Interview with Paul Cliche, published originally in French in Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme, Winter 2015 (No. 13). Translated to English by Richard Fidler and published on his blog ‘Life On The Left’ on March 20, 2015.
Introduction by Richard Fidler
There is probably no one more qualified to describe the 60-year struggle in Quebec to build a democratic and progressive left party than Paul Cliche. As a journalist and union activist, Cliche (who will be 80 years old in May of this year) was at various times a member of the Parti social-démocratique (PSD), the Parti socialiste du Québec (PSQ), the Front d’action politique (FRAP), the Mouvement socialiste (MS), and is currently a prominent member of Québec solidaire (QS).
In the following interview, Paul Cliche presents his analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each of these experiences, and discusses in particular detail the lengthy process that led to the founding of Québec solidaire, which currently has three members elected to the Quebec National Assembly.
Pierre Beaudet’s interview with Paul Cliche is published in the Winter 2015 issue (No. 13) of Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme, a semi-annual journal published by the Collectif d’analyse politique. In addition to this interview, this issue features no fewer than 18 articles on the theme “Imperialism in the 21st century.”
Cliche presents us here with a fascinating journey in time through the major changes in the Quebec social formation and the shaping and reshaping of its grass-roots progressive movements since the 1950s.
The interview will be of particular interest to radicals in English Canada who have begun to engage with members of Québec solidaire in discussions aimed at surveying the possibilities for building pan-Canadian anticapitalist political resistance to the ongoing neoliberal austerity offensive.
Some initial discussions were held at the Peoples’ Social Forum in Ottawa in August 2014. More recently, activists from both nations met in Toronto February 28-March 1, and a subsequent meeting is scheduled for Montréal on May 9. The Toronto meeting has been followed by an intense series of email exchanges among a wide number of radicals in both English Canada and Quebec.
Here is the full text of the interview with Paul Cliche. My translation from the French. I have added some paragraph breaks for readability, a few explanations in square brackets, and some notes of my own, signed “RF,” where I thought references might be unfamiliar to Anglophone readers. All the other notes are by Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme.
Full text of interview: http://lifeonleft.blogspot.ca/