Posts tagged as:

jean charest

With the latest polls indicating that the PQ is within a hair’s breath of a majority, many of us – at least, those of us who disagree with Marois’s “pure laine or go home” vision of Quebec, are probably thinking about the best way to stop that from happening. And I’ve heard a lot of talk lately from anglos or other anti-PQ voters about voting “strategically”.

Here’s why I think that’s a dumb idea.

Polls can be wrong. They often are. Witness the last federal election, or, more recently, the provincial election in Alberta. Countless other examples. Polls have a margin of error; they rely on small sample sizes; people lie or change their minds. Just because you heard things would go one way in the polls doesn’t mean they can’t go entirely another way.

You don’t know what everyone else will do. The Quebec electorate is notoriously unpredictable and can turn on a dime. So-called “strategic” voting assumes that you do. But if you’re wrong? Your strategic move could end up delivering exactly the opposite result. For instance, voting for the CAQ in a riding where the Liberals are assumed to be out of contention (or vice-versa)? That could put the PQ in power, if there’s enough vote-splitting between the Liberals and the CAQ.

You could end up voting for someone even worse… and what if they win? In my riding, a longtime Pequiste stronghold, the only party running even close to the PQ in the polls is Quebec Solidaire. Now, I know a lot of people like QS, but they pretty much stand for everything I disagree with the most — anti-democracy, hard-line socialism, nationalism, anti-Israel, pro-anarchy, you name it. A “strategic” vote for the QS might make logical sense in terms of preventing a PQ majority, but I’d never do it. After all, they could lose, and then I’ll have voted for a party I don’t believe in and actually hate intently for nothing. Or, worse yet, they could win… and then I’ll have helped elect a local MP from a party that I pretty much loathe with every fibre of my being. Not to mention, the QS holding the balance of power would very likely help, not stymie, the PQ’s drive towards sovereignty. Nope, better to be one of a few people voting Liberal in a riding where they have no hope. At least I’ll be able to look myself in the mirror the next morning.

It hurts democracy by providing all the wrong incentives to politicians. Jean Charest lost a lot of respect at the outset of the campaign when, right out of the gate, he warned anglophones and federalists not to vote for the CAQ or anyone else because it would play right into the PQ’s hands. Now, I’m a Liberal supporter, but I wasn’t the only one who was pissed. Meanwhile, Marois has been using similar tactics, warning hard-core separatists not to vote for Quebec Solidaire or Option Nationale lest they cost her a majority. The fact is, people don’t like to be told to vote “against” something; they’d sooner vote “for” something. And in an election where most people are holding their noses and voting for the least-worst option anyway, outright calls for strategic voting merely encourage this type of behaviour among politicians. If we ourselves admit to voting tactically instead of for what we believe in, how can we then turn around and accuse the politicians of failing to give us something to believe in? It’s up to us to demand it from our representatives.

There will be a September 5th. One way or the other (or the other… or the other…), we’ll wake up Wednesday morning to election results. And, regardless of how things turn out, you’ll have to live with how you cast your vote. The only vote you’ll never regret is the one for the party that best represents the vision of the Quebec that you wish to live in on September 5th. Any other vote will only leave you with a sour taste in your mouth, no matter how things turn out.

Remember to vote on Tuesday. And when you do, vote your conscience.

{ 0 comments }

Polls are one thing; money is another. What can we gauge from the fundraising of the major Quebec political parties, and what can it tell us about the possible election outcome?

According to the Directuer général des élections du Québec, there have been 33,547 donations in 2012 to date to Quebec’s political parties, totalling just over $5.3 million dollars.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

High-ho, high-ho…

08.01.2012

…it’s off to the polls we go. Quebecers will vote in the provincial election that some are dubbing the “tuition election” on September 4th. While it’s true that Charest has always been better at campaigning than at governing, after nearly a decade in power, it’s likely to be somebody else’s turn at the helm. And [...]

Read more →

5 truths about the tuition protest that nobody has the courage to say (out loud)

05.16.2012

The student tuition protests have dragged on for 14 weeks now and show no sign of ending anytime soon. With the city under siege and anger rising, the media has been flooded with analysis and op-ed pieces of all stripes. But there are some things that nobody’s saying, probably because they’re afraid to rock the [...]

Read more →

Winter of discontent

04.08.2012

How has this winter been lousy? Let us count the ways… Hockey discontentment The Habs just wrapped up their worst season in recent history. After finishing dead last in the East and the third worst team in the entire league. This season saw local favourite Mikey Cammalleri shipped off to Calgary in the middle of [...]

Read more →

On representative democracy

11.19.2010

The other day, a conversation thread on Facebook about the online petition demanding Jean Charest’s resignation turned into a friendly debate/discussion about Quebec politics. The comments posted by a number of people were interesting and varied, and at one point, the discussion became about the accountability of politicians to the people they serve, and the [...]

Read more →

Charest government backs down on user fees

09.22.2010

There will be no user fees for healthcare in Quebec after all: Quebecers quickly organized large street demonstrations when the government announced it would charge taxpayers a $200-a-year health premium, then bill patients another $25 for each hospital visit. [ . . . ] Quebec’s user fees would have brought an estimated $500 million a year [...]

Read more →

Why yesterday’s Quebec election matters

12.09.2008

The election that wasn’t supposed to matter, everyone said. A snoozer. A mere footnote in the headlines. Most people in Quebec slept through it. But surprisingly, it may end up mattering more than people think. Here are a few reasons why: A slim Liberal majority: Much slimmer than anyone, including Charest, was predicting. He’ll have [...]

Read more →

Dion out. Charest in.

12.08.2008

Stephane Dion has resigned as Federal Liberal leader, succumbing to immense party pressure. Wait a second, I seem to be experiencing déjà vu; didn’t he already resign in October? At any rate, this time he’s really gone, or so he says, and we’re sure to face a snap Liberal leadership vote. Iggy and Rae are [...]

Read more →

More election stuff

11.28.2008

On the Quebec campaign trail, news emerges today that Pauline Marois resorted to desperation tactics, taking the spin game a step too far: The Parti Québécois instructed supporters to email media blogs throughout Quebec saying they thought PQ leader Pauline Marois won the debate. According to a story in the Journal de Montréal, Marois’s press [...]

Read more →