In Montreal’s tight rematch for mayor, personality may count for more than policy experts say – Montreal

Former Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says he doesn’t need the town’s upcoming municipal election to be a referendum on his character, however it’s not clear if Montrealers will agree.

The race to guide Canada’s second-biggest metropolis pits Coderre, a former federal Liberal cupboard minister and one-time mayor, in opposition to the girl who defeated him in 2017, incumbent Mayor Valérie Plante. And with the 2 well-known candidates working neck and neck in current polls, observers say character might matter greater than coverage.

“It’s a marketing campaign of personalities,” Danielle Pilette, a professor at Université du Québec a Montréal who research municipal governance, stated in a current interview. Whereas Montreal has a celebration system at metropolis corridor, many of the focus — for each main events — is on the mayoral candidates, she added.

Good mayors usually get two phrases, Pilette stated, and Plante and Coderre see themselves as competent mayors who deserve one other mandate.

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“Plante says, ‘I deserve a second mandate as a result of I’ve been an excellent mayor, notably in the course of the pandemic. I’ve labored very effectively with public well being; we did the whole lot we might in Montreal,”’ Pilette stated.

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She stated Coderre believes he misplaced in 2017 as a result of he ran a foul marketing campaign and had a number of missteps in workplace, together with championing an unpopular electrical automobile race referred to as Method E. Plante cancelled subsequent races within the metropolis when she took over, calling the occasion a “monetary fiasco.”

Plante stated she would slightly speak about coverage than character.

“Some folks would possibly say that the marketing campaign is a few character battle, however I refuse that,” she informed reporters on the launch of her occasion’s marketing campaign platform on Oct. 6. “Projet Montreal has at all times been about concepts. It’s in our DNA: having ambitions for the town.”

Coderre, in the meantime, has run a marketing campaign that has usually taken a destructive tone.

“Mr. Coderre is conducting one thing of a destructive marketing campaign, a marketing campaign of concern,” Pilette stated.

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Coderre has stated the town is soiled, evaluating Montreal to Beirut after the Lebanese civil battle. He has described downtown as “hell,” and he has referred to as the town unsafe. He’s additionally stated — with out presenting proof — that worldwide organizations have been considering of shifting elsewhere and the town’s credit standing was on the cusp of being downgraded.

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Pilette stated Coderre’s present marketing campaign reminds her extra of 2017, when he struggled to outline himself in opposition to Plante, versus 2013, when he grew to become mayor.

“It’s as if he thought the whole lot could be simple for him and that every one he needed to do was come again,” she stated, including that the rationale he has gone destructive is as a result of the marketing campaign has turn into harder than he anticipated.

However Coderre has stated he usually hears from individuals who say the town is dirtier than it was and who really feel unsafe.

“The time has come to say, ‘this isn’t going effectively.’ And, in the event you don’t acknowledge it, you’ll by no means be capable of change it,” he lately informed reporters. “t’s not fearmongering, it’s simply the reality.”

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Coderre has tried to painting himself because the candidate of regulation and order, however Pilette stated she’s undecided that can work. He struggles when issues aren’t going his means, she stated, including that Plante excels in a decent election race.

“I believe she actually likes adversity and she or he’s a really, very aggressive particular person,” Pilette stated. “So I believe the scenario pleases her lots.”

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Pilette, nonetheless, stated Plante’s marketing campaign has been damage by the conflicts the mayor has had over the previous 4 years with members of her personal occasion.

Villeray_Saint-Michel_Parc-Extension borough Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli was kicked out of Projet Montréal after she was accused of harassing a metropolis worker. Sue Montgomery, mayor of the town’s most populous borough, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, was booted from the occasion after she refused to fireplace her chief of workers, who was accused of harassing metropolis staff. Each Fumagalli and Montgomery are working for re-election as leaders of their very own separate events.

There have been additionally tensions between Plante and outspoken former Plateau_Mont-Royal borough mayor Luc Ferrandez, who stepped down in 2019, accusing Plante’s occasion of failing to be sufficiently environmentally acutely aware.

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Brian F. Kelcey, a public coverage guide who makes a speciality of municipal politics, stated these conflicts might have influenced some voters to see her as conceited — a top quality related to Coderre in 2017.

Coderre has tried to current a redemption story, casting himself as a brand new man, extra humble and extra prepared to alter his thoughts.

“It appears to be like like a rematch since you’ve obtained the identical two names there,” Kelcey stated in a current interview. “However there’s a giant distinction right here and that’s that they’ve switched roles.”

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Each candidates have sturdy private manufacturers and the race might in the end come right down to who will get out the vote, Kelcey stated. Plante might have a bonus as a result of her occasion has a stronger group, he added.

“As soon as it’s this tight, what it actually comes right down to is discipline group and the way motivated your voters are to indicate up,” he stated.

Montrealers head to the polls Nov. 7.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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