Quebec Election: Minor Party Transformed Into Major Party

Ballot Access News

On March 26, Quebec Province held a provincial parliamentary election. The Democratic Action Party of Quebec (ADQ), which had held only 4 seats in the last Quebec parliament (out of 125 seats) won 41 seats, making it the 2nd strongest party in the province. The results are: Liberal Party 48 seats, ADQ 41 seats, Party Quebecois 36 seats.

Many of the ADQ candidates who were elected, had no idea they had any chance to be elected, and are inexperienced in politics.

Something similar happened in Ontario Province in the 1990’s, when the New Democratic Party won control of Ontario, again in an election at which no one had dreamed that would happen, and many of the elected members had never considered that they might actually win.

The Canadian experience shows that when ballot access laws, debate practices, and public funding, are all equal, minor parties can do well, even in a system which lacks proportional representation.

The ADQ, a right-wing political party, believes that Quebec should remain part of Canada but that all the provinces should have greater autonomy.

14 Responses to “Quebec Election: Minor Party Transformed Into Major Party”

  1. matt Says:

    That should make canadian politics interesting!

  2. matt Says:

    I wish we had a statewide party that wanted to cut the budget and reduce federal interference! Maybe the CP can do it in MT.

  3. Trent Hill Says:

    The CP wants to do it everywhere. I predict Utah, MT, and a few other states have CP-outbreaks in ‘08.

  4. Cody Quirk Says:



  5. Trent Hill Says:

    Ya,Nevada too. Although im not sure if they get a state legislator or anything.
    Im betting Utah gets one, Montana keeps one (and gets a new one), and Oregon (if they work hard) grabs a few local offices.

  6. Timothy West Says:

    canadian politics have always been interesting. but then again, I like the country so much I married one in a past life.

  7. Wes Pinchot Says:

    What is it about the Canadian election system that makes this easier than in the U.S.?

  8. globalist_elitist Says:

    I think the parlimentary approach is a big part of it.

  9. Trent Hill Says:

    True GE,

    But its also the fact that the “third” parties are not marginilized and attacked. There are EQUAL ballot access laws.

  10. globalist_elitist Says:

    I don’t know, but maybe Canada doesn’t appropriate $100 million for each of the two largest parties’ conventions and $0 for all others?

  11. Trent Hill Says:


  12. Phil Says:

    Also, Canadian elections are shorter and cheaper - this one only lasted 31 days or so. That and the equal ballot laws and the fact that Canadians are comfortable voting for a different political party than the “main” ones if it fits their beliefs best (imagine that!).

  13. globalist_elitist Says:

    But how do you make elections “shorter” or “cheaper”? I guess holding the primaries later could help make them shorter, but I doubt it. There would just be more pre-primary posturing, and in that case, the elections could end up being more expensive.

  14. Bob Richard Says:

    Here’s one more item for the list of reasons why Canada is closer to a multiparty system than the U.S (which already includes parliamentary form of government, ballot access, public funding, etc.). A number of parties in Canada are regional in scope; while they are always minor parties nationally they are often one of the two major parties in one province. Political scientist Matt Shugart argues that this is a key factor.

    As a result, the movement for PR is much, much farther along in Canada than in the U.S.

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