Five months before the general election, the Quebec Liberal Party is losing some of its best elements. Like the departure announced yesterday of the highly respected Pierre Arcand, deputy, ex-minister and ex-interim leader, nearly half of his deputies have chosen to leave politics.

It’s a real bloodletting. An embarrassing exodus. An undeniable save-who-can.

Accustomed to long stays in power, since its historic defeat in 2018, following the disastrous reign of Philippe Couillard, the PLQ languishes in absentee subscribers.

Among Francophones, whose honeymoon with the Legault government continues ardently, he lives at only 10% support. It cracks even within its most loyal English-speaking electorate.

Propelled by the positions deemed mollassonnes of leader Dominique Anglade on the CAQ bill aimed at strengthening Law 101, the possible creation of two English-speaking mini-parties adds to the woes of the PLQ.

Insofar as the possible crushing of the Parti Québécois no longer even provides the Liberals with the argument to offer Anglophones added value refuge against the “nasty separatists”, who really knows what the impact of these new formations will be in the voting booth? To be continued.

coup de grace

The coup de grace came nevertheless by the partial in Marie-Victorin. Relegated to 5th place, the Liberal candidate was challenged by the candidate of the Conservative Party of Quebec of Éric Duhaime. And this, just a stone’s throw from Montreal.

It is said that no one is obliged to do the impossible. For Ms. Anglade, such a string of problems can only further weaken her already shaky leadership.

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Faced with the possible departure of nearly half of her caucus, the Liberal leader may well swear that she finds there a tremendous opportunity for “renewal”, the reality is somewhat less optimistic.

In such a context, how not to conclude, at worst, to a certain disavowal towards her within her own troops. Or at best, to the discouragement of several of its deputies faced with the certainty of another long passage to the opposition. Or, a combination of the two.

Think about succession

With the departure of several veterans and dramatically reduced support among Francophone voters, this other move to the opposition also risks taking place in the worst possible conditions.

For all these reasons, the PLQ, without however being threatened with extinction as the PQ may be, is also likely to attract few major candidates.

In short, the Liberal leader could find the next few months very long. The electoral campaign, even more.

Barring a turnaround as quick as it is spectacular, Ms. Anglade – ironically once president of the CAQ in another life – could therefore live her own last miles in active politics.

In the event of a second heartbreaking defeat in a row on October 3, and renewed abandonment of the PLQ by the French-speaking majority, Dominique Anglade would then have no choice but to bow out herself.

Who would then be interested in taking over? Hard to predict, but one thing is certain.

By dint of seeing the party of Lesage and Bourassa unable to recover even minimally, the Liberals would be wise to start to find some interesting names…

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