MONTREAL — A December provincial election hinges on when the Parti Quebecois tables its controversial secularism charter legislation, said political scientist Bruce Hicks.
"If I was a PQ strategist I would probably introduce the values charter around (Nov. 3)," Hicks said, which is the day Montrealers choose a new mayor.
The timing would give the government just enough room to call an election before Christmas.
If the charter legislation mirrors what the PQ already announced: banning state employees from wearing religious symbols in the workplace, then Quebec's two main opposition parties won't support it.
In reaction, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois will be able to say the minority PQ government can't work with opposition parties, and then run an election campaign centred on the charter, Hicks said.
"You create drama and then you say you need a mandate from the people in order to pass the values charter," said Hicks, a politics professor at Carleton University.