Liberal voters listening to CAQ
Published Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:10PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 28, 2012 6:34PM EDT
MONTREAL - Few Liberal seats have been as safe as West Island Nelligan, where incumbent Yolande James won by a massive landslide of over 14,000 votes in the 2008 election.
However, Nelligan voters have also been known to wield a rebellious streak when presented with a federalist option, as they once elected an upstart Equality Party MNA as a protest vote against Liberal language legislation in 1989.
The question is now whether such hardcore Liberal ridings are thinking of jumping ship again as a new poll has the PQ in first place with 33 percent, the CAQ in second place with 28 percent support, compared to 26 for the Liberals.
Not surprisingly, MNA Yolande James has raised doubts about the sincerity of the CAQ leader’s federalist credentials.
“When asked in French if he's a federalist, he said no,” said James. “That means if we were in a battle to keep Canada together, Francois Legault would not be fighting to keep Canada together. I don’t think that's what West Islanders want to vote for.”
But in spite of his longstanding reputation as a hardcore separatist, Legault would now oppose any attempt to break up Canada, according to his Nelligan CAQ candidate.
“Mr. Legault is not a separatist anymore. He’s a federalist and a nationalist,” said CAQ candidate Philippe Boileau.
A random sampling of passersby conducted by CTV Montreal reporter Rob Lurie indicated that some Nelligan voters might be tempted to vote CAQ but many others also mentioned that their desire to keep the Parti Quebecois from power would keep them voting Liberal.
Legault spent Tuesday campaigning on the South Shore and talking tough about his conditions for participating in any possible minority government, noting that if his five main policies were not supported, he would vote to topple any government.
The five policies he cited were, the fight against corruption, a family doctor-per-family within one year, a clean-up of the bureaucracy including cuts to Hydro Quebec, a revision of the Northern Plan and a massive investment into education.