Manon Massé misses the Marx

Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé blames her limited English for confusion over her comment in a CBC interview that her party could be called Marxist. 'I meant to say that labels, they're not important to me,' said a frustrated Massé Tuesday.

After CBC interview, Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson denies party is 'Marxist, communist or any other -ist'

After the stir created by her interview with the CBC's Debra Arbec Monday, Québec Solidaire's Manon Massé blamed her limited capacity in English for her inability to express herself clearly. 'I meant to say that labels, they're not important to me,' she said Tuesday. (CBC)

After a televised CBC interview Monday in which Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé suggested her party could be labelled Marxist, Massé is now flatly denying it.

"No, Québec Solidaire is not Marxist, and no, Québec Solidaire is not communist," Massé told reporters at a news conference in Rouyn-Noranda Tuesday.

The issue was raised in an English-language interview Monday evening on CBC News Montreal with host Debra Arbec.

Manon Massé speaks about the "revolution" her party will bring to the province if elected. 0:48

Arbec asked Massé about PQ leader Jean-François Lisée's assertion that Québec Solidaire supporters are "anti-capitalists" and that the party is "grounded in Marxism."

"I think that the revolution that Québec Solidaire brings up, it's a revolution [that] puts climate change and people at the centre of our target," Massé responded.

"If you call that socialism, of course we are. If you call it — what did you say, Marxism? — yes, it is," she continued.

Is it?

Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé displayed rare frustration with reporters on the campaign trail Tuesday after being asked to clarify her comments about her party and Marxism. (Radio-Canada)

The CBC interview prompted some French media to report that Massé was now conceding Québec Solidaire is, indeed, a Marxist party.

When reporters asked about it at the Tuesday morning news conference, Massé uncharacteristically raised her voice.

"Listen, I'll give you irreversible proof that Québec Solidaire is not Marxist, not communist, nor any other -ist," Massé said.

"For the 12 years I've been a candidate in Sainte-Marie–​Saint-Jacques, I've run against a Marxist candidate," she continued.

"Come on! I'm not an ideologue. I'm an extremely pragmatic woman."

She also noted that the Communist Party of Quebec has officially endorsed the Parti Québécois in this campaign.

Lost in translation?

Massé blamed the confusion on the fact that she's still learning English.

"In my language of Shakespeare — which is all mixed up — I meant to say that labels, they're not important to me," she said.

"When people use labels to to create fear, my reaction is to say, 'I'm not interested'. I take care of people. That's what I want to say."

"And yes, I'll continue to work on my English."


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