Duhaime spent too much time wooing Anglos, conservatives say

Discontent has entered the Conservative Party of Quebec: the failure to elect a deputy on October 3 has revived the dissatisfaction of the nationalist wing of the party.

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« We spent too much time trying to get the English vote, when it was a lost cause, » said a conservative source on condition of anonymity. We should have put all that energy into Beauce-Nord, we might have had a deputy elected.”

According to another person involved in the Conservative campaign, the party allegedly spent considerable sums on advertising in English-speaking constituencies, a decision she considers dubious.

“Does an advertorial in USA Today really help get votes in Quebec?” she wondered.

goat and cabbage

During the election campaign, Éric Duhaime spent several days courting Anglophones, insisting that François Legault had abandoned them and that the Liberals had taken them for granted for too long.

He had also promised to repeal Law 96, in a remarkable press conference at the Institute of brokerage and finance of Montreal. On the lectern, one could read “Bill 96” behind a prohibition sign, on a small poster exclusively in English.

« I didn’t like it, » whispered another source. I understand the strategy, and people in the party were convinced that we could convince a lot of English speakers to vote for us.

« But that put Eric in a strange position: on the one hand he had to try to please English speakers, at the same time as he had to spare the most nationalistic. »

  • Listen to Richard Martineau’s editorial broadcast live every day at 8 a.m. 45 via QUB-radio :


However, these strategic choices did not prove fruitful, noted a defeated Conservative candidate. « In several English-speaking counties, we didn’t even finish second, » he said.

In fact, the Conservatives finished 5th in Viau and 4th in Westmount-Saint-Louis, ridings where turnout was below the provincial average, a sign that disappointed Liberal voters preferred not to run at the polls rather than support another party.

The PCQ did better in Robert-Baldwin and in D’Arcy-McGee, where the party came second, but still remained several thousand votes behind the PLQ in both cases.

  • Listen to Richard Martineau’s commentary on QUB radio:

leadership test

The Conservative leader would also be targeted by other critics within his own party. He will have to pass a “leadership test” during the PCQ campaign review to be held in Drummondville on Saturday, as a defeated candidate from the greater Quebec City region said in a Radio-Canada article.

The public broadcaster also reported that people closely involved in the PCQ campaign consider that Éric Duhaime was “poorly surrounded” and deplore that decisions were taken too centrally. Some party members would expect more attention and a major clean-up in the leader’s entourage.

Éric Duhaime’s press officer declined our interview requests.


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