With a government embattled with a past of undesirable decisions and circumstances and with alternative options that are almost frightening, the Anglophone community has its back against the wall. Its options are narrow and its future in politics is bleak. Which does explain why so few of them vote.
Quebec saw a voter turnout of 57% in 2008 and chief electoral officer, Denis Dion, noted that some of the ridings with the lowest voter turnout were those that were largely Anglophone.
“They don't like the parties. They don't like the candidates. Their vote doesn't count," Dion said. "For us, it's sad."
Taking a closer look at the options made available, we find that keeping the Liberal Party of Quebec means putting up with more language police, French appliances, and attacks towards well known chains like Future Shop and Best Buy for not having French names (even francophones found it absurd). It means putting up with allegations of corruption, and an arrogant persona that only listens when their political life line is at risk. It also means Anglophones will have to put up with tax hikes as services deteriorate and the use of English is banned. What options are there for Anglophones? Not many.
A vote for the Parti Quebecois is a vote to slam a dagger through your backs as leader Pauline Marois has already promised to strengthen Law 101 and bring back the prejudice legislation and mindset that drove so many Anglos to the comforts of Ontario. A vote for the Quebec Solidaire is another vote for a party whose sole intent is to create a French nation, just further to the left than the PQ.
So this brings us to an interesting position. Anglophones by enlarge have two options (or maybe one and a half): continue voting for the Liberal Party of Quebec, which has claimed to be the only option for Anglophones – despite their actions in government proving otherwise – or vote for the Coalition D’Avenir du Quebec that has said it wants to put the divisive identity and sovereignty issues aside to focus on the services we care about. But, some may not be able to stomach the new center-right party or its leader, Francois Legault that came from the high ranks of the PQ and has a short record of contradictions. Of course there is a third option: scrap the ballot and if we go there, we might as well go to option 4 and not vote.
We entered a political campaign that was designed to give the Liberals a footing over unrest due to unjustified tuition hikes and are now realizing that the options on the table are unfavorable to say the least. Perhaps our leaders and their parties should listen to Quebecors – yes, we Anglophones are Quebecors too, Mme. Marois – and finally realize that a major shift in priorities is needed as this province keeps going backward in time.
Listen to Quebecors like Elizabeth Toeman…. Whom according to CBC hasn’t yet decided who she will vote for.
"I just feel that, in good conscience, there is not one of them that has anything that has addressed the English community. My conscience says no. But then you have a civic duty to vote."