With a provincial election looming, the popular vote remains concentrated on the three mainstream parties, yet members of Quebec’s marginal parties believe that their political role remains more significant than ever.
“Our strategy is to be that pesky fly that eventually gets noticed,” claimed Claude Genest, a candidate for the newly formed Quebec Green Party. “We have no chance of winning and we have no illusions about this, but if we can help to move the debate forward then we’ll have accomplished what we set out to do.”
In the 1998 provincial election, the Parti Quebecois, Liberals and Action Democratique managed to gather more than 96 per cent of the popular vote, leaving little room for the seven other parties that also competed in the race.
Such intimidating odds do not worry Genest, whose personal conviction fuels his passion and maintains the patience needed to begin at the bottom of the pack.
“I feel myself motivated by the effects of misguided economic policy and I harbour an optimism that these things take on a momentum of their own,” said Genest. “Once the word begins to get out, the ideas spread very fast.”
A similar vein of optimism could be seen in Hug