Drainville says PQ must be clearer on independence
Published Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:17PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 15, 2014 7:16AM EDT
A potential candidate for the Parti Quebecois leader's job says the PQ should lose what he calls the party's “baggage.”
Bernard Drainville says the party needs to rebrand itself as a party in favour of independence, not sovereignty.
He acknowledges the two words mean the same thing, but in an interview with CTV’s Max Harrold, Drainville explained that the word independence is a better fit.
“I think it’s clearer, I think it says more about what we are trying to do. Independence is the opposite of dependence, of being dependent,” he said.
Drainville says he has been inspired by the Scottish independence movement -- an independence referendum will be held there Sept. 18.
He recently visited the country and said the bold positioning of separatists there is refreshing.
When the PQ had its worst showing in decades on election night in April, it became clear that Drainville, along with Pierre-Karl Peladeau and Jean-Francois Lisee, was a leadership hopeful.
But while many took the PQ and Bloc Quebecois’s trouncing at the polls as an indication that an independent Quebec is not what voters want, both parties have been hardening their message recently, likely to appease faithful party supporters who still believe in that dream.
Mario Beaulieu, who recently went door-to-door canvassing a Montreal neighbourhood, is trying to drum up that support heading into the 2015 federal election, and it seems Drainville is trying to do the same for the PQ.
Drainville said a key mistake the party made during this spring’s election was playing coy when it came to sovereignty.
When asked whether the party would hold a referendum if given a new mandate, former leader Pauline Marois would answer that the party would hold a vote “when Quebecers were ready.”
Drainville says next time around, the choices have to be clear.
“If people have confidence about your true intentions, I think they will be open-minded about debating the substantive issues,” he said.
PQ officials will meet at the end of September, after which it may become more clear how and when the party will pick its next leader.