Former Québec Premier Jacques Parizeau has delivered a political shocker and a slap to Pauline Marois. The man who almost won independence for Québec, in 1995, is now supporting Jean-Martin Aussant, leader of a new party called Option Nationale.
Following the public endorsement by Jacques Parizeau of Jean-Martin Aussant's bid to get reelected in the riding of Nicolet-Yamaska, most observers were quick to point out that it could have an adverse effect on the Parti Québécois' efforts to win a majority government in this year's Québec election (September 4).
Mr. Aussant was first elected to the Assemblée nationale in 2008 as a Parti Québécois member. But he quit three years later, in 2011, because of disagreements with the PQ leader Pauline Marois, whose efforts to win independence for Québec were now seen by Mr. Aussant as too weak. He went on to create his own political party, Option Nationale, and a political program that calls for governing Québec as an independent State as soon as elected. A constitution proclaiming a sovereign Québec would be drafted and submitted to the population through a referendum.
Former Québec Premier and former PQ leader Jacques Parizeau came close to winning independence for Québec in the 1995 referendum, won by the "No" side with only 50.5% of the votes.
The PQ leader, Pauline Marois, on learning of this political shocker, called on every sovereignist to support her party, the only one, she said, capable of getting rid of the Liberals of Jean Charest. But a new poll just released is showing that support for the Parti Québécois has slowed somewhat, at 33%, while another former PQ member, François Legault, now leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) is gaining ground, with 28%. For the first time, governing Liberal Party is in third place with 27%.
Before receiving the surprise endorsement of Jacques Parizeau, Mr. Aussant's party was getting the support of no more than 2% of voters.