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quebec election

I have a lot of friends — federalists, minorities, anglos, even — who say they are voting Quebec Solidaire this time around. In many cases, I can even understand why. In this cynical era of politics, they’re the “feel good” option — a vote for the environment, for equality, for reduction in poverty, etc.

But if this includes you, I urge you to read their platform first before you cast your ballot. Here are just a few things that they stand for, which you may not even realize:

1. Sovereignty. Yep, hardline, hardcore Quebec separatism. Even harder-line than the PQ these days. And sure, you can always be that person who says “I’ll just vote for the party now and vote no if there’s a referendum”. But galvanizing momentum towards a referendum is dangerous — if you haven’t lived through October 1995, maybe you don’t remember how much. Not to mention, how much do you trust the judgment of a supposedly post-colonial, forward-thinking party that believes separatism is necessary to achieve its global aims?

2. Slashing doctor salaries. By a lot. Because in Quebec Solidaire’s book, doctors make good money and therefore they’re the bad guys. Never mind that their income isn’t just their salary, but their entire business income for their practice — out of which they must pay staff, rent, heat, administrative costs, you name it. Never mind that they study for years longer than other professions, incurring debt in the process. And never mind that slashing their salaries dramatically would make them leave Quebec in droves, worsening our doctor shortage. After all, who needs doctors anyway when you can have CLSCs, right, Mme Masse?

3. Massive tax hikes for the “wealthy” (anyone making over $100k/year) and corporations. And I do mean massive; they want to make them “pay their fair share” in order to fund the utopian ideals of universal free everything for everyone. Because they clearly don’t seem to understand that we already have a progressive tax system where the wealthy pay the most, and that the wealthy and corporations are the most mobile and able (and, if QS wins, motivated) to relocate elsewhere, taking their tax dollars and jobs with them. This isn’t Soviet Russia; people are free to cross provincial borders. And they will. Far from being able to afford everything, QS’s plan would bankrupt Quebec, leading to us being able to afford nothing.

4. Forced francisation laws for businesses with at least 10 employees (up from the current threshold of 50). This would effectively mean most SMBs would be forced to apply the Charte de la Langue française at work, leading to mountains of paperwork, and causing hundreds or even thousands of companies to relocate to Ontario or elsewhere.

5. Scrapping Uber (and AirBNB) in order to, respectively, appease the taxi lobby and eliminate “illegal” hotels. Not regulate them, but entirely scrap them.

That’s just to name a few. But please, read what you’re voting for and seriously consider whether it makes sense before you cast your ballot.

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I’m equally cynical and fearful of what tomorrow’s election results will bring. I cynically sense it will be nothing good, and I’m worried for the people and groups who will be most hurt by the fallout. And I’m fed up by people who don’t bother voting because they know that their privilege will protect them from the consequences of whatever happens.

Vote, and vote smart. Vote strategically. And vote compassionately.

Yes, sometimes that means holding your nose and voting for the least-worst option. That’s the reality of first-past-the-post, alas. But it’s better than the cold consolation of realizing your protest vote — or your refusal to vote — helped elect the option you despise the most.

Trump happened. Ford happened. We’re not immune to it here. Don’t be an asshole. Do your fucking civic duty.

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Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques goes Quebec Solidaire

04.08.2014

There will almost certainly be a recount in my home riding of Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques, won by QS’s Manon Massé by a margin of only 91 votes over Liberal Anna Klisko. Obviously, I would have preferred a Liberal victory over a Quebec Solidaire one here. The QS is staunchly pro-sovereignty, militantly anti-English, and has pie-in-sky ideas about […]

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Quebec Liberals win resounding majority

04.08.2014

It’s a majority government for Philippe Couillard and the Quebec Liberal Party! It’s been a really ugly 18 months, and an even uglier campaign. But tonight, my faith in the people of this province I call home was restored. It’s hard to believe that scarcely five weeks ago, the PQ called this election and was […]

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A plea to my fellow Quebecers

03.05.2014

Rumours have been circulating for weeks, and now it’s official: Quebec will be heading back to the polls on April 7th. The Parti Quebecois has been in power for a scant year and a half. In that time, it has done more damage than even I would have thought possible. From a vitrol-laced election campaign, […]

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On being a minority

09.05.2012

Just once, I would like to know what it feels like to be in a majority. Normally, I embrace my outsider status. I’m the liberal in a room full of conservatives, the conservative in a room of Liberals. I’m a Jewish person among non-Jews and an atheist among Jews, a bilingual Quebecer in the RoC […]

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Why strategic voting is a bad idea

09.02.2012

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 […]

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Quebec political donations: By the numbers

08.16.2012

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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