Apr 08, 2014

By Scott Walker

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Quebecers have rejected the prospect of another sovereignty referendum by delivering a humiliating defeat to the Parti Quebecois.

Voters handed Philippe Couillard and the Liberals a solid majority government yesterday. The Liberals won 70 of the province’s 125 seats.

In his acceptance speech, Premier-designate Philippe Couillard promised to unify the province after a bitter campaign that saw plenty of mud-slinging. In his acceptance speech, he said, “We are all Quebecers …. we should all focus on what brings us together.”

Couillard went on to say that the era of divisiveness has ended, and the era of reconciliation has begun.

The Parti Quebecois were reduced to 30 seats ….. it worst showing since the party first emerged in 1970. It’s fortunes began sliding early after star candidate Pierre Karl Peladeau announced his aim was to make Quebec a country. That gave Couillard and the Liberals an election issue: sovereignty versus federalism.

PQ leader Pauline Marois suffered a double defeat. She lost not only the election but her own seat. She resigned as party leader immediately.

Ironically, Peladeau won his seat and is seen as a possible successor to Marois.

The third-place Coalition won 22 seats.

The Prime Minister and the two federal opposition leaders all issued statements congratulating Couillard and Quebecers for choosing federalism. Premier Kathleen Wynne also says she is looking forward to working with her new Quebec counterpart.

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