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

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

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 received ideas”.

The missive, published in the pages of Duty Thursday, 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 Gouin elected official.

The text – “considered at length”, according to Mme David — is intended to be a response to those who believe that the party will emerge in bad shape from the events that have been shaking 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 The duty. But she refuses to believe in any “exodus” of activists following the debates in Saguenay.

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

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 either side”

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

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

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

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

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

The training’s national coordinating committee (CCN) — which includes the two spokespersons — asks members to 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 group adopts a program “much shorter, free from overly precise political commitments”.

Khadir does not believe in the “split”

Françoise David is not the only former spokesperson to have spoken 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 Gabriel’s intentions – we will find a way to remain united around common decisions on a strategic orientation which belongs to the party as a whole,” continues -he. “Not to the spokespersons or to the CCN. »

In the wake of Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois’s plea for political “pragmatism”, some deputies from the current Quebec Solidaire caucus invited their parliamentary leader to clarify his thoughts. Others, including former spokesperson Manon Massé, had urged members who oppose 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 to see this number increase.

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