2015/02/02 Leave a comment
Martin Patriquin on the PQ internal politics regarding the resurrection of the Values Charter and related positioning:
The introduction of Drainville’s charter proposal in the fall of 2014 unleashed one of the more divisive chapters in recent Quebec political history. In one example, Quebec actress and pro-charter spokesperson Janette Bertrand said the province needed such a thing because Muslim doctors allowed women to “die faster.” It was all for naught for the PQ, pollster Claire Durand notes. “The charter was never strong enough to drive votes to the PQ. What drives votes in the Gaspé is the price of lobster, not whether a woman wears a hijab at the licence bureau.”
The charter’s lack of electoral oomph suggests the PQ’s return to identity politics is something bigger than crass politicking; perhaps the party has truly realized the limitations of its appeal to immigrants and non-francophones. At any rate, Drainville’s foray has the support of several sovereignist tenors, including Gilles Duceppe. The former Bloc Québécois leader criticized Drainville’s original charter during the last election campaign. He has since changed his mind.
“I think we need a charter,” Duceppe says. And because the Liberal government relies on the votes of religious minorities, Duceppe says only the PQ is poised to pursue the goal of state secularism. “Already, the ethnic vote isn’t very strong with the PQ. They come here from troubled countries, and they don’t want further problems,” he says. “They didn’t come to Canada for the weather.”