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Quebec election: Strategic voting and the myth of change

Photo: D'Arcy Norman.

For the second time in sixteen months, Quebecers will head to the polls and cast their ballots. Once again the Quebec voter, like all those who have voted before her/him, is faced with a daunting choice: do I vote for the change I wish to see, or do I vote to keep those who represent the policies I vehemently oppose out of office?

Granted, a voter scarcely finds a party that stands for all she believes in, hence the differing positions within a political party during a leadership race. Yet, there will almost always be a party that best represents a voter's aspirations, with the voter having to compromise on other, less significant, positions.

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When a spade is truly a spade: The PQ's xenophobia in a throwaway election for progressive federalists

Women against intolerance during the 'reasonable accomodation' debate in Quebec.

Trevor Hanna's article 'Secularism, Xenophobia, and Quebec Politics' challenges the tendency of Québec's Anglophone and other minority linguistic communities to throw ad hominem attacks at the Parti Québécois (PQ) every time that it legislates in favor of Francophone interests on the issues of language and culture.

In a sense, part of this critique is warranted. I cannot count the number of times that, Godwin's Law aside, I've heard fellow Anglophones compare the PQ to the Nazis, argue that Bill 101 is analogous to the Holocaust or to Apartheid, or make other insensible and insensitive comparisons and analogies.

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The trouble with a 'charter of secularism' for Quebec

The Parti Quebecois plans to implement a 'charter of secularism'.

As the Quebec election approaches I find myself, unfortunately, pressured to vote for a candidate and party based on my religious sentiments and my feelings of discrimination against my community, rather than formulating my opinion based on the multitude of challenges -- economic, educational, health-related, corruption-related, and justice issues --that face Quebec society as a whole.

Can you blame me? Maybe you can, but before you issue your verdict, please hear me till the end.

The recommendations of the Bouchard-Taylor commission were supposed to relax tensions between the majority in Quebec and different minorities, and address, once and for all, the question of "accommodation."

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Battleground Taschereau: A riding to watch in Quebec

Serge Roy of Quebec Solidaire on the campaign trail in Taschereau.

I have always lived in electorally safe Liberal ridings.

In 2011, when the Orange Wave was sweeping Toronto, my MP's seat was safe enough that she campaigned in British Columbia ("we have to stop Harper," was her justification for spending time away from the riding during an election.)

The last Ontario election was the same: another painfully safe Liberal candidate winning his painfully safe Liberal riding.

I moved to Québec permanently in June. Within a month of my move, the date was set for a fall provincial election.

I'd soon discover what it's like to live in the midst of a real electoral fight.

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PQ on the verge of victory? A look at potential election scenarios

Photo: Marie Berne / flickr
Pauline Marois looks like she's on the verge of becoming premier of Quebec.

Related rabble.ca story:

Columnists

'Caribou hunt' in Quebec: One week until the vote

Ballots in the Quebec election will be counted next Tuesday, September 4. With a week to go, almost nobody believes the Quebec Liberals will be re-elected. Indeed, Premier Jean Charest looks in danger of losing his own seat.

The Coalition for the Future of Quebec, or CAQ, headed by former Parti Québécois (PQ) minister François Legault, is cutting into Liberal support in Francophone Quebec, particularly in the vote-rich 450 area code in suburban Montreal and the Quebec City region. The Liberals are polling less than 20 per cent among Francophones, who represent about 80 per cent of the population.

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A conversation with Amir Khadir of Quebec Solidaire

With just over a week until Quebec votes, rabble.ca's correspondent sat down with Amir Khadir of the upstart Quebec Solidaire.

Related rabble.ca story:

Secularism, xenophobia and Quebec politics: Taking a closer look

A blogger used this image to highlight the hypocrisy of the proposed Charter.

Last week's announcement that a Parti Québécois (PQ) government would introduce a Charter of Seculaism, which would include a ban on religious symbols in the public service, made headlines across Canada. Several commentators went so far as to accuse the PQ of xenophobia, a common response whenever the PQ talks about issues relating to culture and national identity. But is this really a justifiable response?

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| August 24, 2012
| August 24, 2012
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