QUEBEC - National Assembly members Lisette Lapointe, Louise Beaudoin and Pierre Curzi have resigned from the Parti Québécois caucus.I've heard of MPs leaving a party for many different reasons: contentious moral issues, issues of taxation, broken campaign promises, and changing political winds...
The three are leaving over the insistence of PQ leader Pauline Marois that they support a bill that would retroactively legalize an agreement for the management of the Quebec City's proposed hockey arena.(link)
But never, ever, EVER have I heard of a politician quitting his party over a private member's bill which legalizes a contract which ensures a Hockey Arena gets built.
Without a doubt this is merely the last straw that broke the camels back. PQ leader Pauline Marios has had a shaky hold on the party for the past year. Loud rumblings could be heard that she wouldn't pass a leadership review back in April.
Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duccepe was an obvious contender for the PQ leadership up until May 2nd. He was a separatist politician that was a winner.
Now, after experiencing the worst defeat in BQ history, Duceppe is politically dead.
Marois faced no leadership contenders, an unpopular Quebec Liberal government, a leadership endorsement from members and an election fast approaching.
The fact that she was willing to take the chance of a caucus revolt by trying to force her members to vote in support of this bill is no shocker. The bill would be seen as being supportive of Quebec City's bid for a new NHL team.
What is shocking, is that in spite of the thrashing that the sovereigntists just received on May 2, and the lack of any credible standbearer for their cause, three PQ members chose the nuclear option anyways.
Time will tell whether this was foolhardy or not on their part. Either way, Pauline Marois has a fire to deal with - especially when she doesn't need one.