After an initial mandate from a CAQ government, François Legault’s greatest achievement has been to create a strong connection with the citizens and this is his main guarantee of longevity.
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His opening speech, which focused on regained pride, hit the mark.
Unbridled nationalism and concern for the needs of the common world have made him a prime minister close by.
Surprisingly, most observers pointed to his lack of charisma to explain the CAQ’s slow progress in its infancy.
Luckily for him, he acted quickly early in his tenure before the pandemic slowed his momentum.
Where several politicians had betrayed voters’ trust, the CAQ leader scored valuable points by fulfilling all of his commitments regarding Quebecers’ portfolio.
Homeowners benefit from lower school taxes, and families benefit from a generous increase in tax credits for second and subsequent children.
Some high-income parents have saved a few thousand dollars by reverting to the single-day care plan after being bled dry by Philippe Couillard’s family tax.
On the other hand, the Caquistes seemed rough in many ways.
One of François Legault’s most important promises, the creation of kindergartens for 4-year-olds, seems to have been planned with eyes closed.
The cost of building the classrooms, which had been estimated at $120,000, rose to $800,000 after the CAQ was installed, forcing the party to revise its ambitions downward.
Such a failure could have had far more unfortunate consequences for the coalition’s popularity rating, had it not been for the large sympathy capital that François Legault had already replenished.
The cost of retirement homes has also increased.
Quebec-Lévis’ Third Link project has undergone a series of transformations that seem endless, and we don’t see a shovelful of earth on the horizon except in dreams.
Then the pledge to demand $1 billion in residency fees, which required “courage,” as the molting chief caquist reiterated, fell victim to redouflation.
How can it be explained that the CAQ, which is so close to the people, only realized in office that they were hoping for more environmental wishes?
… But imaginative
When the pandemic hit, crippling the economy and causing an unspeakably sad wave of deaths, the government could have paid a heavy political price there too.
François Legault managed to embody a calming and mobilizing ship’s captain through the storm by addressing Quebecers every day.
The vaccination campaign with Clic santé and the creation of an accelerated, paid training to recruit almost 10,000 additional benefit companions were successful.
The government has not hesitated to offer bonuses to hire additional nurses and give daycare workers a pay rise before reaching an agreement with unions to stem a wave of attrition.
There was certainly audacity and ingenuity there.
In short, the other political parties have enough vulnerabilities in the CAQ hull to exploit to run an interesting campaign at the end of this first term.
But many Quebecers acknowledge that they have been given plenty of money while maintaining high levels of spending on health and education and fostering a nationalism that appeals to them.
It makes the ship hard to sink for now…