Posts Tagged ‘election sign’

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an election sign quite like this one, but OffQc approves for breaking the dress code.

This election sign, or pancarte électorale, is from the Option nationale.

Not only is the rugged-faced Viau candidate Benjamin Michaud wearing a casual shirt instead of formal attire, he’s also revealing a hairy chest.

I think his image fits well with the slogan chosen by Option nationale: Réveiller le courage.

I’m sure it takes courage to break away from the “safe” dress shirt and tie.

une pancarte électorale
election sign

un slogan

a provincial electoral district of Montréal

_ _ _

If you’ve ever noticed that fire hydrants in Montréal have a yellow post attached to them and weren’t sure why, the image should unravel the mystery.

In the winter, snow may completely cover a fire hydrant, or borne-fontaine, making it impossible to locate.

The yellow post attached to it rises above the snow so that the borne-fontaine can be found by the pompiers, the firefighters.

une borne-fontaine
des bornes-fontaines
fire hydrant

les pompiers

un incendie

_ _ _

I saw this large ad from Danone on one of the walls at the Gare centrale in Montréal.

Can you guess the word #?%$ stands for on the sign?

Bottez le #?%$ de vos matins

When you fill in the missing word, it forms a French expression: botter le —.

The missing word is cul.

Bottez le cul de vos matins
Kick your mornings in the ass
[literally: kick the ass of your mornings]

Remember, the last letter in cul is silent. This word is pronounced cu, just like the name of the letter q in French.

Now look up at the top of the sign. There’s another missing word, this one represented by the image of an alarm clock.

The French word for alarm clock is réveil or réveille-matin. But the Québécois also call it a cadran.

un réveil
un réveille-matin
un cadran
alarm clock

Le cadran n’a pas sonné!
The alarm clock didn’t go off!

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The Québécois will go to the polls on 7 April 2014 to elect new members to the National Assembly of Québec, l’Assemblée nationale du Québec.

Election signs, or pancartes électorales, are up all over town. Below you’ll find what some of them look like.

I’ve been all over Montréal this past week. If a party is missing from this page, it’s because I haven’t seen any signs for that party. It’s not a political statement.

You’ll find a list of political parties in Québec here.

Québec solidaire

Le slogan used by Québec solidaire on this pancarte is: Pour l’amour d’un Québec libre, je vote avec ma tête, or “out of love for a free Québec, I vote with my head.” The slogan evokes both the head and heart.

The female on la pancarte is wearing a hat with a blue fleur-de-lys on it (pronounced fleur-de-lisse), and the male is wearing a blue scarf.

A scarf is called un foulard in French, and a hat is called une tuque.

Supporters of Québec solidaire are known as les solidaires.

Coalition avenir Québec

The slogan used on this pancarte created quite a stir in Québec. The slogan is: On se donne Legault, or “let’s give ourselves Legault.”

Legault is the name of the party chef. His surname sounds like le go. The slogan sounds like on se donne le go when you say it aloud.

Donner le go means “to give the go-ahead.” On se donne le go means “let’s give ourselves the go-ahead.”

The slogan created controversy because some people felt it placed too much importance on the chef rather than on what the party offers.

Other people said the party was opening itself up to ridicule by using a slogan that lends itself to unfortunate wordplays. A design professor said the slogan had a sexual connotation:

[Le slogan est] vraiment très mauvais, on dirait qu’ils ont voulu dire «on se paye les services de Legault». J’ai peut-être l’esprit tordu, mais il y a là une connotation sexuelle!

The slogan is really very bad. It’s as if they wanted to say, “let’s get serviced by Legault.” Maybe I’ve got a sick mind, but it’s got a sexual connotation!

The word contribuables on the pancarte means “taxpayers.”

Supporters of the Coalition avenir Québec are known as les caquistes.

Parti libéral du Québec

On this pancarte for the Parti libéral, we see an image of the party chef against a blue background.

We also see blue in the clothing worn by the chef. He’s wearing a blue shirt and tie.

The choice of so much blue on the pancarte is of course deliberate. Blue is the colour most associated with Québec. Because the Parti libéral is not in favour of Québec separation, they’ve used blue to appeal to québécois sensibilities.

The party slogan this year is: Ensemble, on s’occupe des vraies affaires, which literally means “together, let’s address the real issues” or “together, let’s take care of the real issues.”

Supporters of the Parti libéral are known as les libéraux.

Parti Québécois

No slogan for the Parti Québécois on this pancarte, which allowed the designers to put the party name in large letters. On the other signs above, the party names are all very small.

Last year, the Parti Québécois proposed the introduction of a charter of values, which has been the subject of much debate in Québec.

Most notably, la Charte des valeurs québécoises would prohibit public sector employees from wearing religious symbols. It would also require a person’s face to be uncovered when providing or receiving governmental services. The populace is split on the issue.

If the party chef is female, it’s la chef. A male chef is le chef.

Supporters of the Parti Québécois are known as les péquistes.

Parti vert du Québec

The Parti vert have chosen to put a lot of text on their pancarte. Not very visually appealing, but it spells out some of the key points of la plateforme for those who manage to get close enough to the sign to read it. OffQc did; it says:

Pour la gratuité du transport en commun / For free public transport

Contre la Charte des valeurs québécoises / Against the Québec Charter of Values

Pour la défense et l’expansion du système de santé public / For the protection and expansion of the public healthcare system

They’ve also included a slogan down near the bottom: L’option éco-socialiste pour le Québec, or “Québec’s ecosocialist option.”

Supporters of the Parti vert are known as les Verts.

Option nationale

There aren’t many pancartes around town for the Option nationale, and it took me a while to find one.

The slogan on this pancarte is Réveiller le courage, or “waking up courage.”

Supporters of the Option nationale are called onistes.

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Election signs in Montréal

Election signs in Montréal

1. ch’t’à boutte

While doing a search on Google, I stumbled across the phrase ch’t’à boutte.

Ch’t’à boutte is a colloquial way of saying, “that’s it, I’ve had it!” You can’t take it anymore because you’re at the boutte, the end.

Ch’t’à boutte!
I’ve had it!
I’m fed up!

In this example, je suis à is pronounced as ch’t’à. The ch sound comes from a contraction of je suis to j’s, which sounds like ch. The t sound in there helps to join the ch sound to the à.

It’s not just in this example that you might hear ch’t’à. For example, ch’t’à Montréal means je suis à Montréal.

Boutte means bout. Pronouncing bout as boutte is a feature of informal speech. The expression être à boutte is an informal one, so you can pronounce bout as boutte here. When you’re using bout in its general sense of “end” (e.g., le bout du monde), I recommend you stick with the standard pronunciation bou.

2. brigadier scolaire

A crossing guard helped children to cross the street at an intersection. She was wearing a uniform with brigadier scolaire (crossing guard) printed on her back.

I think all of the crossing guard uniforms in Montréal say brigadier scolaire on them, which is the masculine form. It would have been better if her uniform said brigadière scolaire because she’s a woman.

C'est l'automne, il vente fort chez nous

C’est l’automne, il vente fort chez nous

3. il vente fort

The verb venter means “to be windy.” Il vente fort means “it’s really windy” or “the wind is blowing really hard.” I spotted an ad in a newspaper for a furniture store that reads: C’est l’automne, il vente fort chez nous.

Literally, this means: It’s autumn, and the wind is blowing really hard in our store. But it’s actually a play on words because vente also means “sale.”

In Québec, vente is often used interchangeably with solde in the sense of “sale” (i.e., when prices are reduced). In shop windows, sometimes you’ll see a sign that reads VENTE, and other times you’ll see SOLDES. They both mean that prices have been reduced in the shop.

Speaking of ventes, many people hold a vente de garage in the warmer months to sell their excess junk lying around the house. The vente de garage isn’t always held in the garage, though. The items for sale are often put on display in front of the house on the lawn or in the driveway.

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