News from the frozen North

By Merkin in Montreal on Friday August 10, 2012 07:38 PM

The election season has started in full force in Quebec, and being a Merkin, yours truly cannot vote; but I’m just as happy to watch the horse race, as it is way more entertaining than the one currently going on south of the border.

With the colleges and universities opening next week to continue their winter semester, which was suspended due to the strike, the government found it an opportune time to call an election. They figured if the strike and riots continue, it would be to their advantage because they would play the “law and order” card. Well, so far the student movement seems to have run out of steam and already 3 junior colleges that were previously on strike voted to return back to school. Plus, the guy I’m still holding out to be my future son in law (yeah, dream on!), Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, resigned from the leadership of the most militant student union, citing the government's harassment and intimidation.

At this point, the election is viewed as a referendum on the government’s position on the much-dreaded tuition raise. Optimistically, I want to believe that the students are too busy mobilizing the vote to be bothered with the strike; but then again, they might be just as busy chilling in the last days of summer.

So how interesting is this election? Well for one thing, we have a 3-way race between two right wing parties and one center-left. The right-wing party in power, aptly named the Liberals, is running a campaign similar to what you see in a banana republic: money for your vote! Their vote-buying schemes range anywhere from $3000 for owners who undertake “green” renovations, $100 for school supplies for every elementary school kid, and $1000 for each business that hires an old fart. As though any self-respecting Quebecois would want to work past the age of 65!

The other right-wing party, CAQ, is rather a new creation (founded in 2011) that appeals to the right-wing separatist Francophones who are sick of the corruption tales of the Liberals.

Speaking of which, our construction related scandals and the government’s collusion with Mafia make a better TV show than the Sopranos! Just two days ago, Radio Canada unearthed a new scandal involving a Mafia boss and our Prime Minister, Jean Charest, which was quite entertaining. The story involves a Mafia boss who was under surveillance by SQ, which is the Quebec version of the FBI. The SQ cops were tailing the guy and their chase took them to where Charest was having a gathering. He barges in and demands to meet with Charest and right after this impromptu meeting, his surveillance suddenly stops. Charest now claims that Radio Canada has a conspiracy against him!

The center-left party, PQ, is running a lackluster campaign. It doesn’t help that the head of the party is a matronly middle-aged woman who came in 3rd in the contest of “who would you rather have a beer with”! Nevertheless, it is widely expected that the two right-wing parties will split the vote, giving the PQ a win; but a win that would only give them a minority government.

Incidentally, there are also true “leftist” parties; one of them, QS (Quebec Solidaire) already has a seat in the parliament and is expected to gain one more this election.

But where does this lead us, and am I hopeful with this election’s outcome? Well, yes and no. No because no matter who wins this election, it’s truly alarming to see the CAQ party, which is a newly founded right wing party with a simplistic neo-liberal platform, becoming a powerhouse so fast. Who knows, they might even win the election, in which case, we’d be really, really fucked! Then again, these days we can only hope for one thing: Libérez nous des Libéraux!


Merkin in Montreal

Comments (4)


Shattering liberal power in Quebec is good even if it means
putting these new CAQ Clowns in power

Paul Alexander:

Merkin, thank you so much for the deft political analysis, even if it's of events north of our borders. There's usually some universal truths lying inside an accurate appraisal of a political situation.


our Prime Minister, Jean Charest

For the benefit of other Merkins: he means the Premier of Quebec, not the PM of Canada, who is Steven Harper (a Conservative from Alberta).

anne shew:

and .. she .. . is clearly not of oh, canada like myself , / and you , with a name that suggests something of a jab with a lance in a not fair of .. a fight .. . setting with a .. . beast , i will assume are a man

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