That's according to an internal PQ document obtained by CBC–Radio-Canada.
Party officials consulted about 2,500 members to decide rules for the leadership race.
The document states that many are “exasperated” with the debate on sovereignty.
“The members of the Parti Québécois want, first and foremost, the Parti Québécois and its representatives to be actively engaged in drafting a sovereignty plan to promote and demonstrate the benefits of an independent Quebec, rather than discuss the referendum timetable,” the document states.
PQ fumbled sovereignty issue, members say
Members said the party fumbled on sovereignty in the last election.
After Pierre Karl Péladeau raised his fist in the air declaring he wanted to make Quebec a country, leader Pauline Marois's campaign derailed.
The document states that the next time around, members want to make the sovereignty issue front and centre and to work towards holding a referendum in "the short term."
Members also want the party to develop economic arguments in favour of independence and to create a large coalition within the PQ.
The PQ’s membership will vote for the new leader in May 2015. Riding presidents will meet soon to discuss rules for the leadership race.
The candidates are MNAs Bernard Drainville, Pierre Karl Péladeau, Alexandre Cloutier, Martine Ouellet, and labour rights activist Pierre Céré.