The South Shore overwhelmingly voted for the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) during the last provincial elections. Only two ridings were won by the Quebec Liberal Party. As for the Parti Québécois, it was chased out of Marie-Victorin by the CAQ during the April 2022 by-election, which saw a very high abstention rate of 64%. In the 2018 election, the province’s abstention rate was 33%.
Posted at 4:00 p.m.
Minorities are traditionally reluctant to vote. Knowing that the countries of origin of immigrants to Quebec are mainly African and Latin American countries where the rate of abstention in elections is historically high, it is not surprising that abstention is high among minorities from the South Shore of Montreal. The reason for this abstention in the countries of origin is mainly due to the loss of confidence in the transparency of the elections. Since this concern no longer exists in Quebec, minorities would in theory be open to the idea of voting. Participation in the elections means additional votes for the parties that will manage to convince these voters of the credibility of their program.
Since the CAQ currently has bad press with the minorities, it is naturally the other parties that will be able to benefit from this electorate during the next general elections which will take place in October of this year.
What to do to conquer this hesitant electorate in a context of maintaining the CAQ and the decline of other political parties to the point that some are already talking about a second term for François Legault? In the unpredictable world of politics, it is fortunately allowed to believe in a comeback.
An American experience
In the United States, the black minority has long deserted the ballot box. In the 1990s, Barack Obama, a young law graduate and future President of the United States, made it his mission to encourage minorities to vote in elections. To this end, it has integrated the Project Vote! which resulted in the voter registration of 150,000 Chicagoans from the black community. This initiative paid off as more blacks voted in the 1992 election.
Barack Obama’s approach was to recruit staff whose mission was to help the inhabitants of the city to register on the electoral lists. It is a crucial and mandatory step in an electoral process which almost always leads to a vote.
Take inspiration from the Project Vote initiative! would be a good idea. This applies to political parties as well as to non-partisan individuals and organizations, although a non-partisan approach is preferable to avoid being accused of opportunism. Thus, it is necessary to meet potential voters from minorities in order to explain to them the process of registration on the electoral lists and to answer their questions. It will even be possible to help the people we meet to register online. The work must be done now, because on the day of the vote it will be too late to register.