The Bloc Québécois (BQ) is a federal political party in Canada devoted to Quebec nationalism and the promotion of Quebec sovereignty. The Bloc was formed by Members of Parliament who defected from the federal Progressive Conservative Party and Liberal Party during the collapse of the Meech Lake Accord. Founder Lucien Bouchard was a cabinet minister in the federal Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney.
The party seeks to create the conditions necessary for the political secession of Quebec from Canada and campaigns actively only within the province during federal elections. The party has been described as social-democratic and separatist.
The Bloc was the largest party in Quebec, and either the second or third largest party in the House of Commons, for seven straight federal elections, from the 1993 election until 2011. The 2011 election saw the party win just four seats and lose official party status after a wave of support for the New Democratic Party. By 2014 the party had been reduced to two seats because of resignations and expulsions. In the 2015 federal election, the Bloc won 10 seats in the House of Commons, even though the party’s leader Gilles Duceppe failed to win a seat.
The Bloc has strong informal ties to the Parti Québécois (PQ, whose members are known as Péquistes), the provincial party that advocates for the secession of Quebec from Canada and its independence, but the two are not linked organizationally. As with its provincial counterpart, the Bloc Québécois has been supported by a wide range of voters in Quebec, from sections of organized labour to more conservative rural voters. Members and supporters are known in French as Bloquistes.
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