The Myth of the Ballot Box Question

The Myth of the Ballot Box Question


Ah… The famous “ballot box question”. At each election, each party leader tries to impose “his” theme. Preferably the one who, in his own internal polls, attracts the most voters.

With inflation taking its toll, from day 1 of the campaign, François Legault was saving its dominant theme. Ditto for Liberal leader Dominique Anglade.

Eyes riveted on tonight's leaders' debate, Mr. Legault, criticized for his disappointing campaign, therefore felt the need to remind him. And this, even if the victory of the CAQ is still as predictable.

However, most of the time, this famous question of the ballot box is only a myth. A kind of rattle brandished by the leaders in order to make people forget “files” that they have perhaps been less successful in managing.

The reality is that each voter makes his or her choice for a whole host of varied reasons and interests which are personal to him. 

There even exists – the pollsters know it – a non-negligible proportion of voters whose choice stops only once in the voting booth.

Rare moments

The only times when a real question of the ballot box arises is when a party leader puts into play a project of such importance that to ensure its democratic legitimacy, he necessarily commands a majority mandate to carry it out.&nbsp ;

Among these rare moments, think of the 1962 elections. Liberal Prime Minister Jean Lesage, wishing to nationalize all the private electricity companies, called early elections. He is asking Quebecers for the mandate to do so. On November 14, he obtained it. 

In 1994, the question of the ballot box was also very clear. Jacques Parizeau, leader of the Parti Québécois, asks for the mandate to hold a referendum on sovereignty. Mandate he obtained on September 26.

However, in the current campaign, there is no project of such magnitude that it would cause the emergence of a real question of the ballot box. ..

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