Future of the PQ remains in flux as youth, old guard continue infighting
Published Sunday, March 24, 2019 8:51PM EDT
With high-profile defections and criticism from within causing friction, the Parti Quebecois held a national council meeting on Sunday to try and chart a course forward for the beleaguered party.
Weeks after members of the PQ’s youth wing wrote an open letter supporting the decision of MNA Catherine Fournier to resign from the party to sit as an independent, the infighting continued.
On Saturday, youth wing member Felix Pelletier-Belzile announced his own resignation and a day later, the party’s older members pushed back. PQ member Roland Savard accused the party’s younger members of ageism, saying “Just because I might be older, doesn’t mean I don’t have ideas.”
Still, the youth wing pushed through three of its four proposals, which grant more power to those under 40.
PQ youth wing president Frederique St-Jean said the goal is to “bring up new members that are millennials and the generation above us.”
The younger members did get some support from deputy leader Veronique Hivon, who called their proposals “audacious.”
“The youth wing is really there to push,” she said.
The summit ended without a clear picture of what the PQ will be going forward, as the party searches for a new identity in the wake of the 2018 election, where it won just 10 seats – the same number as their relatively new sovereignist rivals Quebec Solidaire.
Interim leader Pascal Berube said that no matter what, the PQ will be very different heading into the next provincial election.
“Are we happy with the result? No, nobody was happy with that,” he said. “Do we want things to change? Yes.”
The party will hold a full policy meeting in November – the party’s first since 1985 – as members debate the PQ’s position on a host of topics and possibly even the structure of the party itself.