Pierre Karl Péladeau New Leader of Parti Québécois

Pierre Karl Péladeau New Leader of Parti Québécois

Quebec City (Quebec) 16 May 2015 – Members of the Parti Québécois gathered at the Palais des Congrès in Québec City last night to reveal the results of the first round of voting on who would be the party’s new leader.  The leadership race had so far been a bumpy and tumultuous one – many of the candidates seen a presumptive favourites dropped out early.  Only three candidates made it to the finish line: Martine Ouellet, Alexandre Cloutier, and Pierre Karl Péladeau.

Polls had clearly favoured Québécor media baron Pierre Karl Péladeau throughout the campaign.  The businessman-turned-politician had seen a meteoric rise through PQ ranks, beginning with his appointment as chairman of Hydro-Québec under the short-lived Marois PQ government, and his strong support for Québec independence was seen as giving major economic credibility to the separatist movement.  The campaign quickly took a for-or-against-Péladeau tone, with unions and much of the party’s traditional left-leaning base unsure about M. Péladeau’s lockouts and anti-union tactics as CEO of Québécor.

Both Mme Ouellet and M. Cloutier’s campaigns were hoping that M. Péladeau would be denied the 50%+1 majority necessary for a first-round victory, and that opposition to M. Péladeau would rally to their side in the second round.  The Péladeau campaign, meanwhile, had unofficially expressed their expectatios for not only a first-round victory, but also for a 55% or higher majority in order to express a “strong and clear” mandate to the new leader.  A few minutes past 9PM last night, after two days of polling, the results were in.  79.9% of PQ members voted to give M. Péladeau a 57.58% majority, with M. Cloutier coming in second at 29.21% and Mme Ouellet coming in third at 13.21%.

The new PQ leader, Pierre Karl Péladeau, then took the stage to address his party.  He congratulated his defeated colleagues for their campaigns, which he said showed democracy was still alive and well within the PQ, before reiterating his ambition to make Québec a sovereign nation.  Without citing them by name, M. Péladeau also called on other separatist parties (mainly Québec Solidaire and Option Nationale) to come together.  He did not seem to call for all separatists to rally to the PQ, but rather referred to forming a single separatist coalition, quoting former PQ leader Bernard Landry saying that “independence would not be done on the right, nor on the left, but it would be done, period.”

Following the new leader’s speech, both Mme Ouellet and M. Cloutier pledged their support to M. Péladeau’s leadership and called on the party to come together after this difficult campaign.

Questions now arise about the future of Pierre Karl Péladeau’s control over the Québécor media empire, which owns a significant portion of Québec-based private newspapers, television, radio, and other media.  M. Péladeau is still in theory the majority controlling shareholder of the media conglomerate and has resisted and refused any efforts to put his shares into a blind trust.

Categories: Politics

About Author

Quebec News in English

News from across Quebec. For more Quebec news, business, politics, sport, entertainment, opinion pieces, events and other information please visit our social media accounts: Facebook: facebook.com/lifeinquebec Twitter: twitter.com/lifeinquebec

Write a Comment

Only registered users can comment.