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Renart Léveillé July 31, 2012
Original French Text: http://leglobe.ca/blog/2012/07/le-dilemme-electoral/
The coming electoral campaign will be marked by dilemma more than any other. Torn between their hearts and their heads, voters will have to make a difficult choice between voting for their deep convictions and, for those who really want the PLQ [Liberal Party of Québec] out of the government, voting strategically.
The PQ [Parti québécois] has everything to gain from promoting strategic voting because, according to its surveys, its party is the most likely to defeat the liberals. Additionally, according to the section “Who should I vote for?” on the site liberaux.net, of the 47 ridings “where the race could be close” there are 21 where the PQ could be at the PLQ’s heels, while the CAQ finds itself with only 4.
As a result, it’s completely normal for Québec solidaire and Option nationale supporters to be against strategic voting and to spend a large part of the campaign trying to convince people not to fall into this “trap”. As for me, I illustrate this dilemma perfectly because my desire to see the liberals fall is just as strong as my desire to see the end of the two-party dynamic that the PQ, refusing to seriously consider electoral reform, doesn’t seem to want to let go of. So, you understand that the PQ attracts and repels me at the same time. And the PQ won’t get my vote, especially not my support for the campaign, by making me feel guilty. A word to the wise…
Because there are other paths in the realm of possibilities, if you allow me this pleonasm. Québec Solidaire, a party that has proven itself in the National Assembly with Amir Khadir, is a credible alternative for voters on the left and center-left (its supposed extremism is a specter pulled from thin air by the frightened right). Option Nationale is the party most openly for sovereignty and, contrary to the PQ, has clearly assumed a progressive position. And for voters who, like me, mostly want the PLQ to bite the dust and the electoral system to change there is always the Coalition pour la Constituante to do the job (that being said, I wouldn’t call it the poster child of the alternative choices). It is possibly for one of these three choices to be unanimous, just like what happened with the NDP in the last federal election. I don’t sincerely believe that that could happen again, but I don’t want to exclude it. Above all, I want to believe that an electoral campaign is not a futile exercise and can turn everything on its head…
So, I will leave the PQ to promote strategic voting at their leisure and I will remain a free agent. But all the same, I have to clarify that the PQ certainly would have my vote and my personal support during this campaign if they do an about-face on the topic of electoral reform and give a clear message that, should they win, the strategic vote doesn’t represent a blank cheque from voters.
I’ll explain. The PQ would have to acknowledge the cynicism brought on by our electoral system and undertake the task of moving toward deep political change and not just continuing what they started before the liberals’ reign, which, incidentally, wasn’t all that different, especially under Bouchard. It’s time for the word “change” to do something other spruce up a slogan and for the PQ to commit itself to eliminating any reason to call it opportunistic. And Pauline Marois would have to announce that if she wins (which would obviously be thanks to the strategic vote), she will be extremely conscious of the context that brought her there and it will guide her governance. Meaning, demonstrate humility and openness to the supremacy of the people, who legitimize all democratic processes.
Any less than that and I’ll continue to tempt the fates.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
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