MONTREAL - Bloc Quebecois Leader Martine Ouellet and her allies are proposing that members vote in a referendum to determine the party's main role.

She says disagreements over the party's raison d'etre are behind the crisis that is currently rocking the Bloc.

Seven of its 10 MPs stormed out of the party last week to protest Ouellet's leadership style and her focus on Quebec independence.

Ouellet was accompanied at a news conference in Montreal today by the three remaining Bloc MPs as well as the party's vice-president.

Party officials will meet Saturday to determine the wording of the referendum question.

Another meeting will be held in April to determine whether the referendum proceeds.