The Sept 4th vote, on Sept 3rd [Quebec]

I haven’t had the chance to discuss much the issues of this election, having been extremely busy this entire month.

I’m going into a big, 18-hour day tomorrow, but started typing up the following thoughts. They are incomplete, and many points would need expanding, but here they are.

First, this is an analysis of the completeness of the message/platform of the various parties, with some thoughts on strategic voting. This is not an endorsement or recommendation.

The two parties that are most sincere to themselves — and thus the electorate — in their platforms are the PLQ and QS. And again, this isn’t meant as endorsements or recommentations. But interestingly, having been neutral and not deeply engaged this election, I’ve had a chance to see things from a third-party perspective, somewhat.

The PLQ is, has and will continue to execute on a plan for Quebec centered around economic development, economic growth. Plan Nord, Trade and Labour deal with Europe (to expand on the one completed with France — why you see so many more French nationals recently), entrepreneurship programs (Anges Quebec, e.g), debt reduction and deficit elimination. The electorate is reacting 3-4 years late to the issue of corruption, when today we have the SQ’s active escouade Marteau and the Charbonneau commission dealing with this as it should be dealt with in a civilized society. I fear we may be witnessing a Gorbachev-effect here, where the reaction is to a system broken for very long, but about to be fixed (Russia suffered greatly when the reaction to Communism ousted Gorbachev and brought in a decade of Yeltsin. Then Putin. And that’s it.)

Quebec Solidaire is also clear, complete and sincere in their platform. QS’s central point is a “projet de société”. A vision and a set of measures to build a certain society. That their projet de société happens to include sovereignty is incidental, not central to it. Contrary to the Parti Québécois, QS’s sovereignty is infinitely more modern and healthy. It is not ethno-centered, but value-centered. That is a healthy society. It’s not saying “this bloodline / heritage / souche” forms a nation, it is saying “this set of values” forms a nation. That is something pure, honest and sincere. Françoise David did well in the debate because her and QS’s message is honest and sincere. Pauline Marois did not do well because her message is anything but.

Besides the PLQ and QS, the other parties fail on the following points:

CAQ: The CAQ’s very existence is reactive. It’s a reaction that “things must change”. Everything is wrong, so we will change everything. Problem is, they’re very much going to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Listen, there are things to fix in Quebec, but there are infinitely more things that are working wonderfully. An inexperienced, reactive team that comes in with its arms swinging and knives slashing at everything is going to knock down a lot of things that work great in our society, and (neither) we (nor they) won’t know it for a generation. Duscheneau throws out populist words without foundation, and seems the type that, a few years down the road, will be found to have been as corrupt as those he was accusing. See what THAT does for cynicism towards politics.

PQ: This is the most dangerous and damaging choice that Quebecers could make tomorrow. And, no, I’m  not just talking for “Anglos and Allos”. It is bad for Francophones and Sovereignists too. The PQ under Pauline Marois has a sovereignty plan and a “projet de société” that would have been socially outdated in the 1930’s.

Ethnocentric, xenophobic, divisive, creating two (or more) classes of citizens. That is for their platform. As for the communication of it, Pauline Marois has chosen duplicity, deception, misrepresentation of what it is, and outright lies as to what’s in it. [To his credit, Francois Legault has been best at calling her out on it. E.g. the PQ platform *does not* give Marois the “option” of calling a referendum. 15% of the PQ grassroots can trigger a referendum, and Marois increased her level of lying about that as the campaign progresses. Legault called her out on it regularly.]

The PQ is a horrible choice even from a sovereignist’s perspetive. How? Since their Modus Operandi is basing eveyrthing on deception; and because of that disastrous 15% automatic trigger for a referendum, the PQ will set up the sovereignty movement for a third losing referendum, while at the same time taking down the Quebec economy with it. That will put the absolute final nail in the coffin for any remnants of a sovereignty movement in Quebec. Learned sovereignists know that a third losing referendum would likely be the last one [Witness Parizeau’s and others’ backing of choices besides Marois]

The PQ is bad on so many levels; it would be the worst outcome tomorrow.

Option Nationale: they simply fail because theirs is a somewhat simpleton goal: just sovereignty. It’s at best undefined, at worst redundant with Quebec Solidaire (but still better and purer than the obfuscation offered by Marois’ PQ)

That’s for the parties.

On strategic voting: 

Before getting into the nuance of this election, let me first state what I have been for years about this “option”. Over time, it’s poison for a democracy. The government will never represent its people if they never vote for who they actually want. [A second part of this is our electoral system that needs to be overhauled]

Second, let’s be accurate and call it what it is: it is a tactical vote. It’s something you do in the immediate. In war, an army can win many tactical battles, but lose the war (See the US in Vietnam). That’s because of poor strategy. Which is what “strategic voting” is for a democractic society: a poor strategy.

That being said, if I were to accept its premise, it’s also done wrong. You as a voter, if you want to “vote tactically”, must look at your riding. Your vote only affects your riding. If, for example, you want to prevent the PQ from entering, you must ensure you don’t bring down the vote of that person who can defeat the PQ. If your riding is Liberal, for instance, you want to avoid drawing down enough Lib votes to let the PQ pass up the middle (See Harper Conservatives in Toronto, 2011). Same thing if a CAQ or Quebec Solidaire is likeliest to win in your riding – you vote CAQ or QS.

That being said, I don’t, can’t and won’t support “tactical voting”. It’s the wrong strategy for a democracy. (But it is up to individual voters to make their personal choice.)

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