Massé launches bid to succeed David as QS spokesperson
Published Sunday, March 5, 2017 10:58AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, March 5, 2017 6:47PM EST
Quebec Solidaire MNA Manon Massé launched her campaign to succeed Francoise David as the party’s female spokesperson on Sunday.
Massé made the announcement at a press conference in her riding of Ste-Marie-St-Jacques.
“In spite of all the scandals that envelope the political class and the social inequalities that are constantly increasing, I’m not cynical,” she said in a statement. “I am more determined than ever to attack all the injustices that affect the population.”
David, who co-founded the left-wing party in 2006, retired from politics in January, citing fatigue and health concerns. Massé has held David’s former position in an interim role since then.
The party’s other spokesperson, Andres Fontecilla, announced on Friday that he would not seek another term for the position.
At her announcement, Massé touted her experience as an MNA and laid out some lofty ambitions, including making QS the most popular political party in the province.
"I think in the last three years, work in the National Assembly gave me a lot of aptitude to be the spokesperson, but more than that, I think Quebecers are fed up with politicians," she said. "What they want is democracy and I think I'm the one that they need."
Unlike other political parties, Quebec Solidaire does not have a formal leader and its male and female spokespeople acts as the party’s public face. Former spokesperson Amir Khadir, who still sits as an MNA for Quebec Solidaire, lent his support to Massé's candidacy, saying her past as a feminist advocate has prepared her for the role.
"In Quebec Solidaire we don't promote the idea of leaders in traditional terms," he said. We don't have bosses, we don't have people with the authority to decide. We have people with the moral authority to speak for us, to interpret and she has that capacity."
Political analyst Lise Ravary said she doubts any candidate could come forward who would put up much of a challenge to Massé for the position.
"I believe she's an unbeatable candidate inasmuch as such a thing can exist," she said. "She is somebody who is well-liked across the board, too. She's not a polarizing figure like Amir Khadir was when he was the male spokesperson."
Following Fontecilla's announcement he would not seek another term, rumours have swirled that the party could be courting a familiar face to eventually replace him in Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a former student leader who rose to provincial fame during the student strikes of 2012. Several parties, including QS, the Parti Quebecois and Option Nationale have been reportedly courting him.
"Very, very smart young man. Very set in his ideas, quite alarmingly so for somebody so young. He's popular, he's well-known, of course," said Ravary. "I can see one day he's going to get into politics."
The party will choose its new spokesperson on May 21 at the party's national congress. Thus far, Massé is the only candidate for the position. The deadline for applications is April 4.
- With files from The Canadian Press