Pontiac’s vote in the provincial election?
André Boisvert has a valid complaint as to the voting impact within the Pontiac provincial riding (letter, 17 August 2018). But my comment is prompted by his question, “Why are we thrown in with Aylmer?” I just as easily rebut, why is Aylmer thrown in with the Pontiac? Here’s what I think.
Historically, parties sitting for the Pontiac were:1867-92 Cons, 1892-1912 Lib, 1912-16 Cons, 1916-48 Lib, 1948-70 Union Nationale, 1970-present Lib. That’s 22 yrs UN, 29 yrs Cons, and 100 yrs Lib -- so the last 16 years of Aylmer voting Liberal does not seem like the Pontiac has been hi-jacked. What did happen is this. The old riding of Pontiac, without Aylmer, had a Liberal representative for 30 years prior to 2001 when Aylmer was thrown into the Pontiac as part of the amalgamation of 2002. This action ensured that historically Liberal Aylmer would be put in a historically Liberal riding so their Liberal votes would not impact the Hull/Gatineau voting block, and they would have virtually no political impact on the Ville de Gatineau that eats their tax money. This action is a result of an old, angry cabal (dare I say?) from within the Parti Québécois who longed for the day that they could crush the upstart City of Aylmer which respected two languages.
The PQ was in power when they put this whole thing in motion, and as they fade away, as do all old white men braying “entitlement”, we move forward and try to make reasoned and hopeful choices in these troubling divisive times. Focusing on our differences only leads us away from our similarities. Politicians cannot solve every issue, but we need those who will not create issues because they think they can get more votes.