Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Aregenteuil and LaFontaine by-elections in Quebec

On June 11th there will be two by-elections in Quebec, one in LaFontaine, the other in Argenteuil.

Argenteuil is located on the Ottawa River right at the corner where Quebec crosses over the river.   It has elected a Liberal in every election since 1966.  

The sitting MNA, David Whissell resigned for the weasely family reasons excuse.   He has been an MNA since 1998 when he was elected at age 31.   I suspect he thinks the Liberal ship is sinking and he wanted out undefeated.

What I find interesting about the by-election is that there are 9 candidates running of which 5 are from parties that are represented in the National Assembly - Liberals, PQ, Coalition Avenir Quebec(CAQ), Quebec Solidaire(QS) and Option nationale(ON).  Three more from parties that seem to be serious in trying win seats the Greens, the Conservatives and the new Equipe Autonomiste.


  • Liberal Lise Proulx - seems to have been a political staffer
  • Parti Québécois Roland Richer
  • Coalition Avenir Québec Mario Laframboise - former BQ MP for Argenteuik-Papineau-Mirabel from 2000 to 2011
  • Green Claude Sabourin - Green party leader.  He has run here in the last three elections as a Green and ran in the 2004 and 2006 Federal elections against local MP Mario Laframboise
  • Independent Georges Lapointe - he ran as the ADQ candidate in 2007 and placed second.  In 2003 he ran as the PQ candidate and came second.
  • Conservative Jean Lecavalier - He ran for the ADQ in Nelligan and came second in 2007
  • Québec solidaire Yvan Zanetti
  • Autonomist Team Gérald Nicolas
  • Option nationale Patrick Sabourin

This is a crazy long list of candidates and all but the last three have seriously campaigned before.

There there is LaFontaine which is on the south side of the river and in the far east of Montreal.  Former Liberal MNA Tony Tomassi  resigned on May 3rd, he has been sitting as an independent since May 2010.   I am not sure why he resigned.

The riding has been very solidly Liberal since 1985.

There are ten candidates:

  • Liberal Marc Tanguay  
  • Parti Québécois Frédéric St-Jean  
  • Coalition Avenir Québec Domenico Cavaliere  
  • Conservative Patrice Raza  
  • Green Gaëtan Bérard  
  • Option nationale Paolo Zambito  
  • Québec solidaire Sébastien Rivard  
  • Independent Marc-André Beauchesne  
  • Parti nul Renaud Blais  
  • Autonomist Team Guy Boivin  
Eight parties are running candidates in both by-elections, I can not think of another time when this has happened before anywhere in Canada.

The Conservatives and the EA seem to have come about because of the merger of the ADQ into the CAQ, some of the ADQ people are not keen on it.   The Conservatives in Quebec seem to be a more serious party than I had thought they would be.  The Conservatives last existed in Quebec in 1935 when it dissolved when the Union Nationale was formed.

The Conservatives have a former Conservative MP, Luc Harvey, as leader and former ADQ MNAs saying they will run as Conservatives in the next election.  Former two term Conservative MP Daniel Petit is active in the party.  Richard Decaire is also involved and he was the Deputy Chief of Staff for the federal Conservatives when they were official opposition.

The Conservatives will offering a conservative federalist platform.

What is missing in Quebec is a left wing federalist party.

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