A loser party, or a generation thing?
This apparently is making people talk in Quebec: young, personable female MNA quits the Parti Québécois saying it’s a loser party.
Yeah, about that.
I disagree and agree at the same time. It’s true that the PQ hasn’t won much of anything lately. And even if you go back in time a bit, to when it used to win elections, this was never the party’s intent, to win provincial elections. The PQ had one goal, really. The big one.
You can give péquistes credit for moving Quebec forward, mind you. Quebec today is much different than when I grew up: it’s more open, more confident, more competent, more energetic. It still has the same potholes, mind, as well as a few other stubborn problems, but even a non-separatist like me recognizes that the PQ’s influence contributed greatly to Quebec’s dynamism. The Liberals wanted to cut taxes and be a good, orderly society full of jobs. The PQ wanted Quebec to assert itself on the world stage for the day it became a real country like the others. (Not clear yet what, exactly, the CAQ government now in office thinks Quebec should be.)
But you know, the folks who made the PQ what it was are on their way out. I mean, they’re old. Many have died. And young people aren’t lining up to take over, certainly not in the same manner. In a way, the PQ was a victim of its lack of success. It never made Quebec a country, but it made it a much more dynamic province, to the point where separation isn’t seen as the only way towards emancipation… because emancipation happened anyway. You rarely hear complaints about big bad federal government preventing Quebec from being its own special place anymore. Most of the grievances that led to the creation of the PQ 40-odd years ago have gone away. The PQ was a generation thing.
Kind of like unions. If you exclude the public sector, which isn’t exactly the real world when it comes to jobs, virtually nobody works in a unionized job anymore. Why not? Well, in part, because working conditions have changed a lot. Thanks in part to unions, sure. Give them all the credit you want. But you have to agree very few jobs nowadays require the presence of a guard dog to make sure employees don’t get mistreated. The world has changed, and young people today see unions as a bit of a relic.
I was never a PQ supporter but I do admire the consistency with which most of the old guard within that movement kept pushing for their ideas and principles through the decades. They really tried very hard. But it’s over now. Even if the party were to survive, somehow, it would only be a shell of its former self. The soul of it is gone, no longer needed.