For Québec solidaire, the new batch of elected municipal officials is an opportunity not to be missed, less than five months before the next election.
In the eyes of QS, here is finally an environment which seems to be able to crack the CAQ imperium.
Mayors, Bruno Marchand of Quebec in the first place, held the dragee high to the Prime Minister and his ministers, by treating their urban speeches as “populist”, “misleading” and “dangerous”.
Reluctance and criticism that join one of the central themes of QS: the fight against climate change, which would involve a new way of seeing the city. Qsist activists in Quebec would regret having bet everything on Jackie Smith, leader of the municipal version of QS, Transition Quebec, who was elected, but alone.
Moreover, the speeches and grievances of the “new mayors” reinforce the rhetoric of QS according to which the CAQ is “outdated”.
Hence the intense efforts of great seduction made by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois yesterday at the meeting of the Union of Quebec Municipalities. A dripping flirt in fact!
For example, GND began his speech by revealing that he is often asked which politician inspires him.
Rene Levesque? Robert Bourassa? Not Maurice Duplessis in any case, he specified, as an arrow to François Legault. Then, with a touch of ingratitude, he claimed to have “always found it curious that in politics, we must necessarily find our inspiration in the past”. (All of this is reminiscent of the famous revolutionary slogan: “Let’s wipe the slate clean of the past”!)
Staring at the room populated by these new elected officials and newly elected officials, the qsist leader became sycophantic: “A few months ago, I found the answer to my question. It is here in this room: I, my inspiration, are the mayors who, here and now, are changing Quebec. »
His speech was imbued with a kind of lyricism and ended on this note: “You deserve a government that brings the same hope, a government that speaks the same language as you. Imagine all the things we could do together. »
In the past, it was mainly the PLQ that intensely courted the municipal world. The Charest government, in 2003, created the CRE (regional conference of elected officials), which were for it precious antennas throughout Quebec.
With the changing of the guard in the towns and villages, QS in turn sees, in the elected municipal officials, a relay, a salutary point of support; and a way to better penetrate certain regions.
The party has even recruited, as a candidate, one of the famous new elected officials: Philippe Pagé, mayor of Saint-Camille, who will wear the color orange in Richmond.
However, the electoral effect of the affections in the municipal world is by no means guaranteed. The Couillard government – no doubt to be forgiven for having abolished the CREs – fully adopted, from 2015, the discourse of “local government”, “tailor-made”, not “wall to wall”. It even passed laws to that effect. Not to mention the specific legislation for the Metropolis and the Capital.
The gains for the PLQ? We are still looking for them.