The grouped volley, to the foot, by Paul St-Pierre Plamondon

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon’s change in tone was as sudden as it was abrupt. The outstretched hand and unbridled optimism with which the PQ leader had hitherto preached were suddenly replaced, before his national council and then in parliament, by alarmism that was both excessive and counterproductive. An autoregressive historical amalgam and a retrenchment of identity, both loaded with words full of meaning that the leader, who is usually calm, cannot claim to have improvised.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon wants to dedramatize the holding of a new referendum well before the next election campaign, in order to be able to debate when the time comes on the country’s project rather than on the mechanisms of the sovereignty scheme, and resolutely assumes assumption. The educational strategy for this third major vote, which has already been announced, could bear fruit. Catastrophism intended to convince us of its necessity, somewhat less so.

The leader of the Parti Québécois launched a full-scale offensive last Sunday, brandishing the “erasure” of the Québec people, their “deterioration,” even their “disappearance,” unless we become “the majority here.” Paul St-Pierre Plamondon accused the Canadian government of leading a “charge against Quebec” and criticized Justin Trudeau for his systematic interference in the Quebec government’s areas of jurisdiction. But also to abuse it, by refusing to grant the state of Quebec full immigration powers, in order to “destabilize Quebec”.

The first complaint is not unfounded. Justin Trudeau actually surpasses his predecessors of the past thirty years – both conservatives and liberals – in terms of interventionism. He even seems to be betraying his own views when he claims that voters don’t care about respect for the Constitution.

There is no shortage of contemporary recriminations against Ottawa. This week’s calls for deportations and executions of French speakers (actual, but dating back centuries) for the purpose of uniting against the federal government were excessively hyperbolic and thus undermined advocacy. Repeating this arrogance on every platform in the hope of legitimizing it has not made it any less awkward.

And singing the threat of “concerted action” that wants to “erase” us has also taken a step that has previously served neither Quebec nor the Parti Québécois.

The Quebec nation’s demographic weight within Canada is certainly declining. The redistribution of the federal electoral map will create five new constituencies, but none in Quebec – whose weight in the House of Commons will therefore decrease slightly, from 23.1% to 22.7%, continuing the constant decline it has experienced since its creation experience continues. was 28% 50 years ago.

French language commissioner Benoît Dubreuil has also noted an increase of about 50% in fifteen years in the share of Quebec’s population that does not speak Vigneault’s language. However, it must be recognized that the inadequacy of resources in terms of francization, a right enshrined in the Charter of the French Language, has been documented many times.

However, by clumsily reviving this “we” – and carefully avoiding defining it – Paul St-Pierre Plamondon risks scaring off those very people he is trying to convince to join the movement. Because while the Parti Québécois is comfortably ahead in the polls, support for independence has not benefited from the same growth curve, still hovering around 36% to 40%.

Appetite is weaker among young people and remains in the minority among Quebec Solidaire supporters. According to Léger, support among these two cohorts stands at 33%. It is precisely those who are least hesitant about immigration that Paul St-Pierre Plamondon demonizes again, in a charged lexical field. And which he will nevertheless need, he himself acknowledges, to form a large Yes coalition.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois’ response – who chirped that “to create a country, hope is more fruitful than resentment” – probably reflected their response well. As well as the real danger that awaits this change of approach. Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon did well to end the week by reconnecting with his icy side by pouring himself a bowl of (soup) milk.

This retreat from identity is not unique to the Parti Québécois, nor is it new. Prime Minister François Legault has massively contributed to its cleanup, using his own excesses to brandish a “Louisianization” that threatens the “survival” of the nation. The lexicon was revised, but ministers still raised the “threat” to Quebec’s identity this winter. The CAQ referendum will be sectoral – if it comes to fruition.

This apocalyptic rivalry, in which the Coalition Avenir Québec and the Parti Québécois should no longer get involved, will only push Quebec into a debate from which neither the nation nor the project of independence will emerge victorious.

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