Where have the separatists gone? | Elections Quebec 2022

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Where did the separatists? | ÉQuebec 2022 elections

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon and Yves-François Blanchet participated in an activist rally in Baie-Comeau.

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet came to lend a hand at Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, Sunday. The two are appealing to separatists who intend to support the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) on October 3.

An additional passenger boarded the bus in Baie-Comeau. For the first time in the campaign, Yves-François Blanchet is taking part in an event with Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

The numbers of the Parti Québécois are rising, he says in the evening, in a bar where a few dozen activists are gathered.

Perhaps, but how far will they go?

In the federal election held last year, the Bloc Québécois obtained just over 32% of the vote in Quebec.

In a Léger poll conducted last June, the proportion of respondents who would vote yes to a referendum on Quebec sovereignty was also 32%.

However, the Parti Québécois (PQ) has received a much smaller share of voting intentions so far.

This phenomenon could be explained, at least in part, by the fact that thousands of separatist voters turn to other parties, including the CAQ and Québec solidaire (QS).

There is a phenomenon which is quite general, I will not say misrepresentation, it might seem impolite, but we will say uncertain representation, says Yves-François Blanchet.

For example, he believes that QS has no independence project, even if the party proposes to create a constituent assembly to write a new constitution for Quebec, a process that would lead to a referendum.

If you are separatists and you vote for the CAQ, adds the leader of the Bloc Québécois, stop deluding yourself. François Legault has been clear: he will not achieve independence. The place where he chose to deliver this message was probably not chosen at random.

The two ridings on the North Shore have been painted blue for a while. That of René-Lévesque has been held by the PQ for 19 years, and the other, that of Duplessis, for 46 years.

But the CAQ troops are threatening to make gains.< /p>

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon also recognizes that several separatists voted for the Coalition avenir Québec in the last election, to replace the Liberals according to him.

We are growing, he says, however, in front of his supporters in Baie-Comeau. It shows in the donations, it shows in the score, it shows on the field, it shows everywhere. And this growth is a direct transfer from separatists who voted CAQ in 2018 and who were stunned, shaken by the words of François Legault during the debate a few days ago.

A similar scene takes place in a restaurant in Jonquière on Saturday evening, when the PQ leader addresses dozens of activists. Among the crowd is Cyrille Lapointe, 74 years old.

I'm in a block of 16 condos, it's all PQ members [who live there], he said. But we are three or four maximum who will vote for the PQ.

– The others will vote for the CAQ?

– They will vote for the CAQ.

– Why?

Legault took everything from the symbols of the Parti Québécois, replies Mr. Lapointe, whether we think of the defense of the French language, with Bill 96, or even secularism, with Bill 21.

Even if there is, he says, a current in Quebec, he promises not to be carried away.

< p class="e-p">I want the Parti Québécois to continue to live, [… ] but people don't always see it that way.

On the stage, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon affirms, as he has done several times since Thursday, to have been shocked by the words of François Legault in the first debate. He boasted of being in the process of wresting the monopoly of action against independence from the Liberal Party, he says, provoking the disapproval of his militants.

During Face-à-Face de TVA, the head of the CAQ pledged never to hold a referendum on Quebec sovereignty. Our project is inside Canada, he said. For 50 years, there has been a debate between two parties: the Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois. And the Liberal Party has lost the monopoly of being against Quebec sovereignty.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon received a warm welcome from dozens of activists on Saturday evening in Jonquière, the only PQ riding in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean.

His PQ opponent believes that he shows resignation by saying this.

My message to all Quebec separatists who voted CAQ in 2018: save who can. Save who can, because the CAQ wants to stifle your voice, said Paul St-Pierre Plamondon on Saturday.

“There is only one house for the separatists, […] it is that of the Parti Québécois. »

— Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois

Does he believe that the sovereignists who support François Legault are misguided?

I'm just saying: there is a house of yours and the door is wide open, he replies. The CAQ boasts of being more federalist than the Liberals, of having won the action against Quebec independence. Your home is waiting for you, the door is open.

The question now is: do they want to come in?

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