Tuesday, September 04, 2012
The Quebec Election and the Angry Canadians
On a sunny afternoon, in my favourite Montreal neighbourhood, both the Quebec election and the hysterical reaction in English Canada, seemed very far away.
Which was a good thing eh?
Because following the election campaign from Toronto and a beach in Maine, has been very exhausting. And the reaction in English Canada has been entirely predictable and totally depressing.
Fretting about a referendum that may never happen, calling Quebecers racists, or in one angry comment after the other demanding that they be expelled from Canada.
When in fact Quebecers are not racists, Quebec is the most progressive province in Canada, and a bastion of resistance to the Harper Regime. And one might wonder who are the real racists?
Commentary about Quebec from outside the province, often from those who cannot read, write or understand French, too often displays the gusto of the uninformed and the sunken story line that “they” are not like “us.”
And how dangerous is their ignorance?
When you’re a tiny linguistic minority on a continent, and a linguistic minority within your own country, you are always going to worry about language and culture – although the concern is sometimes carried to ridiculous levels, considering that French has survived and thrived for four centuries and is hardly on the way to extinction. Nonetheless, when you are part of a minority, you have collective nerve ends that people from the majority cannot easily comprehend.
Because that failure to comprehend, that naked hostility, and the hatred most Quebecers feel for the Con Regime, are the real threats to the survival of Canada as we know it.
Oh well. At least the election is going more or less as I hoped it would. It appears as if Jean Charest is going to be punished for his cynical attempt to win an election by waging war on the student movement...
Only to have the students go back to class, or call a truce, and leave him looking like an IDIOT.
As for Pauline Marois, she may be too much of a salon bourgeois for me, and clumsy and annoying like so many of her PQ generation, when it comes to the question of how best to defend the French language.
But at least she'll probably be reined in by a minority. At least she has some good people in her party.
Like the former student leader Léo Bureau-Blouin...
Who is just one of many young candidates running for office.
Also if Québec solidaire does well, as I hope it will, it could form an alliance with the PQ and help shape a less defensive, and more positive and progressive agenda.
And at least Marois and the PQ are in a position to form a serious government.
Which is more than I can say about François "Lego" Legault and his right-wing clowns from the CAQ Party...
Because trust me, you don't have to know who Bob "Elvis" Gratton is eh? Although it helps.
To know that Lego is making it up as he goes along, and he'll say ANYTHING to get elected.
Yup. It should be a fascinating election night. Democracy is alive and well in the great French nation in Canada. The only person who should be afraid is Stephen Harper.
The Cons and the angry Canadians should go screw themselves.
And of course, after the election. Whoever wins.
The struggle will continue...
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