Landry letter reignites PQ infighting
Published Tuesday, January 24, 2012 11:33AM EST
Troubles continued at the Parti Quebecois on Tuesday after former Premier Bernard Landry released a statement blaming the party's continued electoral challenges on his successor's approach to the sovereignty question.
"We cannot act as though we are sovereign when we are a simple province, nor can we act as though we have a seat at the United Nations when we sit at the Council of Federation," read the letter, released in several French newspapers.
"Such a doctrine sends the message that we can act as a sovereign state without being one, this makes sovereignty dispensable."
Taking aim at the strategy put in place by his successor, Pauline Marois, Landry called for the PQ to make independence its goal.
While praising his party, Landry sought to avoid personalizing his attack. While not calling out Marois by name, Landry included a lesson for future PQ leaders.
"The homeland before the party, the party before personal ambitions," wrote Landry.
The letter comes a day after Marois announced the creation of a new committee, headed by Bloc Quebecois leader Daniel Paille, to look at the issue of sovereignty in the province.
Landry continued to spread the message in an interview with CTV Montreal Tuesday.
"I'm not addressing to Madame Marois, I'm addressing the Parti Quebecois," said Landry. "Sovereignty is more popular today than it was 10 months before the referendum in 1995."
Landry was referring to polls conducted in early 1995 which stated that sovereignty had the support of anywhere from 32 to 46 percent of Quebecers. Apparently the gap was a result of differing questions and methodologies.
Current support for the sovereignist option sits at around 37 percent according to the latest La Presse-CROP poll.
La Presse political pundit Andre Pratt believes the opposite of what Landry asserted.
He says that separating is just not on the minds of Quebecers.
"You see it in the polls, you hear it every time. This is not Quebecers' priority," said Pratte.
He believes the CAQ's focus on health care education, and immigration is more in tune with the public appetite.
"These are things that really concern Quebecers," said Pratte.
Infighting has taken its toll
Breathing a sigh of relief after former Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe announced that he would not seek political office, ending speculation that he would run for the PQ leadership, Marois called for an end to the fractious infighting that has marked her term as leader.
A La Presse-CROP poll released Tuesday showed the damage caused by the constant questioning of Marois' leadership.
Nearly 65 per cent of Quebecers surveyed felt that Marois should resign, while only 32 per cent of surveyed Parti Quebecois supporters felt the same way.
Despite increasing popularity within her own party, Marois' lack of electability might spell more challenges for the leader in the future.
Out of power since 2003, only 11 per cent of Quebecers said they were ready to vote for the separatists, reducing the PQ to third-party status.
The governing Liberals, with 19 per cent support, were trailing Francois Legault's upstart Coalition Avenir Quebec and its 31 per cent of the vote.
A December poll showed the CAQ had the support of 39 per cent of voters.
The poll surveyed 1,000 people between January 19 and 23, 2012.