The young Pequistes who threatened to slam the door rallied on Saturday at the National Council of the Parti Québécois (PQ) in Trois-Rivières: they managed to get an extraordinary congress in November.
The impatient members who demanded a profound transformation of the sovereignist formation have weighed all their weight to hold this congress, where everything will be discussed, as much the program as the statutes and regulations of the PQ, but not the independence. An action plan has also been adopted and the leadership contest is expected to take place in 2020.
Rescued a historic defeat in October with only 10 MPs, tied with Quebec Solidaire (QS), the PQ had suffered another blow two weeks ago, when his deputy Marie-Victorin, Catherine Fournier, slammed the bill. door to sit as an independent.
It was an “electroshock”, acknowledged the PQ activists: at the end of a closed session that lasted all afternoon, the delegates voted unanimously in favor of the extraordinary congress.
“What this allows us is to take our statutes and throw them in the trash and start again, roughly speaking , that’s what it means an extraordinary congress,” said the president of the PQ Youth Committee, Frédérique St-Jean, surrounded by his troops.
“It’s an opening to redo everything, to change, to question. Young people, we need to have statutes that are more flexible, that leave room for creativity. ”
So, maybe in the future it would not be necessary to have big congresses, maybe the method of choosing the next leader might change, maybe some bodies could come together through Skype, maybe that participants will be able to take part in remote bodies and submit ideas, etc.
The young Péquistes signatories of a letter of support to the MP Catherine Fournier thus rallied.
“It will allow us to do what we want,” said one of the signatories, Jérémi Lepage, satisfied with the turn.
Ms. Fournier had left the PQ claiming that by losing, he was no longer the proper vehicle to advance sovereignty.
“Maybe if we succeed, we will prove to her that she is wrong,” said Ms. St-Jean. I hope she’ll come back and the door is wide open for her to come back. ”
In the morning, the game was not won: members of the youth committee doubted the party’s ability to renew itself.
A member of the youth commission executive, Félix Pelletier-Belzile, announced his resignation Saturday morning and other young people expressed skepticism about the profound transformation promised by the PQ leadership.
“We feel that there is already a willingness to bring us where they have already decided to bring us,” he said in a press briefing in the morning.
“We see very well that it does not work, it is not by making a special convention that it will fix things,” said the outgoing president of the riding association of St. Jerome, Marc-Olivier Neveu, rather skeptical about this yet another attempt at reform.
Interim PQ leader Pascal Bérubé hailed the return of skeptics. “They all boarded, they went to the microphone, they said they trusted the Parti Quebecois. It’s a huge success. We are today much more united. ”
The action plan proposes to refocus the party’s efforts on independence and define the project. Workshops will be set up in April, with facilitators from various backgrounds, and the public will be invited to participate.
Two symposia on independence will be held and the main proposal for the November congress will be launched in September.
“Once we are going to be frank with Quebeckers, we will stop playing with the electoralism, I think we will regain confidence and people will see that the process is real”, argued Ms. St -Jeans.
The former PQ members had also invited to debate. According to Champlain’s former MP, Noëlla Champagne, the time has come for reconstruction: it is in adversity that the PQ will be able to bounce back better.
“The more someone whipping me, the better I’m going to be,” she said in a scrum. If you attack me, I’ll bounce back. ”
A hard statement
Inconsistency, louvoiements, difficult choices: two representatives, Jocelyn Caron and Alexis Gagné-Lebrun, had in the morning made a hard statement of the last years of the PQ, in front of 350 attentive delegates.
They pointed out to them that in less than two years they had chosen a very independent leader, Pierre Karl Péladeau, and another who rejected a possible referendum in a second term, Jean-François Lisée.
They also pointed out the PQ’s hesitations regarding the issue of hydrocarbons, the choice to authorize exploration on Anticosti Island by the Marois government, or the opposition to the Energy East pipeline, which had handed over in question Pierre Karl Péladeau.
CATHERINE FOURNIER SAYS NEARLY 1500 SIGNATURES ON HER PLATFORM
MONTREAL – The web platform launched by MP Catherine Fournier the day she left the PQ vessel has so far gathered nearly 1,500 signatures from people ready to join forces for sovereignty, she said.
The former member of the PQ slammed the door of the party two weeks ago to sit as an independent sovereignist. The same day, she launched the online platform “Yes, it must move.”
It is used to collect the names of people who want to participate in following things by sharing their ideas for the gathering of sovereignty forces, those who believe that we must go beyond what divides in the movement to refocus around this long-standing project: to make Quebec a country.
The idea is to bring together Quebeckers who wish to get involved and ignore internal and partisan divisions. But far from the PQ hat.
Because the cause is greater than the parties, supported the one who is the member for Marie-Victorin, in Montérégie, since 2016.
The 26-year-old MP announced this figure the day the Parti Quebecois met in Trois-Rivières for its two-day National Council.
She says she does not have specific plans for the future, even if she does not categorically rule out the creation of a new political party.
It has not yet been specified what steps it intends to take with those who have affixed their names in this register.