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Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois have a very bad day


 

It’s hard to feel much sympathy for PQ leader Pauline Marois. It was an absolutely terrible idea for the PQ to support bill 204, which would immunize Quebecor’s arena rental deal with Quebec City from being tested before the province’s courts. It was an even worse idea for her to be petty and belligerent about it. The word ‘comeuppance’ keeps coming to mind.

At the same time, the PQ’s plight has become so pathetic as to be pitiable. Marois, you’ll recall, was already looking for ways to patch her battered caucus this morning after three party super-heavyweights—Louise Beaudoin, Pierre Curzi, and Lisette Lapointe—bolted yesterday. But that’s when Jean-Martin Aussant abruptly quit, giving the impression a full-blown mutiny was underway. In fact, Marois’s downfall is exactly what Aussant had in mind, telling reporters the PQ leader should resign.

Jean Charest drove in the final stake this afternoon when he announced the vote on bill 204 would be postponed until the fall. All that infighting inside the PQ, all that strategizing about how to win a vote that was threatening to derail Marois’s political career? Useless—all of it.

It seems equally likely Charest did this out of fear than spite—after all, there are persistent whispers that, like their PQ counterparts, Liberals MNAs aren’t entirely onboard with bill 204. But either way, Charest has a lot to be happy about. Marois’s leadership has been permanently—perhaps fatally—weakened; the opposition benches are suddenly a whole lot less intimidating than they were just last week; the Liberals have gained an extra couple of months to sort themselves out; and, perhaps most importantly, it means the PQ, which has already soaked up virtually all the criticism for bill 204, will continue to do so through the end of the summer at least.

Marois, meanwhile, must start all over again. Her 93 per cent approval rating at this past spring’s party convention, in case it wasn’t clear already, was utterly meaningless. (Which raises the question: was the apparently inadequate score that prompted Bernard Landry to leave just as meaningless? I wonder how he feels about that now.) The good news is that the problems inside the party are relatively easy to diagnose. Her critics haven’t been shy about letting their feelings show. The bad news, however, is that it’s not clear how to solve them without shedding even more supporters. Moreover, it’s even less clear who’s still on her side.

Charest hasn’t had much to celebrate in a long while, but a glass will surely be raised in the premier’s office tonight.


 

Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois have a very bad day

  1. Yes, isn’t it wonderful?  Implosions all over the place!

  2. I feel a wonderful sense of schadenfreude as I contemplate the plight of Marois and the PQ.  Hopefully the PQ will soon be supplanted by a third party, just like the Bloc was.

    • Given the sorry state of the LPQ, we can only hope.  It seems pretty clear that most Quebeckers don’t really want to have another vote anytime soon, but the PQ keeps pushing itself toward a referendum in their first mandate.  But with the Liberal collapse and the ADQ having failed when given a chance as the Opposition, the PQ seems to be all that’s left, unless that new centrist party actually comes into being…

  3. Philippe, sorry to digress on this old post, but I have an issue with Disqus, and since a) you were the one to introduce it to the commenters, and b) I can’t find your email address/contact info anywhere on the Macleans website, I’m posting a message for you concerning Disqus right here on this old blog post.

    I used to be able to comment on the Macleans blogs from my iPhone, with Disqus. For the past few weeks, however, when I go to a Macleans blog on my iPhone, it is impossible to comment.

    I invite you to try it. Grab an iPhone, surf to a Macleans blog, and try to comment. You won’t be given the opportunity.

    Since the switch to Disqus is meant to enhance commenting, it would be counterproductive if Disqus was disabled when surfing on Macleans from a mobile device. Lots of us surf the web from tablets, cell phones, and other non-traditional means. We’re not all surfing Macleans on desktops. Can you please look into it, and hopefully find a suitable solution?

    Thank you.

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