What if you call an election and the non-francophones don’t show up?

With the exception of the anglophone-rights Equality Party in 1989, Jacob Hughes has always put an X next to the Liberal candidate on provincial ballots.

Not this time.

In last week’s election, there was no X at all because he stayed home.

“The (Coalition Avenir Québec) was getting in and the Liberal was going to win here, so why should I bother?” said Hughes, 64.

He was speaking as he put groceries into his trunk in the parking lot of the Côte-St-Luc shopping centre, which straddles the D’Arcy-McGee and Notre-Dame-de-Grace ridings, two of 13 where less than half the population speaks French at home.

The Liberals turned their backs on anglophones and didn’t deserve his vote anyway, Hughes said, citing the party’s decision to “tell people they can’t say ‘Hi’ in a store.”

Hughes is one of the reasons voter turnout plummeted among non-francophones on Oct. 1.

What happened?

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