Québec solidaire fractured into two lefts

The Revolution, like Saturn, devours its own children, the saying goes.

This is the impression currently given by the fascinating quarrel that is shaking up Québec solidaire.

Factions

Certainly, the left, driven by great ideals, a desire for purity, for utopia, has long held the secret of Byzantine disputes between factions.

Immerse yourself in the debates of the 1960s, for the documentary The last felquist, introduced me to a host of small socialist, communist and independence groups mainly engaged in ideological warfare among themselves.

In 2006, the creation of QS, resulting from the Union des forces progressistes and Option Citoyenne, was specifically intended to calm internal quarrels within the left. In order to allow it to come out of marginality.

But, currently, inside QS, a violent fight around the Decolonial Antiracist Collective (CAD) risks reviving old quarrelsome traditions; but this time between the identity left (sometimes called “woke”) and the more traditional anti-capitalist left.

The CAD was created after the 2019 congress where QS liquidated, by a vote of some 90%, its electoral commitment to secularism: the “Bouchard-Taylor compromise”, that is to say the ban on religious symbols for state officials in a position of authority.

In this same congress, another collective, that on “secularism”, was eliminated, precisely at the instigation of supporters of the CAD movement.

Attaran

The DAC’s problems began when it publicly endorsed the words of university professor Amir Attaran that Quebec was “Alabama of the North.”

Subsequently, the CAD publicly associated Pascal Bérubé, Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon and a journalist to the extreme right and to the “fascosphere”.

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Party president Nika Deslauriers has publicly disowned the CAD. Co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois also did the same. Could the CAD suffer the same fate as the Secular Collective? I asked him recently, “At this point there is nothing left out for the next national councils. “

These statements aroused the ire of the CAD, which saw them as “defamation”, even threatening legal action, “including an appeal for discrimination to the Human Rights Commission”.

Vitriol

CAD member Sibel Ataogul, an early QS activist, gave the magazine a vitriolic interview Hurry to the left, April 29.

If she hadn’t chosen her ‘career and [sa] family ”, Ataogul would have succeeded Khadir as deputy in Mercier, she says. She says that in 2018, she suggested two “inspirational women” wearing the hijab to be candidates: “I was made to understand very quickly that it could not be a veiled woman. It gave me the message that to break through you had to be a racialized “maid”, not too controversial. It is finally Ruba Ghazal who succeeded Khadir.

In this shocking interview, Ataogul castigates his party, which is said to be “massively white”, asserts that there is a “problem of systemic discrimination within QS”, and maintains that as a woman ” racialized ”, she does not have“ the same rights as [ses] white comrades ”.

A debate that promises to be bitter, around the definition of the left, today.

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