Reaction: Quebec Election 2012

The election is over and I have one word. Phew.

The result is bad, but it could have been much worse. The Parti Quebecois spent 34 days placating their hate-filled base. Their anti-English, anti-immigrant, anti-any-religion-but-Christianity proposals, decades-old complaints and destructive policies scared the hell out of me. Their promises to cause trouble for Canadian unity by picking fights with the federal government in order to create resentment in Quebec and ultimately increase chances for a successful vote for separation is a disgusting tactic that does not befit a part of, arguably, the most welcoming, multicultural country in the world. It should be a mark of shame for anyone who supports it, but these backwards people wear their intolerance openly, like a badge of honour.

The final results of the election are: (125 total seats, 63 required for majority)
– Parti quebecois: 54 seats, 1,393,540 votes, 31.94% of the popular vote.
– Quebec Liberal Party: 50 seats, 1,361,618 votes, 31.21% of the vote. (about 32,000 votes less)
– Coalition avenir du Quebec: 19 seats, 1,180,758 votes, 27.06% of the vote.
– Quebec solidaire: 2 seats, 263,233 votes, 6.03%

This is not a mandate for any drastic change, and certainly not for a referendum. Will that stop the Parti quebecois from promoting sovereignty? Likely not. For a party that pretended to understand the importance of “listening to the people” during the student conflict, I wager that they will show that their hypocrisy is alive and well in the coming days, when they name their Referendum Minister. With less than 38% of the vote for parties supporting sovereignty and over 58% for parties who campaigned on staying within Canada, moving past tired, old complaints, and focusing on the real issues facing Quebec, like health care, the economy, corruption, and more, we will see clearly that some parties don’t listen, or selectively listen.

During the PQ leader’s victory speech, a man fired shots, seemingly from backstage at the venue. The exact motive is unknown, but theories abound, and they all sound eerily like an assassination attempt. As much as I am against violence, this situation is peculiar for me and has raised certain interesting points to consider. Specifically, the realization that there are a fair number of people in Quebec who would definitely try to kill anyone who promoted views they didn’t agree with and/or considered threatening, like the abolition of Bill 101, if that person looked like they were gaining support. This is not a Quebec issue – this is a world issue. Violence gets more results than debate, and that’s scary.

In today’s La Presse, Stéphane Laporte wrote the following article entitled “Le Québec est en deuil”:

Surtout, que ce geste de folie ne provoque pas encore plus de haine et d’accusations.
Qu’il ne nous divise pas.
C’est le temps d’être au-dessus de toutes les partisaneries.
Cette nuit, il n’y a pas de péquistes, de libéraux, de caquistes…
Pas de séparatistes, pas de fédéralistes.
Il n’y a que des Québécois blessés, choqués, perdus.
Francophones et anglophones, nous parlons tous la même langue.
Celle du silence.
Celle du coeur triste.
Celle du coeur en deuil.
Donnons-nous du réconfort.
Montrons-nous qu’il y a encore de l’espoir.
Apprendre à vivre ensemble est le plus grand défi des humains.
Qu’ils soient américains, russes, chinois, juifs, arabes, syriens ou québécois.
Faisons de notre sens collectif, de notre souci des autres, notre priorité.
Bonne nuit, malgré tout.
Je ne dormirai pas.
Vous non plus.

I offer my honest response, in true Mark Unleashed fashion. I know that others are thinking similar thoughts, as there has already been a backlash, but this needs to be said. I just ask that my comments be taken as a whole, not picked apart to distort or pervert the message.

Tellement beau, ce texte. Malheureusement, cette campagne électorale m’a tellement blessé que je ne sens plus de bienvenue dans la province de ma naissance à cause de ma langue maternelle. La division causée par la personne qui deviendra premier ministre est tellement loins d’être premier-ministériel. Je suis en deuil pour la personne innocente qui est morte. Mais je ne réussi pas à me placer, comme demande l’auteur, “au-dessus de toutes les partisaneries”. Après 34 jours de xénophobie, de division, et d’intolérance de la part du parti québécois et de son chef, je me tiens fortement contre leurs propos haineux et anti-démocratiques, et, conséquemment, contre tous qui appuient ce parti. Si nous, québécois, sommes tous blessés, c’est à cause non seulement de l’attentat d’hier soir, mais aussi à cause des discours qui l’avaient certainement provoqué.

Your thoughts?

Translations (for those who do not understand French)

Stephane Laporte’s piece:

Title: Quebec is in mourning.

Most important that this gesture of madness not cause more hatred and accusations.
Let it not divide us.
It is time to be above all partisanship.
Tonight, there are no PQ, Liberals, CAQists
No separatists, no federalists
There are only injured Quebecers, angered, lost.
Francophones and Anglophones, we all speak the same language.
One of silence.
One of a sad heart.
One of a grieving heart.
Let us be comforted.
Let us show that there is still hope.
Learning to live together is the greatest human challenge.
That they be American, Russian, Chinese, Jews, Arabs, Syrians or Quebecers.
Let us make our commun interests, our concern for others, our priority.
Good night, despite it all.
I will not sleep.
Neither will you.

My reaction:

So beautiful. Unfortunately, this campaign hurt me so badly that I no longer feel welcome in the province of my birth because of my mother tongue. The division caused by the person who will become Premier is so far from befitting a provincial leader. I am in mourning for the innocent person who died. But I did not manage to place myself as the author asks, “above all partisanship.” After 34 days of xenophobia, division and intolerance from the Parti quebecois and its leader, I stand firmly against their hateful and anti-democratic rhetoric, and, consequently, against all who support this party. If we Québécois are all injured, it is not only because of last night’s attack, but also because of the comments that certainly provoked it.



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