I strongly disagree with the motto "Voting for the lesser of two evils" , because at the end of the day youre still voting for evil. I relate more to the plan that Quebec Solidaire has socially while looking out for the average person. I strongly suggest that if you've never voted before, try it for the first time ... What is there to lose in trying?
Well, it has become obvious in recent years that the mainstream media has worked in favor of the status quo and of those already in power. They are making it very difficult for people to be exposed to the fact that there might be an alternative to switching back and forth between the Liberals and the PQ in Quebec.
This past year, the media has also given a lot of attention to the CAQ and François Legault. These guys have been presented to the public as fresh new comers on the political scene. But the reality is that for the most part, members of the CAQ are a group of career politicians who left the old parties because they thought they’d have a better chance of winning the next election under a new name. Basically the CAQ is a new name for the same old politicians.
Fortunately, more and more people have come to realize that in terms of the policies that they put forward, these old political parties are very similar. Contrary to Quebec Solidaire, they do not prioritize greater involvement of citizens in collective decisions. They do not prioritize renewable energy and job creation through a green economy the way we do. They do not believe in free education from kindergarten to university the way we do. They don’t intend to make health care more accessible through CLSCs the way we do.
Françoise David has done a great job of making our message heard at the Radio-Canada debate. People reacted very positively to her because, while the others were throwing vicious attacks at each other, she was talking about ideas and real issues.
So the plan that we’ve implemented was to use web streaming and social networks to get our message across to the audience during that debate. I would say that QS has been successful in fighting back the media blackout by a good use of the Internet to connect with people. We’ve also been active on the streets, at metro station and going from door to door to talk to people directly. Community media and alternative media have helped us in getting our message across to all Quebecers.
- I have never voted before, this will be my first time voting, for a generation that has lost faith in politics and "the system" can you share why it is so important to vote in this election?
I’m glad to hear that you’ve decided to uphold your right to vote and I hope that everyone in Quebec who has that right will do the same. I understand why a whole generation has lost faith in politics. No one can deny the fact that for the past decades, the politicians who were elected to represent us have been very lousy at protecting our interests. Today they appear to favor protecting corporate interests over the common good. They seem to have lost sight of what the people’s interests are. Many people and especially the younger generation feel a disconnect with the political class so they come to the conclusion that they shouldn’t even bother to vote.
While I can relate and sympathize with those who feel that way, I don’t think they’ve reached the correct conclusion. What younger generations need to understand is that not voting only makes a bad situation worse. Who will vote when young people, environmentally conscious people and socially conscious people don’t vote? Do we really want the only people casting votes to be the older generation? Do we really want the only people casting votes to be those who have nothing but corporate interests in mind? Election after election, statistics shows that low voter turnout benefits those who are already in power. If people are fed up with the way politics is being done, if people want change, they must vote to change things. In regards to this election people actually have a real choice to make. With Quebec solidaire, people can make a difference, they can make their voices heard. No matter what the outcome of the election is, voting for more QS representatives will ensure that the interests of the citizens of Quebec are protected because we will fight all attempts by other parties to put the interests of corporations before the interests of the people of Quebec. In parliament, QS will also fight to implement a proportional electoral system that will be more democratic. We will push to establish fixed election dates to make it impossible for a party in power to hold elections whenever they feel like it.
- The two main partys (Liberals and PQ) have given the illusion that this vote is basically a referendum, can you explain some of the issues that are being lost in these debates and how QS plans to attack them?
The old parties’ campaigns are about inciting fear and divisive emotions. The Liberals and the PQ are not doing anything to clarify misunderstandings that people might have. So, yes, a lot of issues are being lost in the debates.
One of these issues is that we as Quebecers do not have a common social project that unites us. Men and women, young and old, Quebecers of French and English descent and of other origins need to work together towards that common social project. We need to come to an agreement about the type of society we want to live in and write our own constitution. By doing that we would be addressing a whole series of other neglected issues. We would be giving ourselves guidelines about safeguarding the environment, guidelines to make sure that there is an real integration of newly arrived immigrants in our society, guidelines to invest in the education of future generations. This would be an inclusive and democratic way of achieving Quebec’s sovereignty. We shouldn’t forget that the sovereignty of a nation truly is about the sovereignty of citizens over their common destiny.
- You will represent the riding of Bourassa-Sauvé in the upcoming elections, high dropout rates and police-youth tension are main issues, how do you plan on tackling these?
In a way, by pursuing what I was already doing with Montréal-Nord Républik, but at a larger scale. For me it’s incomprehensible that we've had the Minister of Education Line Beauchamp in Bourassa-Sauvé and we have one of the highest dropout rate, and that 42.5% of our population don’t have a high school diploma. All that combine with a high unemployment rate we are literally preparing our youth for failure.
We need to tackle these issues first hand by adapting our school to the reality of our borough, by reducing class sizes, by having not only sports education program but also arts and music to keep the youths at school. We need to adapt our school to the 21st century with the technology but at the same time keep our children’s belly full, as we have too many right now with an empty stomach and they cannot concentrate during courses.
Schools also need to educate our youths on their rights because it’s more likely that they will encounter a police officer that will negate their rights knowing they don’t know them. Education is key to everything and the same has to be applied to police officer policing our neighborhood. They have to know Montreal-North’s reality from the roots and locally, not from what it’s being portrayed on TV.
We also need a member of parliament who’s deeply rooted to the community, who understand our reality. And that his committed to strongly change the catastrophic results that the liberals left us in.
- If you could get one broadcast message out to the population of Quebec regarding these elections what would it be?
These elections are important because they’re about you and the type of society that you want. You can make a difference in these elections. Do not let fear, indifference or discouragement make you lose sight of the real issues. Get informed and vote. Most importantly, stay informed and active once these elections are over, participate and develop more local initiative. Democracy is nothing without you.