The groundhog day pq

Le jour de la marmotte péquiste

Photo: Guillaume Levasseur Duty
A report commissioned by Jean-François Lisée and published in 2017, revealed that Quebecers are less than 40 years, the PQ had become a “party static, conservative, and aging”. The document was accompanied by a 156 recommendations for change.

The Parti québécois, became this week the smallest party in the national Assembly. The departure of the storming of Catherine Fournier was at the same time as the leadership of the PQ announced a project of reform… on which the member does not give rise to any hope. Because if the past is any indication of the future, she argues, the PQ will not change. Explanations.

In the imagination of the parti québecois, a quote from René Lévesque always makes its effect. So the one used by Catherine Fournier Monday about political parties : “regardless of the plastic surgeries that claim to redo a beauty, this will not be a day that old-fashioned thing bulky the political landscape and preventing future drilling. “

Behind this phrase lies the essence of the findings prepared by the young member for Marie-Victorin : beyond the good intentions of the process of refoundation that wants to lead the Parti québécois, the “new vehicle” will remain associated with a party that Quebecers ” no longer listen “. Training for the “passive” glue skin “, which would be particularly disappointed on the issues of identity and environment.

“It is too late, said Catherine Fournier Wednesday to Duty. The PQ would have had to renew well before. There were other windows, and despite all the plastic surgeries, it has missed the boat. The separatists are now too dispersed and because of this, the rally will be outside. “

The PQ has lost its role as a founder of be the grouping of forces and separatists

— Eric Montigny


The windows of which she speaks along, in fact, the path pq of the past 15 years. The defeat of 2003 was, for example, led to the “Season of ideas” and the tour of the ” Three musketeers “. Mps Stéphan Bergeron, Jonathan Valois (now chief of staff in the government Legault and Alexandre Bourdeau had concluded in 2004 that, in the eyes of many young people, the sovereignty seemed ” outdated, outmoded and dilapidated “.

Ce text is part of our “Outlook” section.

“The report [the Musketeers] inter alia requested the PQ to be aware of the fact that activism within a political party does not seem to respond to the type of involvement that sought the young people. He invited the party to include the concerns high about globalization, the environment, sustainable development and education instead of debating relentlessly with a mechanical referendum in the abstract. “

Dare — or not — to rethink the PQ

From this summary, it is Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, who did in his own report, ” Dare to rethink the PQ “, commanded by Jean-François Lisée and unveiled in April 2017. Responsible for consulting with the under 40 years of age for their views on how to revive the PQ, the former candidate for the leadership of the party had also drawn conclusions overwhelming — not without pointing out that it was a little ” groundhog day “. For many, the PQ had become a “party static, conservative, and aging,” he commented. More than 150 recommendations for change were accompanying his report, in particular to help the PQ to be open to diversity.

“This report was really interesting, writes Catherine Fournier. For me, it is the vision that should have been in before. It was rejected, which shows that organization culture is very static. “

Le jour de la marmotte péquiste

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
For Catherine Fournier, the organization of the PQ maintains the status quo.

But between Paul St-Pierre Plamondon and the Musketeers, although others have also sent a message similar to the PQ. “The Parti québécois must have the courage to change […], to review its way of governing and to rethink the way in which he presents his option,” wrote in 2004, a certain François Legault.

In 2007, Jonathan Valois warned that force to push the debate, the party might find themselves in a situation where “it may be too late to do [the] amendments” necessary for its survival.

Shortly before the 2012 election, it’s Bernard Drainville, who sounded the alarm after consultation with the members of the party. “The future of this party-there […] is in question. There is a very high risk. The PQ could disappear ! “

In his book, Blow bar, Pierre Céré wrote in 2016, that the PQ ” cannot avoid trying to understand the reasons not only of the defeat [of 2014], but this has been happening for a few years.” In the run-up to the leadership of 2015, he said : “Our party has aged and there is only one issue in this race : it is the PQ itself. His future, what he will accept to be or not to be over the next few years. “

It is a different Jacques Parizeau, who had probably summarized the more starkly the things in comparing the PQ to a ” field of ruins “. It was in 2014.

A new context

It is these interventions that long ago that the canaries warn of the danger that threatens the mine pq. “It is true that for a long time, questions were being raised, there were observations… but in the end, there were, especially on a new head to change things,” notes the political scientist Jean-Herman Guay (University of Sherbrooke).

In 2003, Mr. Guay had created a commotion at the national Council of the PQ suggesting that he had, perhaps, been the party of a single generation, and that “the grapes of wrath” who had nurtured the project of independence had disappeared. Since then, he said, ” there have been efforts, but who have never led to real change “. As if “the vehicle had become irremovable,” added Mr. Guay.

Author of the book Leadership and activism in the Parti québécois, Éric Montigny (Laval University) has been able to observe closely that ” the alarm bell has been ringing since a long time “. But it does not exclude that the fiscal year begins gives other results.

“There are two major differences with the other attempts,” he said. First, the brutal shock of the elections of the 1st of October, which means that we no longer fear only a decline in parliamentary [as in the past], but a possible disappearance. It is much more powerful. And one sees in the literature in political science that this kind of shock often leads parties to question where we are going to try to go back to the foundations of the party. “

“The other issue that is different,” says Mr. Montigny, is that the PQ has lost its role as a founder of be the grouping of forces and separatists. Catherine Fournier notes, in this sense, something that has happened gradually, but which has been clearly manifested on the 1st of October ” with the breakthrough of Québec solidaire.

Of the “winning conditions” for an in-depth reform are and can be met. “Everything will be on the table, except for the fact that we are for independence “, said Tuesday the president of the party, Gabrielle Lemieux. But precisely, this willingness to focus the reflection around the base sovereigntist might in itself — from the outset — will adversely affect the project, suggest the two political scientists questioned.

“The theme of sovereignty is problematic today,” judge Jean-Herman Guay. “The political socialization of the Z generation [those born after 1995] was done around the crisis student of 2012 and the environmental question “, adds Éric Montigny. “It is not in the debates YES-or-NO. “His conclusion ? “It will not be easy… “


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