Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quebec's Election was the Best Possible Result

For those who followed didn't follow last Monday's election in Quebec, the results were quite historic. Wikipedia summarized it as follows:
The Liberals were reduced to a minority government, Quebec's first in 129 years,
since the 1878 general election. The Action démocratique du Québec, in a major
breakthrough, became the official opposition. The Parti Québécois was relegated
to third-party status for the first time since the 1973 election. The Liberals
won their lowest share of the popular vote since Confederation, and the PQ won
their lowest share since 1973 and their second lowest ever. Each of the three
major parties won nearly one-third of the popular vote, easily the closest
three-way split in Quebec electoral history. Voter turnout among those eligible
was 71.28%, a marginal difference from the previous general election in 2003.
Premier Jean Charest acknowledged the result appropriately saying: that Quebeckers delivered a "severe judgment" of his party. More than likely he will form a minority government with the ADQ.

This is perhaps the best possible outcome for that election. Quebec elites have been given a clear message that the standard choice between nominally federalist socialists and nominally separatist socialists is no longer acceptable to Quebeckers. They want real choice and responsible and responsive government. The ADQ promises to deliver this, unfortunately the party is far too small and its elected members far too inexperienced to actually govern. Had the ADQ won outright, it's highly unlikely they ever could have governed.

The next two years should give the ADQ representatives time to learn the ropes, while still being able to influence Charest's government. Whenever the next election comes along, Quebecers should truly have real choice.

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