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Marie-Claire Desroches Defeated in Campaign for Montreal Mayor

MONTREAL - This month marks the 20th anniversary of the November 9, 1986 election of Jean Dor� as Mayor of Montreal, replacing the esteemed Jean Drapeau. Dor� defeated a field of candidates that included "Independent Humanist" Marie-Claire Desroches, who garnered 2282 votes. The Humanist Party had been incorporated in Quebec in 1984 and was active in recruiting on the campus of McGill University. Desroches, a member of the provincial Humanist Party and candidate under the Humanist banner during the provincial election of December 2, 1985, had first tried to incorporate the municipal party under the name "Montreal Humanist Party". Documents supplied by Quebec's Director General of Elections show that the Humanists were disallowed their preferred name under a provision of the Quebec Electoral Act that forbids any new party from taking the name of an existing or pre-existing party.

Desroches then formed the "Parti Orange" and was elected leader during a show of hands at a party meeting in summer 1986. Supporting Desroches in her campaign and signing her nomination papers were Enrique de la Barrera, Anne Farrell and Colette Renaud. The Orange Party was granted official party status on September 22, 1986 then, in an abrupt turn of face, Desroches dissolved the party only seven days later, on September 29, 1986. Writing in the influential French-language La Presse newspaper, Marianne Favreau commented on the weird timing of Desroches' decision. "A Peine reconnu, le Parti orange de Montr�al se Dissout." [Translation: "Just barely established, the Orange Party Dissolves."] (La Presse, September 30, 1986)

It begs the question "Why did she establish the party?" Speaking through Roger Gingras in the October 1, 1986 edition of the McGill Daily, Desroches blamed the fate of her Orange Party on the plight of small parties in general who are ostensibly unfairly treated by the political process. Despite this, the Quebec Humanist Party, of which Desroches was a member, lasted until 1989 for a total political life of five and a half years. Moreover, Desroches appeared arm in arm with Renaud in campaign publicity for the 1985 provincial elections in the company of faux McGill reporter Gertrude "Trudy" Caisse; all three were Humanist party candidates. Perhaps Desroches felt inadequate and bitter once she failed at a task where Colette Renaud had succeeded! Desroches lied to the people of Montreal, for her only interest in running was for herself, her power and her glory.

It was during these chaotic and contradictory events that Frederick was contacted by the Humanists, quite by accident, on the evening of October 6, 1986 on the McGill campus. The meeting was reported in the McGill Daily of October 15, 1986. In subsequent years, Marie-Claire Desroches made an offer of personal friendship to Frederick Aaron on May 5, 1991, which Frederick accepted in good faith. Only five days later, on May 10, 1991, Desroches kidnapped Frederick by using delusive tactics and by abusing her position of authority, power and trust. Desroches brought Frederick by car to her Montreal home at 8377 Waverly, sequestered him in the kitchen and made an ultimatum to have sex with her the same night in her home, or risk expulsion from the Movement. Just as with the Orange Party fiasco in 1986, it took Desroches less than a week to go back on her word, after having made false promises that were exalted, unrealistic and made in bad faith. Indeed, Marie-Claire was preoccupied with empty promises, lies and culpability. Marie-Claire�s official position within the Movement revealed an extremely strident position against broken promises. In her original French electoral publicity, Marie-Claire was so preoccupied with broken promises, she even said they should be made illegal. Translated from the flip side of her campaign leaflet:


- IN A REAL DEMOCRACY, electoral promises are considered like contracts between politicians and the people.


The traditional parties, in each election campaign, make promises that they don't keep once they are elected. Such promises should be considered as contracts between politicians and the people, giving the means and timetable for their deployment. Broken promises would be considered misdemeanours. The elected officials would then be subjected to a popular referendum where the results could bring about their resignation.

What about Marie-Claire Desroches and the promises she made? She said she would lead the Orange Party and run for Mayor under its banner! She said there would be a slate of Orange candidates for Montreal's neighbourhoods! She broke all her promises before her party was even a week old. Her selfish promises are indicative of her true nature as a lying, manipulative and egomaniacal individual. In becoming leader of a municipal party, Desroches entered into a social contract with the people of Montreal. Desroches offered her party and herself as a political alternative. For her part, Desroches promised to be available for the people to vote for her on election day. Montrealers, for their part, had a right to expect Desroches would be on the ballot on election day as she had promised and that she would stick around as an active political leader for at least a few years after the election.

In the Montreal political scene of 1986, it was not as if anybody had even heard of Desroches, a 28 year-old political neophyte, much less cared if she ran for Mayor on a pie-in-the-sky platform that she had no chance of winning. Indeed, nobody asked her to run and nobody needed her involvement in Montreal politics other than her Humanist Party peers whose actions, coupled with Desroches' own thirst for glory and self-promotion, pushed her into the race for the Mayor's office. Despite having no chance at winning, Desroches jumped into the ring of Montreal politics and from that moment, Montrealers had a right to hold her up to public scrutiny, to ask her questions and a right to vote for her in the coming elections. Faced with the prospect of real hard work, of living up to her own promises, of dealing with reality, Desroches dropped out of the race as suddenly and unexpectedly as she had signed up. The people of Montreal were left wondering where their candidate was? What happened to Marie-Claire Desroches -- this great humanist -- who had made such great promises and was to become the first woman Mayor of Montreal?!

According to Desroches, everybody must keep their promises except Marie-Claire Desroches. Only Desroches can promise the world to better exploit people, everybody else must be punished severely for their own broken promises. She is even willing to run for Mayor of Montreal to show the world how much contempt she has for the public, how large and expansive is her Messianic Complex. Everybody else is a liar, only Marie-Claire can break her word and still come out smelling like roses. The world and its occupants are evil; only the Siloists know the best way of acting. Nothing that Siloists say or do can be held against them, only non-Siloists should be held to their word. Elevating naive idealism to a form of insanity, Desroches is hysterically convinced others should be impeached for breaking their promises. It is an inversion of reality, of good sense and of the conventional order of things. This is the essence of a cult.

In the end, Desroches ran without any party, advancing her own selfish and hypocritical agenda on an independent platform and without any field of candidates to represent Montreal's neighbourhoods. Desroches finished in 4th place and abandoned municipal politics after that, leaving Montrealers to fend for themselves, alone and betrayed by Marie-Claire Desroches. The people of Montreal have a right to expect their politicians will take the job of candidate seriously and not use it merely as a soapbox for vanity, ego and power. Desroches perpetrated upon the people of Montreal her own special recipe for electoral rape.

Frederick Aaron


Desroches, Marie-Claire. "Campaign for Mayor of Montreal Publicity Materials." Anne Farrell, official agent. Montreal, 1986.

Favreau, Marianne. "A Peine reconnu, le Parti orange de Montr�al se Dissout." in La Presse, Montreal, September 30, 1986.

Humanist Party of Quebec. "Cochoncratie." Montreal, [1985].

McGill Daily, Montreal, 1911-

  • Ibid. "Hyde Park." November 28, 1984.
  • Ibid. "Humanist Party Shut Out." October 1, 1986.
  • Ibid. "A Cozy Chat With The Humanists." October 15, 1986.
  • Ibid. "Humanist Plugs People--Not Politics." November 3, 1986.

Montr�al, City of. Services des Archives, 1993.

Quebec (Province). Director General of Elections. Quebec City, 2006., 2006. , articles on " Jean Dor� " and " Jean Drapeau ", 2006.

Mayoral campaign leaflet, front

Mayoral campaign leaflet, back

McGill Daily, October 1, 1986

McGill Daily, October 15, 1986

McGill Daily, November 28, 1984

McGill Daily, November 3, 1986

"Cochoncratie" electoral publicity campaign leaflet

Document showing that Desroches dissolved the party seven days later

Desroches chose to run on an independent platform

Desroches won 2,282 (0.7%) of the 693,747 votes

Please feel free to contact Frederick Aaron by email at