The Premier of Quebec is nominally appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, vice-regal representative of the Queen in Right of Quebec, as president of the Executive Council. He or she is most usually the head of the party winning the most seats in the National Assembly of Quebec, and is normally a sitting member of the National Assembly. An exception to this rule occurs when the winning party's leader fails to win the riding in which he is running. In that case, the Premier would have to be elected in a by-election. This has happened, for example, to Robert Bourassa in 1985.
The role of the Premier of Quebec is to set the legislative priorities on the opening speech of the National Assembly. He or she represents the leading party and must have the confidence of the Assembly, as expressed by votes on budgets and other matters considered as confidence votes.
The distinction between "Premier" and "Prime Minister" does not exist in Quebec, since both offices are termed "Premier ministre". In at least one instance, the term "Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec" was used in an English-language advertisement.1