10 observations (corrected) on the PQ (detailed version)

News 23 January, 2018
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    Messrs Parizeau, Landry, Bouchard and Duceppe, however, had already urged the prime minister Pauline Marois to soften the “religious signs” in its charter of values. It has unfortunately refused to do so.

    Josée Legault

    Tuesday, 23 January 2018 10:32

    Tuesday, 23 January 2018 11:01

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    Saturday, in the form of “10 observations on the PQ, my honourable colleague Joseph Facal minister of state was taking to my review of last Thursday on the failure of the turn, the identity under Pauline Marois.

    His right to differ in perspective is of course absolute. Still it is necessary not to distort mine to do so.

    Therefore, in all friendship, I will allow myself to re-establish some facts.

    This morning, I published my response to my colleague with chronic. Here is a more detailed version. (For ease of reading, the quotes in italics are drawn from the chronicle of Joseph Facal).

    1. “Was it that Pauline Marois leaves the field of identity, motor history of nationalism in quebec, Mario Dumont?”, request my colleague. The problem is that as of 2007, this field, under Ms. Marois, has bifurcated on religious signs while they have nothing to do with the engine’s identity in quebec. Which, in fact, is the French language, also in sharp decline.

    What’s more, this race sudden in 2007 to the “secularism à la française” was before the product of a strategy of the Parti québécois, which, in the face of the crisis in the so-called reasonable accommodation, and the rise is the result of the ADQ in the polls, sought to chip away at support in the tillers electoral adéquistes. Ditto in 2013, during the episode of the charter of values, but this time, in the face of the CAQ, the party successor to the ADQ.

    2. Mr. Facal, to ask : “Where are the figures stating that the Charter of values caused the defeat of the PQ in 2014? The error of the PQ was not to turn to the compromise of the CAQ limiting the prohibition of signs ostentatious to those in authority. The PQ was defeated by the skill of the QLP to make us believe that he was preparing a referendum on the sly and by unfavourable demographics.”.

    Far from attributing this huge defeat only to the charter, here is what I wrote instead of the April 8, 2014 : “The leadership of Ms. Marois – changing according to the polls and clientship to the death with a charter of values polarizing – will finish the job. Ditto for his right-hander’s first budget and for a campaign unstitched feeling of an amateur. The defeat comes not from the”effect” PKP. It comes from the contrast between its raised fist “for the country”, and blur distressing PQ (…) In refusing to compromise on its charter, Ms. Marois will have also sacrificed a major debate on the altar of bad calculations of pork behind his shift of identity.”

    Do I also recall that after the defeat, even Jean-François Lisée launched that the charter had poisoned the debate? Other members of the caucus of the parti québecois are also dissociated from this episode.

    Do I also recall that mr. Parizeau, Landry, Bouchard and Duceppe have all urged the first minister Marois to find a compromise on the charter, and in particular, on the issue of religious signs. This she refused to do. Result : this charter of values has divided the sovereigntist movement itself and weakened the PQ. These are undeniable facts.

    I would also reiterate that an analysis of the most stable and certainly the most critical regarding, among other things on the same turn of identity of the PQ and its political effects to be deleterious, was found in the first report signed in 2017 by the young advisor, pq Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is also a close to the current head: “Dare to rethink the PQ”. An insightful reading.

    3. “Since 2007, the PQ has not given up sovereignty. He has given up the obsession of the referendum in the best possible time,” writes Mr. Facal. It is, in fact, since 1996, except in the following rare exceptions, that the referendum took the edge, but especially the promotion of sovereignty. With the end consequences that we know. When a political party spell itself its own reason for being of the public debate, how can we be surprised to see it wither away little by little.

    4. “The PQ was planning a complete overhaul of the Charter of the French language under Pauline Marois, it’s impossible to advance when you are a minority government”, said my colleague. Agreed. What he forgets however to mention – and this is not a detail -is that the first refusal of significant concrete action to counter the decline of the French was that of Lucien Bouchard. And, soon after his arrival at the head of the PQ and the Quebec government in 1996.

    5. “Prior to 1994, Mr. Parizeau proposed referendums sector to repatriate powers to the room,” notes Mr. Facal. However the reality is more nuanced. In 1988, following the unilateral repatriation to the “good risk” federalist taken by René Lévesque, the break up of his council of ministers, which is monitoring and the electoral defeat of 1985, Mr. Parizeau, then the new leader of the PQ, inherited a party seriously weakened and divided. Once it has finished the reconstruction of the PQ, it has put the cape on independence.

    6. “Lucien Bouchard led the PQ to its last real electoral victory… in 1998. A detail ?”, said my colleague. True, but without a clear commitment on sovereignty – as pointed out so well, Mario Dumont, the famous formula of M. Bouchard’s “winning conditions” was used before all the better to “push the idea of a referendum”, the fact is that in 1998, the PLQ has, however, won the popular vote. The decline in teeth of saw, the PQ has continued since.

    7. “The way in which Québec solidaire stabbed the convergence with the PQ revealed its true nature”, according to Mr. Facal. Of a, this convergence was to unite the forces and separatists. Pierre Karl Péladeau, when he was leader of the PQ, was also very well understood. Of the two, as to the refusal of QS, I have heavily criticized. The error is never among those who tend the hand, but in those who bite, as did the QS in this case.

    8. According to Mr. Facal, “the more the PQ flirtait with the extreme left, the more the CAQ took forces : a coincidence ?”. Nevertheless it is during his first election in 2012, the CAQ received already 27% of the vote.

    9. “Previous to 2007, the erosion of the PQ – the numbers are crystal clear – begins with the defeat by referendum of 1995”, said my colleague. Here, we agree. I also signed up for several analyses on this same erosion. The beginning of the erosion begins, in fact, under Mr. Bouchard with his shelving of the sovereignty, his budget cuts major, his abandonment of the defense of the French, and the break that followed in reaction to the broad coalition of sovereigntist who, in the wake of the referendum, was created in the civil society. This erosion will continue thereafter, albeit in the teeth of a saw. Under Pierre Karl Péladeau, whose discourse on sovereignty was clear, support for the PQ and its option started to go up.

    10. “Humans, the leaders of successive PQ have certainly made mistakes (…), it is unfair to blame those who inherit an impossible situation and doing their best”, writes my colleague. However, the political analysis is not based on emotion.

    Besides, if my colleague had had so much trust in his former party, under Ms. Marois, in the fall of 2010, he might not be part of the initial group of reflection of the CAQ – a coalition of new right-of-centre whose long-term objective was to compete with the PQ as an alternative to the liberals.


    On this, for what is the present and the immediate future, what we do know is that election campaigns have become real boxes with surprises. See on time, if Jean-François Lisée will find or not a way to turn the setbacks of his party into an opportunity to bounce back.