December 11, 2006

Quebec’s Electoral Reality

Ok, I am offering my opinion here. This is not to be considered as fact, but commentary.

People point out how well Chretien did in Quebec. He did do well. Very well.

Food for thought.

In 1993 and 1997, the PC party received between 15-20% in the election in Quebec.

They won one seat in 1993 (Charest) and 5 (Charest. Price, St Jacques, Harvey and Bachand) in 1997.

The Tories in Quebec now sit at 18%.

In 2000, Joe Clark and Stockwell Day made no impression on Quebecers and the Tories did not get anything in Quebec.

Chretien got all the federalist votes with a good economy and high surpluses and an unpopular PQ government to boot. If you think we gained seats solely cuz of the Clarity Act, you have a rosy view of history. Let’s not forget why the people were punishing the PQ.

I will give Cherniak and Calgary Grit bonus points if they knew the turning point issue for us in Quebec City and some Montreal suburbs…

Municipal Mergers, long forgotten in the psyche of most voters, and no longer a reason to punish Duceppe, are gone from the scene.

We won Frontenac-Megantic, Louis Hebert, and Portneuf, and likely Alfred Pellan because of it. 42-32 looks a lot worse than 38-36.

How does being open to Quebec gain you seats?

Here is an example…Pierre Trudeau in 1980 who promised to bring home a Constitution all Canadians can be proud of. The PQ had passed their own Charter in 1978 and Trudeau was offering an opportunity to create one for Canada, something which Levesque actually wanted.

Quebecers are not opposed to what is in the Charter. That is not the reason it remains unsigned...

Let’s not forget, it was Bourassa who walked away from the Victoria Charter. Pierre Trudeau always negotiated in good faith.

After 1982 and the missed opportunity, Mulroney won by taking Quebec’s interests at heart. He did it twice. The Liberal rejection of Meech created the Bloc, which has ruled the province ever since, the closest being a 38-36-1 result in 2000 with the above conditions in effect.

Now we have an unpopular provincial Liberal government, the Tories hovering between 15 and 20% and a leader who is known to represent the more polarizing side of the argument. Do not blame some Quebec federalists for bracing themselves for the upcoming wave.

My prediction is clear…17 seats. We pick up Ahuntsic, Papineau, Jeanne LeBer and Brossard La Prairie and hold the rest. (Presuming the Tories stay at 15% or less, if they reach their election level from 2006, we may have much, much less) The Tories keep Pontiac, Beauce, Jonquiere, and Louis St Laurent. Vote splitting will give the rest to the Bloc. Overall, they pick up two more seats, going to 53, and the stalemate continues.

Yawn! Once analyzed, that 30% in Quebec really translates to only 17 seats. The margin with the Tories goes from +20 to +10 but we are left with more deadlock. Decima has our numbers in Quebec back at 26%. It should settle around there.

We want to fight the separatists on their turf. With their vocabulary, because once they are exposed for the phonies they really are, they have no choice but to pack up and head home. Instead we choose to continue the rhetorical battles, firmly entrenching the temporary rainbow coalition in place. Plus ca change…

24 Commentaires:

Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

Last poll I saw had the Provincial Liberals a couple of points back from the PQ - very close. If history holds since the existance of the PQ, Charest's government will be re-elected for a 2nd mandate.
Also I'm not sure if Charest's popularity greatly affects Liberals federally. It actually might influence the federal Tory vote more as Charest is seen to be aligned with Harper more than Dion.

12/11/2006 5:06 p.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

Here's 10 more Quebec ridings we would be foolish to concede to the Conservatives/BQ:

Chicoutimi-Le Fjord

12/11/2006 5:30 p.m.  
Blogger Scott Tribe a dit...

I dont know Antonio, all current polls released in the past week and a bit since Dion has won has shown increased popularity for him everywhere - including in Quebec.

Isn't it a tad early to be pessimistic about Dion's chances at gaining increased #'s of seats - particularly when he's on the same page as Quebecker's/Quebecois in regards to the Environment and social policies?

12/11/2006 5:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Antonio, what do you think of the prospects of the fisal imbalance issue factoring in the next election, and what the split will be like?

12/11/2006 6:19 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

the latest decima poll has the Liberals back where they were all thru the race in quebec at 26%

The bounce is lasting longer outside Quebec, let's hope it stays that way.

To westmount Liberal, are you aware in louis hebert, with star candidate helene scherrer, we got 11% of the vote, yes 11%. I concede hehe.

WIth the tories anywhere above 10% we lose alot to vote splitting

12/11/2006 7:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Westmountliberal said...

Here's 10 more Quebec ridings we would be foolish to concede to the Conservatives/BQ:

Chicoutimi-Le Fjord

Ummmm, you may want to try getting out of Westmount a bit more.

12/11/2006 8:48 p.m.  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

To Westmount Liberal,

Put an X on your calendar, it might be the first time I agree with Adam...

Was won because it was a by-election and we had all the best organizers in the province working on it. It was pure organization and you win by-elections with organization. The Conservatives in Repentigny did well because the had a machine, a huge machine.

Chicoutimi-Le Fjord
Forget it. Andre Harvey announced that he will be running for the QLP. He was the only guy that could win this riding. He won it as a Conservative because he was Andre Harvey. He was reelected as a Liberal because he is Andre Harvey.

Antonio gave a good summary of the situation

Conservative stronghold. Our guy was Claude Drouin. He's a chief of staff in Quebec city and he will probably run there provincially. Forget it and Maxime Bernier is very popular and works the riding.

Vote splitting. Lots of Conservatives over there. We lost by almost 10 000 if I remember correctly. Lots of federalists but too much vote splitting.

Will Diane St-Jacques run again ? Big question. I won't comment on Shefford, I don't know enough.

Jean-Jacques Hermans announced he would not be candidate next time. Maka Kotto is very popular. You have to remember that the riding of St-Lambert covers the poorest areas of Longueuil and Lemoyne. Very hard to get back.

Former riding of Guy Saint-Julien. He's a lobbyist now and he was our star that kept the riding. People voted for Saint-Julien, for the man.

Depends if Françoise Boivin wants to run again. She was a very good M.P.

Cannon will hold to his seat. He won by a comfortable majority and he's got a lot of exposure as Quebec leutenant. David Smith, the incumbent finished third.

12/12/2006 12:45 a.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

It's not Meech Lake that created the BQ, it's your very own hero, Jean LaPierre, with his excellent buddy Lucien Bouchard.
Don't hide from the facts, that's what LaPierre has tried to do (follow Paul Wells' writings on this).
Fortunately, like his ideological twin Liza Frulla, LaPierre has wisely opted not to run in the next election.
-Don't let the door hit you ass on the way out, Jean!

12/12/2006 1:06 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I have made one connection

I am told I was completely wrong about Alfred Pellan, but that I forgot Quebec East, won by Jean Guy Carginan.

One riding Portneuf, where we won in 2000, we got 3% last election...thats right 3%

12/12/2006 6:08 a.m.  
Blogger angela a dit...

We want to fight the separatists on their turf. With their vocabulary

that implies that the bloc is better at speaking for quebecers in that they have some kind of monopoly on what terms (and in which terms) the issues of the day ought to be articulated. even i think this is just too deeply cynical to pursue. using the bloc's language makes it their game, and while you may think it steals the concepts from the separatists, it could very well push the entire debate in quebec towards further decentralization. if this is what non-bloc voters want, then harper isnt such an undesirable choice given his rhetoric on provincial rights.

yeah, the bloc 'won' quebec, so the role of the liberals is an oppositional one, but they are also pitted against the tories you repeatedly depict as ascendant. the liberals also have to further differentiate themselves from the tories. i think the last election proved that the grits cant simply rely on the "we are more in tune with your social policy views" mantra to dissuade people from voting conservative.

12/12/2006 6:43 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I should emphasize what I mean by "with their vocabiulary"

I mean simply that if we engage in rhetorical volleys and letter campaigns, we do not get to the heart of the issue.

Is there money missing since the cuts made by Mulroney and Martin (under Chretien) Of course there is. The Bloc has a term for it. Fiscal Imbalance.

For years Liberals have trained like monkeys to say this problem doesnt exist and we are given lots of rhetoric to back it up. For the record, many of those who say it does exist are also going on rhetoric as well.

The problem we face in Quebec is we have elected the Chief Monkey Trainer as Liberal Leader. Solving the problem now will take some very deep reflection and a severe toning down of the rhetoric

Can the provinces raise taxes to recoup the money they need? Yes. Does it change the fact that the federal government is less and less involved in the social safety net we Liberals hold to be sacred? Yes.

The solution to the "fiscal imbalance" is to let the provinces agree to a dollar amount, within reason of course. How do you do that? Don't we have an Auditor General? I think Shiela should do something a little less frustrating lol. Or we can appiont someone to do it as well.

The provinces will then ask the federal government for that money. The feds will want something in return. I suggest national minimum standards.

I am writing a whole report on this for the YLC(Q). When it is finished, I will be more than happy to put it up. I am starting in January and it should be completed by March.

Now back to exams bleh!

12/12/2006 8:43 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

If only the provnices could agree on what it meant, remember Ontario walking out of the talks this fall after learning it would be the only province other than Alberta to not benifit under the new formula(equalization that is)?

Quebec doesn't have to raise taxes, if it raised electricity prices to the level in Ontario, or godforsake Alberta the treasury would be swimming in money.

12/12/2006 10:36 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

my point kyle, is that instead of looking for answers, we are still denying the problem exists.

it solves nothing, but makes good rhetoric

12/12/2006 10:43 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Antonio, I'd have no problem fixing the so-called "fiscal imbalance" (although I would agree with those commenters who say that word lacks precision in definition) if the feds could impose national standards and have some say into where that money went. The problem is that some people include "no strings attached" in their vision of fixing the fiscal imbalance.

12/12/2006 12:41 p.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

Alex, Antonio
I agree that winning (back) these ridings won't be easy but don't give up on them too soon - I think you both were at the Howard Dean speech.
These ridings have a proven history of being Federalist. That makes them up for grabs with a good candidate and organization.

Yes being a liberal in Westmount is a blessing. That said, I spend much time off the island and have a pretty good idea of what makes Quebec voters tick. You may be surprised to know that rural Quebecois are not too different than other Canadians. Let's focus on the similarities instead of the differences - that's the Bloc's job.

12/12/2006 12:58 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


When Howard Dean wins Texas, I'll get back to you.

Even the Democrats get more than 10% in Texas.

Clinton did win Texas (with a vote split)

12/12/2006 1:12 p.m.  
Blogger dollard_liberal a dit...


Vaudreuil-Soulanges thoughts anyone?

12/12/2006 1:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

westmountliberal said...

..You may be surprised to know that rural Quebecois are not too different than other Canadians...

...which is why they probably won't vote Liberal in the next election. Of the ridings you mentioned, you could win back maybe one -- Gatineau. I thought Antonio's seat projections were pretty realistic actually. But a riding like Beauce for example is the Quebec equivalent of Ontario's Leeds-Grenville. It's a gonner until Bernier quits. The ability for the Grits to pick up seats in "Québec profond" in the next election is close to nil.

12/12/2006 2:43 p.m.  
Blogger Scott Tribe a dit...

Well Adam, colour me surprised you'd make a prediction like that :)

Who thought the Tories (sorry, the Conservatives.. this new party does no justice to the old nickname) would pick up the # of seats they did last election in Quebec? Who thought Dion would win the leadership back in January 2 days after the election?

You of all people - despite your partisan viewpoint - should know that you should never say "never" in politics.

12/12/2006 3:07 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Scott I will say never to seats we got 10% in the last election.

It's good to raise our total but to expect immediate victory, especially with the conditions in the post will be tough.

12/12/2006 3:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I never said never. I said the Liberals will not pick up new seats in Québec profond, meaning anything outside the major cities, especially east or north of Quebec City.

12/12/2006 5:31 p.m.  
Blogger Vincent Robidas a dit...

L'analyse d'Antonio me semble juste.

Les libéraux doivent se concentrer sur ces comtés lors de la prochaine élection :


Les conservateurs ont une base solide dans Brome et Shefford, il sera difficile d'aller rechercher ces comtés. Oubliez la Beauce, Bernier va regagner ce comté haut la main, peu importe ce qui va arriver au PCC dans les intentions de vote. Cannon devrait regagner dans Pontiac, les gens aiment bien avoir un député influent.

Les Conservateurs devraient normalement être le principal parti fédéraliste dans ce que Pettigrew appelait le Québec profond. Des comtés comme ceux de Shefford, Arthabaska, Compton-Stanstead sont à leur portée, à moins que le Bloc reprenne du poil de la bête.

Si j'avais à faire une prédiction au Québec (c'est un long shot à ce moment-ci), je crois que les libéraux auraient 15/18 élus
le PCC 15-20
et le Bloc 40/45

12/13/2006 10:49 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I was hesitating to put gatineau because I am not sure if Francoise is coming back.

Vaudreuil is a lost cause with Fortier committed there.

you need "complete" federalist unanimity there to beal Faille.

Saint Lambert has changed since the days of Yolande Thibault. Maka Kotto is very popular and works the riding VERY strongly and the merger issue is no longer a factor.

Monteregie also gave an average of 7-8 thousand votes to the Tories...we need those votes to have a shot.

12/14/2006 4:35 a.m.  
Blogger Francoise Boivin a dit...

I'll be back! And we will get Gatineau back.

2/13/2007 2:31 p.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home