DRUMMONDVILLE — Despite the victory of Martine Ouellet, the Bloc québécois is out divided Sunday of the general council, which should enable him / her to identify an exit from the crisis. The attempt of the 42 constituency associations to pre-empt the holding of a vote of confidence in the chief has failed.
The delegates of the party assembled on Sunday in Drummondville have selected the proposal of the chief and the national office for this vote to take place by universal suffrage on June 1st and 2nd, and with a referendum on the mission of the Bloc québécois as a promoter of Quebec independence. The delegates also accepted the threshold of 50 % + 1 vote called by Ms. Ouellet.
“I think it is a winner for the party as a whole because, as I have always said, these are the members of the Bloc québécois who decide and this is it internal democracy,” said Ms. Ouellet in scrum. It is returned by universal suffrage of the members.”
A proposal for the neutrality of permanence has also been rejected so much so that the national office could decide to use the resources of the party to support Ms. Ouellet during the referendum campaign that begins.
The forty associations proposed to raise this threshold to 75 %. They wanted to be ahead of the confidence vote two weeks and cancel the proposed referendum to the national office.
“The coalition we have tried to come up with all of the constituencies, it had to gather the troops, said the president of the association of Berthier-Maskinongé, Yves Perron. I think it is more difficult to do this evening than this morning.”
These associations had the support of the member of parliament and chairman of the party, Mario Beaulieu, formerly a faithful ally of Martine Ouellet. Their goal was to turn the page on the crisis engulfing the Bloc as quickly as possible to then be able to rally the seven mps who have slammed the door of the party in February.
“The more it stretches, the more it’s going to be difficult and the crisis will continue,” responded Mr. Beaulieu visibly disappointed with the result.
He admitted to being a reflection on his future as president and as a member of the Bloc québécois. To a journalist who asked him if he wanted to go join the seven members dissenting, it was a bit of a laugh.
“We’ll see, he answered. For the moment, it is to take the hit. The people have voted. It is important to accept the outcome of the vote.”
“To me, it is, of course, I have more confidence in Martine Ouellet,” he said when the question was asked.
The leadership of Martine Ouellet has been called into question repeatedly after the departure of seven deputies dissidents, but the latter has always refused to resign. According to her, the crisis is rather due to an internal conflict between two interpretations of the mission of the Bloc québécois, either as a promoter of the independence or as a defender of Quebec interests.
“I hold out my hand. I stretch my hand to resign. I hold out my hand to Mario [Beaulieu], because it is adding up that we will be stronger, not by resigning, not by dividing, not by rejecting ”
Attack and outstretched hand
In his closing speech Sunday, Mrs. Ouellet was again stretched out his hand to Mario Beaulieu and the seven dissidents.
“There is a place in the Bloc québécois to Mario Beaulieu and I really wish that he agrees and that he will return to work with us because it is a friend, because he is an activist without peer, because it is a president passionate about and because the Republic of Quebec has need of him,” she said, sparking a round of applause.
“We really need that we can turn the page on June 3, and get back to work all together,” she continued.
“I reach, therefore also the hand to resigning because I am certain that they are all democrats and I am certain that once the members have decided the future of the mission and the future of the chieftainship, that these democrats will rally to the decision of the members of the Bloc québécois.”
His tone contrasted sharply with that of the more vindictive in his opening speech. It had then accused the seven deputies dissidents have fed the “fake news” about her, and to be ‘in rupture with internal democracy” in the party flesh the ex-chief bloquiste, Gilles Duceppe, by the way.
“These seven who resigned, what they have done to us, they made us to fall now and we have put time on governance rather than putting in the time to advance and to radiate the Bloc québécois”, she denounced, which triggered a round of applause.
The seven deputies dissidents did not respond Sunday, but the outcome of the general council confirms that they are further away from the Bloc québécois that they were previously, according to a source.
Tensions were vivid at the beginning of the general council and the journalists could hear loud voices through the walls during the debate behind closed doors.
Activists have inveighed mp and chairman of the party, Mario Beaulieu, accusing him of being “a putschiste” and support the dictatorship because they were in disagreement with the choice of a chairman for the meeting.
The delegates agreed to discuss, at another general council in June, the proposal of the youth wing of the party that suggested getting rid of the negative label that sticks to the Bloc québécois to revive under another name and attempt to bring together all of the great family sovereignist.
The delegates have also adopted the main proposal of the party that forms the basis of the electoral programme for the next federal election in 2019 and that puts the independence of Quebec in the foreground.