Why everyone should take the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election
Provincial elections tend to bring out the beast in everyone, encouraging debate and unwanted political advertisements wherever one looks. For the first time in recent memory, however, a political candidate has questioned who should be allowed to decide the future of the province in which they reside.
On March 22, at a news conference in Rivière-du-Loup, Pauline Marois, leader of the Parti Québécois, went on record as stating that they are concerned that non-Quebecers will be deciding the fate of our province. The concern, according to Mme Marois, is due to an “abnormal” number of anglophones and allophones who have registered to vote in the greater Montreal region. At this time, it is unclear what figure “abnormal” represents. According to Le Directeur Général Des Elections du Québec (DGE) there have been no abnormalities concerning voter registration.
According to the DGE, anyone above the age of majority, who has lived in Québec for more than six months, and intends to stay in Québec long term has the right to vote.
At a press conference two days later, the Parti Québécois sided with their leader by questioning if the anglophones and allophones registering intended to stay within the province at all. This is a very dangerous line of thinking to pursue, especially given that the DGE has admitted that some names were taken off the electoral list since the last provincial vote.
Voting is a right, regardless of the individual’s primary language. It is risky for any candidate to state otherwise. Allophones and anglophones are Quebecers just as much as French speakers within the province.
What you can do:
1) Register: If you are eligible to vote be sure to register with the DGE. The deadline to register to vote is April 3 at 2 p.m..
2) VERIFY: If you have voted in previous elections, verify to make sure you’re still on the list. Those on the electoral list should have already received voting instructions in the mail. If you have not, please visit the DGE website to verify your voter registration.
3) GET INFORMED: All news services will have a recap section appearing in the next week summarizing all political platforms. Even if you do not have the time to follow what the candidates are up to daily, try to keep abreast of big issues which appear in the media.
4) VOTE: Be sure on April 7 to make your voice heard. These individuals will be directly affecting your life through the legislation passed. Be sure to take 30 minutes out of your day to make your voice heard.
5) GET INVOLVED: Politics don’t stop after the election. If any elected official does something which you disagree with there is always public discourse. Let them know through email, petition, or protest.
Exercise your right to vote. Send the message that ALL Quebecers will stand and be heard. If any politician says that certain citizens aren’t really Quebecers they will find that they are wrong.
À Mme Marois: Je suis fière de la culture Québécoise accueillante et libre. J’ai honte de votre vision de notre province, où le vote n’est pas un droit mais seulement un autre cible a être utilisée dans vos enjeux politiques.
To Mme Marois: I am proud of our unique and welcoming Quebec culture. I am disgusted by your vision of a Quebec where voting is no longer a right but a target to be used in your personal game of politics.
For all information concerning voting visit www.electionsquebec.qc.ca/english/