Will Richelieu Be Another Levis?

Last year, the by-election in Levis salted not only the wounds of the PQ, but the entire sovereignist movement.

The CAQ brought the victory home while the separatists (PQ, QS and ON) pulled in a cumulative total of 8% of the vote.

Of course, the PQ spin doctors tried their best to explain the situation away and insist that their strength is largely drawn from other parts of the province, but you simply can’t polish a turd.

Levis was a damning indictment of separatist movement’s health.

Despite coming close to finding themselves back in the 2nd opposition position a year ago and suffering a humiliating loss in Levis a few months later, the PQ leadership hopefuls continue to plug away at holding a referendum.

So then, the question begs to be asked – if Richelieu proves to be another Levis, the PQ leadership hopefuls will truly look like buffoons if they continue to insist that an appetite for separation exists.

When Élaine Zakaïb retained her seat in Richelieu this time last year, she did it with close to 40% of the vote.

But there’s another intriguing factor to point out: in the 2012 election, she captured her seat with 43% of the vote.

Her PQ predecessor, Sylvain Simard, secured his seat with 47% of the vote.

That’s not all. Mr. Simard had also won previous elections in that riding with 56% in 1998 and 55% in 1994.

Yup, I think you see where I’m going with this.

Outcome & Impact:

Personally, I think the CAQ will take it home again.

While I’d love to watch the PQ flame out in spectacular style like they did in Levis, Richelieu is a different animal and worst-case scenario, they’ll come out with somewhere around the 26% mark.

If the CAQ succeeds in capturing Richelieu, they will be within 6 seats of the official opposition.

As I’ve predicted in the past, I see Jean-François Lisée calling it quits soon enough. He’s already pretty much a phantom deputy and he’s been treated as a pariah by his team ever since he came out against PKP. His riding is staunchly Péquiste, but if the Bloc Québecois can be usurped in the riding of Hochelaga, anything can happen.

Furthermore, since PKP WILL land the leadership and given his spoiled-brat nature, you can count on him turning on his opponents soon afterwards.

This will result in either resignations or defections.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see François Legault spearheading a campaign to snap up the disenfranchised leadership hopefuls and their supporters.

I can totally see Alexandre Cloutier in the CAQ.

If that happens, you can count on Cloutier selling his protégéLéo Bureau-Blouin, on switching sides and managing the CAQ’s youth base, while also promising him a riding in the next election.

All this to say, no matter which side you’re on, there’s no arguing that Québec politics are an excellent spectator sport.

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3 thoughts on “Will Richelieu Be Another Levis?

    • I’m not the least bit surprised that the CAQ came close.

      They’re really eating the PQ’s lunch these days and the fact that the PQ only 35% of the vote (down from 56% in the late 90s), shows that the winds of change can blow anywhere.

  1. I just wish I could trust that we had a provincial party that really stood for “federalism” because there is not one I feel that does. The separatists have infiltrated every level of government here in Quebec and even in the federal public service. You never know who will turn on you and our own Gatineau city council is a good example – our anglophones have joined the IF – astounding as that is I never know what to expect. I have given instructions to my son to sell this house and his own as soon as I’m not around any longer and get to hell out of this province before he loses every bit of property value. They have slowly, but surely, taken this province out of confederation and it just has not been made public yet.

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