Will the departure of Émilise Lessard-Therrien lead to a real questioning within the party?

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Émilise Lessard-Therrien at a press briefing.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois says he “regrets” the resignation of his co-spokesperson Émilise Lessard-Therrien. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-United States / Sylvain Roy Roussel

Despite the internal upheavals of recent weeks, few people expected to see Émilise Lessard-Therrien resign. Barely five months after her election, the female co-spokesperson threw in the towel, exhausted, but above all demotivated at not having been listened to more.

The former MP could have left office quietly, simply citing health problems, but she still felt the need to give details about the reasons for her departure. His message is clear: the party only has it for the male co-spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

I looked for a small wild space to sow new ideas (…). I sometimes got there, but I felt very alone there and I had difficulty finding my space. The different visions collidedshe writes.

Internally, however, we emphasize that the outgoing co-spokesperson did not give herself much time to acclimatize to her new functions. She was elected at the end of November, just before the holiday break, then went on sick leave in mid-March. The party only had a few weeks to try to adapt, which is very little when we know how cumbersome the structures of Québec solidaire are.

It must be said that the choice of Émilise Lessard-Therrien, who no longer has a seat in the National Assembly, has complicated things. In a tight budgetary context, we had to find money to pay her a salary and provide her with the necessary resources so she could do her work. During the fall race, Ruba Ghazal dared to address the issue head-on, but it didn’t seem to really shake up the delegates.

An extra-parliamentary, that worries me, said the member for Mercier. It’s going to be an additional challenge to have to release an amount of money. The latest events will have confirmed his premonition.

Émilise Lessard-Therrien and Ruba Ghazal, seated on a stage, chat.

Émilise Lessard-Therrien and Ruba Ghazal, during a debate for the position of party co-spokesperson (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-United States / Guillaume Croteau-Langevin

What do we blame GND?

Her message being written in parables, we do not know precisely what Émilise Lessard-Therrien criticizes her party and her opposite number Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. The main interested party says she was scolding or making people feel guilty for speaking out sincerely, without further details. She also says she tried to influence the framework of reflectionbut does not offer a specific example.

Behind the scenes, it is rumored that his projects were often vague, like his positions during the campaign for the position of co-spokesperson. My biggest priority is to nurture the courage to take actionshe said during the only official debate of the race last fall.

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Supported or not, the fact remains that Émilise Lessard-Therrien’s reproaches will do great harm to the party and, more particularly, to its parliamentary leader. Catherine Dorion’s exit is still fresh in the memory of many members. For the second time in just a few months, a well-known woman criticizes Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois for being too broad and doing as he pleases.

The leaderless party is on the way to becoming a party where the influence of a single man is both infinitely real and infinitely taboowrote the former MP in her work The hotheads. I could face the entire right-wing mediasphere of Quebec, but not our leader inside an institution that he held firmly in his fist. The ex-elect had also passed very close to the burnout.

Catherine Dorion with her book.

In her book “Les têtes brûlés”, Catherine Dorion looks back on the many obstacles encountered during her four-year mandate as an MP. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-United States / Alexandre Duval

Catherine Dorion did not hesitate to emphasize the relationship between her testimony and that of Émilise Lessard-Therrien. Your departure is a defeat for the party, but it is, in a way, a victory for the left, the one which also stubbornly and categorically refuses to lose the sense of our ideals of justice and true democracyshe wrote to her former comrade in arms, on social media.

Last fall, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was able to convince activists to renew their trust in him, despite the uproar caused by Catherine Dorion’s revelations. More than 90% of the delegates then renewed his position, but the support he has could weaken if the criticisms continue to pile up. In any case, its image appears tarnished by the latest events.

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Upcoming reform

If necessary, the departure of Émilise Lessard-Therrien gives arguments to those who believe that we must fundamentally review the ways of doing political training. The statutes, inherited from the founding of the party, remain complex and abstruse. Only the initiated manage to find their way, which can slow down the involvement of members. Knowing who is responsible for what, and who should have the final say, is also a challenge.

For the moment, no one seems to want to question the election of two co-spokespeople. If this way of doing things is the originality of Québec solidaire, it is also a source of tension. Adjustments may be necessary. For the moment, all these events are certainly not likely to help the party emerge from the torpor in which it has found itself since the last elections.

Read also :

  • The punchy book by Catherine Dorion
  • Analysis – Québec solidaire candidates very critical of their own party

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