QUEBEC CITY – Not since 1970 did the Parti Quebecois suffer such a humiliating defeat.
The party lost 24 seats in last month’s election, and was booted out of government. Now PQ members are trying to determine what went wrong… and who is to blame.
About 150 PQ file-and-rank members are expected at the Sheraton Hotel in Laval on Saturday for an election postmortem.
Already heads are starting to roll.
Sylvain Tanguay, the party director-general, was expected to resign Friday night.
Antoine Robitaille, an editorial writer for the French newspaper Le Devoir said that he believes there are many reasons why the PQ lost power.
“They thought there were not going to be better polls than those they had at that time, so they wanted to take advantage of those polls,” he said.
Critics believe the PQ mislead Quebecers when it told them it had strong legal advice supporting its proposed charter of values; it turns out that there was no legal advice.
Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée confirmed this week that the PQ never asked government lawyers for any formal opinion.
“I thought they had that because that’s what they said, and I didn’t think they lied. But finally, if I hear their explanations, they lied,” said Québec Solidaire’s Françoise David.
As the PQ looks to rebuild, party veteran François Gendron argued they should take their time finding a new leader.
Bernard Drainville, Jean-François Lisée and Pierre Karl Péladeau are already in the running, with Gilles Duceppe and Véronique Hivon also getting their share of popular support.
But Robitaille argued that what the party needs is an entirely new program.
“I think the PQ could take two different paths: one would be to get closer to Option Nationale and to promise a referendum and hold that promise and the other one could be to get closer to the CAQ, so sovereignty if necessary, but not necessarily sovereignty,” Robitaille told Global News.
The PQ is notorious for airing its dirty laundry in public and that process is set to begin on Saturday in Laval.