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Dossier: Youths of Two Continents

Quebec: a Democracy in Crisis

An Interview with Christian Nadeau


Negotiations between protesters and the governement have failed: the political crisis ignited in Quebec several weeks ago is far from being over. For Professor Christian Nadeau, of Montreal University, much more is at stake here than student tuition fees. As the emergency law passed by Quebec’s provincial government shows, the true object of the conflict is social democracy and the society that goes with it.

Christian Nadeau also reminds us of what the current movement owes to students—and that we need to keep their specific goals in mind. Quebecois students started their strike at the end of February 2012 to protest an unprecedented hike in tuitions fees (a proposed 75% rise over the next 5 years).

Faced with a protest that showed no sign of abating, Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberal Party government had emergency Bill 78 passed into law. It places important restrictions on the freedom of assembly and the freedom of association by imposing the return to normal in universities, and by tightening government control over students organizations.

Christian Nadeau, a Professor at the Philosophy Department of the Montreal University, analyzes the origins of this conflict and its consequences on Quebec’s political life.

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Shooting, editing and subtitling by Ariel Suhamy.

Transcription by Stéphanie Mimouni.

Translated by John Zvesper with the support of the Institut français.

To quote this article :

Florent Guénard, « Quebec: a Democracy in Crisis. An Interview with Christian Nadeau », Books and Ideas , 25 June 2012. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL : http://www.booksandideas.net/Quebec-a-Democracy-in-Crisis.html

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by Florent Guénard , 25 June 2012

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