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QS activists defend Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois’ call for pragmatism

Photo: Karoline Boucher The Canadian Press The co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, during question period on Wednesday at the National Assembly.

Thomas Laberge – The Canadian Press

Posted at 8:07 a.m. Updated at 1:15 p.m.

  • Quebec

Around forty ex-employees, former candidates and activists of Québec solidaire (QS), current or former, as well as ex-MP Catherine Dorion, published an open letter Thursday morning to oppose the “pragmatic” shift proposed by the male spokesperson for the party, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

According to the signatories of the letter, the vision of Mr. Nadeau-Dubois regarding the future of QS is not the right one, since the party was founded with the very idea of ​​forming an option outside of political standards.

“Confining ourselves within current parliamentary institutions as well as submission to media and algorithmic demands would be the equivalent of magically waiting for a strong social movement to arise and for QS to simply take over from there. “National Assembly”, denounce the signatories.

QS has been in crisis since the resignation of Émilise Lessard-Therrien from her position as co-spokesperson, just a few months after being elected. In a message where she explains the reasons for her departure, she criticizes the “small team of professionals woven tightly around” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

Last week, M . Nadeau-Dubois argued that a complete overhaul of the program and structure of QS was necessary, so that it could become a “party of government”.

Taking back power head on

In their letter, the signatories argue that this vision is erroneous, and that it does not correspond to the deep values ​​of QS which ensured that they agreed to devote “time, mental load, sweat, faith, and great amount of resolute and sincere effort.”

In their opinion, adopting a “pragmatic” approach is a strategy doomed to failure, since this type of positioning “is overtaken everywhere in the West by a right that is not afraid to raise crowds and shift the framing of the political debate to the right.”

“Where will we take this fearful choice to stay within the limits of “pragmatism” dictated by the media and economic elites ? Our ambition is much greater than that,” they plead.

If the signatories agree with the fact that QS must have the ambition to take power, it must not be to “occupy it quietly by passing the few bills that the dominant elites will be willing to let us pass” .

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“It’s to take back this power head on and bring it back down to the people; it is to completely reinvent our bankrupt democracy; it is to rewrite from scratch a new Constitution, that of an independent Quebec which is in phase with this heated social movement to which we would have worked to the best of our abilities. In phase with the people, for once”, they write.

“And that will not be done within the limits of what the media commentators or the financial bishops consider it “realistic”. It won't be done with a single skilled speaker or with a single small clique. It will be done with many, many people. It is the work of bringing together this immense gang, not only in the ballot box, but also in real life, that QS should tackle,” add the signatories of the letter.

“Difficult moment”

Called to react to the missive, solidarity MP Alexandre Leduc admitted that it was a “difficult moment” for QS. “But this is not the first difficult debate we have had,” he added at a press briefing Thursday at the National Assembly.

However, “we are not going to deny that we had a co-spokesperson leave. This is the first time this type of event has happened. We are also not going to deny that there are questions that arise in relation to our impact and then our dialogues with the regions”, recognized MP Alejandra Zaga Mendez.

“This is the first time we’ve experienced this in Québec Solidaire in this way. That being said, I believe our democratic bodies, I believe that we are capable of having this debate in the bodies which will allow us to make collective decisions,” she added.< /p>

Mr. Leduc is hopeful that his party will emerge united from its National Council which will be held at the end of May in Saguenay.

“I will not hide from you that It has already happened to me to lose debates within QS as an activist and to have this idea cross my mind: “Am I still in the right place ?” I think that 'there is something healthy in that,' he said.

In the past, those who no longer recognized themselves in the party left , raised in the press scrum the former co-spokesperson of QS, Manon Massé.

“There are going to be people who are going to have to ask questions,” she said. I remember when we strengthened our position on the independence of Quebec, there were people who were uncomfortable. They had two choices: either they stayed with us and said: “Okay, this is one element among others, we go for it” or they said: “We are leaving”. »

Discontent has intensified within the left party since the departure of Émilise Lessard-Therrien. On Tuesday, the QS National Women's Commission denounced the muzzling of women and “the growing influence of non-democratically elected people” within the party.

Last Friday, two employees and close collaborators of Mr. Nadeau-Dubois left the party headquarters.

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