As a Quebec election looms, I’m torn between voting and not voting. I know it’s my civic responsibility to vote and people around the world don’t have this liberty. I know all the arguments to voting, because every election, like clockwork, I start repeating them to friends and family in hopes of breaking the apathy of people who don’t bother.

This election, however, is different. This election is not only a choosing of who is going to govern this province over the next four years, but it is a referendum on whether my rights will be ripped away from me with Bill 60’s change of the Quebec Charter of Rights and worse, it’s a referendum on whether or not I still feel safe enough to stay in Montreal.

I’m a talk show host on a Jewish radio station. I’m always a target and get my fair share of hate mail and threats. I host an English show on a mostly French station, a station that has worked extremely hard over the last six years to kiss the butts of the PQ. Heck one of our hosts even tried running for the PQ. Taking that into account, I’m sure with a Quebec majority PQ  government, pressure will be mounted towards the radio station management to manage the few English shows left.

Next, I have a problem, I have nobody to vote for. My options are choosing the best of the evil. It was the Liberals who introduced bill 22, which eventually morphed into Bill 101. It was the Liberals again who passed Bill 178 that toughened up the Quebec charter and used the notwithstanding clause in the Canadian constitution (although Quebec never signed it, I guess when the clause works for you, exploit it) to do an end run around the constitution.  But it was also the Liberals who passed Bill 86 which then allowed English signs as long as they were less prominent than the French signs…Sigh.

Enough with the history lesson, the truth is that I’m not comfortable voting Liberal nor am I going to vote PQ. I can’t vote Quebec  Solidaire and I’m definitely not going to vote Communist.  The CAQ is just the PQ lite, so, it really doesn’t leave me with very many options.

So the question is, do I vote at all? Will not voting help or hurt my cause? Can I vote with a moral conscience knowing I don’t like the party or the leader I’m voting for. Do I vote Liberal because they are the only bad alternative to a terrible situation?  All the parties have agreed that there has to be a ban of religious symbols in the public service, there’s not much in policy difference between the parties.

As we get closer to election day, I’ll make up my mind, but you can help me by discussing the issue in the comments below.

Thank you – Howie

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