PQ holds emergency meeting following rejection of alliance
Published Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:10PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 23, 2017 6:51PM EDT
The Parti Quebecois called all hands to an emergency meeting on Tuesday.
With the party's offer of an alliance to defeat the Liberal party soundly rejected by Quebec Solidaire, the PQ is deciding where to go next.
This week is supposed to be an opportunity for MNAs to leave Quebec City and meet constituents in their home ridings. Instead party leader Jean-Francois Lisée summoned his party to Quebec City to discuss its options and how to deal with the "intransigent" Quebec Solidaire.
The weekend had several bits of bad news for the opposition party, including the second poll in a matter of days showing that popular support for the PQ has dropped to where it is now in third place in the hearts of Quebecers, behind the CAQ.
Then Quebec Solidaire, at a weekend caucus, firmly rejected the idea of an alliance with the PQ.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for the left-wing party which nominally supports Quebec independence, said its vision of Quebec includes everyone who chooses Quebec.
"One of the problems with the Parti Quebecois is they have chosen in the past to take the path of division and exclusion, and a big part of our DNA in Quebec Solidaire is the opposite; it’s inclusion," he said.
He added that Quebec Solidaire and the PQ also don't see eye-to-eye on protecting the environment and helping society's poorest.
Many PQ rank-and-file members were outraged by the rejection of the alliance, especially since the PQ declined to run a candidate in the Gouin by-election, where Nadeau-Dubois is running.
Lisée echoed that sentiment, saying Quebec Solidaire members put their own interests ahead of what is best for the province.
The latest poll shows a majority of PQ and Quebec Solidaire supporters are in favour of an alliance between the two parties, where Lisée tried to shift the focus, saying Quebec Solidaire is isolating itself.
“They decided to turn their backs on 87 per cent of their electorate. Their electorate saw the need for a pact, their electorate saw the need to push away the Liberal party and its toxic government from power,” he said.
Analysts say the rejection is now being seen as a test of leadership for Lisée, who pushed for an alliance, and who pushed to put independence on the backburner.
Lisée later said defeating the Liberals is all that matters as the only way to prevent "four more years of austerity, tax reductions, and service reductions."
The PQ leader already took a bold risk by promising there will be no referendum in a first mandate if the PQ comes to power. That proposal will be tested when the PQ meets for its national congress in September and Lisée faces a confidence vote.