HomeUSAQuebec election: Liberals, Angled seek to restart struggling campaignOUS News

Quebec election: Liberals, Angled seek to restart struggling campaignOUS News

With polls suggesting that his party could be moved to third place in the October 3 election, Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade is trying to turn his team’s fortunes by pushing himself.

Speaking to the crowd at lunch Tuesday at the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, Angled abandoned prepared remarks in favor of a more conversational, personal tone as he walked the stage.

Angled said later people close to him told him they wanted to see more of the Dominic they know on the trail. And while she says she’s comfortable with her party’s record, Angled clearly wants to turn the script of her campaign.

“I am neither Philippe Cuillard, nor Jean Charest, nor Robert Bourassa,” he said in reference to past Liberal leaders and premiers. “I’m Dominic. That’s who I am.

“And there is no need to compare me with the men who have gone before.”

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Polls show that the Liberals and three other main opposition parties are in second place, with François Legault’s coalition Avenir Quebec leading the top spot.

The Liberals, whose elections accounted for 27 of the 125 seats in the legislature, alternated between the government and the opposition throughout their history. But with the party seeing single-digit support among Francophone voters and their traditional Anglophone base eroding, even official opposition is no longer a sure thing.

Valerie-Anne Maheo, professor of political science at Université Laval, said the COVID-19 pandemic did not help matters because opposition politicians were largely sidelined. Some parties have been better at building their leader’s image, while Angled has heard a lot of questions about past Liberal leaders from his time as chairman of the CAQ.

“For the opposition, it is difficult for leaders to have a voice in the context of the regime of Quebec and for Quebecers to know their style, who they are, what their views are,” Maheo said. ,

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“So I think she’s trying to retell the story of who she is and what she represents and show herself as a personable, relatable person who will help her on election day.”

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But Maheo said Quebec liberals have struggled to find a platform that is different from other parties, in which sovereignty and the economy are no longer in danger of falling back.

David Hertel, a lawyer, political commentator and former cabinet minister for the Quebec Liberals, said that while other parties have clear identities, the Liberals have not been able to rebrand.

Hertel said that the rise of Legault’s party, created in 2011, has robbed the liberals of their claim to be the party of the economy, so this leaves the question: “Who are they?”

“Dominic Angled, the leader, has been unable to answer that question, and in addition, he is responsible for a lot of self-inflicted wounds during this campaign,” Hertel said.

“She’s very good at policy. She had a lot of trouble connecting to voters on the ground, francophones and anglophones, in what I call the kitchen table issue.”

Angled has been intimidated by the start of a sluggish campaign that saw the party struggle to find candidates for all 125 ridings, including the generally secure Liberal seats. Ahead of the first leaders’ debate last week, the Liberal team was forced to admit that its costing platform had debt figures of less than $16 billion.

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There was some good news late Wednesday when a moderate candidate in Matane-Matapedia who had been rejected by local election officials saw the Quebec Superior Court overturn that decision, meaning the party would hold a full-fledged election in the entire province. Slate will take the field.

Going into the campaign, the party was dealing with the anger of the Anglophone community over how it adopted the CAQ government’s language-law reform, Bill 96.

Anglade said this week she is still confident she can win and remain as Liberal leader, although her own Montreal ride of Saint-Henri-St-Anne is considered a tough, three-way race.

Poll-aggregator website QC125.com recently found the Liberals to win 16 seats, enough for second place.

“We are talking about a major political party that has been a part of the bipartisan system in Quebec for so long,” Maheo said, adding that it doesn’t bode well that they won as many votes as the Quebec Solidaire. who has been the third-place party and is pinching its heels.

Former Liberal cabinet minister Luke Fortin, who was in the audience for the luncheon, said renewal was necessary for the future of the party.

Fortin says it is clear that the austerity measures taken by the previous Liberal government between 2014 and 2018 angered voters. “I was a member of that government and we got a very clear decision from the people of Quebec in 2018, so, I think, things could not continue in the direction they were headed,” Fortin said.

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Read more: Four opposition parties almost equal in new election, CAQ ahead

He said he is not concerned about the potential of the Liberal Party to return, and believes Angled’s progressive platform is the right approach, but that he has not had enough time since becoming leader in 2020.

So as all the other party leaders were preparing for the final debate on Thursday night, Angled was campaigning, making an announcement and giving some media interviews.

“Of course I’m going to be at full steam by October 3rd, there’s no question about it,” she said in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Lambert.

“What you see is Dominic whom I would love to see written somewhere…. I would love to see this level of energy reflected in the media in our campaign.”

© 2022 Canadian Press

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