Residents of Quebec Vote For A Premier
Quebec voters cast their ballots today in an election that could create reverberations that will be felt on the national political stage.
For the first time in more than a decade, the pro-sovereignty Parti Quebecois has a shot at seizing power. Most recent polls have given the P-Q a slight edge over the upstart Coalition for Quebec's Future and the governing Liberals.
P-Q leader Pauline Marois doesn't have the key to the premier's office, but last week, she was already making plans to call Prime Minister Harper and demand more powers for her province. Marois says the P-Q would also toughen language laws and create a new Quebec citizenship distinct from Canada. She has said doesn't want to hold a third sovereignty referendum unless she is sure her side will win.
Quebec Premier Jean Charest is hoping he has sown enough seeds of fear amongst voters to allow him to cling to power. Charest spent the closing days of the campaign warning that economic turmoil will result if voters elect the P-Q with its sovereignty agenda or the inexperienced coalition. Charest even tried a political hipcheck over the weekend, warning Quebec City voters that their dream of N-H-L hockey returning to the capital may be shattered under a P-Q government. He warned the N-H-L is less likely to favour putting a team somewhere that faces economic instability.
(The Canadian Press)