So by now everyone pretty much knows that today’s provincial election has resulted in a minority Liberal government.
Final results: 48 seats for the Liberals, 41 for the ADQ, and 36 for the PQ.
There’s no doubt that Mario Dumont’s ADQ is the big winner tonight, going from 5 seats to a whopping 41, and capturing the balance of power. Charest’s Liberals were reduced to minority status, and Charest himself only narrowly won his own seat. As for Boisclair’s PQ, after widely being expected to achieve sweeping victory only a few months ago, they were just plain embarrassed. Boisclair’s days in provincial politics are surely numbered – most likely in the single-digits.
Then again, in the popular vote, the Liberals lost 13 percentage points, compared to the PQ who only lost 5. Arguably, it’s the Liberals who lost out in terms of mandate – if not in terms of seats. A lot of people in “safe” Liberal ridings were casting protest votes this time around, which may have accounted for this seeming discrepancy.
And my own riding? As expected, Liberal incumbent Lawrence Bergman sailed to victory with over 84% of the vote, but second place went not to one of the other major parties but to the Greens, with just over 6.5%. Not much of a contest here, but I voted anyway, ever the dutiful citizen. I still maintain that if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch about it later.
What will this mean for Quebec? In the immediate term, it means no referendum, anyway. It also means that the Liberals have lost their mandate to govern. The ADQ is going to get a lot more of a say in how things are run in the province. And we’re probably looking at another election in about 18 months. And the PQ may be down right now, but don’t count them out; under new leadership, they could still come back to threaten for victory the next time around. Let’s just hope that support for sovereignty continues to ebb in the interim, because I’d kinda like my country to stay together for a while.
All in all, though, a minority government might not be the worst thing in the world. It’s not as though the Liberals were doing a whole lot with their hands untied, before.