Charest leaves, Goguen asks for recount in Saint-françois
It was one of the tightest elections ever run in Quebec, the Parti Québécois got elected by some of the tiniest majorities, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that, with a little more than a one hundred vote difference for the Liberal candidate, Nathalie Goguen, who was defeated by the PQ’s Dr. Réjean Hébert, believes that spending $5,000 to get to the bottom of things is worth the money. This is the cost of asking for a recount of an election.
“As it seems that a mistake was made during the initial count, that the results are very close and taking into account the high number (575) of rejected ballots, it is in the interest of democracy and of the citizens of Saint-François that the final result reflect as accurately as possible the wishes of the citizens
who voted on September 4th,” said Mrs. Goguen in a press release published on the Liberal Party website on Monday.
Yesterday afternoon, Judge Claude Chicoine granted her wish and accepted the motion presented by her lawyer on Monday. In his decision, made on the Bench, the judge said that this was the best way to insure that the democratic wish of the people be truly respected. The PQ objected that there were few cases in Quebec when a judicial recount had changed the result of an election. It was a first for the riding, the most recounts having been held in Shefford. In one of them, in Saint-Jean, the result was a draw and a new election was held. The recount is set to begin on Thursday and the judge said that it could well continue until Saturday.
While the motion regarded only one contentious ballot box, number 168, where a discrepancy of exactly 50 votes was found, all boxes and all ballots will now be counted in front of Judge Chicoine.
Premier Charest did not have the luxury of asking for a recount and he took the high road, resigning, even if the defeat of the Liberals is in fact a victory; the party, according to most, being destined to a footnote of history. As William Hogg, the perennially defeated federal candidate told the Stanstead Journal: “The English voted this time.”
Mr. Charest is destined to join one of the lawyers firms, in Montreal, who are already salivating at the prospect of having him in their office. It is rumored that he would be guaranteed almost two million dollars a year. His international expertise is well known and he would fit well in a couple of firms, some where senior partners are long-time friends like Marc-André Blanchard, of McCarthy Tétrault. The former president of the Liberal Party is a personal friend of the former premier.
Former Premier Jean Charest is leaving politics while other Liberals, such as Nathalie Goguen, seen here, are still fighting for a seat.