Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Political Party

According to Google Translate - my French is sub-par - "Forces" can be translated as Strength, Power, or Leverage. Democratie is, of course, Democracy.

Thus the name seems to be a play on the fact the party sees itself as a Democratic Force, a party that will use the strength and power of Democracy to leverage the results it desires.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, what IS this party, and where did it come from? 

This is a new political party; the newest Political Party on the Federal scene in Canada.

FetD, also known as F&D or FD, plans to run in all Quebec ridings. They plan, in short, to be a Bloc Quebecois that is not tired to the idea of sovereignty.

Their logo and name may give us some idea of their policies. The name, or at least a similar name, was used in France for a short period in the late 1990s by a party that was moderately centre right. The logo and it's colours, Blue and Green, may also indicate a right-leaning outlook, or at least, a party that is not tied to the social democratic principles of the Bloc Quebecois. 

The party appears to appeal to the regions of Quebec, that is, areas outside Montreal. According to their website, and the Google Translation
In Ottawa, the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats propose measures "across the board", national strategies and pan-Canadian standards
This clearly is appealing to the same sort of voter who would vote for the Bloc Quebecois.

The party has a unique platform.

1 - There is no whip. Much like the Greens, the party promises to have no party line.
2 - The party seems to have a rather strong pro-Green stance.
3 - The party, as mentioned before, is not tied to Sovereignty.

This is designed to appeal to a large segment of the voting public in Quebec.

So what is my take on all of this?

My read is that this is a party that wants to do what the Bloc was unable to do in 2008, and join a government in coalition. In addition, my guess is that all the various Independents and De Jure independents have had discussions. There are now 11 MPs in Ottawa that are not part of an official caucus. It would be difficult for the Greens and the Bloc to sit as one caucus even if only to split the money and resources. The new party however appears designed to allow it to do just that.

Lets say in the next election FD wins 11 seats, and the Greens win at least 1, if not 2, or more. The way the party platform is laid out, FD could well form a parliamentary coalition with the Greens in order to get the 12 seats needed for party status.

In addition, if, somehow, the Greens were to win a majority of seats outside Quebec, FD is the natural coalition partner should it win a majority of seats inside Quebec, but, we are getting ahead of ourselves. 

The Bloc is on the way out. Sovereignty is just not popular right now, and with that being the wedge issue between the Bloc and the FD I for one expect the FD to pick up huge amounts of Bloc support.

For that reason, I am removing the Bloc from all my further personal predictions and adding FD in it's place.

Edited to add

In my haste to explain the party I neglected to mention it has two MPs. Jean-Francois Fortin, formerly of the Bloc, and Jean-Francois LaRose, of the NDP.

In addition, the website of the party can be found here: http://www.forcesetdemocratie.org/


  1. For those who don't follow my Twitter (and this miss my amazing humor) here is a joke I told about the new party - Potential #FetD members: Jean-François Lisée, Jean-François Roberge, Jean-François Gosselin, Jean-François Therrien and Jean-François Roux! - for those who don't recognize them, these are all politicians from Quebec within the past decade.

  2. I wonder if this new political party can gain traction or would it fizzle like the Opinion Nationale at the provincial level. I know in the ROC media, the Forces et Democratie barely made headlines.

    A co-operation with the Greens would be an interesting observation. Let me take it a step further, and wonder if perhaps in the distant future this new Quebec political entity can merge with the Greens, to make a truly national fourth party. Other major political parties have flirted and formed broad coalitions that included Quebec nationalists (Mulroney, Harper in 2006, Layton, Mulcair etc). Perhaps the Greens may flirt with that option in the future.

  3. I don't think FetD will go anywhere. The Quebec political landscape is crowded. Unless a M.P. has a significant political following becoming an independent or joining a new party is usually a sign the M.P. will lose the next election. It is a move that smells of desperation.

    The idea that "regions" should have a greater say in their governance is an interesting idea-one that I think holds traction in Quebec and English Canada but, promoting those ideas on a shoestring budget is difficult. Promoting regional autonomy may hold some popular support but, it is pretty silly to launch a federalist party to fight for regional power-Provincial Legislatures not Parliament dictate the powers and governance structures of regions. The Parliament of Canada has almost no legislative authority to empower regions except in respect to the Territories and "Indians".

    FetD's best hope is that J-F. Fortin has a good French debate otherwise I expect them to lose both their M.P.s come the 2015 election.