“A vote against Montreal”
With polls showing that the outcome of next week’s provincial election is too close to call, an interesting trend has emerged. According to today’s Montreal Gazette, the campaign has divided voters along regional lines, pitting the disgruntled inhabitants of rural Quebec against the urban elites of Montreal. According to political scientist and ADQ supporter Guy Laforest:
Mr. Charest is seen as being part of the Westmount/Outremont/Sherbrooke politico-business elite. Mr. Boisclair is more connected to the media/cultural elite of the Plateau Mont-Royal. Mr. Dumont appears more like a champion of the regions.
What I find worrisome is that the split is based less on linguistic concerns than on broadly cultural ones–immigration and ethnicity, for instance, which both Tornwordo and Laiya have written about here, as well as Mr. Boisclair’s sexual orientation, which certain commentators have endeavoured to make an election issue.
If the pundits are right, the Quebec split mirrors the ideological boundary between America’s “red” and “blue” states, across which the so-called culture wars are endlessly fought. In both cases, cities are viewed as a source of undesirable ideas and values that are imposed upon non-urbanites against their will, often at the expense of issues that are important to them.
I’m curious to know what Metroblogging Montreal readers think about this. Is there a fault line between the city and the regions? If so, can it be bridged, and how?