Lagging behind in voting intentions, Montreal mayoral candidates Marc-Antoine Desjardins and Balarama Holness decided to join forces to materialize the Third Way together with the goal of holding the November 7 municipal elections.
“We were in a situation where, everyone on our side, we would split the vote and give our main opponents a chance. There, a third way is being created, which unites the isolation,” Mr. Desjardins explained on Thursday.
Mr. Holness is the candidate for mayor of Montreal. Mr. Desjardins will present his candidacy for mayor of an as-yet-to-be-determined area. The two appeared together in front of City Hall on Thursday to announce their union.
However, despite this alliance, the two parties will continue to exist separately. However, they will reorganize their members’ nominations in order to avoid competition in certain neighborhoods.
Mario Beauregard / QMI
The Montreal Movement registered 43 candidates with the Montreal elections on Thursday. The Rally for Montreal took 17 seats. There will be 103 seats available in the upcoming elections.
The two leaders also had divergent positions on certain topics, particularly in terms of language. Mr. Holness had promised over the summer to make Montreal a bilingual city.
“Nothing in terms of promoting the French language, point 1 of my programme, will not change. Mr. Desjardins assured that my program will continue our vision of the city,” which he explained was a prerequisite for this alliance.
The contradiction between the two leaders in matters of public security before this alliance was also noted. In terms of the police, we’re not going to that area. We are to promote [Service de police de la Ville de Montréal], which is also true at the level of society,” qualified Mr. Desjardins.
In a recent poll conducted by Léger on behalf of the daily newspaper “Le Devoir”, Denis Coderre’s party, Ensemble Montréal, collected 37% of voting intentions, ahead of Projet Montréal (36%), forming the outgoing mayor, Valerie Plante. The Montreal Movement and the Rally for Montreal got 8% and 5% support, respectively.
In the press, mayor candidate Dennis Cowdery also responded to this announcement.
“Maybe they should talk to each other more, because they said one thing and the opposite. They have very different attitudes, and we’re going to let them work on that. I’m not running against others, I’m running for Montreal.”
For Danielle Bildt, a professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) who specializes in municipal politics, the bipartisan alliance is “not surprising.”
“It shows that political programs are less prevalent than personalities. On Thursday, she explained that training depends primarily on personalities.
She adds that the different political formations in the town hall do not differ, in her opinion, from each other, and that above all approaches and methods differ.
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