Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Marois tries to change the channel from alleged student vote fraud
After a weekend spent spreading the spectre of widespread voter fraud by out-of province students that was debunked by Quebec’s chief electoral officer, Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois tried to change the theme to integrity Monday, suggesting the Liberals are lacking in that category.
But the false voter allegation issue refused to die at PQ news conferences, while in Sherbrooke Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard suggested it was a sign Marois’s campaign was in panic mode.
After a brief presentation by Marois in Drummondville explaining why the PQ was the party of integrity as compared to the Liberals, the first question put to her was whether she still had faith in Quebec’s chief electoral officer.
On Sunday, PQ Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud said the Quebec election could be “stolen by people from Ontario and the rest of Canada,” accusations Marois said Sunday made her “sick to her stomach.” The PQ demanded daily reports of new voter registrations.
Marois, accompanied by St-Arnaud, backtracked Monday, but denied suggestions the allegations were exaggerated for electoral gain.
“We do not put in question the integrity of the chief electoral officer,” Marois said. The requests for an investigation were justified, she said, because an Elections Quebec employee reported unusual numbers of non-francophone voters, especially university students, trying to register to vote in the downtown Montreal PQ stronghold riding of Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques. Four other ridings were said to have similar issues, she said, confirmed by a spokesperson for Elections Quebec and reported by Le Devoir. Several media outlets later reported the issue as well, she said. (Source: Montreal Gazette)