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Quebec’s broad party of the left, Québec solidaire (QS), will open a four-day
congress on May 19 in Montréal — the 12th congress in its 11-year history. The
delegates face a challenging agenda. It includes the final stage of adoption of
the party’s detailed program, a process begun eight years ago; discussion of
possible alliances with other parties and some social movements including a
proposed fusion with another pro-independence party, Option nationale; and
renewal of the party’s top leadership. 

Québec solidaire has attracted unusual media attention in recent months in the
wake of the February announcement by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, the best-known
leader of Quebec’s massive student strike in 2012, that he had decided to join
the party and become its candidate to replace QS leader Françoise David, who
resigned in January, as the member of the National Assembly for the riding
(constituency) of Gouin in Montréal. Nadeau-Dubois — often referred to as GND —
also announced that he would campaign for election at this congress as the
party’s male co-spokesperson. He is widely expected to win the Gouin by-election
now scheduled for May 29. 

GND’s announcement, accompanied by his sharp attack on Quebec’s “political class
which for 30 years has betrayed Quebec,” prompted a flood of new membership
applications; within a few days the QS membership grew by about 5,000, a 50%
increase. An opinion poll at the time credited QS with 16% popular support, only
6 percentage points behind the Parti québécois in Montréal.[1] 

These were welcome developments for the party, which has failed since its
founding to elect more than three MNAs under Quebec’s undemocratic
first-past-the-post electoral system. Also, although QS benefited from the
militancy and popular support of the students’ struggle in 2012, gaining 4,000
new members for a time, it has suffered from a relative demobilization of social
movement activists since then, although the ecology movement in opposition to
climate change appears to be gaining in momentum.

Full: http://tinyurl.com/l7lxx77

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