Pauline Marois and the Cap-Rouge Charm Offensive

Pauline Marois and the Cap-Rouge Charm Offensive

Article and photos by Andrew Greenfield

PartiQuebecois_Bus_Sept2012I’ve been a resident of Quebec City, Quebec, CANADA, for nearly four years now, and it is only really since last year’s federal election, that I have begun to take an interest in both the national and provincial political landscapes.

As far as Canada goes, up until then I’d considered myself very much a fully paid up member of the apolitical persuasion.

And then I saw Pauline Marois on TV.

I’m still not a fan of any political party in particular (be it federal or provincial), and this article is most definitely not a party political broadcast for the PQ, however, she is the first Canadian politician I have met in person.

A few months ago, I was aimlessly flicking through the myriad North American TV channels one afternoon and happened upon the Quebec parliament channel.

I’m a bit of a people watcher. Always have been. I find the human race fascinating.

So there I was, sat on my sofa, now engulfed in a debate about God-knows-what, between Liberal leader Jean Charest, current incumbent of the Quebec Premier’s chair (but for how much longer?) and Parti Québécois leader, Pauline Marois.

It was going on for ages, so I decided to turn the sound off and just watch.

I witnessed a middle-aged man get redder and redder in the face while waving his arms about, bat barbs back and forth with a foot-stomping screamy-shouty woman, whose hair didn’t seem to move. At all.

Trying to lip read the French while viewing this was hilarious. Pure theatre. I wholeheartedly recommend it if you have nothing better to do one afternoon in the near future.

So, when I read the PQ press release saying that Mme. Marois would be in Cap-Rouge, Quebec, for a ‘baignade de foule’ and a ‘pointe de presse’, the opportunity to meet potentially, the next Quebec premier, was too good to pass up.

What would she be like in person? Well, she was just like this:

Billed as a 9am – 10am meet and greet with locals, followed by a press conference, the lady herself arrived, with much fanfare, and on a liveried-up campaign bus, just before 10am.

PaulineMarois_Cap_Rouge_3Sept2012By this time, the regulation bus-load of PQ supporters (very enthusiastic clappers) had turned up and had strategically placed themselves throughout the crowd.

Assorted media representatives from the TV, radio, and print sectors, were also in attendance to capture the mood.

Much to the delight of the crowd, Pauline Marois’ mum greeted her off the bus.

Then came Léo Bureau-Blouin, the 20-year old candidate in the riding of Laval-des-Rapides, and former president of the Quebec College Student Federation (FECQ).

After seeing Mme. Marois mingling with the crowd and taking part in many a photo-op, we were all herded down to the marina for the press conference.

Mme. Marois was asked questions by media representatives from CTV, Radio-Canada, Global TV, The Globe and Mail, Journal de Québec, La Presse, Le Devoir, and little old us.

Unlike the TV appearance I’d witnessed, she was quite the opposite, displaying an air of calm authority while effortlessly answering the various questions put to her.

When asked why Bureau-Blouin was there, she was quick to say that young people are the future of Quebec and should have a say in how things are run. This means encouraging them to go out and vote. Having him there, in her opinion, demonstrates this.

She further stated that, on September 4th, she wished that all eligible younger voters would go out and do just that, be it for the PQ or not.

She also said that ‘if you don’t vote, you haven’t got the right to have a whine about anything that affects your daily life’.

I’ll echo that. I’m a firm believer that voting is your chance to air your opinion.

When it was my turn, I asked why Anglophones should vote for her?

This is what she said:

So there you have it. A brief meeting with Mme. Marois.

Still not sure which way I’m going. Are you?

September 4th. Go and vote. You know it makes sense.
Andrew Greenfield

Categories: News, Opinion, Politics

About Author

Andrew Greenfield

Andrew Greenfield moved to Quebec in 2009. He is part of the team responsible for the publishing company behind and Life in Québec Magazine. He has been involved with online and print media since 2001. He is passionate about cricket, is a qualified coach, and his real ambition is to start a cricket team in Quebec City – something he freely admits is probably beyond him. Follow him on Twitter @GreenfieldAndy

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