The Péladeau effect
Asmuch as the Montreal Gazette can fire all the bullets that it has against Pierre Karl Péladeau, unless a miracle happens, he will be elected as the leader of the Parti Québécois on Friday. And it will be a game changer. That PKP, as everyone calls him, has a temper is well known. Dad had one and the publisher of this newspaper knows it real well. It seems to run in the family: the late Pierre Rinfret who contributed to this newspaper before he got ill, the cousin of Péladeau Père, was known to have shown his temper to three American presidents. As for his run as Governor of New-York, it made for instant fodder for the New York City tabloids.
The publisher has been around enough politicians in his life to know that the quote attributed to the most famous name in his family is right: “Nice guys finish last.” Or other less known quotes: “I came to win” and “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you an idiot.” What applies to the baseball world of Leo Durocher applies to politics and the man in the street knows it.
Apart from Robert Bourassa, who had other means of being mean, most politicians are bullies. Sorry, but this a fact of life, a bit of Borgia never hurts in this business and reading Machiavelli is a must.
What a lot of you are unable to understand, you are not exactly the heaviest watchers of French television, don’t listen much to French radio, and don’t read a lot of French magazines, is the instant name recognition of the Péladeau brand. He and his wife, Julie Snyder, are the ‘Power Couple’ of the last few years, replacing their dear friends, Céline and René. Apart from Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, a renowned singing star in China, there is not an equivalent in the world today of the Péladeau-Snyder couple. That too many of you are unaware of this doesn’t change the facts.
So on Friday, the PQ will shed its glorious coat of ‘Progressivism’, formerly known as ‘social progress’ and before as socialism. It will leave exposed a strange beast. Under the gloss, we will see a collage of Plasticine™ of various colours, some too mixed together to resemble the originals, some too faded and others remarkably vivid. Some will fall off the assemblage, the lefty-left will move to Québec Solidaire, which will in turn lose, over the next few months, its ‘social democrats’ who will go back to the PQ. As for the CAQ, already on its last legs, all of the party’s big shots moving to Harper in Ottawa for the October election, some of its voters will go back to the Liberals and the majority will be tempted by the new PQ.
And while none of the former leaders of the PQ had any real knowledge of Canada, Péladeau is different. For the last twenty years he was in charge of most of the tabloid press in English Canada. We write “in charge”, because nobody challenges the fact that he is a micro manager. You cannot rewrite history all the time: if you wrote twenty years ago, as the French edition of Maclean’s did, that he knew all the press models in all of his printing plants, you cannot say that he is superficial. By the way, Quebecor’s printing division was then present in more countries than any other printers, going as far as India. So throw everything that you have at him, it will not stick.
And since he vacations in our region, for once we may have a voice to talk to at the PQ.
Boucar receiving gifts at the final gathering with mayor Martin Saindon to the left.