There’s no hurry to enter the race to lead the QLP. Several eminent personalities have been mentioned. None of them dared to take the plunge. On the whole, they denied the rumours.
Some prominent elected officials were courted- but to no avail. André Fortin of Pontiac and Marwah Rizqy of Saint-Laurent declined for family reasons. Ms. Rizqy was strongly urged to run, considering the lack of competition in the upcoming race. Mr. Fortin is also very experienced and an excellent orator.
From then on, only 3 MNAs remained. Monsef Derraji and interim leader Marc Tanguay kept the suspense alive. They both announced that they would not be running. Just before the Jean-Talon by-election was called.
The newly elected MNA for Marguerite-Bourgeoys, Frédéric Beauchemin, confirmed his intention to run for the leadership. Internally, party members would have liked him to “get his feet wet”, to get to know the party before taking the plunge.
Mr. Beauchemin hired two members of the party’s youth wing. They allegedly harassed the youth wing president into supporting his leadership bid as a group. As a result, Mr. Beauchemin was the subject of a complaint for psychological harassment. He has been excluded from the caucus while the party investigates.
Although the race has not yet begun, there is no plethora of candidates. This is a clear sign of disinterest for the oldest political party in Quebec’s history. Nevertheless, there remains one choice candidate who could take up the mantle.
Joël Lightbound has never denied the rumours that he is considering running. The Liberal Party of Canada MP for Louis-Hébert in Quebec City has been making moves for some time now. With almost 8 years of experience in federal politics, he has made several statements that run counter to his party line.
In particular, he criticized his government’s handling of the pandemic and the stigmatization of the truckers’ convoy protesters in 2022. As a result, he was demoted from his parliamentary duties. Recently, he referred to the debate over the 3rd highway link in Quebec City as an idiot’s dinner.
Does Mr. Lightbound have what it takes to save the QLP? The party should not make the mistake, already made, of hoping for a renaissance thanks to a new leader. It’s the party’s foundations that need to be reviewed. That’s what the committee on the renewal of the QLP has been working on.