With just over a week to go until Québec votes on Sept. 4 for a new Assemblée nationale, Parizeau, in a sharp rebuke to PQ leader Pauline Marois, endorsed the smaller, more stridently sovereigntist Option nationale, a party formed in 2011 by former PQ legislator Jean-Martin Aussant. His move comes with polls showing the PLQ and the PQ see-sawing in the 30% to 35% range for the lead in the election
Marois took the news gracefully, but the Globe and Mail reports that the Parizeau’s snub could jeopardize Marois’s effort to win power. Normally, it doesn’t speak well of a party leader when a former party leader endorses a rival.
In this instance, I’m not sure that it harms Marois. To the contrary, it emphasizes the not-so-subtle secret of Marois’s PQ leadership: she’s more interested in forming a government than pushing sovereignty. That’s the very compliant Aussant aired when he formed Option nationale.
If she wins the election, which is as much a referendum on Charest and his government than anything else, it will be because she has emphasized any number of issues — corruption, strengthening education and health care, promoting Québec industry — to the relative exclusion of sovereignty. Continue reading Sovereigntist party runs away from sovereignty issue in Québec election