Almost two weeks into the PQ’s election campaign, which placed independence as its top priority until recently, caucus leader Pauline Marois quickly retreated from the stance and alleged that a referendum on sovereignty is no longer a priority. Ms. Marois made the most straightforward pledge to momentarily put the independence question at rest on Friday, i.e. 17 days into a faltering campaign that hardly covered anything else.
On March 5, Ms. Marois mentioned in a statement that “there will be no referendum as long as Quebeckers are not ready.” The statement was made only a day after the first leadership debate, during which she made a good impression other than being teased by her opponents over sovereignty. Ms. Marois stated that “it’s not a priority for Quebeckers, and it’s not a priority for me.” In a statement issued by PQ candidate Linda Goupil during a radio interview on Friday, she alleged that if she was told that the party is going to hold a referendum in the next mandate, she would not have run.