Indecision Québec 2014

PLQ Corrumpu

Anti PLQ election graffiti in MontréalParti BourguoisAnti PQ election graffiti in Montréal.

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks (or under a thesis), you should know that today, Monday April 7, 2014 is election day in Québec. Across the province, people are making their voices heard in what has been an interesting (to say the least) election campaign.

This year, it was easier than ever for students to vote, as we could vote on campus over a period of four days. As a resident of a riding outside of Montreal, this made life easier for me, as I’m sure it did for many other students. I actually cast my ballot last week, without trouble. Then again, I have been resident here for more nearly 7 years; I pay taxes here, I have a Québec driver’s licence, a RAMQ card, and I own a house in Trois-Rivières. I’m already on the list of registered voters. I walked up to the polling station, presented my identification, and was handed a list of candidates for my riding, marked my ballot, placed it in a sealed envelope and went on my merry way.

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The biggest small election

(As some of you may know, I have been involved in past and ongoing work in West Africa. I have been paying devout attention to the current Senegalese elections and finally decided to coalesce my thoughts into an article, which follows.)

 

A young man sends text messages from a Dakar streetcorner. Photo credit: Erik Delaquis

On February 26th millions of Senegalese headed to the polls for the first time since 2007. The results of their first-round voting are forcing a heated runoff election between the incumbent, Abdoulaye Wade, and opposition leader Macky Sall later this March. A bastion of democracy with its parliamentary system and fixed term lengths, the former French colony is an EU darling. At least, for the moment. As riots erupt and the two-horse electoral runoff reaches fever pitch, the future of one of West Africa’s success stories faces a major fork in the road. (more…)

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