Current Affairs Politics

Parti Québécois, Power For Power’s Sake?


Hard to disagree with this description of the Parti Québécois by Jean-Martin Aussant, former PQ politician and disillusioned ex-leader of the rival Option Nationale, in an interview from Canada’s National Post newspaper:

“Mr. Aussant, 43, was first elected under the Parti Québécois banner in 2008, but he soon lost patience with what he saw as the party’s half-hearted commitment to sovereignty. In 2011, he was among a group of PQ MNAs who came close to torpedoing Pauline Marois’ leadership when they quit the caucus.

He formed Option Nationale the same year and attracted 8,000 members. He was popular among young voters and during last year’s election campaign was endorsed by former PQ Premier Jacques Parizeau. Still, with no place in the televised leaders’ debate and the PQ urging a strategic vote to defeat the Liberals, the new party was unable to win a seat.

Mr. Aussant said he has no regrets about leaving the PQ. “The institution itself has become a professional political machine oriented towards winning an election. If they conclude that talking less about sovereignty will make them win, then they won’t say a word about sovereignty,” he said.

“I could not work in that context because I was there for sovereignty. I admit, it might be harder winning an election with that as a central theme, but that’s what a leader has to do.”

Looking back on 11 months of PQ minority government, he sees no progress towards independence. Instead, he said, the PQ government is treading water, concerned mainly with avoiding defeat.”

Some of that sounds familiar (very familiar).

3 comments on “Parti Québécois, Power For Power’s Sake?

  1. Aussant’s comments certainly make sense; most dominant political parties, whether they be at a national or state/provinicial level, are more concerned with staying in power than actually bettering the lot of the citizenry. I will say it’s disappointing in this case, if true.


    • Yes, that is so. After a certain period most political parties no matter how radical their roots or objectives become self-sustaining institutions more concerned with their own survival and selfish interests than that of their electorates. Until it all goes horribly wrong as the Canadian Conservatives and Fianna Fáil here found out. And even then political illness is rarely terminal for the bigger players if they fix the rules of the game right.


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