Bloc Quebecois abandons sovereignty slogan on campaign posters
Up until now, the Bloc Quebecois has focused its campaign messaging on independence, with its "Qui Prend Pays Prend Parti" slogan on some if its posters.
But that message doesn't seem to have resonated with Quebecers, so Monday morning -- a month into the campaign -- the Bloc revealed new campaign posters with the slogans, "Des Gains Pour le Quebec," or Gains for Quebec. It says a new slogan will also be revealed soon.
It's all part of an effort by the party to remind Quebecers of what it brought voters during its years in Ottawa.
At a news conference, party leader Gilles Duceppe said Quebecers have been largely ignored since the party was swept out of the province in 2011 by the NDP.
He says other parties have been evoking the past in recent weeks so it was time for his party to remind people of past exploits, such as stricter laws on organized crime.
"I heard I don't know how many times during the campaign, always Tom ... talking about Jack. Always 'Jack Jack Jack' and 'Tom Tom Tom,' well if it's possible for them to remember what they did, it's possible for us," Duceppe said.
Duceppe suggests the NDP, currently leading in the polls in Quebec, is exactly where the Bloc was in 2011 before their dramatic collapse.
He says there is plenty of time left in the campaign to convince Bloc voters to return, despite going into the campaign with just two seats and handcuffed by lagging numbers at the polls.
“They need to shake things up,” explained Sebastian Dallaire of Leger research and strategic marketing firm. “Something needs to happen for them to pick up more media space but also have some different message for Quebecers.”
Instead of the message being independence or voting Bloc to get rid of the Harper government - something many may now be looking at voting NDP to do - the Bloc is telling Quebecers it's time for them to make new gains, something they say the NDP has not done for them.
“Why should Quebecers forget who they are just to help the rest of Canada get Harper out of the job?” said Duceppe.
The Bloc is also fending off questions about one of its candidates in Matane, Haitian-born-Quebec-raised Kedina Fleury Samson once invited people on Facebook to a magical ceremony.
That led some to questions from reporters as to whether she practices voodoo, which she denies.
“It's sad to see that some people would use this kind of prejudicial argument to discredit someone,” said former Bloc MP and current Parti Quebecois MNA Maka Kotto.
“It's not an issue -- it's a personal issue and it's to be disrespectful of diversity,” said Bloc supporter Marie Pascaline Menono.
Meantime Duceppe said the party will reveal its entire electoral platform next week.
-- with files from The Canadian Press