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Solidarity Sol Zanetti wants to “push the limits of what is possible” in politics

Photo: Francis Vachon Archives Le Devoir The MP for Jean-Lesage, Sol Zanetti

Thomas Laberge – The Canadian Press in Quebec

Posted at 10:29 a.m.

  • Quebec

After the solidarity parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois put his cards on the table on Wednesday, it is the turn of the MP for Jean-Lesage, Sol Zanetti, to present his vision for Québec solidaire (QS) . Uncomfortable with the label of pragmatism stated by his leader, he believes that the party should not be afraid of “stepping out of the box”, nor trying “to meet the demands of the machine full time”, but rather “pushing the limits of what is possible”.

Although he recognizes that debates will be necessary within his party, Sol Zanetti remains cautious and does not want to attack Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

Yet, in a letter of which The Canadian Press obtained a copy, he writes that QS must make a difficult choice to “no longer lose Catherine [Dorion] and Émilise [Lessard-Therrien]”, two women who criticized the leadership style of the supportive parliamentary leader . “I refuse to personalize this affair or to reduce it to a gang war,” maintains Sol Zanetti in his first public outing since the shock resignation of Émilise Lessard-Therrien on Monday.

QS has been in crisis since Ms. Lessard-Therrien left her position as co-spokesperson just months after being elected. In a message in which she explains the reasons for her departure, she criticizes Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois – without naming him – and the “small team of professionals woven tightly around” him.

On Wednesday, the supportive parliamentary leader came to present his vision, affirming that he wants QS to become a “government party” with a more “pragmatic” program and a lighter structure.

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“The word pragmatic has negative connotations for part of the left. I don’t want to use that term to define myself, but at the same time, I also don’t want to reject it,” says Sol Zanetti in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Does he disagree with his boss ? “I don’t recognize myself in this dichotomy. I am someone who wants it to work and who wants to push the limits of what is possible,” he says.

Sol Zanetti is not the only one to feel uncomfortable with the term pragmatic. Although he calls himself pragmatic, MP Guillaume Cliche-Rivard seemed to want to keep his distance from this term this week. The party's new interim co-spokesperson, Christine Labrie, fully embraces it.

In his letter, Sol Zanetti says that “since day 1”, he wants QS “to be a government party, but not a party or a government like the others”. He also wants the party to find solutions to ensure more equality between the two spokespersons.

The member for Jean-Lesage thinks that the party should not be afraid to do things simply because they may displease. “We need to take this risk more often. And that’s something we’re all capable of doing. Gabriel is capable of doing that,” he maintains.

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