The provincial election: holding the winner accountable

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Added: Wed, 09/12/2018 - 9:53pm
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Carl Hager
Éditorialiste Invité
Guest Editorialist

The provincial election will be a win for Québec residents if the winning candidate is held accountable. The election promises are a flood of good ideas, but elector
vigilance is essential; Québecers know Christmas doesn't occur in October. However, many are nonchalant about election results, as if the results don't impact their lives, or they carelessly vote in old, tired patterns.
The CAQ is promising to build a new hospital in the Gatineau area and new, modern and air-conditioned seniors’ residences. The Liberals are pledging free dental care for teenagers, increased payments to help families raise their children, and one hour per day of physical education for elementary students. There are a number of parties edging up on the scene, including the new NDPQ. They promise to improve public transportation by creating light rail service from the Pontiac through to Gatineau and quicker access to doctors.
There are still weeks to go before the vote and intentions are still fluid; a misstep or great new promise could easily sway voters. What are the timelines on their promises? There is still time to flesh out platform ideas, ask candidates pointed questions and involve potential voters. Otherwise, a very select minority will determine the winner. In Québec, the winner takes all and calls all the shots.
Given the enthusiastic flood of promises, it's time to put a call for mixed-member proportional representation on the Québec political agenda. It's a good way to ensure more accountability, substantive representation in the National Assembly and ensure promises are kept. In other words, voters still elect their MNA, but a “bank” of seats are distributed to parties who didn’t necessarily win seats, but still got an important share of the vote. This means – potentially – that all votes count which is great for accountability!
The Pontiac is economically deprived and recent news that the provincial government deliberately underfunded medical services in West Québec means we have a lot of catching up to do. Our towns and villages are losing youth and are “aging”. A government that knows this and wants to improve the prospects of Pontiacers must come up with solutions to add to their long list of promises. But to achieve the best election result, we must be involved. Make the candidates know your concerns, and ask questions. Vote for the best solution, not necessarily for the habitual candidate. Seek accountability!