MISE & Agrave; DAY
Liberal leader Dominique Anglade really did not have it easy. Faced with an entrenched CAQ, his party's crossing of the desert promises to be long. At the end of the 34 th PLQ congress, she can nevertheless be proud of having known how to give a touch of hope to her worried troops.
With the continued decline of the PQ and its option having deprived the Liberals of their usual scarecrow – and the Couillard-Barrette era having weighed them down for a long time – Ms. Anglade knew she had to “reinvent” the harshly damaged image of her party.
Hence its new ECO project for the nationalization of the production and distribution of green hydrogen. Its main objectives, however, are more short-term.
1. To transform the PLQ into an ecological party while swearing to marry it with a massive economic development project – the classic trademark of his party.
2. Give to his troops, whether realistic or not, a distinctive “societal project” to sell to voters.
3. Helping the liberals to be patient perhaps for a long time in opposition . In 2013, the head of the CAQ, François Legault, did the same thing with his “Saint-Laurent Project”, since forgotten.
4. Trying to restore the “progressive” image of his party, destroyed by the years of austerity under Philippe Couillard. As the fight against climate change becomes a global concern notwithstanding the labels of left and right, it also does so without “turning left”.
Often overshadowed by the spectacular leader of Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, despite even being the leader of the official opposition, Dominique Anglade will be able to play his own “green” card.
5. Change the sandbox. The CAQ already occupies the entire nationalist and identity ground. The PLQ is unable to compete. With her ECO project, the liberal leader chooses a site less frequented by the CAQ.
She is also doing it because her party, which has shrunk to 10% support among Francophones, must take care of its precious Anglophone base. Without it, the PLQ would indeed collapse.
Hence the mixed position of Ms. Anglade vis-à-vis the CAQ bill on the modernization of Bill 101. The Liberals' worst fear is- she not to see a part of its English-speaking voters, discouraged by the stratospheric popularity of the CAQ, abstain from voting in the poll of October 3, 2022?
The art of survival
Now for the killer question. The attempt of the liberal leader to reinvent her party while the honeymoon between the government of François Legault and a majority of francophones continues, will she minimally succeed in getting her troops out of their slump?
In the short term, because it probably offers them a concrete project. The real problem awaits her, however, the day after October 3, 2022.
If Ms. Anglade elects fewer Liberals than the 31 who, in the 2018 election, had survived the Caquist tsunami, she risks waking up on an ejection seat.
But if she manages to keep or even modestly increase her deputation, while remaining in the opposition, she will have won her bet. The bet for her and her party to hold on.
At least, as long as the crossing of the desert is not over for the Liberals. It's called, I think, the art of survival.