PQ to use social media to spread sovereignty message
Published Sunday, February 10, 2013 5:47PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 10, 2013 6:37PM EST
The Parti Quebecois is dreaming big again about a sovereign Quebec -- but this time the party's message will also spread online.
“I’m asking you to speak to your families, and to your coworkers,” said Premier Pauline Marois at the PQ leadership convention in Drummondville this weekend.
Marois told some 400 PQ delegates from across the province the party's new way to boost the sovereignty option will come in bytes: in tweets, on Facebook and on YouTube.
“Imagine a country with 8 million men, women and children governing their own immense magnificent country,” she said.
Delegate Genevieve Nadeau said the PQ matrix should catch on.
“Sovereignty is going to be made because we are going to convince people one by one. Start here, we're going to go where they are, and that's one way of doing it. In French we say ‘assemblee de cuisine,’ which means taking a few neighbours and we're going to have tea and talk about it,” she said.
Marois added that there have been years of federal mistreatment of Quebec.
“We think that it is very important to explain why that is an emergency now to (seek) sovereignty,” she said, adding that the campaign will be positive.
“Our goal is not to speak against federal government or against Canadians or against Canada. Our goal is to speak about the interests for Quebecers to have sovereignty because we will be able to make our own decisions in our own interests,” she said.
Gazette political analyst Don Macpherson doesn't see the PQ's pitch reaching much of a new audience.
“It's the kind of thing that is basically intended to keep the members happy. Start here, the members want to hear about sovereignty. They want to talk about sovereignty. They also want to hear their leaders talking about sovereignty, so this is intended to satisfy them,” he said.
In a closed-door session, the minister responsible for Anglophones told delegates about his openness to the Anglophone community and his support for partial bilingualism at the STM.
He later told reporters that it was refreshing to see how many PQ delegates agreed with him.
Labour Minister Agnes Maltais is taking the PQ's message to Ottawa Monday in a meeting with her federal counterpart.
Maltais said changes to employment insurance says will make Quebec's seasonal workers miss out
“They surely have done studies on the impacts, so we need to see them. If they don't, then it means that they would have done that without studies. It's unbelievable. So I'll go and explain her what the reality is in Quebec.”
Meantime, the PQ minority government faces opposition parties in the National Assembly again starting Tuesday.
PQ doesn’t have the right priorities: Anglo community
The sovereignty push hasn’t impressed some Anglophone Quebec, who see the social media push for sovereignty as a bad idea given that support for independence has been shrinking.
“The province of Quebec doesn't belong exclusively to one small group,” said Norbert Bedoucha, vice-president of the Equality Party 2.0, a budding reincarnation of the Anglo rights party founded in the late 1980s.
“The PQ was elected on a minority basis. They were not elected with a clear mandate for sovereignty. So all that they're doing is really counter to what the Quebec population has asked them to do, which is to deal with the corruption, to deal with the economy, to deal with the tuition issues,” said Bedoucha.
Dan Lamoureux, president of the Quebec Community Group Network agrees, but said at least the PQ has made an effort to reach out to the Anglo community.
“The community, in the past government did not have one special minister responsible for English-speaking Quebecers, so it's a new experience for the government, as for the Quebec Community Groups Network or any other English group,” he said, adding that the benefit of social media is that public money isn’t being used to promote the sovereigntist movement.