Thirty-nine days. This is the number of days before Quebecers elect their next government
On one side, a Premier that is looking to win a second mandate and that wants to lose the label of a party that’s been in power for a decade and a half. On the other side, a party that is on the verge of power and that could put an end to a 50-year old bipartisan voting cycle that saw the balance of power shift back and forth between the Parti Québécois and the Liberal Party. Will this be the year of the Coalition Avenir Québec? In the middle, a leader of the Opposition that must give it his all if he wants to avoid the slaughter that everyone expects. This is the state of play at the start of this election marathon that promises to be anything than boring.
The referendum question having been put to rest by the Parti Québécois, the October 1 election may be the first in a long time where this identity issue will not be front and centre.
Another first: Quebecers are not being called to cast their vote over a fundamental ballot question but because the law states that it’s time. The fixed-date election takes the calendar advantage away from the hands of the Premier, all the while ending the unpredictability and the frenzy that used to come with the call of an election.
There will be a lot to watch over the next 39 days and our experts from Quebec City and Montreal will be blogging throughout the campaign. Stay tuned! (The article is in French.)
——— Michel Rochette is a former Director and Sector Lead, Environment, Energy and Mining at NATIONAL Public Relations