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Votes vs. seats: Quebec party leaders point to 'broken,' 'distorted' electoral system


As predicted, it was a landslide victory for the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) Monday night, with 40.97 per cent of the vote going towards the party that had 90 candidates elected.

Quebec's other major parties trailed far, far behind the CAQ, each receiving between 12 and 16 per cent of the vote. In all, they received similar results between them in terms of popular support.

But the same can't be said for the number of seats they won.

The Liberal party (PLQ), for example, received fewer votes (14.37 per cent) than Québec solidaire (15.42 per cent), but nearly double the seats.

It's a reality that did not go unmentioned by QS parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

Addressing his supporters on Monday night, Nadeau-Dubois referred to what he called a "broken" electoral system in Quebec.

"Our political system is broken, our democracy is sick. The electoral map tonight does not reflect the political will of Quebecers -- it must be said," Nadeau-Dubois stated.

Quebec 2022 provincial election results. (Elections Quebec) Conservative leader Éric Duhaime expressed similar frustration.

Despite winning 12.92 per cent of the vote, no candidates will represent his party in the National Assembly.

"We are, in a way, caught in the democratic distortion of the century," he said during his post-election speech.

The PQ, meanwhile, received 14.0 per cent of the vote -- just 9,507 fewer than the Liberals -- but only won three seats.  


Nadeau-Dubois called on Quebec's re-elected premier to address the issue of vote counts and how they are (or aren't) reflected in the National Assembly.

"We need François Legault to recognize the problem, and we need him to work with us and all the other parties to solve this democratic problem in Quebec," he said.

The CAQ was among numerous parties to sign an agreement ahead of the 2018 election promising to reform the electoral system in Quebec.

Evidently, the premier has changed his tune since then.

Legault expressed opposition to reform during his campaign, stating that it's a concern for "intellectuals" rather than Quebecers in general.

"It's not a priority for Quebecers, but we'll see how they vote on Oct. 3," Legault told reporters.

Speaking to CJAD 800 radio on Tuesday morning, political analyst and former NDP leader Tom Mulcair criticized the current system used in Quebec.

"This is undemocratic," he said. "There's no other way to say it."

He acknowledged that the current system offers relative governmental stability -- opposed to Italy, for example, which adopted a proportional representation model following the Second World War.

"But you don't have to go full proportional," Mulcair said. "There's something that they call a mixed member [representation]."

Under this system, a proportion of seats -- a dozen, Mulcair offered -- would be determined by the percentage of votes a party receives.

"There are ways to avoid the distortions that we saw last night." Top Stories

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