On March 20, 2006, we thought that Pauline Marois left politics for good. Yesterday at 5:00 PM, Pauline Marois was elected by acclamation as the new leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ). Many people would say that Quebeckers should give her a chance to show her ideas. Nonetheless, it's hard to see what was the point of electing Pauline Marois without pressing her to clearly explain her ideas.
In the interview that she gave to journalist Bernard Derome yesterday, Marois was asked if she would rather prefer to have an opponent in the leadership race. She looked really elated while saying that during the leadership race, no one else threw their candidacy in the ring. That rather looks like arrogance. Thanks to former leadership candidate Gilles Duceppe, Marois didn't really fight during the leadership race.
Apparently, she met 4000 members of the PQ and that they "know what [she has] in store [and] in [her] heart." Does it suggest that there weren't much talks about her ideas? So far, she just made a few appearances in the media to affirm that she intents to "modernize social-democracy" and that there's no need for the PQ to think about immediately organizing a referendum once elected. However, do all members of the PQ really wanted to have her as a leader?
That remains a good question. On the 15th of November 2005, 104 577 people (76% of the PQ's members, back then) casted their vote in the leadership race that everybody probably remembers. At that time, while André Boisclair won that leadership race with 53.7% of the votes, Pauline Marois just got 30.6% of them. Apparently, it was said that Marois was just too old in comparison with Boisclair, who was seen as the representative of changes.
After Gilles Duceppe resigned from the previous leadership race, militants of the PQ embrace Pauline Marois as their new leader. Why did virtually all members of the PQ start singing eulogies for someone that most of them rejected back in 2005 just because she was too old? Absurd though it might sound, members of the PQ just went so much through hard times with André Boisclair that they're ready to accept any big shots to take his place.
Let's remember that Agnès Maltais, a deputy of the PQ, said yesterday that "no one in Quebec or in Canada has the experience" of Pauline Marois. Where are her ideas? What does Pauline Marois mean when she upholds that social-democracy must be modernized? Which social policies must be abolished? What does she think about religious accommodations? What must be done, according to her, "to produce wealth in order to redistribute it"? What must be done to solve the problems with our pathetic health-care system?
Personal observation: Full silence or trivial speeches from Mrs. Marois.
Without a doubt, militants of the PQ didn't learn anything from what they went through with André Boisclair. Instead of electing someone for his ideas, these people, back then, chose a man - because of his young age and image - who couldn't clearly communicate with people. As a result of that, during the previous provincial election, Boisclair defended a political program in which he didn't believe in!
Yesterday, militants of the PQ just massively supported Marois just because she was seen as a saviour regardless of her ideas. Don't forget that she said that she was "chosen without opposition" to Bernard Derome yesterday! Moreover, in the first week of the leadership race (in the month of May), Marois wisely said that "there's a reflection to do on the [PQ], its roots [and] its capacity to listen to people."
All in all, despite electing Pauline Marois by acclamation, militants of the PQ chose their new leader the same way they showed appreciation for André Boisclair in 2005. In other words, the election of Pauline Marois was just about the image and not about a debate (or rather a presentation) of ideas. The PQ is not done with looking like a joke. Does the PQ still want to claim that it's a party full of ideas?