Sunday, November 1, 2009

Election Night

It isn't a provincial, federal, or by- election, but it is momentous nevertheless. Tonight, all of Quebec is voting at the municipal level. Some mayors are being elected without opposition, but about 500 mayoral races are in question.

The most important race is, of course, in Montreal. The two front runners are Gérald Tremblay of Union Montréal, who has ties to the provincial Liberals, and Louise Harel of Vision Montréal, who has ties to the Parti Quebecois. The third major candidate is Richard Bergeron of Projet Montréal, who does not have ties to the major provincial parties.

Tremblay and Harel have been the front-runners for the entire campaign, but Bergeron is starting to come up the middle and some people are seriously speaking about the possibility of Bergeron benefiting from the vote-split between Tremblay and Harel. Tremblay had 53% of the vote in the last municipal election to Vision Montréal's Pierre Bourque's 37%. It will no doubt be much closer tonight.

The next most important mayoral race is in Quebec City, but is also one of the most predictable. Régis Labeaume will almost certainly be re-elected.

In Laval, Gilles Vaillancourt is a good bet to repeat, after taking 72% in the last municipal election. He's been mayor since 1989.

In Longueuil, the race is between Jacques Goyette (the successor of departing mayor Claude Gladu), and Caroline St-Hillaire, formerly a Bloc Quebecois MP.

In Gatineau, Marc Bureau is looking for his second term, and will be opposed by Aurèle Desjardins, Luc Desjardins, Tony Cannavino, Richard Gravel, and Roger Fleury. I haven't been following the race, but from what I have heard the race is between Bureau, Aurèle Desjardins, and Richard Gravel.

In Saguenay, the outspokenly-Catholic mayor Jean Tremblay will be up against Michel Potvin. Tremblay seems to be popular, however.

Should be an interesting night. We can get our election-coverage-watching selves some practice for the by-elections on November 9.


  1. I have to tell you that reading the live blogging on the La Presse site - its full of bigots blaming Harel's defeat on ethnics and anglophones etc...

  2. DL,

    I hope you drew the conclusion of "bigot" seperately from people analyzing the basis of defeat on demographic patterns.

    I'd like to see some cross tabs in a poll but for all we know it WAS ethnics and anglos who resulted in Harel's defeat.

  3. I have no issue with commenting on demographic patterns. But I DO have an issue with people making disparaging comments about how "real" Quebecers voted for Harel and how Tremblay will remain mayor because of votes by "foreigners"

  4. DL,

    I actually think its fair to say immigration is excessive when it overwhelms and changes the natural political and social norms of a region.

    I see nothing wrong with worrying about the indigenous culture of a region being swept away by massive demographic changes.

    Just as its regretable that native culture was decimated by western immigration in past centuries, it would be regretable if French culture experienced the same thing.

    I know, I know, I know - when its grumpy white European descendants versus african or muslim immigrants we are supposed to automatically assume that its the white Europeans who are the racist bigots (that's how the politically correct hierarchy works.)

    But I maintain they have a fair and legitimate concern about the continued survival of the French culture and language.

  5. YOu you agree with Parizeau about "money and ethnic votes" and i guess you think that some people votes count more than others.

    What about "pur laine" anglos in Montreal who voted against Harel - do their votes not count either?

  6. To be fair, Jesse didn't say anything of the sort.

    If someone gets 60% of votes from Group A but only 5% of votes from Group B, you can easily say that it was Group B who caused the defeat of the person.

  7. DL,

    Every individual gets to vote and every single vote has the same impact on the tally (+1).

    However, as Eric pointed out, when you look at demographic cohorts they can have an impact when they split for a certain candidate.

    In a general sense when we see new immigrants voting strongly for a single party or candidate this is slightly alarming from a public policy perspective because immigration becomes politiciized.

    And as I said, its fair to worry about immigration becoming excessive when it overwhelms and changes the natural political and social norms of a region.

    Making these observations doesn't make one a bigot.

    Its best to be more thoughtful about these issues DL and not constantly be trying to decide who is and is not racist and what's acceptable thoughts or observations to make.

  8. I said from the start that I have no problem with pointing out facts about how areas dominated by different ethnic groups are voting. But I'm disgusting by the disparaging tone of the comments made by people posting on the La Presse about how Harel was losing because of "ethnics and anglos" etc... and Jesse, what about ANGLO-Quebecers having a voice in Quebec politics? They aren't immigrants - they have lived in Quebec as long as anyone else.

    I hope you would be just as offended when Tories start fuming about how Quebec refuses to vote Conservative and denies Harper a majority - and then they cross the line into talking about "fucking frogs" not being real Canadians and how their votes shouldn't count. Or what do you think of tea-baggers in the US who think Obama is President because of "those Blacks and Latinos" etc...

  9. DL,

    I'm not quite sure how you infer "tone" from writen statements made on a weblog. Perhaps, you've been playing the "gotcha! you're a racist" game far too long and your inner voice sees it everywhere and transfers it to others when it may or may not exist.

    Anglos can have a voice in Quebec politics if they wish, as can everybody, as I said everybody gets one vote each and it counts equally.

    Tea bagger describes someone who performs a sexual act, you mean the Tea Party crowd. To my knowledge they advocate for small government and don't care about the demographics of who elected Obama.

    Blacks, latinos, and young people all DID play a role in Obama's election and probably ARE the reason he is president.

    What's wrong with pointing that out? Everybody gets a vote and every vote has an equal impact.

    I don't know what Tory's you associate with. I've never heard anyone express anger at Quebec for Harper not getting a majority. Nor have I ever heard someone use the term "frog" here in BC.

    We believe we can get a majority WITHOUT much support in Quebec, one part of which is Jason Kenney's outreach to ethnic groups. Ujjal Dosanjh will likely lose his seat next election for instance.

    Regardless, you're only talking in circles and fighting non-existent racists.

  10. why don't you read the comments about the Mayoral election in La Presse and you tell me if there aren't a lot that are dripping with hostility towards "the other". Its the same old crap as Parizeau going on about the Yes side losing the referendum because of "money (code for JOOZ) and ethnic votes". There is a strain of xenophobia in parts of the Quebec nationalist movement - and when it rears its head its pretty ugly.

    I agree with Chantal Hebert - anglophones rejected Harel because she doesn't speak English. Just like Quebecers tend not to vote for federal parties led by leader who speak no French at all. In this day and age, you cannot be taken seriously as a federal political leader unless you are bilingual. I think that given that almost half of Montreal is non-francophone - its absurd to think you can be taken seriously as a candidate for mayor if you can't speak English.

  11. "I don't know what Tory's you associate with. I've never heard anyone express anger at Quebec for Harper not getting a majority. Nor have I ever heard someone use the term "frog" here in BC."

    I'm surprised you don't read "Free Dominion" the voice of mainstream conservatism in Canada.

  12. DL,

    Don't take too much from the comment section. The amount of vitriol from English Canadians you see in comments sections about Quebec would lead you to believe Quebecers are about to be the victims of a pogrom.

  13. DL,

    I don't care to read the comments section. There may or may not be racism. My point is that the examples you have cited are NOT enough to call someone a bigot without imaginary powers to infer "tone" from writen comments.

    Stephen Harper is the "voice" of mainstream Conservatism in Canada.

    By the by, maybe you should report La Presse to the human rights tribunal for not censoring their webspace enough!

    Lol, better hurry. Its going to be distmantled soon because Canadians like freedom of speech.


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