Her decision to go hardline, that is, to embrace a platform that includes a referendum and promotion of independence isn't as bold or dangerous a strategy as one might imagine.
If you're going to lose, you may as well stand on principle and be seen as an honest separatist rather than a dishonest waffler.
It seems to me, that after the inevitable electoral loss that the Pq will suffer, Marois will be able to look hardliners in the eye and say 'told you so," instead of having the hardliners blame her for the loss because she soft-pedaled sovereignty.
For Marois, it's the only pragmatic avenue left open that will maintain her leadership.
The Pq itself has realized months ago that they are bound to occupy the benches of opposition for the foreseeable future.
You can always tell when a political party knows that it isn't going to win power anytime soon, they come up with the stupidest policy proposals that nobody but nobody can take seriously.
The federal Liberal party proposal to legalize marijuana is just such a fantasy as is the PQ's proposal to allow 16-years olds to vote, or the nonsensical idea of publicly triggered referendums as proposed by the awkward fool, Bernard Drainville.
But let's not soft-pedal this stunning turnaround in direction by Marois.
For years she avoided pushing a referendum strategy, in fear that it would insure an election defeat, but with an election defeat a near certainty, the sovereignty/referendum platform becomes a viable option. At least she could get back the hardliners and maintain a certain credibility as a political force.
Why am I so sure that the Pq can't win?
Well, even with the polling numbers indicating that the three parties are neck and neck, it still looks like a difficult road ahead for the Pq.
As soon as the Liberals play up the spectre of a losing referendum and if they craftily describe such an undertaking as a further humiliation for Quebec after the inevitable loss, Quebecers will back off the Pq.
Even if that isn't the case, it's likely that a minority government will ensue and a coalition between the Liberals and the CAQ will happen. That scenario is more likely than a PQ/CAQ coalition, because in order for that to occur, either the PQ or the CAQ would have to betray it's most fundamental position over a referendum and be seen as betraying its base.
At any rate, back to Marois, who is orchestrating her 'Save Marois' plan with the consummate skill of an orchestra conductor.
In creating her new committee for sovereignty, she craftily cobbled together a collection of political lightweights, artists and has-beens, a group created in her own image and easily controlled and manipulated.
No Parizeau, Curzi, Aussant or Landry, just a bunch of nobodies.
No doubt that the committee, full of brightly scrubbed and eager faces will dance before the cameras for the amusement of all, like performing monkeys doing back flips for the edification of the masses, a classic and cynical case of Panem et Circenses.
I am reminded of a favourite Shakespeare quote from Macbeth;
"a poor player,As the election draws near, look for the majority of the separatist 'betrayers,' those who quit the Pq (Aussant, Curzi, Lapointe, et al.) to return, cap in hand.
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. "
(This doesn't include Louise Beaudoin, who won't be running.)
As things stand now, they are all dead politicians walking, not one will be able to save their National Assembly seats under the independent label and for these political animals, that is a fate worse than death.
For the betrayers, Marois' newly minted election platform putting sovereignty front and center is the excuse they need to return to the party.
Marois will accept their return like the proverbial prodigal son, as long as they agree to toe the line.
Again, Marois the manipulator, displays the master's hand, adopting the maxim first enunciated by Sun-tzu;
Although Marois has been dubbed the 'Concrete Lady,' I'm not sure it is appropriate.
- "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
I think the Pq and Marois should adopt as the theme song for the next campaign, Gloria Gaynor's "I'm a Survivor" just as long as they can get somebody to do a French version.