Pierre Karl Péladeau Joins the Election Race Under Questionable Circumstances

Pierre Karl Péladeau Joins the Election Race Under Questionable Circumstances

House-of-CartesThis morning, Parti Québécois supporters rejoiced as media mogul and renowned businessman Pierre Karl Péladeau officially joined the ranks of the the PQ’s candidates to the next provincial election, running in Saint-Jérome.  I have to say, I’m very happy that M. Péladeau has opted to apply his considerable – some would say unique – skills to our politics.  In many ways, M. Péladeau is the very image of the classic statesman – his leadership is proven, he’s indifferent to the spotlight, his personal wealth affords him a great deal of independence, and he’s shown himself incredibly apt at assessing and forging public opinion.

It just seems strange to me how few people are alarmed by the most likely subtext this seems to imply: that Pierre-Karl Péladeau has been lying to the people of Québec for months while using back-channels to build and secure his place within the next government.

Last December, the Prince Arthur Herald, a small independent publication much like ours, reported that the Québecor magnate would “most likely” run for election under the PQ banner in Saint-Jérome.  There has since been significant media frenzy around M. Péladeau, prompting him to deny time and time again that he had any intention to run for election.  The Prince Arthur Herald was ridiculed, but in hindsight, it seems likely their stance as an independent publication made them one of the few possible outlets where such news could have emerged, given that M. Péladeau is still a majority shareholder in Québec’s largest media empire.

Of course, it’s possible that M. Péladeau simply changed his mind over the last two weeks.  I certainly have no proof of the contrary.  However, accepting that a businessman as shrewd and calculating as M. Péladeau would so abruptly change his mind is hard to swallow.  Occam’s Razor is in full effect – it just seems much more likely that someone tipped off the press to what was likely a long process of discussions between M. Péladeau and the PQ, which he then publicly denied while privately continued.

And that, right there, is the malaise I feel with all this.  His meteoric rise through government is unheard of, and it’s now very difficult to imagine his appointment as chairman of Hydro-Québec’s board of directors was little more than a pretext to make him the first non-cabinet-minister in living memory to be invited to the highest instances of the government’s decision-making meetings.  All signs point to the unshakable feeling that M. Péladeau is the type of man to engage in public deception and back-channels dealing with the highest levels of politics, jockeying for the best deal for himself all while leveraging high-powered positions within some of the most critical public infrastructure of our nation and holding de facto control over the majority of our “independent” for-profit media.    In other words, all signs point to this being exactly the kind of mixed-interest politics that feeds the discontent and cynicism of the Québécois.

I’ll say it again – I’m happy to hear he’ll be putting his talents to use for the people of Québec.  I just wish he’d done so in a less deceptive manner, especially considering M. Péladeau doesn’t have a history of settling for anything less than the top spot.

Categories: News

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset is passionate about discussing (among other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québécois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québécois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image. He has an engineering degree from Université Laval and is currently a law student at McGill University.

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