At a conference this weekend the party's executive opted to revoke the special status within its ranks of SPQ libre, a "political club" whose 400 members are decidedly pro-union and hard-line on sovereignty and that has clashed with the more moderate view of party leaders, particularly current chief Pauline Marois.
The group was founded six years ago and was granted special representation at party events by former PQ leader Bernard Landry. Its full name is Syndicalistes et progressistes pour un Québec libre and its leader is Marc Laviolette, former head of one of the more leftist of Quebec's labour federations, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux.
No kidding! Then, party leader Pauline Marois said:
The theme of the weekend conference was "sovereignist government and the creation of wealth," and in her keynote speech, Marois said individual Quebecers, not the state, should henceforth be the driving force in creating wealth in Quebec, a position that was characterized by some as a turn to the right of the ideological spectrum and away from the PQ's traditional social democratic ethos.
Had I read that quote, without names or mention of party, I don't think I would have imagined that someone from the PQ said it. Hmmmm.