Enough with my false modesty.
It appears that the squabble over Pauline's leadership has morphed from an internal
affair to a full bloom public attack launched on many fronts by PQ party members, both young and old, looking to dump Madame Marois for her heretical decision to shelve plans for a unwinnable referendum.
Her pragmatic decision has dismayed hard-liners who dream of a referendum win or lose and so, they have unleashed a savage attack on Marois' leadership, determined to bring her down, in favour of a more militant leader.
The manifest and public disloyalty aimed at the dear leader can be construed as nothing less than a huge embarrassment and as one commentator noted, the eternal back-stabbing, ultimately damaging to the the party's 'marque de commerce'.
For Pauline Marois the famous quote by the immortal Yogi Berra remains more than prescient,
"It's deja vu,- all over again"
The Parti Quebecois is once again devouring it's leader in a most humiliating display of cruel betrayal more suited to a Bacchanalian orgy than to members of a respected political party.
For the PQ, it isn't anything new, the party has an unbroken record of unglamorously destroying its leaders in a sad public act of patricide.
Even the iconic Rene Levesque suffered an ignominious end, reminiscent of the changing of the guard at the old Russian Politburo, where leaders were unceremoniously disposed of and dumped from the dizzying heights of power to the obscurity of a silent forced 'retirement.'
At least the commies had the good manners to do it behind closed doors!
The latest salvo in the destruction of Pauline Marois, is a letter sent to a Montreal newspaper by a group of young PQ
Ironically, the PQ remains high in the polls and would form a majority government if an election were to be held tomorrow.
What is driving the panic in the PQ, is the news that a new party may be in the formative stage. Led by ex-PQ heavyweight, Francois Legault, 'Force Quebec' as it has been dubbed by the media, is advocating a policy of strong nationalism without a referendum, coupled with conservative financial polices which would supposedly right Quebec's sinking debt boat.
It seems that Mr. Legault's message is resonating with the public, if he were to proceed with forming this party, polls indicate that the new party would likely win the most seats of any party in a new Parliament, mostly at the expense of the PQ.
Although Mr Legault remains a stalwart separatist, he is a realistic one.
His platform reflects the reality that a referendum would be un-winnable and the loss humiliating and destructive. According to him, Quebec is not financially prepared for sovereignty, because of the huge debt and its dependence on Canadian largess via transfer payments.
As for constitutional reform, he admits that it is out of the question. He, like all other sovereignists, maintain the fiction that both Quebec and the Rest of Canada are in no mood for negotiations, fudging the reality that it is the ROC that will brook no more concessions.
At this juncture, Quebec couldn't negotiate change for a quarter.
All this is lost on PQ militants, whose reaction to this realistic assessment, is to ramp up demands that a referendum be placed, front and center.
Boosted by dinosaurs like Jacques Parizeau (it's better at the Jewish General Hospital) and the eternal Bernard Landry, (I shoudda never quit) the radical wing of the party is pushing for a political platform that is so out of touch with what Quebeckers want, that it makes veteran realists in the party wince in pain and commentators laugh.
One of the arguments for keeping a referendum on the table, is the notion that without the threat, Quebec will lose any leverage it has to get Canada to make more concessions.
Hmmm. Methinks that ship has sailed long ago....
Being leader of the Parti Quebecois has always been an exasperating affair.
The party has always been home to out of touch ideologues and disloyal and impatient know-it-alls.
The reality of power and good governance is lost on those who believe that sovereignty is a matter of faith. Just like Never-Never Land, these sovereignists believe that wishing really hard will make it happen.
For them holding a referendum and losing is a noble endeavour. Better to have loved and lost.
For the realists, a referendum loss represents a disastrous and humiliating setback that will humble Quebec before the Rest of Canada, who will wag their fingers and tut-tut, saying 'I told you so.'
It's a bit sad to see Pauline dancing to the radicals' tune, huffing and puffing, talking up sovereignty in a undignified attempt to stem the tide. Just yesterday she announced that she is calling for sovereignty plans drawn up in 1995 to be updated. Yea sure......
The future of Madame Marois will be decided at a leadership review in the Spring. It's likely that she won't do better than Bernard Landry in 2005, when he received 76% of the votes of support at his leadership review. Mr. Landry decided that the number was too low, resigned, but lived to regret the decision.
Perhaps Madame Marois should be more realistic and set her sights a bit lower. The Clarity Act doesn't apply here and she should consider setting a more reasonable benchmark, one which will allow her to continue as leader.
50% +1.... Perhaps?