A new poll suggesting a merged Parti Québécois and Québec solidaire could form a majority government doesn’t seem to impress QS members opposed to a pact with the PQ.
QS delegates are meeting this weekend to discuss party policy – in particular, the idea of an electoral alliance with the PQ. The hot topic will come up for debate Sunday.
A Léger Marketing poll published Saturday in “Le Devoir” reveals that if the PQ and QS joined forces, they would reap 39 percent of the popular vote, compared to 29 per cent for the Liberals.
However, QS is not actually talking about merging with the PQ. What it will debate on Sunday is a proposal under which both parties would agree not to oppose each other in certain ridings.
QS members who are against the idea have not warmed to it despite Saturday’s poll. Sylvain Lafrenière, who is seeking the position of male party spokesman, said it’s up to party members to decide on the question Sunday. However, he noted there are several fundamental differences between the two parties, in particular their stances on identity politics and the economy.
QS should not desert its basic principles just to defeat the Liberals, he said. “Of course Québec solidaire wants to beat the Liberals, but that’s not the only thing it wants,” he said in an interview on the convention’s sidelines.
Long-time party militant François Saillant said the proposed pact, in its current form, would not be to QS’s advantage. “If all it does is to elect the Parti Québécois, I do not support it,” he said.
“You do not trade voters like hockey cards,” he added.
But Amir Khadir, the MNA for Mercier, said an alliance with the PQ would be an opportunity to “consolidate the growth” of QS and “unblock the political situation.”
Khadir said he understands opponents of the project, who felt betrayed by the PQ when it broke its promises in the past. Khadir warned the PQ that if it succumbs to the temptation to play identity politics again, the agreement would be null and void.
“It would definitely be over. I would like to make that clear. I would be the first to say that there is no longer an agreement,” he said.