Elections 2018: What you need to know
The next general election, to be held on October 1st, will be the first election in Quebec’s history to take place at a fixed date. According to the Election Act, the electoral campaign is to last between 33 and 39 days and must be called at the latest by August 29th. The Premier, who chooses the date at which elections are called, chose August 23rd to be the first day of the campaign. Thus, the campaign will last 39 days.
The race will be tight, according to the polls of the past few months which suggest the possibility of a change of government.
H+K will accompany you throughout this campaign by publishing a daily campaign re-cap as well as blog posts on diverse subjects, so you can stay well informed of the twists and turns of the 42nd general election of Quebec.
Who is running for office?
Here is a description of the primary parties presenting candidates in the 125 ridings in Quebec:
The Quebec Liberal Party (QLP), led by Philippe Couillard, is in power since April 2014 and is asking voters for a second mandate by emphasizing the economic and social results of its government. With a renewed team, the incumbent first minister embodies continuity and stability. Couillard is asking Quebecers to once again place their confidence in his ability to continue to contribute to Quebec’s advancement.
The Parti Québécois (PQ) led by Jean-François Lisée and deputy leader Véronique Hivon, occupied the seat of the official opposition party at the dissolution of the National Assembly. The party’s platform for this election is “A strong state serving the people”. The platform lists 21 campaign pledges, particularly concerning the functioning of the health care system, the enrichment of Quebec, accessibility of education and regional development.
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), founded in 2012 by its leader François Legault, wants to rally all nationalist forces with a plan that would allow Quebec to advance and affirm itself within Canada. The CAQ presents itself as the party of change. As the leader in the past few months’ polls, the leader of the 2nd opposition party advocates for academic success and economic development.
Québec solidaire (QS) and its co-spokespeople Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, is not recognized as a parliamentary group as it only has 3 elected officials. This party, created in 2006, proposes an economy of solidarity that is ecological and democratic, a feminist society in an independent Quebec.
Distribution of seats at the National Assembly at its dissolution June 15, 2018
September 23 and 24
First day of the election
First party leader debate in French
Deadline to designate the candidates of each party
Party leader debate in English
Second party leader debate in French
What are the new rules?
The Act to amend the Election Act for the purpose of establishing fixed-date elections, adopted by the National Assembly on June 14, 2013, made several modifications to the electoral process and the campaigning process, for political supporters as well as for candidates and MNAs. Here are the most important changes resulting from the Act’s modification:
- From now on, elections will be held on a fixed date, the first Monday of October, every four years;
- The electoral map was modified to take into account demographic changes in different regions of Quebec;
- Electors are authorized to make a maximum contribution of $100 per year to each party, and are authorized to donate an additional maximum of $100 per party, during an electoral year;
- All contributions of more than $50 must be made by check or by credit card;
- Political contributions are no longer tax deductible;
- All electoral expenses must be declared and justified to the Directeur général des élections du Québec in the form of a report submitted after the elections;
- It is now prohibited to advertise in the media in the 7 days following when elections are called.
The 2018 electoral campaign will be the first in Quebec’s history to be held at a fixed date. Although the Act was modified in June 2013 and general elections were held April 7, 2014, these elections were called in March 2014 by Pauline Marois, then head of a minority government, meaning her party did not hold a majority of seats at the National Assembly. The Election Act thus allows for elections to be held at a date other than the first Monday of the month of October should a minority government decide to call the elections or if the government is overthrown by the opposition parties. In this case they are referred to as early general elections.
What is my riding?
As mentioned above, the electoral map was only slightly modified since the last election. Quebec has 125 ridings, as determined in the Election Act. The principal regions affected by the modifications are the West of Montreal and the region of Mauricie.
To find out what riding you are in, click here.