It’s hard to predict who will win the heated battle between CAQ and QS at Sherbrooke. A tour of voters in the city confirms the showdown and a certain generational divide.
“Caroline Saint-Hilaire will win hands,” says 55-year-old sales manager Alain, who finds the former LCN Joster “excellent”, and admires the positivity displayed by François Legault.
The citizens met on Saturday, near the Carrefour de l’Estrie, to immediately contact the management of the pandemic, as if the election were a referendum.
A father in his forties from Belgium told that his family would support CAQ.
“When I compare France and Belgium, I am generally satisfied with the management. Did they honor all their commitments? No, especially for family doctors, but in context, it was difficult.
The two sisters in their fifties engage in a vibrant pale blue argument as soon as I meet them.
“It was flat to be confined, but Legault was there to protect us every day. Nobody would have done better. When I listen to Eric Duhaime, I want to give him a “scream,” said one of them, swelling , putting his hand on his neck.
After hearing everything, a 32-year-old soldier comes up to me and tells me that he thinks the exact opposite.
“What is this argument? We cannot conclude that no one could have managed better, they had not had the opportunity to do so”, begins Vincent, unsteady, whom the Prime Minister’s “it is me who decides”. Didn’t like the attitude.
He appreciates Eric Duhaime’s speech on independence, but wants to see the rest of his thoughts before making his choice for 3 October, as “the health crisis is over”.
A confident federalist who doesn’t seem to be behind the CAQ at all, also argues with me on the management of the pandemic.
“Excellent vaccination campaign, best health minister, Christian Dubey, after all the man of the numbers,” he said, placing the current Solidarity MP within the ambit of “opportunists”.
When I stroll the streets of King and Wellington with people enjoying the sun in the morning, the strong cacquist tendency seen in the morning malls has almost completely disappeared.
“It will be QS once again, says a 32-year-old young man with a smile, because CAQ is making poor choices in environment and education.”
A young couple in their 20s and 21s also gravitate towards orange.
“QS is a little too left-wing, but I think they have the best environmental policy,” Guy tells WebMD.
The COVID-19 crisis would have “zero impact, it’s behind us” for him.
Another student recently settled in Sherbrooke is hesitating between QS and… CAQ.
“I know it sounds paradoxical. I’m all for the environment, but Legault can lead us financially and he has managed the pandemic well. What if he were? He said, of the Massé/GND tandem pointing to the sign.
A 45-year-old archer on a break from riding a bike with his kids will vote for QS MP again.
“It is irreversible for me and in my circle of friends”, he admits, adding that the fight with the CAQ could be tough.
“Am I afraid of the result, not too much… but it will be boring. I QS it becomes ingrained in my values to change things.
Downtown, older people found on the banks of the Saint-François River have not been kind to François Legault.
A 72-year-old man, whose book I am disrupting, voted for CAQ in 2018. He has now transformed into Christine Labrie.
“I’m not a member of QS and I don’t share all of his views, but it’s true that Legault has a Duplessis side, I was disappointed.”
One Women’s Health Network doesn’t mince words to describe the state of plight and says “Legault is the worst […] Quebec is on life support.”
Ultimately, the proportion of comments gathered in favor of QS in the second half of the day is reminiscent of the Patriots’ return against the Falcons in the 2017 Super Bowl!
No doubt it will be tough.
Furthermore, with only one exception, no one spoke to me about the Liberal Party of Quebec or the Parti Québécois, except to explain their allegiance in the past.
Sherbrooke in a nutshell
Photo by Remi Nadeau
Stroll along the Saint-François River
Number of Voters: 52 633
Result in 2018:
- Question: 34,3%
- QLP: 24,7%
- Caq: 23,3%
- P Q: 14,6%
* Since 1970, the constituency has changed color eight times
A severely handicapped man on a scooter struggles to say something to me as I alternate between writing notes and chatting with passersby.
“Help”, which I finally understand, after repeating it three times. I finally realized it was going to be hard for her to stick her arms out of the sleeves of an inappropriate hoodie on this hot, sunny Saturday.
“Sorry, it took me so long, mate,” I said shyly, removing her suddenly curiously.
After a smile of thanks I go back to my notes, but see that he is trying to clarify something more. I leaned towards him again, not sure what I was hearing.
“Are you telling me Legault?” The man then wears a broad smile.
“So you’re in for Legault?” I give a thumbs up to be sure that’s what I need to understand. And he smiles deliberately again.
Here’s one who’s heard himself.
A forty-year-old man, as I approach his vehicle, tells me that he will “feel bad” if he answers me about his perception of politics.
“There’s no right or wrong answer, this isn’t a quiz, I want to know what you think and why,” I ask her to reassure.
“I will not go to vote and I am not going there for 25 years. Management of the pandemic was on the agenda of the political elite to take away our rights,” explains the friendly-looking man calmly. “I know the virus is out there, but there was a desire to take advantage of it,” he continues.
When I ask him if he’s heard Eric Duhame’s speeches, it seems he’s heard the name for the first time.
He remembers having already read about Pierre Poiliver, but does not follow the policy.
“It’s no offense to you, huh,” he tells me, as though I’d be annoyed by his lack of interest.
In all my meetings, a 39-year-old construction worker is the only person who intends to vote for the party Québécois, this time again.
The father of the family has not digested some aspects of managing the pandemic.
“In my heart, as an activist, 8 pm curfew and if you don’t respect it, you are a criminal, I will never vote in CAQ.”
In his favour, his wife, who has always voted for PQ and BLOCK, is more hesitant.
“Legault did well, but did not give everything, especially in childhood … I will see … maybe QS.”