02 November 2009

At Least It Was a Moral…Defeat

Lovely aftermath of our municipal elections, which took place yesterday.

The mayor, whose administration was mired in a few ethical scandals, was returned to power, and with a majority of seats on the city council. At least a few of the big names in his party, including his brother (there's that high school look again — mayor's brother occupies important post in the city) lost their seats.

The progressive provincial politician who unfortunately chose to take a run at municipal politics with the most right wing of the municipal parties came second.

The leader of the new progressive party (the only one that ran mainly on the party's ideas and not on the personality of its leader) came third, but almost tripled his showing from four years ago. In fact, the party — Projet Montréal — has complete control of the Plateau neighbourhood and made some gains in other parts of the city, too, ending with 10 city councillors this time in comparison to the lone one last time out.

Ah, but the real moral defeat was suffered by our democracy. Overall voter turnout was extremely low by Canadian standards — between 30% and 40% — even after all the hot ticket issues that came out during the campaign. The mayor got a whopping 14.2% of voters to turn out and support him. The others did even worse. There were no more than a handful of areas in the city where more than half of the electors turned out to vote, and those were squeakers with just over 50%.

We'll see if there is any impact on the things that really need to be changed.

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