Some Thoughts on the Quebec Election

It has been an excellent summer for nerds: They made a movie starring The Avengers, Alien got its prequel Prometheus, the Batman trilogy came to a very loud conclusion, and they even managed to make a fourth Spider-Man movie in ten years.

This morning a Wil Wheaton quoting robot landed on Mars.

And for political nerds we are going to the polls in my adopted province of Quebec. I love a good election, me. Well, how were we to know that Jean Charest would dissolve the National Assembly in the middle of a construction holiday?

Still, M. Charest wasted no time at all in casting his chief rival, Parti Québecois leader Madame Pauline Marois, as a bit of riff-raff who engages in street politics. To take a woman who sold her palatial home on Ile Bizard for $7 million and redefine her as a heroine of the working classes is a masterstroke in a brilliant chess game that, clearly, only Jean Charest can see.

But today’s Québec is different place from that of our ancestors. Instead of the Liberal/PQ – Federalist/Sovereignist split of yore, we have that plus the welcome addition of the “Possibly-Sovereignist” Coalition Avenir Québec (with their delightfully livid campaign slogan) and “Sovereignist-But-Not-In-That-Way” Québec Solidaire who are so left-wing that they reject the concept of a “party leader” and just go with spokespeople. Also they abuse beavers.

I’m not entirely sure who thought abusing the symbol of Canada in a cute YouTube video was a good idea but there it is.

But I have to say I like the cut of M. Legault’s jib. Not only does every Quebecker get a doctor with a CAQ government, but rumour has it, we all get super-powers.

It’s difficult to read the tea leaves to see who shall sit on the Aluminium Throne* in Quebec City. In the old days, the winning party was the one that offered the most drives and bottles of rum to the electorate.

Such dirty tricks would never do in today’s open and transparent government.

In reality, I think Charest should have resigned sometime during the lest mandate as I just don’t see the Liberals forming the next government. But who knows, maybe they have some internal polling that we just don’t see. Or they’re counting on both a low voter turnout and a split vote among the other options to win. I may stick my vote with the Greens this time but I’m not sure. I wish there was a provincial NDP to vote for but obviously that’s not going to happen in this election.

My gut feeling is that we’re in for some kind of minority government but then, last year I didn’t think Stephen Harper would get a majority with an NDP-led Official Opposition so my gut is never really to be trusted.

*Shoehorned Game of Thrones reference

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