PQ backtrack on "exaggerated" claim of voter fraud
The PQ are trailing in the polls and the party is looking for a scape goat. Their dream of a majority government, worth breaking their fixed election date law, is being shattered and rather than looking at themselves and their issues, the PQ are trying to blame "outsiders" for a possible electoral loss on April 7.
If a recent poll posted on ThreeHundredEight.com is any indication of how the election might sway, the PQ who entered the race with a 69 seat majority government may now face sitting across the room of a 71 seat Liberal majority government with only 50 seats.
Over the past few weeks, Ontario students studying in Quebec have been trying to register to vote have been denied and the Parti Quebecois have hit the media saying it was part of "dubious tactics" by outsiders to "steal" the election.
“Will the Quebec election be stolen by people from Ontario and the rest of Canada?” asked PQ candidate in Chambly Bertrand St-Arnaud, who served as Quebec's Justice Minister in the last sitting. Joining him are Nicole Leger and former student leader Leo Bureau-Blouin in the charge that anglophone students at Concordia and McGill Universities are responsible for plotting these "dubious tactics."
On Saturday, Quebec's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) tried to clarify the rules for students from outside of Quebec who were denied voting rights recently. “To be a qualified elector, a person must have attained 18 years of age, be a Canadian citizen and have been domiciled in Quebec for six months,” he confirmed. “However, the notion of domicile can be complex, and questions may be raised as to its interpretation… examples include the fact of paying income tax in Quebec or obtaining a Quebec driver’s licence.”
In reference to the PQ's flabbergasted claims that there was an irregular increase in voter registration by outsiders, the CEO's spokesman Denis Dion said “The abnormally high number of requests doesn’t exist.”
“We don’t want this election stolen by people from Ontario and the rest of Canada,” St-Arnaud charged.
The PQ referenced a TVA report Sunday which claimed that hundreds of Ontario students were trying to register to vote against Marois. TVA is one of the many media outlets owned by Quebecor which is owned by Pierre Karl Peladeau, who recently became one of the PQ's star candidates and refuses to sell his shares.
The report came days after the head of electoral revision Mathieu Vandal raised a red flag on the number of non-Francophones being added to voting registration without being screened. A claim Dion shot down as "alarmist" adding he "exaggerated" the situation. Vandal resigned Friday.
Former student leader Leo Bureau-Blouin used to make the youth vote a priority, now it's only a priority if it's for the PQ. He shared St-Arnaud's unfounded concerns. “We are concerned by the fact that many, many people who are not registered on the list want to be registered,” he said.
PQ leader Pauline Marois also asked for more information on the matter, adding, "It raises very serious questions," Marois said. "This is a situation that worries me."
Liberal leader Philippe Couillard said the PQ's response to the rejected anglophone students was “literally an attempt to intimidate an independent institution, the chief electoral officer.”
In response to Marois's demands to look into it, Dion said “The idea of telling us in a press conference how to do our job is not the way it works usually between the DGE (Elections Quebec) and the political parties.”
The PQ's recent claims come as a reminder to their past claims that federalists and non-Francophones used unfair measures to boost the "Yes" vote in the 1995 referendum and it would appear Marois's strategy is to create another "lobster trap."
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