Independents find strength in numbers

By Geneviève April

Be it to garner more media coverage or to get better deals on publicity, several of Laval’s independent candidates have joined forces in the current municipal electoral campaign, hoping that it will increase their prospect of being elected, Nov. 3.

For example, as reported in The Suburban last week, four independent candidates in western Laval convened a joint news conference, Oct. 17.

“It’s quite a loose alliance,” explained François-Hughes Liberge (Laval les Îles). “To the extent that our outlook on certain issues is aligned, we decided to hold a joint news conference to gain greater media exposure.” 

Each of the four candidates is continuing to pursue solo campaigns with their own distinctive election platform and images.

In contrast, most of the candidates who defected from the Nouveau parti des lavallois decided to close ranks with one another. Though they’re campaigning as independents, they’re sharing common a slogan and imagery.

“The goal of getting together is to save on the cost of web development and printing,” explained Jacinthe Gagnon (Renaud). “If you look at the posters, they’re all pretty similar. By working together, we’ve saved time and money.”

Gagnon told The Suburban that she didn’t think the uniform look of the independents’ campaign imagery would confuse voters.

“I don’t believe it will,” she said. “It’s more of an irritant for our opponents, rather than for voters, who have reacted quite positively.”

Elections Quebec confirmed that there are no rules preventing a group of independent candidates from sharing imagery or the cost of publicity.

“There’s nothing in the law to stop independents from getting together informally,” an Elections Quebec spokesman told The Suburban, adding that they will still be identified as independent candidates on the ballot paper.

Of the record 147 candidates vying for a place at city hall in this year’s municipal election, 41 are independents. None of the independents running for councillor or mayor has thus far announced any formal alliance.

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