Ouellette scores an easy win for the Liberals in Chomedey
At incumbent Chomedey Liberal MNA Guy Ouellette’s campaign headquarters on election night, the ambiance seemed more that of a family gathering than a group of political strategists who had come together at campaign’s end for an inventory of the votes.
Fight’s not over
“This is just one battle tonight – we haven’t lost the fight – tonight is tonight but tomorrow is another day,” Ouellette told supporters after his victory was confirmed.
Acknowledging that the province would now be governed by a minority PQ government, he added, “It’s far from over – follow what’s going to happen – we aren’t off to another election yet. The next few days promise to be very, very interesting.”
While Premier Designate Pauline Marois had scheduled her first press conference for the following day, Ouellette said she should set aside a little bit of humility because “I have the feeling that one of these days she could be in for a surprise.
Greek and Armenian support
“I am very proud to be your MNA and very proud to continue serving you,” added Ouellette, while thanking his wife and children who were all present. He also expressed his thanks to those from the Chomedey Greek and Armenian communities who supported him.
“We have the largest Greek community in Chomedey, and it was very important for me to know that I had the support of the Greek and the Armenian communities,” he said.
According to results posted on the Quebec Director General of Elections web site, votes for the Liberals in Chomedey rose by about 5,000 compared to the 2008 election. In addition, the Coalition Avenir Québec has replaced the Parti Québécois in second place. Ouellette finished with more than 57 per cent support, compared to the CAQ’s 19.24 per cent and the PQ’s 16.79 per cent.
Senior Laval Liberal
Ouellette now becomes the Laval Liberals’ senior MNA. He was first elected in the 2007 election after former Chomedey Liberal MNA Thomas Mulcair resigned from the seat. Ouellette now finds himself in the company of just one former Laval Liberal – Francine Ouellette – who also won her election in Mille-Îles. She first won her seat in the 2008 general election.
Lise Bacon, the Liberal MNA for Chomedey from 1981 to 1994, was among those who was at Ouellette’s office on election night for the returns. In an interview, she maintained this was a particularly difficult election because the vote was split three ways.
She recalled that in 1976, part of the reason the Parti Québécois was able to win and form a government was that the Union Nationale took 11 seats and more than 18 per cent of the popular. Although the final results on Tuesday night hadn’t yet come in, Bacon predicted correctly that the PQ would probably not form a majority government. She said the political landscape in Quebec today is different from what it was in the mid-1970s.
“People are not inclined to vote for sovereignty as they were in 1976 – that‘s the difference,” she said. “They’re not for sovereignty that much. There’s about 30 per cent that Mme Marois can count on if she ever calls for a referendum. But not more than 30 per cent.” Bacon suggested that among those who voted for the PQ there are many who are not in favour of sovereignty.