Analysis | PLQ: A Beautiful Mess
Marc Tanguay was unable to convince the MP Marie-Claude Nichols to return home.
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As if the historic defeat of October 3 did not already hurt the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) enough, the members of its caucus give the impression of trying to torpedo the slightest chance given to them to raise the bar for a few weeks .
Who would have thought that a post of third vice-president of the National Assembly could lead a caucus to the brink, in addition to being involved in the departure of a party leader?
No one will emerge victorious from the events of the last hours. After having aroused a certain sympathy because of the bad fate that her former boss had reserved for her, Marie-Claude Nichols now seems to be stubborn. In an interview on Cogeco on Tuesday morning, the MP assured that obtaining the post of third vice-president was not a condition sine qua nonon her return, but it is hard to see what is keeping her from returning home. Not only did Marc Tanguay offer her the apologies she was asking for, but he made it clear that he was willing to entrust her with the file of his choice.
The deputy Frantz Benjamin, chosen by Dominique Anglade to occupy the function of vice-president, was not illustrated either by his team spirit. Of course, no one likes to lose an advantage they were promised, but threatening to jump ship, after all the upheavals the QLP has experienced lately, must not have won them much sympathy from from his colleagues.
As for Marc Tanguay, one can only wonder about his political sense and his ability to manage a caucus that we have known to be dysfunctional for a long time. As soon as his appointment was announced, the interim chief had himself made the return of Marie-Claude Nichols his priority. Maybe he shouldn't have raised the bar like that. Propose a compromise without the certainty that it will be accepted by the caucus is not the sign of strong leadership.
However, it is the Liberal Party of Quebec that emerges the most battered from this entire episode, its deputies giving the sad impression of being more concerned about their personal fate than the good of their party. The credibility of their political formation, already tarnished by the failures of the last campaign, will be difficult to restore, and the militants, few in number, harder to mobilize.
Dominique Anglade may find comfort in seeing the liberal boat continue to falter despite the appointment of a new captain, but she must not forget her share of responsibility. If the ship is taking on water, it is because she herself was unable to seal the breaches during her two years at the helm.
Many deputies do as they please, and have done so for several years now. Despite all his efforts, Dominique Anglade has never managed to tame the strong personalities who make up the Liberal caucus. In other words, we are now paying the price for the indiscipline that has been tolerated for too long.
The CAQ can only revel in the misfortunes of the Liberal Party. Two weeks before the start of the parliamentary term, François Legault does not have to worry too much, especially since we still do not know if the PQ deputies will be allowed to sit. The latter still refuse to take an oath to the king. As for the elected representatives of Québec solidaire, they have been very discreet since the elections of October 3.
More than ever, the PLQ needs a leader capable of imposing an order march to his troops. The list of challenges awaiting Dominique Anglade's successor is already long enough to dissuade many potential candidates from diving into the race. The events of the past few hours are likely to push them back even further.