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Solidarity and liberals demand a pause in the overhaul of the electoral map

Photo: Jacques Boissinot archives The Canadian Press “The commissioners are like: ‘What do you want me to tell you?’ You know, they’re the ones who draw the map, but with the markers that the elected officials put,” said the deputy solidarity with Sol Zanetti.

Caroline Plante – The Canadian Press in Quebec

March 2, 2024

  • Quebec

Québec solidaire (QS) supports the proposal of the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) to suspend the work of the Electoral Representation Commission (CRE) in order to review the law.

In an interview with The Canadian Press on Friday, QS MP Sol Zanetti argued that it is necessary to take a break from the electoral redistribution issue.

“There is a lot of dissatisfaction with the disappearance of constituencies,” he declared, echoing comments made to Radio-Canada by the parliamentary leader of the PLQ, Monsef Derraji.

“The commissioners are like: “What do you want me to tell you?” You know, they are the ones who draw the map, but with the markers that the elected officials have bets,” he added.

The law provides for a revision of the electoral map in Quebec after two general elections, since population movements create inequalities in representation.

Revision project denounced

The revision project presented last fall by the CRE notably eliminates a constituency in Gaspésie and one in eastern Montreal.

On the other hand, two other constituencies would see the light of day: Marie-Lacoste-Gérin-Lajoie, in Centre-du-Québec, and Bellefeuille, in the Laurentians.

Also read

  • Élections Québec proposes the withdrawal of constituencies in Montreal and Gaspésie
  • Gaspésie is mobilizing to preserve its two provincial constituencies
  • Chronicle | Cries, groans and revision of the electoral map

The revision of the map is carried out so that Quebec is divided into 125 constituencies of approximately 51,000 voters which have, as much as possible, common characteristics.

One exception: the constituency of Îles-de-la-Madeleine, protected by law.

Last month, in a parliamentary committee, the project for a new electoral map was denounced by all the opposition parties and by CAQ elected officials.

More constituencies ?

Several deplored that the Gaspésie region was gradually losing its political weight, and that the size of its constituencies was becoming disproportionate.

The Liberals therefore propose to keep the current electoral map for the 2026 election and to begin a reflection on the criteria to be taken into account to establish the next map.

Certain elements in the law have not been changed in 35 years, according to Mr. Derraji. “It is clear that this legislative framework has today reached a certain limit,” he wrote in a letter to the political parties.

“It’s a good idea,” said solidarity worker Sol Zanetti in an interview. It will also give us the opportunity to think about increasing the number of constituencies to 129.”

All opposition parties are also asking that immigrants who do not yet have the right to vote, but who require the services of elected officials, be taken into account in the criteria.

“Immigrants, in my county, make up more than 30% of citizen case requests. The simple criterion […] of the number of voters does not take into account all of reality,” illustrated Mr. Zanetti.

The government of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Parti Québécois (PQ) said they were ready, on Friday, to discuss the Liberal proposal.

“We are open to discussions to then evaluate the options,” said the office of the Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Jean-François Roberge.

The PLQ’s request “will be analyzed and discussed in caucus in the coming days,” declared the PQ’s press secretary, Emmanuel Renaud.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116