Canadian political commentators believe the breakup of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's marriage will rally public sympathy to him.
GV PAN EXTERIOR of Olympic Velodrome in Montreal
SV Parti Quebecois leader Rens Levesque walking up to rostrum
Gv Delegates listening to Levesque speech
SV & GV Levesque speaking (2 shots)
SV PAN Delegates listening and applauding
GV PAN Delegates stand on feet to applaud as newsmen run towards Levesque
SV Levesque applauded by Parti Quebecois officials
Mr. Trudeau said after the Federal by-election results that his party could stay in power until 1979. But many political observers believe a general election will be called in Canada early next year.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Canadian political commentators believe the breakup of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's marriage will rally public sympathy to him. A random sampling of opinion across the country showed that Mr. Trudeau was not likely to suffer politically. The Prime Minister's ruling Liberal Party held four Federal parliamentary seats earlier this month in Quebec. But the results were belittled by separatist leader, Rene Levesque, whose Parti Quebecois began its congress in Montreal on Friday (27 May).
SYNOPSIS:The congress--held in Montreal's Olympic Velodrome--was the Parti Quebecois' first since its electoral victories in November 1976. Monsieur Levesque is dedicated to taking Quebec out of English-speaking Canada. The Parti Quebecois runs the provincial government in Quebec but they did not enter the contests for the Federal seats. However, some party supporters were believed to have given help to candidates opposed to the Liberals.
Monsieur Levesque said the Liberals' success in this month's Federal elections did not reflect reality in the largely French-speaking province. He said it had more to do with the incapacity of other parties to fill the political vacuum at national level. The Liberals now have 141 seats in the 264-member Federal parliament--one more than before the by-elections.
Delegates at the Parti Quebecois Congress will be discussing a number of things during their three-day meeting. They will vote a new party executive and Monsieur Levesque is expected to be unanimously re-elected as President of the party. However, the last day of the Congress is expected to be a heated affair. Some militant members of the party say the use of English should be restricted more in Quebec--a move that Levesque does not support. He could find himself in the embarrassing position of having his party pass a motion that he does not agree to.