The year 2023 promises to be difficult for the Legault government. The big Quebec state machine, of which he has just been entrusted with the reins again, no longer provides the expected services. This bureaucracy which costs us the eyes of the head is broken, worn out.
At the end of 2022, we felt the CAQ team worried, even almost discouraged by the magnitude of the task. Education, health, justice, the main ministries that provide services to the population seem to be on the verge of breaking point.
Despite the billions that have been added to them, these systems are still doing a little worse than the year before. Those who need the services are suffering. Those who provide the services say they are at their wit's end. And the overtaxed Quebec taxpayer is certainly entitled to cry that he is not getting his money's worth.
Getting the mammoth moving again: the challenge is daunting for the CAQ. However, the CAQ's elected officials cannot exactly play the victim. The efficiency of the state was at the very heart of the raison d'être of the party founded by François Legault.
The origins of the CAQ
Ten years ago, the party of the current Prime Minister had just experienced its first election campaign. At the center of its priorities, the CAQ placed the efficiency of the State. This party promised a big cleaning, a reduction of useless expenses.
The CAQ, for example, suggested reducing the size of the Montreal city council. There are four times more than in Toronto! Well, well, we forgot that one.
Then, during the election that brought him to power in 2018, François Legault pushed his message a step further. Not only did his party want to reform the state, but he also presented a team largely drawn from the business world. Lots of people with management experience.
At the start of their second term, they should have all the assets to tackle this major repair of the state machine. A reform-minded party, a team of managers, in addition to a mandate of experience in managing the government.
Simplify, empower local administrations, cut the superfluous, privatize in certain places, it takes what it takes. A party that won 90 seats just a few months ago has a mandate from the people to move. Especially when state failures are so visible.
The year 2023 should be the year of reforms.
More, more, more, more...
There is this strong law of inertia. Even if they complain, are employees ready for real change? And their unions? And the senior officials?
The slippers we already know end up being more comfortable. All the reasons are good for postponing (or indefinitely) the changes.
François Legault must dare. And it is at the beginning of the mandate that the big blows must be struck. If he ends his term without having improved the efficiency of the state, it will be a failure.