Quebec Election 2022: QS and PQ Load Up on Young Candidates

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É2022 elections in Quebec : QS and the PQ fill up on young candidates

Data suggest however, the PQ may be having difficulty recruiting.

The provincial elections will be held on October 3 in Quebec.

In a recruitment blitz for the October 3 elections, Québec solidaire (QS) and the Parti Québécois (PQ) are betting on youth. The average age of their confirmed candidates is almost the same, 39 years old among the Solidarity and 40 years old among the PQ. However, this data cannot be interpreted in the same way for both parties, according to a professor.

By way of comparison, the average age of candidates for the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) is 47 years old. The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) were unable to provide the ages of all their candidates so that we could calculate the exact average.

These statistics must nevertheless be put into perspective, because not all parties are as advanced in their recruitment. As of June 30, the PQ had confirmed 39 candidates, compared to 50 for the PLQ and 99 for QS.

The CAQ remains the most advanced formation with 68 deputies expected to run another term and 39 new candidates, for a total of 107 confirmed candidates.

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Laval University political science professor Éric Montigny believes that these data are important because they allow us to see the state of progress of the parties three months before the ballot.

His main observation concerns the PQ and the PLQ, which are behind in terms of the number of candidates. This suggests possible recruitment difficulties, particularly for the PQ, according to him.

Mr. Montigny cites as an example the riding of Duplessis, a PQ stronghold, but where no one has yet been found to replace the current MP Lorraine Richard.

“Pascal Bérubé had even made a public call for candidates because there was no candidate in Duplessis! »

— Éric Montigny, professor of political science at Laval University

It is this kind of signal that makes Mr. Montigny believe that the low average age of PQ candidates can be interpreted in two completely different ways.

Is it a rejuvenation effort initiated by the Parti Québécois, which had been announced by the leader, Paul Saint-Pierre-Plamondon […] or are they recruitment difficulties that sometimes lead to recruiting younger candidates?, he wonders.

But Mr. Montigny is also surprised to see that the PLQ, which forms the official opposition in the National Assembly, has not yet recruited half of the candidates it will need on the starting line.

“Does that mean there's going to be a huge job posting tour with the chef [Dominique Anglade] over the summer? This is what we will follow. »

— Éric Montigny, professor of political science at Laval University

The head start taken by the CAQ and QS is not trivial, according to Mr. Montigny, since this allows confirmed candidates to do a pre-campaign in the field during the summer.

Another clue that leads him to believe that recruitment may be more difficult in the PQ this year is that only one nomination contest has taken place so far, in the riding of Rimouski.

This can testify to a certain deinstitutionalization of its partisan structures, while the Parti Québécois was renowned for having a strong militant base, particularly in the regions, and the regular holding of nominations , analyzes Mr. Montigny.

Éric Montigny, professor of political science at Laval University

Nominations were not very numerous either in Québec solidaire, another party renowned for the vitality of its riding associations.

We have the feeling that in preparation for this election, there are far fewer contested nominations, that is to say there is far less mobilization between different contenders [of the same political party] to become a deputy, summarizes Professor Montigny.

Of all the parties currently represented in the National Assembly, only Éric Duhaime's PCQ does not set itself the goal of achieving gender parity in its candidacies.

Already, the CAQ and QS have slightly more applications from women than from men. The PLQ and the PQ will have to accelerate the recruitment of women in the coming weeks, but the two political parties assure that they are aiming for parity.

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For Éric Montigny, the importance given to this issue demonstrates that what was a trend during the 2018 elections is becoming a tradition.

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