Pur et dur
(a common expression in French literally meaning "pure
and hard") is a term used in Quebec politics to refer to hardliners of the Parti Québécois and the Quebec independence
movement. It is most commonly used in the media, where it was popularized. It is also used to criticize some members of the Parti Québécois. Some within the party resent the use of the term by the media, but some have embraced it. It is similar to the term "SNP fundamentalist", used in Scottish politics for a faction of the Scottish National Party, another pro-independence party.
Many of the first "purs et durs" came from the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale who, through entryism
, joined the Parti Québécois in the early days of the 1960s. They are associated with strong opinions about independence (including the need to attain it quickly, the question of an eventual supranational union, or "sovereignty-association", and the question of the "étapisme" approach) and language protection (see Charter of the French Language). Some also criticize the party for not being social democratic enough.
These militants have famously made the leadership
of the Parti Québécois a test and daunting task
. The media has tied the resignation
of every former PQ leader except Jacques Parizeau to the disapproval of the "pur et dur", especially in the case of Pierre-Marc Johnson. Parizeau a former Premier
of Quebec, has sometimes been portrayed as "pur et dur."