Friday, December 16, 2011

Québec solidaire struggles to define its space in shifting political landscape

By Richard Fidler
Life on the Left
December 16, 2011

MONTRÉAL – About 400 members of Québec solidaire met here December 9-11 in a delegated convention to debate and adopt positions on major social and cultural questions. The convention capped the third phase in a lengthy process of developing what the left-wing sovereigntist party describes as a program of social transformation.

Only days earlier, the QS candidate had tripled the party’s vote in a by-election in Bonaventure, a rural riding in the Gaspé region; her 9% of the popular vote (up from 3% in the 2008 general election) has inspired high hopes in the party of equivalent or better results in a Quebec general election, which could occur next year. A wave of enthusiasm swept the delegates when the candidate, Patricia Chartier, was introduced. Although she ran third (behind the Liberals, 49%, and Parti Québécois, 37%), her tally seemed to many a successful result for a small pro-independence party that is generally portrayed in the mass media as anti-capitalist.

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