Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Voters In Provincial Capital March To A Different Beat

From Montreal Gazette:

L'énigme de Québec - the Quebec City enigma - is code for: Why don't people in Quebec City vote the same way Montrealers vote?

After the Tory breakthrough in the 2006 election, the Bloc Québécois did much hand-wringing over its loss of seats in a region it considered its own, and commentators were baffled that the capital appeared to be out of step with the rest of the province.

Wags claimed there was something in the capital's water. Others said the differing world view in the capital is transmitted through radio waves, pointing to a tradition of shock-jock radio hosts who deride Montreal's "branché" Plateau Mont Royal as the incarnation of all that is wrong with the province.

They attribute the anomaly in voter behaviour to the diverse Montreal neighbourhood's domination of Quebec's media and control over the social and cultural agenda.

As well, analysts point to a centuries-old cleavage between Quebec City's Upper Town and Lower Town and between town and country.

And there is a deep-blue nationalist strain in Quebec City that has helped the Parti Québécois, the Bloc Québécois, and elected Union Nationale, Créditiste, Action démocratique du Québec and Conservative members federally and provincially.

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