Legault lost the campaign

Legault lost the campaign

MISE À DAY

François Legault will most likely win Monday's election, but he lost the campaign. From the start, he seemed nervous, uninspired. Yet rarely has a leader started a campaign in such good shape. 

François Legault has been extremely clumsy on the issue of immigration, crucial for the Quebec nation. Question which seems to obsess him, but which, paradoxically, he does not control. Whether by strategy or ignorance, he risks having tainted the nationalism of which he nevertheless claims to be a proud bearer. It was no match for that of Camille Laurin, Gérald Godin and René Lévesque, among others, for whom nationalism implied the creation of a welcoming Quebec melting pot, in French.

Bad campaign

We hear these days that, despite everything, Dominique Anglade managed to make a “good campaign”. Let's admit that, despite the daily tiles, the liberal leader remained imperturbably smiling and energetic. Quite normal state of denial for a political leader. Did she have other choices, if she wanted to save the furniture and prevent her team from becoming demoralized?

Still, smiles, TikTok moments are cosmetic. To qualify as “good,” a campaign cannot have a $16 billion error in a financial framework; a totally erroneous assessment of the electricity needed for a flagship ecological project; an almost total about-face on a subject as vital as the French language. The PLQ is looking for itself. Only a real passage to purgatory would allow him to find himself.

Orange climax?

The 2018 campaign took place at the level of the daisies. The PLQ's only social project, for example, was to “make life easier for Quebecers”. In 2022, QS and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois dared to make bold proposals which (whether we agreed or not) raised the debate: taxation of the wealthiest, purchase of houses by the State; climate plan. Even if the orange party has become more professional, threads hang from some of its proposals. For this reason, the phrase “orange tax” has stuck. To experience the “orange climax” that its accession to official opposition status would represent, it would probably have had to refocus even more.

Cinderella in slow motion

< p>The PQ and Paul St-Pierre Plamondon had self-proclaimed “Team Cinderella”. We will say that they could only go up. But PSPP pleasantly surprised, especially in the two debates. It was the best way for him to make himself known. His program also surprised, especially in the environment. A helping hand from fate, the withdrawal of the qsist Rancourt may allow the chief to be elected, which seemed totally impossible a week ago. At the end of the campaign, however, the PQ is a bit of a sprinkler, with its leaflet thief in Masson and its borderline candidates. This may weigh down his final sprint.

Started from nothing

Éric Duhaime has already won a lot: he has managed to be integrated into the party system of Quebec. In this, he owes a lot – if not everything – to Claire Samson. In addition, he led an amazing campaign for a party that started from scratch. Ubiquitous display; multiple proposals that allowed the formation to radically distinguish itself from the others. Admittedly, they are often caricatural, like those on the speed of mountain bikes. And like some positions of some of his candidates.

Legault lost the campaign