Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Kind of Way to Fight the Quebec Charter of Values

I really like this photo. And I'm glad some Quebecers took to the streets today to protest against the PQ's exclusionary so-called Charter of Quebec Values.

And although I am an atheist if I had been in Montreal today I might have marched with them. Because I will not let anyone discriminate blatantly against others for no good reason.

Or in the PQ's case for cheap electoral purposes.

But as I wrote in this post, I have confidence that Quebecers will sort out the bad from the good. 

I believe that something positive might still emerge from this heated debate.

On the plus side, if Quebec’s religious minorities ever doubted that they had allies within the francophone chattering class or in the province’s corridors of power, they now know they do. Those allies include Montreal’s municipal politicians who, in a remarkable show of unanimity, closed ranks against the PQ plan and the proposed imposition of a secular dress code on public-sector employees this week

And in the meantime, this is my kind of protest...

Quebecers mocking the PQ zealots like I like to mock the Cons.

Or for that matter all those in the rest of Canada who have been comparing Quebec to Uganda, or Rwanda, or Nazi Germany.

When in fact we're all still living in Harperland, that's bad enough, and we need all of this divisive bullshit, or arguments over religion, like we need a hole in the head. Or another seven years of Stephen Harper.

Gawd. As we poor hosers say in plain Canadian, and in both official languages:

You gotta be kidding? Gimme a break. Get outta here eh? Osti crisse de tabarnac #!@!!!

Yup. The bigots and the small minded may try to divide us.

But they will not succeed...

Click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


Rene said...

It's not all negative, Simon, sometimes a spirited public debate not only clarifies and airs out differences, but has unintended consequences in terms of political alignments. In seeking to broaden their electoral base by appealing to voters which had previously supported the ADQ with their Charter proposal, the PQ ended up inflicting collateral damage on their allies in the Bloc.

Up until a few days ago Bloc MP Maria Mourani supported the traditional Bloc position on Quebec cultural values based on recommendations of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, only to find herself suddenly excluded from her own Party as the Bloc suddenly did an about face to align itself with the Marois position, and this without the benefit of any internal party discussion or convention decisions. Needless to say, this amounted to more than the expulsion of one sitting Bloc MP, but rather a split in the ranks, with the defection of a good section of party members, particularly in Montreal region.

This does not bode well for the PQ, nor for the Bloc, as their current political course may well capture more votes in outlying regions, but at the expense of sacrificing their Montreal base.

Anonymous said...

They forced her to leave because, deep down, Quebec is a racist state......we all know that, it just Mourani a little longer to figure it out.

e.a.f. said...

The Charter of Quebec Values is not that different from how things started out in Uganda. Prior to the rest of the world noticing Idi Amin wanting to toss a lot of people out of the country based on their ethnic backgrounds, some who were living in the country at the time, saw it coming. All of these things such as the exclusion of groups in Germany, by the Nazi, all started very small, with a what to some would have seemed "not so bad" at the time.

In Canada, the federal government would step in prior to things getting right out of hand, but from my perspective, this Charter of quebec values is an exclusionary act, based on racism. It is dangerous. Many of those impacted by the proposed leg. were born in Canada, as were their parents, their grandparents, etc. to prohibt people from working in government services, because they wear religious head dress is just a tad too close to how the Nazi's started in Germany. First they excluded the Jews from working for the government, and on and on it went. You may have contempt for those who have suggested the quebec charter is like Uganda, etc. but for some of us who experienced or had family members experience these situations, the quebec situtation isn't that different.

If this goes ahead, there will be splits in the Bloq and P.Q. That of course will only benefit other parties. Many will leave quebec if this legislation is passed. If the legislation is passed, I can only hope the federal government will take action. It would disgrace Canada.

Anonymous said...

If it passes, than all transfer payments should halt at once. Lets see if Quebec is really ready too pay their own way!

lagatta à montréal said...

What bigoted crap. I don't support the proposed charter either, but Anglo bigots who mouth such gross generalisations are of what you speak. Mange de la marde, crétin!

Anonymous said...

Oh of course you don't, not publicly anyway. Quebec is a racist and a anti-everyone who is isn't Franco place. All of Canada knows this, and why the rest of us are forced too carry and put-up with you bigots is really beyond me.

e.a.f. said...

A 4:33 a.m., it certainly would be an entertaining thought, to stop all transfer payments to Quebec if the charter passes. However, the other side of this is, stevie slime would see it an an opportunity to stop transfer payments to all provinces. that would spell the end of some sort of equality between provinces.

The best Canada could do, if the charter passes, is take it to court asap. and other provinces could welcome those who choose to leave Quebec. it may well look then, like Canada would have its own 'refugee' problem.

Anonymous said...

Harper has no loyalty to Quebec, unlike the other two. All Quebecers will put Quebec first before the rest of country and frankly the rest of humanity. That is what kind of people they are. If Muclair or Trudeau was in charge, bet you dollars to donuts they would simply let this idea stand, rather than hurt their fellow Quebecers.

If we are lucky, Harper will ground these franco bigots into the dust for the enjoyment of all. The other two couldn't simply do it, Francos don't turn on other Francos.

Rene said...

Given the prevalence of Quebec-bashing, largely anonymous, comments, one might reasonably wonder whether one had wandered by mistake into some Yahoo Reform Party hate-fest offering the usual evening entertainment of angry self-righteous denunciations, once again, of whatever Quebec-specific social, political or cultural issue that seizes the imagination of English Canada and drives it to irrational hysteria. Thus we have talk, by those who should know better, of a "racist state" of Quebec, comparable to Uganda or Nazi Germany, of mass exodus, and even in some discussions, of contemplated "concentration camps".

It is indicative certainly of the low level of political discourse and political culture by many who deem themselves liberals, progressives or left wing activists that they indulge in such behaviour and resort to such arguments. The so-called progressive left in English Canada have certainly not weaned themselves of anglo-chauvinist reflexes inasmuch as they constantly direct and address formulations such as "racist state", "fascist", "tribal" etc. in discussions of social, political or cultural development in Quebec. They are still wont to characterize Quebec as some backward nation struggling with its prejudices, and this in a discussion pertaining to a proposed secular Charter, political characterizations they would never consider extending to a developed nation such as France, which has introduced secularist legislation much more extensive than that currently proposed for Quebec.

Those who formulate such arguments - a "racist", "fascist" Charter, a "racist state" fail to follow them to their logical conclusion. If such is the content of the proposed Charter, not yet adopted in Quebec, wouldn't the same characterization apply to a "racist state" such as France which has not only enacted such legislation, but has extended it much further than the Quebec proposal, to prohibit the display of ostentatious religious expression in the public domain? Why limit yourselves to advocating the cessation of transfer payments to Quebec when you can mount a triparty Reform-Liberal-NDP coalition to punish France for its "racist" transgressions, perhaps involving economic and diplomatic sanctions, or a campaign to have France withdraw from NATO, the International Francophonie Organization, etc.

Let's review some of the baser claims, presumably thrown out by anonymous Reformers. For instance, if the Bloc were a "racist" political formation, why would it bother recruiting candidates from immigrant communities to run for office in Montreal ridings ? Why would a "racist state', assuming such state had jurisdiction over powers such as immigration, not only pursue policies of mass immigration, if it could choose to do otherwise, but pursue policies favouring applicants from the third world and underdeveloped regions, subject of course to policies seeking the protection of its laws, culture, traditions and values ?
Issues such as those posed by the projected Charter of Quebec values have been the subject of numerous debates in both Britain and France over the past decade, with particular respect to debates between a generally multiculturalist British left and a militant secularist French left. There were for instance quite lively exchanges in the British left political journal "What Next?" in 2008 between British "multiculturalist" advocate Ian Birchall, "So What Is Secularism?" and Andrew Coates advocating on behalf of the French left "In Defence of Militant Secularism".
Neither mentioned Uganda, Hitler nor concentration camps in their exchanges, that is a particular trait of an untutored, incoherent, anglo-chauvinist Canadian left

Rene said...

Andrew Coates, a blogger on the British left, submitted the following in favour of French secularist policies on his blog February 15, 2012:

"Militant Secularism, a Defence with Reference to France."

‘Faith’ communities in Britain enjoy a privileged relation to the state. There is an Established Church. The Church and other denominations already control large sections of primary and secondary education. More religious groups and cults are now seeking state funding for their ‘free’ and ‘academy’ schools. Religious bodies are increasingly taking over parts of the Welfare state (which began with the YMCA running employment schemes ). Local government has an ever-closer relationship with faith ‘communities’, that is their leaders.

It is this, the political impact of religion that is the problem.
Secularism is not firmly rooted in this country. British political institutions have always given a special role to religious bodies. From mainstream Christian denominations, then to other religions, through ‘multiculturalism’, to bolster.
The effect has been to restore religious authority.
Against this authority secularists do not just stand for the separation of religious institutions (not beliefs or individuals) from the public political sphere.
They actively fight – that is are ‘militant’ – against those aspects of religious politics which are oppressive.

That is, homophobic, anti-women, and intolerant efforts to shape public life around religious doctrines.

Right-wing Christians have a political agenda, drawing inspiration from the USA. This ‘moral’ crusade’ ranges from a role in promoting anti-drink campaigns to topics such as abortion, gay marriage and the promotion of Christian ‘values’
Another cause for concern is the influence of Islamism. Islamism, of growing importance in many countries, has, like the right-wing Christians, sources of support and finance far beyond domestic communities.

Who can deny that these religious politics are forms of bigotry?

It is not up to non-believers to decide if they are ‘real’ forms of religion or not. It can simply be said that they are types of religion, strongly held at held, and that they should be fought.

With these forms of religious politics extending their impact secularism enters the wider left agenda.

Rene said...

Andrew Coates continues in defense of French secularism :
(same source)


Secularism, or laïcité, is a major political issue in France.
It is not just public ’neutrality’ about religion.

It implies, in its more radical forms that derive from Voltaire and Socialist thinkers, an active fight against religious oppression. That is, no tolerance for the intolerant.

The Socialist Candidate, François Hollande, makes a re-assertion of laïcité a principal plank of his electoral platform.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Front de Gauche (FdG) also considers it central to his left republican socialism.

They each intend to reinforce a system which is very different to that of the United Kingdom.

There is no French Establish Church. Prayers do not take place in municipal or national assemblies. State education does not offer religious instruction. Public subsidies for religion are, in theory, illegal under the 1905 Law that separated Church and State.

Yet French governments have chipped away at these principles.
Private Catholic schools receive state subsidies. There are many other subventions for religious bodies, often disguised as cultural or social funding.

There is public subsidy of religious institutions in Alsace and Moselle, an exemption dating from the original secularism laws.
The left intends to end this.

There has been creeping adaption to Islamist demands for sexual segregation, in venues such as swimming pools and hospitals.
This the left will put a stop to.

More recently President Sarkozy has begun talking of an ‘open’ laïcité. This means adopting features of the multicultural model – bringing faith communities into ‘social’ politics.

At the same time Sarkozy has banned the Burka in public. This goes beyond rules prohibiting the veil in public education.

The ban been widely accepted, but the principle is far-ranging and risks drifting into doubtful areas
Now some wish to prohibit veils in pre-school education. Not only for teachers, but for mothers bringing their children to crèches.

This goes over the fine line between (rightly) banning oppressive and aggressive signs of religious identity in public education, to what is a private matter.
There is a further element.

Debate in France on secularism is poisoned by the demands of the Front National for a ‘secularism’ that takes on clearly anti-immigrant and racist overtones – not to mention the FN’s own none to secret preference for Catholicism.

The response from the French secularist left has been, very different to the British multiculturalist left.

On the veil, unlike the British left, the stand can be summarised by Caroline Fourest.
She said that if Islamist countries ended their laws putting non-veiled women in prison, and if Islamists stopped physically assaulting unveiled women, then we will be able to consider this a purely cultural issue.

The left defends immigrants against Sarkozy and the Front National. Unlike the mainstream British left, the FdG in France calls for giving ‘illegals’ (sans-papiers) residence rights.

But it does not neglect secularism.

Its first principle is to defend universal rights against the oppression of religious institutions and the power they have, without democratic legitimacy.
This, more than anything else, is lacking in the British debate .....

Rene said...

The wisdom of donut-munching Reform bigots. Reform allied with "the rest of humanity" versus Quebec, presumably including Syrian Al Queda rebels, the Afghan Taliban, China, North Korea and whomever else their broad vision includes " will ground these franco bigots into the dust for the enjoyment of all". Quite instructive as to the cultural "enjoyment" of Reformers, war-mongering, drunken bar brawls and nose-biting.
Get back to your donuts .....

Anonymous said...

Always an excuse, now deal with these facts.

France can do what ever it wants, they are not part of Canada. I don't pay for them. My tax dollars are shoveled into a trough where the Frenchmen feed. But trough where the piggy of Quebec feeds is never full enough for them.

I don't see Frenchmen masquerading as "leaders" for all of Canada. By we get this from Quebecers all the time and are expected to buy it. Your our problem because you are part of this country, hence those "awful Anglos" give a shit when your bigoted side starts showing a little to much. Can't have Canada embarrassed by our "crazy uncle" Quebec now can we?

Want us to keep our noise out of your business? They pull up your big-boy pants and actually separate. Then you can pass all the bigoted, racist laws you want. Fill your boots, just don't expect us to pay for it.....just to mock you and take your best when they leave.

PairsAnciens-PairsNouveaux said...

When you want to know why it is happening here in the Quebec province, you only have to analyse what is happening in the rest of the world! For exemple, in Belgium the muslims are saying we only obey the laws of Allah! Ouf, it means that our laws do not exist for them...What about that...And for the peoples out here i am sorry to say that the Quebecois are not Nazi for the simple reason that they are Jewish...