Skip to comments.Quebec votes in close elections
Posted on 03/26/2007 6:16:02 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu
Canadians in the mainly French-speaking Quebec province are electing a new government in a tight three-way race.
The poll has again raised the prospect of independence from Canada, with the nationalist Parti Quebecois (PQ) vowing to hold a vote on the issue if elected.
It is seeking to regain power from the federalist Liberal Party and Premier Jean Charest who is seeking a new term.
But both parties are facing a strong challenge from a new conservative group, the Action Democratique (ADQ).
The ADQ wants the province to be more autonomous, but not independent.
Balance of power
The provincial assembly's 125 seats are up for election on Monday.
Turnout among Quebec's 5.6 million voters is expected to be high. Pollsters say many of them have declared themselves undecided.
None of the three parties is expected to obtain enough support to form a government on its own.
Mr Charest, who has been in power for four years, has faced criticism for failing to cut taxes.
He says the PQ's independence ambitions are out of tune with what most Quebec residents want.
PQ leader Andre Boisclair has accused him of being too close to the Conservative federal government of Stephen Harper.
Mr Boisclair has said he will hold a referendum on independence as soon as possible if elected.
The last referendum on the issue, in 1995, rejected separation by about one percentage point.
If there is a minority government, analysts say the balance of power could be held by the ADQ, which is led by Mario Dumont.
The BBC's Lee Carter says Mr Dumont is a charismatic figure who has been attracting voters disillusioned with the established players.
You've probably seen several threads on this already, but just in case there aren't any, ping.
We've got a bit of a live thread here:
This thing is razor-close.
Appreciated. Will go there.
The radical Parti Québécois should change their name to the Parti Idiotic. If they were able to push through a successful vote to separate from the rest of Canada, Quebec would immediately go bankrupt. They have way too many people on the dole and owe billions to the federal government.
When the Parti Quebecois was in power they drove hundreds of multi-national corporations out of Quebec with high taxation and repressive measures, including requiring everybody to speak French, hire French workers, and forbidding companies to hang English signs, including an insane rule that no business could use an apostrophe in their name. Thus, "Sam's Bar" would be abbreviated to just "Sam."
Montreal, formerly the location of many corporate headquarters, suddenly had hundreds of palatial, million-dollar, but ghostly empty, buildings lining its boulevards. Wierd bunch of people.