Our journalists boarded the five caravans of political parties that will criss-cross the streets of Quebec through October 3rd. Every Sunday, The newspaper takes you behind the scenes of this election trip.
The Eric Duhaime Paradox
There was something fascinating about being on Eric Duhaime’s bus during the second half of the campaign.
Forget the image of the angry radio host yelling behind his microphone to stoke the ire of the crowd. From day to day, “Eric” has an easy familiarity. He’s disarmingly natural.
Agreeable, friendly, and personable, he can even make self-deprecation, a rare trait in politicians. On the campaign bus, he casually chats with journalists to collect unfiltered comments in a less rigid framework than that of the press scrums.
However, the same Éric Duhaime does not hesitate to whitewash his followers by attacking (translated: sold to the government) the “subsidized” media.
On Facebook, he regularly denounces the “double standard” that he sees as the victims of reporters. He uses the words he needs to incite the wrath of his followers, whose aggressiveness peaks on Twitter.
Éric Duhaime is far too intelligent to subscribe to conspiracy theories. But he’s walking a fine line so as not to alienate some of his followers from their anti-media conspiracy musings.
He plays the transparency card, but is reluctant to accept a second Daily Scrum if he feels the exercise is not serving his message.
Winner in all cases
The Duhaime paradox reaches its climax in a press conference. As an experienced communicator, he knows how to hit his opponents where it hurts. He managed to establish the third link as the main theme of the campaign. On immigration, he was able to effectively exploit the CAQ’s mistakes and missteps. However, the Conservative manifesto is not that far removed from the CAQ plan. And Éric Duhaime has been very controversial on the same subject in the past.
The politician who effectively shoots at his rivals is more discreet when it comes to detailing his program. Vagueness and approximation take up all the space when asked about some of his commitments. His responses—so well chiseled when he lashes out at his competition—suddenly become evasive or downright irrelevant.
Éric Duhaime finishes his marathon with a sprint in “his” race from Chauveau and will manage to pull the Quebec Conservative Party out of marginality tomorrow. Even if he doesn’t elect MPs, he will be one of the winners of the election, one way or another. Éric is decidedly not close to a paradox.
– Taieb Moalla at the PCQ
Orange, the color of “change”?
Who hasn’t noticed yet, the party of Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Manon Massé, whose ex-candidate was caught stealing a leaflet from her PQ competitor, also subtly borrowed the CAQ slogan in 2018: that of “Change”. .
Solidarity candidate Mathieu Perron-Dufour, who is hoping to cause a surprise in Hull on October 3, summed up the matter by speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a 5-7 meeting with activists on Friday.
To paraphrase, in 2018 Outaouais voters elected three Outaouais CAQs because they believed this was the path to change, only to eventually realize things haven’t changed that much.
In an editorial interview with Le Journal, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who defends himself against being too young to become prime minister, repositioned the issue of elections in his own way.
“It’s not a question of age. It is above all a question of vision. […] Do we want to send deputies to the National Assembly from a party that represents a coalition between the two traditional parties? [la CAQ]Where […] MPs who are part of a new wave? »
For GND, which succeeded Manon Massé as Speaker of Parliament just a year ago, QS embodies this “new vision that we haven’t tried in Quebec”.
GND wants the same phenomenon to be repeated in the National Assembly that we saw in Quebec City Hall, as well as in Montreal and Sherbrooke, where a new mayor and new mayors were elected, highlighting in particular the issue of the environment.
Ahead of an evening show in Estrie, GND argued that the election of Christine Labrie helped change Sherbrooke’s political landscape. A kind of orange effect that he would like to see as far as Saint-François, the neighboring horse farm, where Dr. Melissa Genereux is running.
GND often points out that “something is happening” for QS in 2022. We felt it at the rallies, the polling stations, and the happy hours filled with activists.
Whether Québec solidaire, a bit like the leaves in autumn, would have taken another week to spread as widely as GND would have wished will be seen tomorrow.
– Marc-Andre Gagnon with QS
Immigration, black beast by Legault
“Grumpy? Then the questions aren’t fun!” François Legault replied on Friday evening to a lady from Chapais, who questioned him about his gloomy mood of the past few days.
Like the first few weeks of the election campaign, the home stretch of the outgoing prime minister’s campaign trip was arduous. His pet peeve, immigration, stuck with him to the end.
Especially since he now directly links immigration to the decline of French, increasing the risk of slipping on a banana peel.
François Legault now refuses to raise the issue for fear that his comments will be associated with “racism”.
The Caquiste caravan therefore had to travel hundreds of kilometers to hear the most favorable speech for immigration during the election campaign, that of the mayor of Lebel-sur-Quévillon, a commune in North-du-Québec with a little over 2,000 souls .
Mayor Guy Lafrenière dreams of welcoming more of these “job savers”.
“Whether the person is from Val-d’Or, Tunisia or Africa, it’s the same person. It’s a human coming,” he said after the outgoing prime minister passed.
Now, in front of a press crowd, the CAQ chief dons his leggings, breastplate, shoulder pads, helmet and plays goaltender. He tries to say as little as possible so as not to slip.
– Geneviève Lajoie, Parliament Office
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