(Quebec) PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon met “by far” his most hostile audience in the United Kingdom during his tour of Europe which officially ends on Saturday.
In front of a British audience, he addressed the saga of the end of the compulsory oath to King Charles III for elected members of the National Assembly: His Majesty’s subjects were not kind to him, he concluded in an interview with The Canadian Press published on Saturday.
The leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ) indeed went to deliver a speech at Nuffield College at Oxford University, where he once studied, in the United Kingdom.
“I can’t say the reception was warm,” he said, holding back his laughter.
It was by far the most hostile forum I’ve encountered, but still intellectually high, so the questions pointed to criticism of my political action, but still respectful, intelligent, so it honestly provoked good discussions.
Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the PQ
Opening in Scotland
On the other hand, the same issue aroused a lot of interest and curiosity in Scotland, a region of the United Kingdom governed by an independentist government where Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon also made a stop during his tour.
Members of the Scottish Parliament must take an oath to the monarch once elected in order to sit – just as those elected to the National Assembly had to until December.
“In Scotland there was a passion for the question of the oath to the king, explained Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon who granted interviews to three of the four major newspapers in Scotland. Really, it took as much place as independence in the journalists’ discussions. »
The three Parti Québécois (PQ) deputies had refused to take the compulsory oath after the October elections and the presidency had therefore barred them from sitting, until the other parties passed a law in December making the oath optional.
Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is thus reconnecting with the tradition of his predecessors, sovereignist leaders such as René Lévesque and Jacques Parizeau, or former minister Louise Beaudoin, who worked to forge links with foreign political leaders in order to prepare the recognition of an eventual independent Quebec on the international scene.
“Restarting to exist internationally” is an essential condition for gaining sovereignty, summarized the PQ leader.
“We fairly quickly consolidate allies for the future, that is to say people who are ready to collaborate with us, who will have time for us in the near future, so that opens up several possibilities. »
During the French portion of his tour, the sovereigntist leader met representatives of several parties represented in the National Assembly, as well as former socialist president François Hollande.
There was a lot of talk about the place of French and French-speaking culture with its interlocutors in France, he said.
He noted interest in the future of Quebec both in Scotland and in France, a country that has long shown sympathy for the Quebec people, even the independence movement.
Since 1977, France had adopted and confirmed on numerous occasions a position of “non-interference, non-indifference”, or in other words the “neither-nor” doctrine with regard to Quebec: it thus guaranteed its neutrality, that it was not going to interfere in a debate on the internal politics of Quebec, but by assuring that it would support Quebec regardless of its choices.
Was the formula used during this mission?
“I was not mentioned this policy once,” said Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon.