum of $75 when voting on advance polling days, not only to increase voter turnout, but also to reduce excessive traffic on election day in order to reduce line-ups and further mobilize voters.
Introduce advance voting on the Internet: The obligation to physically go to the polling station can be a significant barrier to democratic participation. The Directeur général des Élections du Québec should implement a pilot program that would allow advance voting on the Internet. This would reduce the risk of fraud or computer malfunctions by generating a unique code for each vote that would be traceable and anonymous. In addition, citizens will have access to the platform of each political party in an accessible and intuitive manner directly on the voting system.
Allow voting from age 16: Environmental, social and political issues affect young people today more than ever. However, they tend not to vote on election day. To counter this, the Green Party of Quebec is proposing to lower the minimum voting age to 16. This would allow young people to vote before they leave high school, which would increase their interest in politics and encourage greater voter participation in the present and future.
Create a new Ministry of Efficiency: The Green Party of Quebec wishes to create a new ministry, the Ministry of Efficiency, with the objective of improving the efficiency of all branches of public administration. The public administration faces many challenges with respect to its lack of efficiency.
Changes to the Access to Information Act: Improve the Access to Information Act to increase transparency around projects and situations that have an impact on the environment. This includes the release of information about the discharge of contaminants that is currently excluded on the grounds that it may be “trade secrets”. The public should have all the information on the contaminants released into the environment by polluting industries, among others.
Restricting Opinion Polls During Election Periods: Opinion polls during election periods have a significant impact on voters’ choices and the media’s treatment of Parties. The Green Party of Quebec proposes a ban on polls during election periods to allow voters to make informed decisions based on information that is not distorted by opinion polls.
Secularism of the State – Secularism of institutions – Freedom of individuals: The Green Party of Quebec is radically opposed to Bill 21 on the secularism of the State. We consider that this law must be withdrawn, because each citizen must have the freedom of his or her religious choices, even in a situation of authority. We therefore support the freedom of religion of individuals and we are strongly opposed to any bill or law in force that attacks individual freedoms, including the freedom to display our faith with religious symbols or clothing.