Graham Hughes Archives The Canadian Press During the 2022 Quebec elections, the Quebec Liberal Party obtained the worst results in its history in terms of the popular vote.
The Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) has too often demonstrated “inauthenticity” and disorganization in recent years to stand out from the crowd. This is one of the many criticisms compiled by the Committee on the revival of the party in the report which it will make public Thursday morning.
In an 80-page document entitled “Assert, unite, prosper”, the co-presidents of the committee set up last March, André Pratte and Madwa-Nika Cadet, suggest that the group focus on an “affirmation project” of Quebec to get out of the slump of recent years.
Among their 41 proposals is a draft Quebec Constitution, as reported by Le Devoir at the end of September. This document would contain “the rules, norms and constitutional conventions governing Quebec” and would “explicitly state the values and Quebec identity[s]”.
“The Liberal Party of Quebec must put forward a bold, inclusive and unifying nationalism,” we can read in the report, which we were able to consult Wednesday evening, a few days before the party's general council.
The Committee also suggests that the PLQ break with a long-standing position by supporting the idea of reforming the voting system. He also recommends that the training led by Marc Tanguay propose “the adoption of a law on interculturalism which would define the principles and conditions on which the integration of newcomers, the development of cultural diversity are based and living together”, in addition to demanding the repatriation of temporary immigration powers to Quebec.
This report is the result of a consultation tour led in recent months by Mr. Pratt, senator and former journalist, and Ms. Cadet, current Liberal MP for the Bourassa-Sauvé riding. It contains a series of criticisms addressed to the party's general staff, but contains no specific recommendations for ways to respond to them.
“[The] activists observed that if the Party was able to seek to position itself in such a way as to please everyone, paradoxically, this had the consequence of disappointing a large majority,” notes among other things the Committee in its final report. “It has also led to an increased perception of inauthenticity around the Party’s image. »
The PLQ, formerly known for its “liberal machine”, has also “taken for granted” a good part of its activists, we observe. The 2022 elections, where the party achieved its worst popular vote results in its history, were the culmination.
“Lack of preparation and the organization’s propensity to do things at the last minute are also factors that were often mentioned during our consultations,” writes the Committee. “The recruitment of candidates for the 2022 general election is an example of this state of affairs which was raised repeatedly by the members consulted. »
Nine values still relevant
The reflection committee, which also consulted former leaders such as Jean Charest and Philippe Couillard during its approach, invites the senior members of the political party not to abandon the “nine liberal values” imagined at the beginning of the century by Claude Ryan. “Canadian belonging” and “individual freedoms” must remain a central part of his speech, “but perhaps we will make it easier to teach,” he says.
During the legislature preceding the last elections, the former liberal leader Dominique Anglade had briefly proposed a nationalist turn by asking the CAQ government to adopt a reform of the Charter of the French language that was more robust than it had proposed. She was on the wrong track, believes the Committee on Recovery.
“The existing rights of Anglophones in Quebec to services in their language and to control of their institutions should be more clearly affirmed by our laws,” he indicates in his report.
In matters of environment, Ms. Anglade's flagship project, which focused on the use of green hydrogen to begin the energy-efficient shift, is no longer one of the priorities. In the 2022 electoral platform, the three promises welcomed by the Committee are as follows: the implementation of a “[s]trategy for the protection of natural environments and biodiversity”, “the organization of a COP- Quebec” and the idea of entrusting the Premier of Quebec with responsibilities for achieving the objectives in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Liberal activists will have the opportunity to debate the content of the Committee's report this weekend at the party's general council in Drummondville. The rules of the PLQ leadership race will also be revealed this weekend.