Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press From left to right, the MP for Sherbrooke, Christine Labrie, the former solidarity elected representative Émilise Lessard-Therrien, and the MP for Mercier, Ruba Ghazal, at the end of a debate in Trois-Rivières as part of the race for co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire, on October 29.
At the end of a “heartbreaking” race for the members of Québec solidaire (QS), the three candidates for co-spokesperson of the left-wing party expect a “close” result on Sunday.
Around 600 delegates will speak at a conference this weekend to determine who will succeed Manon Massé as solidarity spokesperson. A figure which represents approximately 40% of QS delegates entitled to vote (1,436 across Quebec), but which allows the party to boast of having organized “the biggest congress” in its history. At its last face-to-face conference, in 2019, QS attracted some 450 members.
On the starting line of the race for co-spokesperson: the MP for Mercier, Ruba Ghazal, the MP for Sherbrooke, Christine Labrie, and the former solidarity elected official Émilise Lessard-Therrien.
“Confident”, the latter predicts a “close” result this weekend. Ms. Ghazal's attacks on her during the race are a clear demonstration of this, she said in a press scrum on Friday evening.
“I think it's the nature of things , when we are in a race, she argued. Ruba chose his arguments. But what that tells me is that maybe, ultimately, it's closer than we think between two candidates. »
Questioned on the subject on Friday, Christine Labrie flatly denied the hypothesis according to which the attacks directed by Ms. Ghazal against Ms. Lessard-Therrien – and less against her – proved that she was late in the race. “I didn’t think that,” she simply replied to the media.
Voting for the positions of male and female co-spokespersons for Québec solidaire is done by preferential ballot. The delegates sent to the congress by each local association will therefore have to rank the candidates on their ballot, which could lead to a second round if none of them obtains 50% of the votes in the first count.
Ruba Ghazal has no illusions. “It’s going to be a three-way race, maybe in the second round, because it’s going to be close,” she said. I have a good feeling, but after that, the result… Honestly, it's difficult to know because people like all three candidates. They are torn. »
Ms. Ghazal based a good part of her race on the independence discourse, while Ms. Lessard-Therrien oriented it around the regions and rurality. Ms. Labrie, for her part, invites her party to propose more concrete policies, close to voters.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is the only candidate for the position of male co-spokesperson. Delegates will, however, be able to vote for him to no longer represent the party.
In addition to voting for their next co-spokesperson, members gathered this weekend in Gatineau will have the opportunity to vote on proposals concerning the cost of living and gender parity, in particular.
The QS National Coordination Committee proposes, for example, “to cap the profit margins of large food chains” and to eliminate the QST on used products. He also wants only women and non-binary people to be able to submit their candidacy for possible by-elections. If adopted, this policy would be amended during the revision of the party statutes.