il n'est pas la meme Quebec

Pardon my French.

No, seriously. It's rather inexcusable that I can barely speak my country's second official language, let alone think of a French-language title for this blog entry.

Born to a 1980s nuclear family in Montreal, I'm a believer in Trudeau. I'm a believer in a just society, whatever that means. I'm a believer in the right of everyone in this country to go coast to coast speaking both or either official languages comfortably.

Unfortunately I'm a failure in my beliefs.

Thankfully Quebec separatism isn't my fault.

A colleague at work called Mario Dumont's surprising sweep a "backwoods rebellion" against a too-urban Parti candidate. Meanwhile, a friend from Ontario mourned the too-conservative turn of events....

Moi? Well, I wasn't all that surprised. Blame it on my daily obsession with newseum.org, which allows me to watch La Presse everyday, but didn't everyone sort of expect Dumont to come out very, very strong?

Apparently, not this writer from the Montreal Gazette:

ADQ gains balance of power
Upstart party takes seats in most regions of province to push PQ into third spot
Andy Riga, Montreal Gazette; CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
MONTREAL - Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who went to the provincial polls expecting an easy time, barely eked out a minority government Monday night, as Mario Dumont's surging Action democratique du Quebec won seats across the province to become the official opposition....

Perhaps my equilibrium is to be blamed on a fundamental disbelief and un-support for anything separatist.

Not that the ADQ is federalist.

Perhaps it is the stretch of prairie, Canadian shield, and Great Lake separating me from my Quebec roots. Or even my sense that politics in this country ebb and flow.... and perhaps it would be nice to see massive sweeping dips and peaks in polls and election results.

I will bring this wandering blog entry to a point, yet.

When I was still in high school, I read Fighting for Canada by Diane Francis.

Always a media and history geek, I loved it. I pored over it for days, wondering if I could ever write so well, ever be so important (this was back in the days when I thought reporters could be important -- silly me, that's not the point of journalism).

In so many ways, this book is a name-dropping tour of the last referendum, looking at history in the making by writing about dinner meetings, coffee breaks and folded napkins.

But Francis brought me face to face with a kind of humanity in Jacques Parizeau -- despite his highly offensive post-referendum blaming of ethnics for losing the vote. She offered tales mixed with numbers and quotes and comments.... The book, as it should, made a story of Quebec separatism, not just a lecture or a lesson.

Ugh. Eager to re-read it, I flipped to the last two chapters.

And, paused.

Quebec separatism is not a legitimate struggle for self-determination. It is a racially motivated conspiracy that has run roughshod over human rights, fair play, the Quebec economy, and democracy. The separatists should be treated like the ruthless elite that they are.

The book came out in 1996. Eleven years later, Mario Dumont.
***sources of the screen capture: newseum.org and La Presse

No comments: