The great beast that is the Parti Quebecois doesn’t die easy. Even though their monumental defeat in last month’s provincial election was heralded as a death blow to Quebec separatism, the beast continues to stir. This week, deputies from the party are meeting behind closed doors to discuss what happened, how they can recuperate, and how their focus will change as they move forward.
However, the closed doors behind which they are meeting are quite porous, and a real nasty stench is seeping out.
PQ members voiced their opinions to journalists before entering meetings. Some former MNAs went as far as saying that they were “disgusted” with their party’s spectacular tumble in recent elections. Others, like Laval riding president Michel Leduc, stressed the need for candidates to talk about not-sovereignty. For those of you who don’t know, not-sovereignty is a core PQ issue that revolves around back-pedalling and generally ignoring the issue of separation from Canada for fear of losing votes. Apparently it worked out really well for them in the past (it didn’t).
Interim leader Stéphane Bédard suggested that the party should take care of real business. Either M. Bédard is horrifically late with this foolproof campaign strategy, or he doesn’t understand it at all and simply wants to plagiarize the Liberal slogan. Hey, if it helped them win a majority, it should do the same for the PQ, right? Is that how this whole politics thing works?
There’s normally a structure to these kinds of meetings, wherein Party members lock their crosshairs on a scapegoat and then tear him or her to shreds. They then give those shreds a cushy job in the US. Not a bad parting gift!
Of particular note was the bickering between two PQ leadership hopefuls, Jean-François Lisée and Bernard Drainville over the latter’s handling of the deceptively popular Charter of Values. This argument was received with unease from other caucus members, probably because losing even one MNA to internal struggles means losing a hefty portion of their already-depleted caucus. For the foreseeable future, our favourite group of clumsy separatists will have to stick together, no matter how much the members may hate each other.
Best of luck getting back up off your ass–er, onto your feet.