Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Election here in Quebec

What a night!

Last night Quebec voters rendered their verdict, and by 20:36 last night (or 36 minutes after the polls closed) all Networks predicted a majority Liberal government.  For the PQ it was a slap of immense proportion; their leader (Pauline Marois) lost her seat -- and as a whole the PQ registered its lowest popular support ever (that going back to the 1970 election).

Obviously, the PQ made some rather spectacular errors (the advantage of being a Monday morning quarterback!), some were not obvious own goals when the occurred; attracting a billionaire to run for the PQ on a platform of "independence" looked like a brilliant move, turns out the electorate was unimpressed. The whole "national question debate" was a massive turn-off for the electorate nearly 70% of Quebec voters rejected the idea -- that's going to be a real struggle for the PQ (-24 seats).

Peace has been re-established with the rest of Canada.  Quebec has indicated in a loud voice that independence was not a fight they wanted to engage in, and although we feel different, we still perceive our identify to be that of Canadians.

The Liberals (+20 seats) are in a great position with a strong majority, and for the CAQ (+3 seats) the result was both strange and rewarding they lost a number of seats near Quebec city but they gained a large number near Montreal. Thanks to the new party funding system (where the government pays for everything) the CAQ now have the resources to build a real party.

More amusing (as an outsider) is what's going to happen to the PQ -- the average PQ supporter is now 55.  The fight to be the next leader started last night, about 10 minutes before Pauline Marois stepped down as leader of the PQ, the three main contenders (right, left and xenophobe) made their "I'm a Separatist" speech.  It was unseemly but on par for the political coalition that is the PQ.  Imagine the right wing (anti-union) billionaire running the PQ's union supported party... this will be entertaining.  Equally absurde is the left winger that will want to take the socialist separatist route -- all this paid by... rich Quebecers (there's so many of them).  Finally, the xenophobe (its the Jews, the muslims, the anglo all the interlopers into the "pure laine" that voted against a "Free Quebec") is going to show the ugly side of the party.  My suspicion is that this could be the end of the PQ -- maybe a slow process maybe an explosion between the left and the right -- don't know about the xenophobes... anyway, I think that last night the ideal of separation died -- a 60 year struggle ended.

Finally, you can say whatever you want about the flows of the democratic process, but one thing for sure its entertaining as hell!


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