Smaller parties vie for votes in Quebec election
Published Sunday, April 6, 2014 7:14PM EDT
You could be forgiven for not knowing there are 19 political parties vying for your vote in this election, if your knowledge of the parties was based on which ones have the most signs plastered on street lights and telephone poles.
Most of the smaller parties don't have the budget for signs and advertisements, and that some say is what keeps them on the fringe.
You won't find any media buses following Adrien Pouliot's campaign. Getting known is half the battle for the leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec.
The other half? Convincing Quebecers to vote conservative.
“Most people say ‘There's a conservative party in Quebec?’ And I say yes, and it has nothing to do with the federal party, he said
“But once you get through that hurdle and you start talking about smaller government and less taxes, bureaucracy and programs, people are interested.”
Pouliot and his candidates have a lot of competition for that one vote - and no government funding to get it.
“The way financing works (is) the bigger parties have made it difficult for the smaller parties to get in the race. People can give only $100, so it makes it difficult. It forces us to be creative,” he said.
In their case, that means round signs that are meant to stand out.
In Hochelaga Maisonneuve, Justin Canning hasn't put up any signs. As the Partie Nul candidate in the area, there's no point.
“It's a party whose only goal is to give people the legal opportunity to annul their vote during the elections,” Canning explained.
It's a growing party too - from 10 candidates in the last election, they have 24 this time round.
Becoming a candidate was the only canvassing Canning had to do.
“The only thing I had to do was get a 100 signatures, and it was really interesting to talk to people. They were all for having more choice to say that you're not satisfied,” he said.
Pierre Chenier is the leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec. He says the dominant political parties control the conversation - leaving regular people out.
And that’s a fact that all these small parties want to change.
“An election is a moment where people are supposed to speak about what they want and that is eliminated from the whole process, Chenier said.
“It's just not (the parties that) are marginalized. It's the issues that the people face every day that are nowhere in this campaign.”