Partial elections have a particular symbolic function. They serve to send a message to the government, and that, even more so, when it feels exaggeratedly confident.
They allow opposition parties to assert themselves and the population to express their discontent.
And it is such a scenario that is emerging in the context of Marie-Victorin’s by-election.
If the polls are not too wrong, the Parti Québécois, whose candidate is Pierre Nantel, has a good chance of winning.
It must be said that Shirley Dorismond, who is running for the CAQ, has been a disaster candidate since day one. This supporter of the theory of systemic racism would be in her place at QS or the PLQ, not at the CAQ.
- Listen to the Mathieu Bock-Côté and Richard Martineau meeting broadcast live every day at 10 a.m. via OLD radio :
This victory is essential to the PQ.
As we know, the PQ is stuck in the hold of the polls. Despite the meritorious and courageous work of its leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, it is paying the price for the crisis of the sovereignist option. The rate of support for independence is not insignificant in Quebec, but the Quebecers who take this question into account during ordinary elections are fewer and fewer.
Worse: the PQ, in the fall, risks extinction.
But if he wins in Marie-Victorin, he will dispose of the little to strenghten of energy enabling him to go to the elections with renewed vigor.
He will have a favorable media cycle for a while.
And whatever one thinks of the PQ itself, that would be good news for Quebec nationalism, and Quebec in general.
It will have been enough, in recent weeks, to see Éric Duhaime’s Conservative Party rise in the polls to see the Legault government show concern for seriously deconfining Quebec society, and even to consider opening the health system to the private.
Similarly, we can believe that this government, which has been indulging in a semi-crisp nationalism for three years, would regain some vigor if it felt threatened by the resurgence of the Parti Québécois, which could rise to 15% in the polls, and to bring back “identity” voters.
Is it an unimaginable horizon?
The language question has for some time regained the place it should take in our public life. And the CAQ, everyone can see, is disappointing.
She persists in refusing the application of law 101 to CEGEP. This without forgetting her ardor for immigration which pushes her to want to increase the thresholds for immigration while they contribute to the anglicization of Montreal.
There is therefore a space to occupy, between now and the elections, for the Parti Québécois, especially since its linguistic nationalism is firm and intelligent. And the more the polls show that he made the right bet, the more the CAQ will have to shake its ass to offer something other than lip service to nationalism.
The by-election in Marie-Victorin therefore has an importance that goes far beyond this electoral division. It will contribute to defining the agenda for the next general elections.