Why Québec Solidaire rejected alliance with the Parti Québécois

Years of instability within the Parti Québécois dissuaded members of Québec Solidaire from voting to merge the two parties, according to Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, one of the latter party's spokespeople.

PQ plagued by 'incoherence and inconsistency,' new QS spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois says

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is one of Québec Solidaire's spokespeople. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Years of instability within the Parti Québécois dissuaded members of Québec Solidaire from voting to merge the two parties, according to one of the latter party's spokespeople.

The members of Québec Solidaire, a pro-sovereignist, left-wing party, opted against forming an alliance with the PQ at their annual convention in Montreal Sunday.

The move was touted as a way to unite the sovereignist movement in Quebec ahead of the 2018 election.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, one of Québec Solidaire's newly elected co-spokespeople, says "incoherence and inconsistency" within the PQ turned his party's members off the idea.

"Those changes in position greatly eroded the confidence that could have existed between the PQ and Québec Solidaire," he said Monday during an interview on Radio-Canada's Gravel le matin.

But that confidence does exist between Québec Solidaire and Option Nationale, a centre-left sovereignist party, and other citizen-led groups in the province, he said.

The vote was as much a sign of the members' confidence in their own party as it was a sign of their wariness of the PQ, according to MNA Manon Massé, Québec Solidaire's other new spokesperson.

Québec Solidaire's two new spokespeople, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Manon Massé, believe their party can break through in the next election. (Radio-Canada)

When asked about the developments during an official visit to Israel, Premier Philippe Couillard called the notion of the two parties merging "political theory."

Not only does it assume voters will allow themselves to be "manipulated by political games," he said, but the merger would be "politically unnatural."

A tweet from the PQ's official account, retweeted by leader Jean-François Lisée, reads that the party is "proud that it held out a hand, proposed something different and tried to join forces rather than be divisive."

How to beat the Liberals?

Québec Solidaire finished fourth in the 2014 provincial election, with about eight per cent of the popular vote compared to the Liberals' 41.5 per cent.

But Nadeau-Dubois said he doesn't believe people who have voted Liberal in the past will only ever vote Liberal. He believes they can be swayed by another political party, and believes Québec Solidaire can do it.

Massé pointed to the provincial NDP's surprise victory in Alberta's 2015 election as a sign of hope for her party.

The best way to get rid of the Liberals, Nadeau-Dubois said, is to create a larger political movement that would replace old partisan lines and replace them with new ones.

That, he said, will separate the people who want real change from those who want to keep the current system in place.