TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. - The Parti Quebecois is brainstorming to find ways to revive its sagging fortunes.

A two-day caucus meeting in Trois-Rivieres, Que., has been highlighted by chatter about how the sovereigntist party can recapture public support.

Party president Jonathan Valois admits the Pequistes would be in a rough spot if an election were called now.

Leader Pauline Marois says her troops need to get their message out more clearly to the public.

The Pequistes have been in opposition for six years, after three successive election wins by Jean Charest's Liberals.

Charest's popularity has dropped to considerable depths several times over the years but he has repeatedly bounced back and is riding high in the polls again.

The PQ is hoping the province's precarious public finances will finally turn voters against their government.

Marois is warning the provincial deficit will be much larger than the $4 billion forecast in March - in much the same way the federal deficit has kept ballooning this year.

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