Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said Wednesday Quebec needs to have a discussion about electoral reform, but she doesn’t have a solution in mind.
Recent polls have shown Anglade’s party in a virtual four-way tie for second place in Quebec’s upcoming election and they suggest that the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec is likely to win a stronger majority with less than 40 per cent of the popular vote.
Anglade said she wants to have a discussion about reforming the voting system, but it should take place after the province’s Oct. 3 election.
“I think this conversation needs to happen, there are things in our system, indeed, there are distortions that have to be looked at, but this conversation, we have to have it together,” she told reporters in St-Lambert, south of Montreal. “My commitment is to have that conversation. Obviously with my political party, but also with Quebeckers.”
In a letter last week to a Quebec organization that advocates for electoral reform, obtained by Radio-Canada, the Liberal party said it is not proposing electoral reform. The party also said that it is officially opposed to an electoral reform proposal that would include proportional representation.
But Anglade said Wednesday the role of the leader is to identify issues and bring them to her party.
“I would like to fix the distortions in one way or another, but I have no concrete answer to give you today,” she said.
The Liberal leader said she knows Quebeckers are skeptical of politicians promising electoral reform, noting that both Quebec’s incumbent Premier Francois Legault and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised reform only to walk away from the issue once in office.
The split vote – and concentrations of support in specific regions – could see some parties get fewer seats than the popular vote would suggest.
Daily polls by Mainstreet Research have shown support for the Conservative Party of Quebec at almost 20 per cent, but modelling by the polling firm suggests that the party will get zero seats.
“You can see a scenario where Québec solidaire, or the Conservatives, Eric Duhaime, is in second in terms of popular vote, but the official Opposition is the Liberals or another party,” said David Heurtel, a political analyst and former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister.
“That’s the problem with our parliamentary system when you have such a fractioned electorate and so many parties,” he said in an interview Wednesday.
Anglade was the only major party leader scheduled to speak with reporters Wednesday, as the other leaders spent the day preparing for the second – and final – televised debate of the campaign.