Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Québec solidaire launches campaign for independence

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Émilise Lessard-Therrien and Ruba Ghazal say they sparked interest in independence during the race to become co- female spokesperson for QS.

  • Sébastien Desrosiers (View profile)Sébastien Desrosiers

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With an advertising and political offensive launched on Friday, Québec solidaire (QS) says it wants to increase support for sovereignty. “This is not a response to criticism, it is not linked to the rise of the PQ,” assures Ruba Ghazal.

We are launching a campaign to promote the vision of Quebec independence from Québec solidaire, explains the member for Mercier, in an interview with Radio-Canada.

With a new website, displays and events, for example in CEGEPs and universities, the political party especially wants to convince young voters to rally behind its social project by 2026.

We wanted to expand the number of people, the new generations who would support the independence, summarizes Ruba Ghazal, ambassador of this campaign called New Quebec.

The reason also why we are doing it is that our members told us [in the National Council]: "we want to hear about the project #x27;much more independence.

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According to the most recent polls, only a third of voters of QS would vote yes to a referendum on sovereignty, the same proportion as the rest of the population.

I see the glass half full, says Ruba Ghazal. These people are already in Québec solidaire, they like our project. These are people who have their ears wide open to be told about our independence project.

C&#x27 “I am sure that if we do nothing, nothing will happen,” adds the party’s co-spokesperson, Émilise Lessard-Therrien. What we want to do is to adopt our leadership position on the question of independence in Quebec.

They promise to explain their project in more detail over the coming months and years, but they will highlight the advantages of gaining sovereignty, for example in the fight against climate change. p>

The use of a Constituent Assembly, described as a “loophole” by Christine Labrie, however remains the preferred solution. In a first mandate, a united government would convene members of society to draft the constitution of a new country. This constitution would then be submitted to a referendum.

What we want is to have a winning strategy, and for us it is winning strategy, it's a Constituent Assembly, argues the former member for Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue.

The two supporters assure that this initiative has nothing to do with the renewed popularity of the Parti Québécois (PQ), which now comes in first position in voting intentions.

This is not a response to criticism, it is not linked to the rise of the PQ, insists Ruba Ghazal. We don't do things based on what others do.

We want to talk about independence in our own way, she explains, and promote open and inclusive nationalism.

Nevertheless, some could see it as a form of catching up, agrees Mireille Lalancette, full professor of political communication at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR). It is certain that with the rise in the PQ polls, it is good to become sovereignist again, she believes.

QS has always been an independence party, she says, but she nevertheless observes a return to basics, in the context where the question of sovereignty could impose itself again.

Already, there seems to be a transfer of nationalist voices from the CAQ to the PQ.

We are going to want to hit the nail on the head, predicts Mireille Lalancette. The question is: "Are people really interested in sovereignty or are they disappointed with the CAQ?"

Over the years, some have come to doubt the true independence aspirations of Québec solidaire. In December, in an open letter, former members of the defunct political party National Option (ON) called on their former colleagues there to leave QS.

If QS really decides to campaign for independence, we can only welcome this initiative, says Mathieu Lebel, signatory of the letter and former vice-president of ON in Terrebonne. But this must be accompanied by concrete things.

Fine words are all well and good, but it is the actions that define the political parties, he wrote in an email exchange.

He also says he does not know if the appeal launched to his old comrades has been heard.

The more we talk about independence, the better, agrees Ruba Ghazal. What we want is to increase support for the project.

It's not a response to criticism, she repeats, the question of independence has been part of QS's DNA from the beginning.

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