While provincial election campaign ends plenty of politicking to come
September 5th, 2012
With the conclusion of the Quebec election campaign last night, it is time to look ahead at what fun and games we have to look forward to politically in the next few months and years ahead.
The Federal Liberal Leadership: Next April, the Federal Liberal Party will select a new leader. Bob Rae has held the job on an interim basis and done a pretty impressive job. Everyone is waiting to see whether Papineau Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau will throw his hat in the ring. Westmount Ville-Marie MP Marc Garneau is a likely candidate. Like Trudeau, the former astronaut does have star power. Former Outremont MP Martin Cauchon could enter the race as well.
Municipal Elections: Quebec municipalities will hold elections in just over a year, November 2013, so 12 months from now those campaigns will be in full swing. We should find out very soon whether Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay will seek a fourth consecutive mandate. He turns 70 on Sept. 20, so one wonders whether he would want to still be in office at the age of 75. Look for Federal Liberal MP Denis Coderre to make his run for the top job official in November. Another mayor, Laval's Gilles Vaillancourt, is 71, but sounds like he wants to stay on. In Dollard des Ormeaux, Ed Janiszewski is the island's longest serving mayor, having been in office since 1984 and some feel he may be ready to step down. He did not respond to my inquiry. There are whispers in Hampstead that two-term Councillor Bonnie Feigenbaum will challenge incumbent Mayor William Steinberg. Dollard Councillor Herbert Brownstein could become part of a father-son team. His son Ryan “Rider” Brownstein is thinking of running as well. Kirkland Mayor John Meaney told me he will seek another mandate while Pointe Claire's Bill McMurchie would only say he will make a formal announcement well before the fall of 2013.
School Board Elections: Full disclosure folks. My day job is with the English Montreal School Board. That being said, I think I can echo the sentiments of school commissioners across the province who want to know when their next elections will take place. They were scheduled for last November, but postponed by the Liberals. Plans called for the respective councils to be slimmed down in size, for the position of chairman be chosen by universal suffrage and for the actual elections to either be twinned with the municipal vote next year or held during the same time period.
Federal Elections: Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a big thing out of the fact fixed election dates would exist during his time in office. When he won a majority government on May 2, 2011, he announced that the next vote would take place on October 19, 2015. However, a local Montreal MP told that is very unlikely as a number of provinces - Saskatchewan, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories are slated to vote that fall as well. Since the Canadian Constitution says general elections are to be held at least once every five years, Harper has until May 2016 to actually call a vote. If he feels there are “winning” conditions, expect him to move the date up to spring 2015.
ELECTION CHATTER: What was my favorite aspect of the provincial election? Watching the French television coverage, particularly Radio Canada and TVA…CTV Montreal added a nice touch with stunning late night anchor Catherine Sherriffs filing an interesting election notebook weeknights…Former Suburban reporter Dan Delmar did a stellar job manning the CJAD election desk… At CBC Radio, hosts Mike Finnerty, Bernard St. Laurent and Sue Smith and their guest hosts impressed us with their debates and insight.
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Mike Cohen, The Suburban, federal Liberal leadership, Bonnie Feigenbaum