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Despite the crisis, Françoise David feels a “desire for unity” at QS

Photo: Valérian Mazataud archives Le Devoir “I have confidence that collective wisdom and the desire for unity will prevail in Saguenay. For Quebec,” writes Françoise David in a letter to QS activists, in “Le Devoir.”

The crisis at Québec solidaire (QS) will not lead to rifts within the party, predicts Françoise David. In a letter to activists, the former solidarity spokesperson invites the political party to “walk and chew gum at the same time”, imagining itself “as an elected government” while daring to “challenge preconceived ideas”.

The missive, published in the pages of DevoirThursday, encourages the members who will meet in national council in Jonquière at the end of May, to find a “way through” the disturbances which are shaking the party at the moment. “I have confidence that collective wisdom and the desire for unity will prevail in Saguenay. For Quebec”, writes the former elected representative of Gouin.

The text – “long thought”, according to Ms. David – is intended as a response to those who believe that the party will emerge in bad shape from the events which have shaken it for more than two weeks. The former Solidarity spokesperson makes no secret of it: the “public crisis that is shaking Québec Solidaire” has “affected” and “genuinely worried” her, she said in an interview with Le Duty. But she refuses to believe in any “exodus” of activists following the debates in Saguenay.

“I feel it, the desire for unity,” notes -she.

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Hit by the departure of co-spokesperson Émilise Lessard-Therrien, QS will face important choices in ten days, during its national council. At the beginning of the month, the party's male co-spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, put forward a proposal to modernize the party's statutes and program. Its objective: to make QS a “government party”.

However, not all those in solidarity agree on the path to take. Last week, a letter co-signed in particular by former MP Catherine Dorion condemned the choice of the “fearful left” of GND. Then, on Monday, 80 activists, including several high-ranking former members of the party, attached their names to a text in support of the “pragmatic” turn of the deputy for Gouin.

“I’m not on any side”

Spokeswoman from 2006 to 2017, Françoise David assures that she does not want to play mother-in-law. Allergic to “settling of scores”, she will not choose sides in this affair. “I am not on either side,” she states on the other end of the phone.

However, “Quebec deserves only its left-wing party unites by finding ways of passage that are satisfactory for the majority of members,” maintains Ms. David.

“Obviously, we must engage in and with social movements , dare to challenge preconceived ideas, adopt ways marked by feminist reflection, but also work with determination and patience within an elected parliament,” she wrote in her letter.

To “imagine themselves as an elected government and prepare for it”, the members of the party will therefore benefit from “revisiting […] positions that could be improved without crossing out everything, thinking about new issues, adopting ways of working which combine democracy and efficiency », affirms the former elected official.

“Yes, there are major challenges for QS”, she agrees.

The national coordinating committee (CCN) of the training – which includes the two spokespersons – proposes that members vote on the “Saguenay Declaration” during its meeting at the end of May. This document, which is the culmination of the party's tour of the regions, breaks with several historical positions of QS on the forestry industry or agricultural unionism, for example, in order to “unite, not divide”.

In a second document which will be put to the vote, it is also suggested that the left-wing political party adopt a program “much shorter, free from overly precise political commitments”.

Khadir does not believe in the “split”

Françoise David is not the only ex-spokesperson for speaking out about the turmoil at Québec solidaire. In a Facebook post dated Wednesday, Amir Khadir in turn predicted “that there will be no split.” “Even less a media “bloodbath”…” he writes.

“Despite the contrary interpretations given by others than himself to the intentions of Gabriel — we will find a way to remain united around common decisions on a strategic direction that belongs to the party as a whole,” he continues. “Not to the spokespersons or the NCC. »

In the wake of Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois's plea for political “pragmatism”, some members of the current Quebec Solidaire caucus invited their parliamentary leader to clarify his thoughts. Others, including former spokesperson Manon Massé, had urged members who opposed it to come and debate it in Jonquière.

The national council of Québec solidaire will take place from May 24 to 26. More than 200 people have already registered, and the party expects this number to increase.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116