Homolka Enters Parti Québecois Leadership Race
Newly liberated Tim Horton's pitchwoman Karla Homolka has thrown her hat into the Parti Québecois leadership contest.
As her exclusive interview on Radio-Canada the afternoon of her release demonstrated, Homolka has become somewhat of a Francophile. She views Quebec as a "separate country" and refuses to speak English with anyone except members of her family. Furthermore, she has indicated that she will be settling in the Montreal area as a free woman.
"Karla feels more at home in Quebec. She feels less threatened by francophones," said Janine Huot, one of the 34 lawyers who comprise 'Team Homolka.'
"I mean, she has to do something now that she's free, right? Don't you want her to be a productive member of society?"
In a written statement issued by her director of public relations, Homolka said that she believes in the right of the Quebec people to determine their own destiny. "I am committed to the goal of an independent Quebec and I hope to lead the Quebec people to achieve that dream. That is why I am seeking the leadership of the Parti Québecois."
|"She seems to be a latecomer to the cause", criticises Hughues Caoutchouc, director of Société Referendum Chaque Semaine Jusqu'on Obtient un Résultat Qu'on Aime
Homolka plans to make her leadership bid official with a public announcement next week. She will then travel the Quebec nation, speaking with 'ordinary' Quebecers and building support for her campaign. So far, she has secured zero endorsements from members of the PQ caucus in Quebec City, putting in her in a tie for first place with all of her fellow candidates.
Even if she is successful in becoming leader of the PQ, however, she faces a difficult task in uniting a badly divided party, according to an expert whose name we found in the yellow pages.
"The PQ is a notoriously difficult party to lead. There's all kind of fractional bickering between the moderates and the zealots," said Abitibi Tech political scientist Herman Gastongilde. "You're always under pressure from the more militant members of the party to make independence your number one priority at the expense of everything else."
True to form, PQ officials and other prominent sovereigntists had mixed reactions to Homolka's leadership bid.
"Well, I can't even name any of the other leadership candidates, and I'm the president of the party," said Pierre Indignante, president of the Parti Québecois. "Anyone with some name recognition can't be bad for the sovereigntist cause."
However, Hughues Caoutchouc, the director of the ultra-nationalist Société Referendum Chaque Semaine Jusqu'on Obtient un Résultat Qu'on Aime, (Association for a Referendum Every Week Until We Get An Result We Like) questioned Homolka's sovereigntist credentials. "First of all, she's not 'pure laine.' Not at all. Secondly, she seems to be a latecomer to the cause. I ask you, where was she during the referendum campaign in 1995?
"...Oh, right. She was in prison."
|"The important question is, how quickly will she call another referendum?" assessed Parizeau.
Former Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau, who has never passed up an opportunity to put his foot in his ample mouth, also weighed forth on Homolka's controversial candidacy.
"On the one hand, she's, uhm, kind of a...murderer. But on the other hand, she might very well be the one that liberates the Quebec people from the oppressive tyranny of the federal government. It is kind of a wash if you ask me. The important question is, how quickly will she call another referendum?" assessed Parizeau.
While there was no official response from Premier Jean Charest to Homolka's announcement, there appears to be some concern from members of his Liberal caucus.
"I wish I was joking, but the sad thing is, she'd kick Charest's ass if there was an election today," said a Quebec Liberal Party MNA who asked not to be named.
Posted on July 8th, 2005