Blogging this municipal election is so much more intense than 2005: I’ve just reread my entries from that autumn to recall the mood. It’s hard to even remember that Mayor Tremblay was running then against Pierre Bourque, who was trying to get his old job back. But a few of the stories hint at troubles to come.
Early August 2005: Tremblay advisor Richard Théorêt bailed on the mayor’s party (then commonly known as UCIM) and went to work for Pierre Bourque, citing poor ethics and a lack of transparency. We were worried about where Karla Homolka was living, and MSO musicians were on strike. August 29, Tremblay launched his campaign with a few barbs at Bourque.
I posted on September 1, 2005:
This fall, the city’s going to try out a system of electronic voting as we vote for reps in the newly slimmed down post-merger city. It’s supposed to take a minute and a half to vote this way. Call me a pessimist, but I’m writing that down now, and we’ll see what actually happens on November 6.
This year, ballots will be counted by hand, by human beings.
Mid-September, Tremblay unveiled the Montreal 2025 plan, with a website which is still being updated, and went on to promise bread-and-butter items like a cleaner city and better roads. Bourque promised improvements and flowers and no new taxes. On September 22 I noted a La Presse piece about the city selling subsidized housing to a promoter, but the story link is dead. Late September, Tremblay’s election placards were investigated by the OLF for containing the word “Go”.
September 23: the official campaign opened. September 30, I made my first note of the existence of Projet Montréal.
October 2005 opened with a story about businessmen who made contributions to Tremblay’s party being rewarded with contracts. Bourque responded with a promise to form an ethics committee. A week later, though, water fluoridation briefly became the big issue. Meantime, the plan to bring the Casino to the Peel Basin was still alive, and people living nearby were protesting hard against the project.
Mid-October, the Gazette was grumbling that the campaign lacked drama. Urban crud and potholes were the topics du jour. Clearly nobody was going to say “I like potholes and trash, let’s have more of them!” Tremblay promised more trees and cleaner water.
October 28, Tremblay got pied, apparently by blue-collar workers.
The first part of the Gomery Report on federal corruption was tabled November 1, which might partly account for the lack of public interest in the municipal elections held November 6. The Mirror noted that the campaign was a snoozer compared to the big messy merged-city vote of 2001.
November 6, Gérald Tremblay was re-elected as mayor with only 35% of the electorate casting votes. Tremblay received 53% of the votes to Bourque’s 36%. Pierre Bourque called for recounts, based on multiple failures by the electronic voting machines, but the vote was not close enough for the idea to have any traction.
This blog was originally begun not long after the 2001 election, so I can’t chase its history down in the same way. I had a bad disk crash in March 2006, so none of the entries from before then are accessible to readers.