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Québec’s 20 most trusted individuals: 1st to 3rd positions [post 2 of 11] (#257)

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This is a continuation in the series of who Québécois say they trust the most (based on a recent poll of Québécois).

This post will cover positions # 1 to # 3.

Despite my surprise at the position of a number of names (not to mention my surprise that certain individuals even made it on the list), I will try to give an explanation of reasons why these individuals may have found their way on to this list.

#1 – Pierre Bruneau

Pierre Bruneau is ranked the most trusted name in Québec. I also wrote a post about him quite a long time ago.

I can understand that he made his way onto the list, but I was initially quite surprised that he took the #1 spot.  But after a little bit of thought, I can understand why so many people chose him as the person they trust the most in Québec.

Bruneau is the head news anchor of the TVA television network (owned by Québecor).  Personally, I’m not a big fan of TVA news because I find it has too much of a tabloid / sensational aspect to it, and focuses too much on news (ie: a burst fire hydrant in Montréal could be its top news story of the evening as the rest of the world burns beyond Québec’s borders, in Canada or elsewhere).

But TVA does have a great deal of appeal for huge swaths of the population, and TVA (and Bruneau) does a very good job of reporting local news in Québec.  In fact, the TVA network and its evening news program have the highest ratings of all television networks in Québec.   I suppose it reflects the fact that people relate most to local aspects in their lives, and take the greatest interest in what they can physically see happening around them.  It is human nature I guess.  And Québécois have thus crowned their “local story teller” as their #1 most trusted person.

#2 – Mario Dumont

I’m not surprised that Mario Dumont is in the top five.  I would have placed him near the top also.

He is still quite young, at 44 years old.

In English Canada, people may remember Mario Dumont from 1995 as having been the young 20-something leader of the provincial Action Démocratique du Québec provincial political party.  He and his party formed the referendum’s pro-YES three-way political alliance with Lucien Bouchard (the then head of the Bloc Québécois) and Jacques Parizeau (the then head of the party Québécois).

Dumont approached the referendum at the time from a much more lucid and cautious point of view.  In that sense, he was much more of a soft-sovereignist, and was seen to want more autonomy for Québec rather than outright severed independence (which is what Jacques Parizeau was fighting for).

After the referendum, Dumont later became the official head of the opposition in Québec.  In 2009, he left politics and became a media news commentator, with his own shows on both talk radio and on TVA’s 24-hour news station, LCN.

Dumont holds centre-right views (his views align with much of what would be the Progressive Conservatives in other provinces).  As an on-air news commentator, I find he has done a very good job of de-politicizing himself.  .

I suppose he won the 2nd spot for being the person Québécois trust the most because

  • he was the “premier who never was”,
  • he always advocated for his beliefs and did not compromise them,
  • he is known for holding views which resonate with huge swaths of Québec’s population (both politically and socially). He would especially popular in the Eastern half of Québec (including the Québec City region) and regions a bit further afield from the immediate Montréal region. 
  • he has done a very good job of depoliticizing himself in his role as the host of numerous television and radio commentary news programs.

#3 – Paul Arcand

I previously wrote a post on Paul Arcand. Personally, I’m a little surprised he is in the # 3 spot, but I am not surprised he is the top 10.   I say this because he is very well liked in the Montréal region as Montréal’s most listened to talk radio-show host (on FM 98,5) http://www.985fm.ca/ .   Despite that his radio show does not have a broadcasting reach beyond a one hour drive from Montréal, it is nonetheless broadcast to a large enough region that a large percentage of Québec’s overall society regularly listens to him.

When people Montréal think of radio with an influence, they immediately think of Paul Arcand.

If you have ever been to Montréal, two things which you will notice are

  • that people are stuck in endless traffic jams during prolonged rush hours and eternal road construction – and thus they cannot escape Paul Arcand (not that they would want to 😉 ), and
  • many people have the radio playing in the background as they work, and Paul Arcand is one voice they regularly hear.

The next post will look at the #4 to #6 positions.


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