The 411 on the Québec Election and What it Means for McGill Students

The fall semester is here again, with midterms already looming in the near future and readings quickly piling up as we lay on Lower Field napping all day, pretending it’s still mid-July and not the end of September. However, the promise of an extra three-day weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday shines brightly in the future: an exciting new feature to our busy schedules this semester. 

For some, the meaning of the holiday on October 1st is lost with the syllabi they got on the first day and appears simply to be an opportunity to study for midterms or sleep all day. However, for many in Québec, it’s much bigger than that. 

We owe our day off from classes to the 42nd Québec General Election, the opportunity to vote and elect members to the National Assembly of Québec. The National Assembly is composed of 125 seats and the MNA’s, or Member’s of the National Assembly, are elected into seats every four years. Each MNA represents one electoral division (communities divided based on geography, demographics, and social standards) and they act as legislators, overseers of government action, and intermediaries between the common people and the assembly. 

In short, MNA’s are representatives of the common people in the government, which is why it’s so crucial to participate in the votes. But can all McGill students vote? Sadly, the answer to that is no. In order to be eligible to vote, you must meet a few credentials. You must be 18 at the time of the election, have Canadian citizenship, and the most controversial of all the requirements, be domiciled in Québec for six months. The debate over the concept of being domiciled comes from whether or not you have intent to stay in Québec, which you can prove with a health card, driver’s license, or income tax return. 

While many students from elsewhere in Canada may qualify based on age and citizenship, often they lose the opportunity to vote if they don’t plan on living in Québec after graduation or an extended period of time. These rules vary from province to province in Canada, so it’s important to know the differences if you’re not from Québec. 

This obviously leaves many, if not the majority, of McGill students unable to vote. So what do you do if you can’t participate in the election? As a democratic citizen, it’s important to pay attention to the candidates, debates, and election regardless of whether you can participate in the vote or not. We’re given the opportunity to be informed and as residents of the province, we should not ignore this. 

So while you enjoy your day off from class, hopefully still basking in the warm sun, take the opportunity to learn about the candidates and their platforms. We are students, after all, and it’s practically our job to seek more knowledge about the world. For more information about the election, candidates, parties, and platforms, you can use the following links for your informational aid. 

 

 

 

 

 

Information obtained from: 

https://www.electionsquebec.qc.ca/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-votes/quebec-domicile-rule-at-centre-of-voter-eligibility-confusion-1.2584392

 

Images obtained from: 

https://media1.ledevoir.com/images_galerie/nwd_648706_495716/image.jpg

https://i.cbc.ca/1.4823400.1536903565!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/d...

https://www.forgetthebox.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Quebec-Flags-897...