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Is the PQ ‘all united’ behind Marois?

The Parti Québécois leader looks to placate hardliners at the party’s convention in Montreal


 

They were scattered around Montreal’s Palais des Congrès last night, quiet and deferential to a fault, politely handing out cards to anyone who would take them. Printed on these cards—well, let’s call them photocopied and apparently hand-cut bits of paper—was the following message:

DURING THIS 16TH CONGRESS
ALL UNITED
IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE
QUEBEC SOVEREIGNTY

To the uninitiated, the message is surely puzzling: after all, isn’t achieving sovereignty exactly what the PQ is about? Should we also remind people that water is wet, the sky is blue and Carey Price is somewhat better than last season?

But there’s logic in this missive at the PQ’s 16th congrès national, and it has nothing to do with the cause of sovereignty. Given the usual chest thumping, anger and occasional beheading of the leader that occurs at PQ’s gatherings, the call for unity is not a bad thing to commit to paper.

Yet the friendly pamphleteers needn’t have worried, for the whole event has been a love-in for PQ leader Pauline Marois. Given the party’s usual treatment of its leaders—particularly those who aren’t in power—it is astonishing to see roughly 2,000 dyed in the wool péquistes cheer on a woman who, lest we forget, has failed to capitalize on Jean Charest’s chronic unpopularity throughout the last several months. The got up and whooped, loudly, for no less than five standing ovations during her speech.

The reasons behind her Palais popularity this weekend is likely the result of careful planning. In March 2010, Marois managed to turf the SPQ libre, the très lefty ‘political club’ within the party. Led by former union leader Marc Laviolette, SPQ was staunchly referendum-or-bust. As such, it was a loud and perpetual dissenting voice. But no more. Marois’ team has also reportedly had a hands-on approach to delegate selection across the province in the lead up to this weekend. The result, as we saw last night, was a distinct tendency to react positively to whatever came out of her mouth—or, at the very least, to keep quiet, something to which hardcore péquistes aren’t used.

Then there’s her platform. Marois larded her speech last night with references to sovereignty—hence the standing ovations—and the eventual day when Quebec is its own country—hence the “On veut un pays” (“We want a country”) chant my dad remembers hearing in the days of Lévesque.

“Imagine when we can recoup all our taxes, when we no longer have to subsidize Alberta’s tar sands, Ontario’s automobile industry or Newfoundland’s competition,” she said. “When energy independence joins political independence!”

Sure, it’s boilerplate stuff, but it’s just the kind of thing she needs to placate the diehards in the crowd. Speaking of placating the diehards, the PQ will likely adopt a policy to extend Bill 101 to CEGEPs, meaning that, under a péquiste government, all francophone Quebecers and immigrants would have to attend French-language finishing school. (Perversely, anglo Quebecers would be unburdened by this, giving those of my ilk a distinct advantage over the majority of the population. But I digress.)

The party also adopted a motion allowing it to use public funds to promote sovereignty. Both this and the CEGEP thingy were hotly contested within the party, largely because the more pragmatic péquistes—Sylvain Simard comes to mind—realize that such measures will hurt the PQ’s electability in the next election. Still, it’s significant that Marois has thrown the radical wing of the party a bone, and will likely glide through tonight’s confidence vote like budda.

Of course, that’s the eternal problem within the Parti Québécois: balancing the ideals of the diehards with the reality of getting into power. For the sake of control, Marois is having a good weekend because of the former, but it will inevitably come back to haunt her.


 

Is the PQ ‘all united’ behind Marois?

  1. “Imagine when we can recoup all our taxes, when we no longer have to subsidize Alberta's tar sands, Ontario's automobile industry or Newfoundland's competition,” she said. “When energy independence joins political independence!”

    Because Quebec isn't reliant on transfer payments at all

  2. “Imagine when we can recoup all our taxes, when we no longer have to subsidize Alberta%E2%80%99s tar sands, Ontario%E2%80%99s automobile industry or Newfoundland%E2%80%99s competition,” she said. “When energy independence joins political independence!”

    Because Quebec isn't reliant on transfer payments at all

  3. “Imagine when we can recoup all our taxes, when we no longer have to subsidize Alberta's tar sands, Ontario's automobile industry or Newfoundland's competition,” she said. “When energy independence joins political independence!”

    Because Quebec isn't reliant on transfer payments at all

    • But MP is also correct, this lie really is boilerplate stuff for the brainwashed indépendantistes.

  4. Alberta pays $14B into the Federal Equalization Program each year, and Quebec gets $7B each year.

    Get your facts straight, Marois: We're subsidizing YOU, not the other way around.

    Alberta could save $7B a year if you would just separate, so GO ALREADY!!! We're sick of paying you, just so you can turn around and complain about us. You're like an ungrateful teenager.

  5. Alberta pays $14B into the Federal Equalization Program each year, and Quebec gets $7B each year.

    Get your facts straight, Marois: We're subsidizing YOU, not the other way around.

    Alberta could save $7B a year if you would just separate, so GO ALREADY!!! We're sick of paying you, just so you can turn around and complain about us. You're like an ungrateful teenager.

    • Money never made anyone happy.

      History remembers love and passion, not cash and destruction.

  6. This lady is living in a bubble. Even if they have ten referendums and win on the eleventh to separate doesn't she realize that the pro federalists have the right to hold eleven referendums to reverse their process. Quebecers have to be made aware that they stand to lose all the perks they recieved when then joined confederation for the sole purpose of maintaining there cultual autonmoy. When Quebec joined Canada all they had was a thin strip of land running parallel to the ST, LAWRENCE on both the north and south shores about 100 miles from the shoreline. All the interior and the northern regions of the province would revert back to Canada. They would lose the military, medicare funding, EI insurance, Federal Admin Centers, Fed. Research Offices, Federally funded manufacturing plants such as Bombardier. So if you feel the french culture is worth that loss and more by all means be gone, and good riddance.

  7. This lady is living in a bubble. Even if they have ten referendums and win on the eleventh to separate doesn't she realize that the pro federalists have the right to hold eleven referendums to reverse their process. Quebecers have to be made aware that they stand to lose all the perks they recieved when then joined confederation for the sole purpose of maintaining there cultual autonmoy. When Quebec joined Canada all they had was a thin strip of land running parallel to the ST, LAWRENCE on both the north and south shores about 100 miles from the shoreline. All the interior and the northern regions of the province would revert back to Canada. They would lose the military, medicare funding, EI insurance, Federal Admin Centers, Fed. Research Offices, Federally funded manufacturing plants such as Bombardier. So if you feel the french culture is worth that loss and more by all means be gone, and good riddance.

    • I live in Qc, and have to say that the overall consensus is that Quebecers (especially young ones) do not want a referendum. They see themselves as French within Canada. The ones that actually care to share more, believe that separating from Canada would only hurt them (duh!)… Loud-mouth madame Marois is just that… full of hot air and it does not reflect the majority's views. Only if Mr Charest and the Liberals would get their *** together.

  8. Imagine when we can recoup all our taxes, when we no longer have to subsidize Alberta's tar sands, Ontario's automobile industry or Newfoundland's competition,” she said. “When energy independence joins political independence!”

    She forgets that they won't build Canadian ships in Quebec either.

  9. Imagine when we can recoup all our taxes, when we no longer have to subsidize Alberta%E2%80%99s tar sands, Ontario%E2%80%99s automobile industry or Newfoundland%E2%80%99s competition,” she said. “When energy independence joins political independence!”

    She forgets that they won't build Canadian ships in Quebec either.

  10. Imagine when we can recoup all our taxes, when we no longer have to subsidize Alberta's tar sands, Ontario's automobile industry or Newfoundland's competition,” she said. “When energy independence joins political independence!”

    She forgets that they won't build Canadian ships in Quebec either.

  11. Marios rants: "On veut un pays" – we want a country. Would she clarify which people of Quebec she is not including in 'we', and which parts of Quebec she is not including in her "Quebec".

  12. Marios rants: "On veut un pays" – we want a country. Would she clarify which people of Quebec she is not including in 'we', and which parts of Quebec she is not including in her "Quebec".

  13. So they separate and have to forgo the $8.555 billion they received last year. Who is going to pay for all their social ventures that the rest of Canada can't afford. You know daycare, low tuition, etc. That's $8.555 billion that can stay in the real Canada. I always thought equalization payments just promoted laziness. Imagine the Quebec government operating within its own made in Quebec budget. And what is the nonsense about subsidizing the tar sands? What was Great Whale project and Upper Churchill theft?

  14. So they separate and have to forgo the $8.555 billion they received last year. Who is going to pay for all their social ventures that the rest of Canada can't afford. You know daycare, low tuition, etc. That's $8.555 billion that can stay in the real Canada. I always thought equalization payments just promoted laziness. Imagine the Quebec government operating within its own made in Quebec budget. And what is the nonsense about subsidizing the tar sands? What was Great Whale project and Upper Churchill theft?

  15. Re. P.Marois comments……. I probably share the same views on Quebec, as most Canadiens, this includes the people who live in Quebec also…. The culture & Historical value that the province adds to Canada as a whole "goes without saying" ..
    This country as a whole " is the envy of the world" ….Why then would Mrs Marois want to devide it…..
    I would hope the vast majority of Quebecers, would see the benefits of a "united Canada"…… When we look at "sharing the wealth" we all have a wish list, we all want a little more etc etc, but to use "separation" as a means to achieve it ….
    Does she really think most Canadiens "Quebecers too" would agree to share the "present benefits" that the federal infrastructure provides the province of Quebec, and of course the "currency" etc etc etc…………Really Mrs Marois you are behaving "shamefully" trying to mislead a lot of good people, with your own personal agenda & self importance….
    The sad fact is you will probably divide the people in your own province, who unlike you, have the most to lose, ie benefits employment and a whole lot more besides. but I suppose for you thats ok!
    Surely the people in Quebec have seen enough of your type, trying to sell "dreams" of the promised land "snake oil" etc and you probably wont be the last to be forgotten like last weeks news…
    Do the right thing, "after you lose", "just leave this great country that you resent so much……"BUT"…. No doubt you and the few others before you, who shared the same views on separation, will probably continue to take freely, everything that other patriotic Canadiens have had to work for……A UNITED CANADA………

  16. Re. P.Marois comments……. I probably share the same views on Quebec, as most Canadiens, this includes the people who live in Quebec also…. The culture & Historical value that the province adds to Canada as a whole "goes without saying" ..
    This country as a whole " is the envy of the world" ….Why then would Mrs Marois want to devide it…..
    I would hope the vast majority of Quebecers, would see the benefits of a "united Canada"…… When we look at "sharing the wealth" we all have a wish list, we all want a little more etc etc, but to use "separation" as a means to achieve it ….
    Does she really think most Canadiens "Quebecers too" would agree to share the "present benefits" that the federal infrastructure provides the province of Quebec, and of course the "currency" etc etc etc…………Really Mrs Marois you are behaving "shamefully" trying to mislead a lot of good people, with your own personal agenda & self importance….
    The sad fact is you will probably divide the people in your own province, who unlike you, have the most to lose, ie benefits employment and a whole lot more besides. but I suppose for you thats ok!
    Surely the people in Quebec have seen enough of your type, trying to sell "dreams" of the promised land "snake oil" etc and you probably wont be the last to be forgotten like last weeks news…
    Do the right thing, "after you lose", "just leave this great country that you resent so much……"BUT"…. No doubt you and the few others before you, who shared the same views on separation, will probably continue to take freely, everything that other patriotic Canadiens have had to work for……A UNITED CANADA………

    • Canada wants to be sovereign from the US? Why not being a united country US/Canada?

      Oh well, whatever is your answer to the previous question, a lot of Quebecois feel the same way, but with regards to Canada.

      Canadians feel they are different from american, and even if they love the US, they don’t want to share a country.

      • So GO already….seriously, the Quebec separation movement has to be the lamest political movement in the world. You don't think that a majority of Canadians would love to be rid of you?

        • Hello Nice guy Maris Marois doesn't get to decide for all of us in QC. most of us oppose separation. The island of Montreal is like 80% against it.

  17. I live in Qc, and have to say that the overall consensus is that Quebecers (especially young ones) do not want a referendum. They see themselves as French within Canada. The ones that actually care to share more, believe that separating from Canada would only hurt them (duh!)… Loud-mouth madame Marois is just that… full of hot air and it does not reflect the majority's views. Only if Mr Charest and the Liberals would get their *** together.

  18. But MP is also correct, this lie really is boilerplate stuff for the brainwashed indépendantistes.

  19. Canada wants to be sovereign from the US? Why not being a united country US/Canada?

    Oh well, whatever is your answer to the previous question, a lot of Quebecois feel the same way, but with regards to Canada.

    Canadians feel they are different from american, and even if they love the US, they don’t want to share a country.

  20. Money never made anyone happy.

    History remembers love and passion, not cash and destruction.

  21. What is exactly a pragmatic péquistes… is this like in some media when calling a muslim who is not a overt jihadist a pragmatic or even worst a moderate islamist…because if this is the case then we all know what is the ultimate goal here which is to impose fascim and intolerance here in Canada.

  22. What is exactly a pragmatic péquistes… is this like in some media when calling a muslim who is not a overt jihadist a pragmatic or even worst a moderate islamist…because if this is the case then we all know what is the ultimate goal here which is to impose fascim and intolerance here in Canada.

  23. You would NOT save that money. It would simply be distributed to the other "have not Provinces"

  24. But at lest happy canadian provinces, no?

  25. But at lest happy canadian provinces, no?

    • Sorry guys not everyone in Quebec wants to Separate. I'm a proud Canadian and a very proud Montrealer. I will tell you that most Anglos moved and left the burden on us allophones who love this country just as much as you do. Don't forget there are at least 50% of us who want nothing to do with PQ and Marois. Rest a sure that we will rally against her when the time arises. I will also let you know that most of the francophones I know oppose this ideology with bill 101 being pushed to college level.

      Cheers!

      • I agree you Vince and most people forgets that, I really hope for a united Canada. The BQ has to go and the sooner the better.

  26. I certainly hope that if another referendum is called that the ROC gets to participate. Quebec has done this enough and we never get to have a say. At the very least I think the maritimes should be able to participate since they will be the Provinces in Canada most affected by a separate Quebec.

  27. I certainly hope that if another referendum is called that the ROC gets to participate. Quebec has done this enough and we never get to have a say. At the very least I think the maritimes should be able to participate since they will be the Provinces in Canada most affected by a separate Quebec.

  28. I hope we get another referendum, this is ridiculous

  29. I hope we get another referendum, this is ridiculous

  30. So GO already….seriously, the Quebec separation movement has to be the lamest political movement in the world. You don't think that a majority of Canadians would love to be rid of you?

  31. When will the PQ present a real plan for how an independent Quebec will look like? Will they promote a green Quebec? A multicultural Quebec? How about the education, environment, economy, defense, international politics? I never heard these details of the PQ plan for after the eventual secession from Canada. How will they convince the majority of people to vote for them in a referendum?

  32. When will the PQ present a real plan for how an independent Quebec will look like? Will they promote a green Quebec? A multicultural Quebec? How about the education, environment, economy, defense, international politics? I never heard these details of the PQ plan for after the eventual secession from Canada. How will they convince the majority of people to vote for them in a referendum?

  33. Canadians should not make the mistake to think that a majority of Quebecers would support hardline policies like those. This is exactly why Pauline Marois tries to placate them. Most Quebecers are profoundly attached to liberty and democracy, as much as Canadians are.

  34. Canadians should not make the mistake to think that a majority of Quebecers would support hardline policies like those. This is exactly why Pauline Marois tries to placate them. Most Quebecers are profoundly attached to liberty and democracy, as much as Canadians are.

  35. Sorry guys not everyone in Quebec wants to Separate. I'm a proud Canadian and a very proud Montrealer. I will tell you that most Anglos moved and left the burden on us allophones who love this country just as much as you do. Don't forget there are at least 50% of us who want nothing to do with PQ and Marois. Rest a sure that we will rally against her when the time arises. I will also let you know that most of the francophones I know oppose this ideology with bill 101 being pushed to college level.

    Cheers!

  36. Hello Nice guy Maris Marois doesn't get to decide for all of us in QC. most of us oppose separation. The island of Montreal is like 80% against it.

  37. I agree you Vince and most people forgets that, I really hope for a united Canada. The BQ has to go and the sooner the better.

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