Québec election discussion (Part II)

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lagatta

I don't know what you mean about anglo-bashing. That isn't the problem with the Québec civil service recruitment anyway; it is more a question of what one could call "systemic" discrimination, not deliberately excluding anyone. For example, non-francophones may feel less comfortable in Québec, the capital. What is needed is a deliberate affirmative action campaign among cultural communities. We have advocated that from the outset.

By the way, that jibe about "puerile humor"(sic) was just silly. Do you think I give half a shit about what you think?

You yourself talked about supporting the Liberals, or at least not opposing them. Do you not understand the class line, or are you on the other side? And if so, why are you posting on a progressive board?

josh

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper's comments about Quebec separatists gave the Parti Quebecois a major boost and helped the sovereigntist party close in on the Liberals in the provincial election, a leading pollster said Tuesday.

In a reversal of the historic election-day trend, the PQ performed far better than expected and closed so much of the gap between itself and the Liberals that it nearly deprived Charest of a majority.

The PQ's share of the popular vote was just seven percentage points less than the Liberals - this after polls just days ago placed it 14 points behind - and it held Charest's troops to a three-seat majority.

Jean-Marc Leger, president of Leger Marketing, said a poll suggested 14 per cent of Quebecers changed their vote on the last day, with half making that flip-flop while at the ballot box.

Leger said the largest contributor to the discrepancy between pre-election polling and the final outcome Monday was Harper's anti-Quebec rant in the home stretch of the campaign."

 

http://www.news1130.com/news/national/article.jsp?content=n1209133A

lagatta

I'm not surprised about that, but the outcome is a wee move to the left. The PQ is not a labour or social-democratic party (though many longterm PQ MNAs would be in the NDP in other provinces; this is even truer for the Bloc) but it does have links with the labour movement and does tend to be somewhat more progressive than the Liberals. And having someone from QS in the National Assembly will put pressure on them.

Moreover we have taken the bluster out of a very nasty, demagogic movement, the ADQ. The ADQ does have ancestors in Québec: les Créditistes, our version of the Social Credit party, once again supported by regions that experienced marginalisation and neglect, and certain aspects of the ruling Union Nationale (Duplessis' Party) with a strong nationalist thrust - though never pro-independence - and a very rightwing, anti-union, traditional Catholic agenda (like "fascism soft"). Someone studying the National Front in France said "un raciste, c'est quelqu'un qui se trompe de colère". Hard to translate that. Colère, which means anger or fury, sounds a lot like couleur, colour.

ADQ aren't precisely racists, but they are demagogues who play upon fears, some very real, some manufactured.

And federalists here can rest assured that the Liberal majority, albeit a close one, means there will be no referendum in the next term. Which I don't think most people here want, even PQ or QS supporters.

toddsschneider

If my comments were read as pro-Liberal, that's a serious mis-reading.  As for opposing the PLQ, I would rather vote for someone than against someone else.  Better luck next time, I hope.

As a product of working-class parents, one of whom was a shop steward in the public sector, I understand the class line very well, thanks for asking.

At first, I laughed at that line about anglos not feeling comfortable in Quebec City.  (As if the entire civil service works there). It's the same reasoning given by golf and country club members for excluding non-whites, to this day.

If we represent 9% of the population and 1% of the civil service, I think the lack of hiring is systemic alright, and is demonstrably systematic.

Then I stopped laughing.

By the way, I will quote Jean Charest on Amir Khadir's election to the provincial legislature: "Our democratic life has been enriched."

Would that we were all as charitable to our opponents.

 

lagatta

Saying discrimination is "systemic" is not a denial of discrimination. It means it runs deep and is unconscious, and that it requires a concerted effort to put matters right. Systemic is not a synonym for "systematic" (which would mean that no immigrants or people of colour would gain access to jobs - i.e. the colour bar).

Decades ago, the Québec civil service was a way for educated francophones who experienced discrimination in an anglo-dominated private sector to find career-path jobs. But now our society is multicultural and the public sector must provide the same opportunities to people from the different backgrounds making it up. For reasons of fairness, but also to better serve all QuébécoisEs. Our position on that is clear.

It was not ever a country club matter of denying someone of Haitian background a job in Québec saying, "sorry, Antoine, you won't fit in here; there aren't enough tropical markets and bars in Limoilou", but of people from cultural communities not wanting to leave the communities that are a haven from and protection against racism, discrimination and misunderstanding.

The solution requires proactive recruitment of people from cultural communities and racial minorities (and Aboriginal people), and affirmative action.

But no, I'm not charitable to someone who comes on this board only to Québec-bash - which is also bigoted and discriminatory against a historically oppressed nation. We've seen that come to an ugly head in Ottawa just a few weeks ago.

Well, remember your working-class roots and vote for pro-worker parties. Nothing else to say.

martin dufresne

toddschneider: "Would that we were all as charitable to our opponents."

Does this mean you are defining yourself as one of our opponents?

adma

ClaudeB wrote:

adma wrote:
How "demolished" is ADQ, anyway?  They still eked out 7 seats and didn't bottom out the way some pollsters were predicting--though that may have been a dead cat bounce from so many incumbents running...

Mario is gone. Some of their best candidates were badly defeated (Sébastien Proulx in Trois-Rivières). The ADQ (officially the Action démocratique du Québec/Équipe Mario Dumont - I kid you not!) is a one-man show.

With him gone,  what remains of his caucus might well decide to jump the fence and join either the Liberals or the PQ (or maybe both).

 

When it comes to the bigger picture, you're right, i.e. it's not so much the scale of the defeat, as what came after: Super Mario resigning, etc.  (I think a couple of incumbents sunk below 15%--Laprairie + St Maurice?)  In general, it might as well go the way of the Creditistes post-Real Caouette at this point.

Interesting to note, parenthetically, that the two ADQers who bolted to the Liberals, lost as Liberals.  (Were they the only losing Liberal incumbents?)

toddsschneider

I'm saying anglophobia is very conscious, and runs right through Quebec's dominant class. And who runs the civil service?  I never said systemic and systematic discrimination were the same, just that in Quebec they have comparable results.

Decades ago, before the Quiet Revolution, there was little public service to speak of. As soon as one class of serfs took over the manors, and built more, they kept the others out.  Not all anglos lived in Westmount mansions.

The same goes for the private sector; lagatta herself admitted minorities are over-represented amongst the under-employed, Haitians in particular.  That waste of potential is what we and they and all of us, need protection from. 

To quote Mike Harris, the best social program is a job. (That would probably be where he and I part company, other than being WASPs; identity can be a marvelously nuanced thing in the right minds.) Ask my erstwhile Trinidadian partner and boss at the bilingual tutoring service I work for, with passion, preparing a rainbow coalition of young Quebecers for a reasonably accommodating future, what kind of "bigot" I am.

I'm just on this board for Quebec-bashing? That's inaccurate, as a cursory glance at my rabble record will show. I'm on this progressive board because I'm a progressive. Quebec a historically oppressed nation? Not since my parents' day, myself and not a few francophones would argue. We've come a long way, and yet the struggle continues.

If I'm an opponent of anything, it's of demonizing our adversaries.

Down with long posts!

lagatta

"admitted"? Listen, buster, I've been a leftist militant for longer than I care to admit. I don't need some little shit who thinks anglos are an oppressed minority to get me to "admit" that racism exists, here and elsewhere.

toddsschneider

I'm not putting words in your mouth, just trying to read you correctly.

But you are trying to, in mine. To the best of my research, I never said anglos are an "oppressed minority" in Quebec, just discriminated against.  (You don't want to read Wikipedia's definition of oppression). We're certainly aggressed.

lagatta

Oh, poor discriminated, aggressed anglophones. Nothing like speaking the dominant language in North America, the language of the dominant world power and thinking everyone else should answer questions in their language.

This is really evocative of "men's rights" and turning the clock back forty years.

Most men are poor and working-class too, but they aren't discriminated or "aggressed" as men.

I have no intention of putting anything in your mouth. I do wonder what the hell you are doing on a progressive board.

There have been Fathers' Rights types on this and related boards.

I'm retuning to something important and productive - combing and stroking my prodigal cat.

toddsschneider

If I want to work in the public sector and I'm kept out by prejudice, then yes, I have legitimate grievances. Good thing we have Dr. Khadir in the legislative house, for the prescription to that illness.

Turning back the clock is arguing that the historical
discrimination against the franco-quebecers means the beginnings
justifies the current ends.

The rest mentioned just now seems some kind of slippery slope I won't go near, understood given the wintry weather.

I would say enjoy the reunion with your cat but I'm allergic ... to thread drift.

lagatta

Oh go to heck.

Finding my wonderful cat again is infinitely more important in world-historical terms than your silly nonsense about (supposedly) being kept out of a public sector job. This reminds me of Marc Lépine now, not just the Fathers. Those damned feminists... or separatists ... or whatever. Not that you've killed anyone, which is a saving grace.

Now back to important things: Québec solidaire a fait un grand pas: http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hkEski8wLWx...

MONTREAL — L'élection d'un premier député de Québec solidaire à l'Assemblée nationale n'est pas le premier d'une série de petits pas vers la croissance du parti, mais bien un grand pas, assurent le premier élu du parti, Amir Khadir, et son autre porte-parole, Françoise David.
Le nouveau député de Mercier débordait encore d'enthousiasme, mardi en entrevue, au lendemain du scrutin qui a fait de lui le premier élu de ce parti de gauche, à l'Assemblée nationale.
"On ne le réalise peut-être pas encore, mais c'est la première fois depuis longtemps qu'au Québec on a un parti qui peut se dire authentiquement à gauche, résolument à gauche. Il y a plein de gens dans le mouvement social, dans le mouvement syndical, dans le mouvement écologiste, qui attendaient juste une raison d'espérer. Pour moi, c'est certain que ça ne s'arrêtera pas là. Très rapidement on va voir apparaître au Québec une alternative crédible, importante qui va peut-être un jour, même, prendre le pouvoir. Pourquoi pas? Ca commence comme ça, hein?", s'est exclamé M. Khadir
"C'est plus qu'un petit pas, c'est un grand pas, un grand pas qui ne marque pas la fin, évidemment, de Québec solidaire. C'est la fin d'une étape et elle se termine de belle façon. Là, il y a une autre étape qui commence; on a une aile parlementaire, on va donc pouvoir se faire entendre à l'Assemblée nationale, être davantage présent dans les médias, mais il reste tout un travail à faire, à consolider", ajoutait pour sa part Mme David, en entrevue.

I know Amir pretty well, and I know what he'd have to say about your harping about the poor anglophones who want to turn the clock back to 1965 or so.

I'm not turning any clock back and never will.

Pride for Red D...

I'm an anglo Montrealer in an English haven (the west island), and I don't think anglophones are discriminated against. That may be because I live in an English haven, but we're in Quebec, people ought to and have to learn French to get any type of decent job, or to be able to function on a daily basis. Not evereyone you meet will speek both. I can hardly complain about being bilingual. 

Apart from that, it's really great that Khadir got elected- congrats Lagatta, I'll bet you're jumping up and down !

martin dufresne

Lagatta may have alluded to the reasons - not all of them discriminatory - that explain Anglo-Quebeckers, relative scarcity in the Quebec public service when she wrote:

"people from cultural communities not wanting to leave the communities
that are a haven from and protection against racism, discrimination and
misunderstanding"

It is a fact that Anglo-Quebeckers that haven't learned to speak French - or do very poorly and would rather speak English - find themselves at a disadvantage in a public service whose working language they have shunned. This, and reluctance to leave the safe privileged haven of Montreal when most PS jobs are in the mostly French-speaking Quebec City community, are the main reasons for the current underrepresentation of Anglos in the public service (although most freelance French-to-English translators I know are rolling in cash from Quebec gov't jobs!).

Which is why it is unfair to discuss Anglo-Quebeckers' situation in the same sentence as that of French-speaking or bilingual Quebeckers with the "wrong" skin colour or family name, who are unfairly discriminated against by the Quebec government and are not outside of the Quebec public service because of their own choices.

P.S.: The much better-funded federal public service doesn't let their lack of French keep them away from cushy jobs, I might add...

ClaudeB

martin dufresne wrote:

It is a fact that Anglo-Quebeckers that haven't learned to speak French - or do very poorly and would rather speak English - find themselves at a disadvantage in a public service whose working language they have shunned. This, and reluctance to leave the safe privileged haven of Montreal when most PS jobs are in the mostly French-speaking Quebec City community, are the main reasons for the current underrepresentation of Anglos in the public service (although most freelance French-to-English translators I know are rolling in cash from Quebec gov't jobs!).

Which is why it is unfair to discuss Anglo-Quebeckers' situation in the same sentence as that of French-speaking or bilingual Quebeckers with the "wrong" skin colour or family name, who are unfairly discriminated against by the Quebec government and are not out of the public service because of their own choices.

I agree with Martin. My SO (a bilingual pure laine, like me)  works as an anthropologist in a Health care research center in Quebec City and spends most of her time writing research papers to be published in academic journals... in English. Advanced skills in English are in short supply here, and the public sector hires.

In a more general sense, I take the 801 Metrobus every day from Limoilou to Saint-Foy and I see newly arrived Quebecers from Africa and Latin America every day. So, I think an anglo with a working knowledge of French could make it down highway 20.

But let's be realistic for a moment. My own personal 10+ years experience in New Brunswick (2 of them in a "french-only" civil service position in Fredericton) told me something about minorities in a "foreign" city. It's tough to move to a completely new city, with a different culture, leaving friends and relatives far behind. And there is the barrier of the host community you have to integrate. Tough challenges. 

So I'm not surprised by the reluctance on the part of Acadians to move to their provincial capital to take these jobs. Many of them accept to live in Moncton, because of the culture and the critical mass of francophones, but sedate loyalist capital is quite another thing altogether. I could say the same thing about Montreal and Quebec City.

To conclude, I don't think there is a systematic bias against "les Anglais" in the Quebec public sector. There are other factors, including wages. work conditions and even ideology.

Have you considered that some anglos won't even bother to apply? Don't be too fast dismissing the argument: I know some friends of mine who would not consider applying in the Canadian public service for ideological reasons, while applying on any and all Quebec public service jobs, even if the salary is lower in the provincial government. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Paul Kellogg wrote:
[excerpts]

Khadir's victory was not just the victory of one individual. In his riding of Mercier, QS won 8,861 votes, 38.06% of votes cast, defeating Daniel Turp, a star candidate of the Parti Québécois (PQ) by 872 votes. But in the ridings surrounding Mercier, QS also did extremely well. In Gouin, the other co-spokesperson for QS, Françoise David, came a very close second to the PQ winning 7,987 votes (31.95%). In ridings adjacent to either Mercier or Gouin, QS won 2,963 votes (13.01%) in Laurier-Dorion, 2,228 votes (11.43%) in Outremont, 3,009 votes (15.22%) in Saint-Marie-Saint-Jacques, 2,502 votes (12.91%) in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, and 2,470 votes (8.24%) in Rosemont - more than 30,000 votes in total in these seven ridings on the Island of Montreal.

There were also important results in other parts of Quebec, QS candidates polling 2,241 votes (8.42%) in the Quebec City riding of Taschereau, 1,995 votes (8.78%) in the Outaouais riding of Hull, 439 votes (5.04%) in the vast northern riding of Ungava, 1,413 votes (5.77%) in the "near-North" riding of Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue, and just shy of 2,000 votes (6.46%) in Sherbrooke, the riding of Liberal premier Jean Charest.

QS was formed at a convention, February 3, 4 and 5, 2006. Institutionally, it was the coming together of l'Union des forces progressistes (UFP) and Option citoyenne (OC). What this fusion accomplished was to provide a space for the expression of the hopes and dreams of two generations of struggle in Quebec. Those who attended the 1,000 strong opening rally, will never forget the emotion - a video showing the history of struggle in Quebec reaching back through the tumultuous decades of the 1960s and 1970s, from the War Measures Act of 1970 and the General Strike of 1972, to the women's movement of the 1980s and 1990s, and the anti-globalization and anti-war movements of the 21st century. There was a feeling of history being made.

With a seat in the National Assembly, QS has a new tool to add to the historic commitment of the UFP to be a "party of the street and of the ballot box." The visibility that comes from having a sitting member will propel QS into the public eye in a new way.

There were some other encouraging results from the election. In particular, the right-wing Action Démocratique du Québec (ADQ), which had soared to second place in the 2007 election, saw its vote collapse by a stunning 694,487, leading to the election night resignation of leader Mario Dumont.

But there remain many challenges, of which QS members are very aware. Celebrations of Khadir's victory were tempered by disappointment over Françoise David narrowly failing to join Khadir in the National Assembly. In addition, the overall result was a majority government for Jean Charest and the Liberal Party, a leader and a party who are a known commodity in Quebec politics - committed to defending the interests of corporate power.

More worrying, in an election which saw 720,000 fewer voters turn up at the polls than in 2007, it was the two traditional parties - the Liberals and the PQ - which saw their votes increase, 49,137 for the Liberals and 13,639 for the PQ. While QS saw its overall percentage increase slightly (from 3.64% to 3.8%), and while it displaced the Green Party as the fourth party in the election, its overall vote total actually declined by more than 20,000, dropping from 144,418 to 123,061. [table omitted]

The spectre of an economic crisis is a factor in this. Fear of recession in the absence of mass struggle means many in the electorate are looking for "safety" in the face of a stronger Liberal government. And it is probably the case that an increased number of people turned to the PQ in disgust at the federal Tories Quebec bashing in the context of the current national political crisis.

[url=http://www.poleconanalysis.org/2008/12/breakthrough-for-qubec-solidaire.... - [footnotes omitted]

Perhaps you were hoping I had stopped using an annoying tag line. You were wrong; you're reading it now. Why not email a moderator to demand that signature/tag lines be abolished forthwith?

martin dufresne

"Why not email a moderator to demand that signature/tag lines be abolished forthwith?"

Done. Good idea.

Socrates Socrates's picture

Interesting question about where NDP militants worked this election. A lot did work for QS but a good number also worked for the Green's (specifically Peter McQueen in NDG and a few other candidates).

An organizer who I worked with on Anne Lagace-Dowson's campaign who was working for McQueen explained it this way:

1) A strategic alliance with the provincial greens is a good way to demonstrate that the federal green party is inferior to the NDP on the environment and a good way to poach green votes federally. (this is a logical thought to me)

2) In the federal campaign McQueen publically endorsed Anne, sent us his volunteers and worked for her election. Several other provincial greens (including one of the founders of the party, Daniel Breton, who ran for the NDP in Jean-le-Ber) also worked for the NDP.

While obviously many QS militants worked for the NDP as well, especially in places like Outremont, there was not the same movement from QS to support the NDP. 

As an NDP militant who supports QS I think we need to make an effort to build better bridges between the parties so that we can work together more effectively in future.

 Also, as tempting as a coalition or merger is, the problem is that the Greens highest support came in anglo and allophone ridings where QS' suport of sovereignty did not play well. A better idea might be a strategic arrangment to not run QS candidates in these ridings (where they got between 0-3%) in exchange for the greens not running candidates in the QS stronghold of Eastern Montreal.

There definitely needs to be talks though, the provincial greens here have alwayss been a much more radical, progressive party than their federal cousins and there is certainly common ground.

George Victor

 Has QS accomplished this without the aid  of  any local media on board?

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Socrates Socrates's picture

George Victor wrote:

Has QS accomplished this without the aid  of  any local media on board?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Yes. They were completly ignored by most of the mainstream media. CTV.ca didn't even report that Amir was elected.

Unionist

The most high-profile reporting I saw was in the free dailies handed out in the Métro. There were a few semi-decent articles in the back pages of some of the MSM dailies. But otherwise, no one treated QS as being on a par with the big 3 (or should I say the big 2, after Dumont's surrender).

lagatta

Socrates, we deliberately withdrew our candidacy in NDG and called for a vote for the Greens. We were hoping the Greens would reciprocate in Mercier and/or Gouin, but that didn't develop.

Indeed, an electoral alliance between the two parties might be a better option than a merger. The local Green here last time (in Gouin) made some rather rightwing pronouncements - one was calling for benefit payments in kind (!)

Sure, I agree with access to healthy organic food for poor people on welfare, disability or EI (which is federal, bu administered provincially here), but that is very patronising and takes us back decades.

But I don't remember anything jarring like that this time. The Green campaign here was very low-key, mostly about environmental issues on which QS has a virtually identical outlook.

Unionist

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081210.wquebecamir1...'s a not-bad article about QS[/url] in the Globe and Mail, believe it or not:

Quote:

Left-wing party aiming to 'share the wealth' gains a foothold

 

Quebeckers awoke yesterday morning to a drastically altered
political landscape: The right-wing Action démocratique du Québec was
out; a left-wing party was poking its head in.

In the surprise breakthrough of the election, physician Amir Khadir
picked up a first seat for the Québec solidaire party, a fledgling
formation whose policies for big government would place it on the
fringes of the Canadian political spectrum.

Dr. Khadir, an Iranian-born father of three, ousted a two-term Parti
Québécois incumbent to win a riding in the heart of Montreal.

His victory, he said, was "a reason to dream a different Quebec is possible."

Read the whole article.

 

 

Socrates Socrates's picture

lagatta wrote:
Socrates, we deliberately withdrew our candidacy in NDG and called for a vote for the Greens. We were hoping the Greens would reciprocate in Mercier and/or Gouin, but that didn't develop.
Indeed, an electoral alliance between the two parties might be a better option than a merger. The local Green here last time (in Gouin) made some rather rightwing pronouncements - one was calling for benefit payments in kind (!)
Sure, I agree with access to healthy organic food for poor people on welfare, disability or EI (which is federal, bu administered provincially here), but that is very patronising and takes us back decades.
But I don't remember anything jarring like that this time. The Green campaign here was very low-key, mostly about environmental issues on which QS has a virtually identical outlook.

Hi Lagatta! I've been away for a while but its nice to see you still around!

I was not aware QS pulled out in NDG.  I was burned out from the federal election, trying to make up all the schoolwork I missed then and busy trying to impeach the corrupt, right wing Concordia Student Union Executive so I didn't do much work this time provincially.

 What I was repeating was not my own perception, but that of a friend and influential NDP organizer when I asked him why he was working for the Greens and not QS. 

In any case there is obvious common ground and I agree that the best option is an electoral alliance. Whatever hurt feelings may exist on either side need to be set aside and negotiations commenced sooner rather than later on the shape of such an alliance.

If I recall correctly there was a formal alliance of this sort between the UFP and Greens in 2003 where they did not run candidates against each other. (I may be thinking of the election prior to that)

As much as the PQ are a hollow, neo-liberal party like the rest, Amir's win will energize the SPQ-libre and threaten the left flank so long taken for granted. If this results in positive action on the part of the official opposition so much the better.

Despite the Liberal majority I feel as if the destruction of "Equipe Mario Dumont" (Suuuure they'll survive his departure) and emergence of QS may signal a resurgence of the left in what was once a strongly progressive province.

Here's to a workable arrangement with the greens and a party whose credibility can no longer be denied. I see more seats in our future!

 

 

adma

Yeah, "Equipe Mario Dumont".  Shades of Pauline Hanson's One Nation.Wink

Though it's worth considering that ADQ's identity over its first decade or so was still a bit ambiguous and "searching" (and thanks to its leader, a bit youthfulesque)--it's only from about the 2003 election onward that it really started hitting the ugly retro-Duplessiste buttons...

robbie_dee

I wouldn't speak too soon about the demise of the ADQ.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081210.wPOLqueb-adq... & Mail: Outspoken Quebec mayor eyes ADQ leadership (12-10-08)[/url]

Quote:
MONTREAL — The outspoken mayor of a hard-luck town near the Quebec-U.S. border is positioning himself as a potential successor to Mario Dumont as leader of the Action démocratique du Quebec.

Stéphane Gendron, the controversial and media-savvy mayor of Huntingdon, says he would be interested in the leadership of a party that is licking its wounds after a pummelling at the polls on Monday.

Mr. Gendron made headlines in recent years for imposing a curfew on youth in the town of 2,600 in a bid to reduce vandalism and crime. He has been courted in the past by the Parti Québécois and the federal Conservatives, but declined both offers.

“I'm obviously interested,” Mr. Gendron told Montreal Le Devoir. “I've been hearing people in my entourage tell me since I was 12 that I would be premier one day.”

His mandate as mayor runs out next year and Mr. Gendron accused Mr. Dumont earlier this year of having lost touch with his voter base. While the outspoken Mr. Gendron has supported the ADQ, he has never been a member of the party.

The normally loquacious Mr. Gendron, whose town has struggled since its main employer, a textile manufacturer, shut down in 2005, did not return repeated requests for an interview on Wednesday.

Mr. Gendron's is among several names being bandied about by pundits as possible replacements for Mr. Dumont, who met Wednesday with all the ADQ candidates from this week's election.

***

Réjean Pelletier, a political scientist at the Université de Laval, said the fact some people are kicking the tires of the decimated party isn't surprising — considering it comes with elected members, a base of support of 16 per cent and a long-standing party history.

“As far as leadership goes, it could be interesting to some people out there,” Mr. Pelletier said.

“There is still an electoral base there and someone might interested in taking over and trying to build on that.”

IMO, I think it would actually be a good thing if the ADQ hangs around, as long as it remains relatively marginal and not a threat to actually take power. They do represent a set of views and opinions held by a number of Quebecers, who deserve to have those views heard (albeit hopefully then rejected) in the legislature. Moreover, from the left perspective if the ADQ is still around demanding media coverage for its right-wing positions on the issues of the day,  it will be more difficult for the media to deny equivalent coverage to QS on the left, since both parties now have representation in the legislature. And both the new ADQ leader AND the QS leader should now be included in the leadership debates next time around. Plus the ADQ could split the "conservative" vote with the Libs and/or the right wing of the PQ, allowing more progressive candidates to break through.

 All that being said, it sure was nice to see the ADQ take their spanking on Monday.

robbie_dee

Well if the ADQ wants to pick an embarassing clown to be their new public face I am not going to argue with that, either. I just wanted to point out that there is apparently interest out there in taking Mario's job.

martin dufresne

Stéphane Gendron isn't that "media-savvy"... You have to be making serious mistakes to get dumped by Télévision Quatre-Saisons, Quebec's trash-TV station. Indeed, there must be enough outrageous statements by the man on record to feed his opponents' barbs for decades.

______________________________________________

Tag lines are trolling.

 

Socrates Socrates's picture

Yeah, I didn't mean to suggest that the party would literally cease to exist overnight without Mario. That's obviously not the case.

My point was that Mario has long been the best thing going for this party and the main reason people voted for them. Without him I think it has nowhere to go but down, probably clinging to a few seats only in the next election. I could easily see QS winning more.

And Gendron is a buffoon, not at all polished in his racism like Mario.

Robo

Unionist wrote:
The most high-profile reporting I saw was in the free dailies handed out in the Métro. There were a few semi-decent articles in the back pages of some of the MSM dailies. But otherwise, no one treated QS as being on a par with the big 3 (or should I say the big 2, after Dumont's surrender).

And is "being on a par with the big 3" a standard that would have been appropriate?  I don't think so.  I don't live in Quebec, and acknowledge I speak as an outsider.  But I would not expect the Sasktachewan media to give as much space/time in its coverage of a Saskatchewan provincial election as the media gives to the NDP and Sask Party.  I wouldn't expect the PEI media to give as much space/time to the NDP and Green Party as it gives to the Liberals and Conservatives.

I expect there to be upset political parties about media coverage in every election -- that's par for the course in terms of parties' opinions of their share of the media coverage.  But the QS got 3.6% of the vote in the last provincial election and 3.8% this time, and showed up in opinion polls regularly in the single-digit range.  The media have to make judgment calls -- calls that I often think are wrong.  But treating a party that had no seats in the National Assembly and single digit support in opinion polls on a par with the three parties in the Assembly would have been giving more space than was merited.

Did the QS get its fair share of support?  Probably not.  I saw a few stories on Le Telejournal on the occasions I watched -- but significantly less coverage of QS than for the leaders of the three parties in the Assembly.  Now that QS is there, I would expect that future election coverage will give Amir Khadir more regular coverage.  Time will tell.

martin dufresne

Yes, elected ADQ member Eric Caire has already expressed interest in becoming the Right's new poster boy.

______________________________________________

Tag lines are for trolling.

 

toddsschneider

lagatta wrote:
Oh go to heck. Finding my wonderful cat again is infinitely more important in world-historical terms than your silly nonsense about (supposedly) being kept out of a public sector job ...

I know Amir pretty well, and I know what he'd have to say about your harping about the poor anglophones who want to turn the clock back to 1965 or so ...

I'm not turning any clock back and never will.

Give them enough rope, I always say.

I will write to Khadir myself, without benefit of mis-representation, and post his reply.  If any.

But I will also save my breath for getting through the frosty conditions *outside*.

toddsschneider

1. (a) With my comments in under-representation, I am obviously addressing functionally bilingual anglos, not unilinguals.
1. (b) It should go without saying that such an anglo is at least sympathetic to franco-nationalism, if not sovereignty. There might be some of those out there beyond the babble board. It could happen.
2. (a) As per the comments below, there is still a call for advanced-level English, usually found among native speakers, even in some QC government bodies. No, I am not referring to Pauline Marois, poor old dear.
2. (b) There is a long way to go when it comes to QC government documents` translation from French to English; to wit, the debacle with the voter cards in the recent election.
3. While wages in the QC public service might be lower than such federal jobs, they are still higher (30% last time I checked) than such jobs in Ontario public service, for comparison.
4. Quebec City used to have a substantial anglophone community. What happened?  The Quiet Revolution?  Bill 101? Lack of opportunity due to discrimination?  Serious replies only.
5. To sum up:  All of these factors cannot explain an under-representation by a factor of 8:1.  Anyway, It`s all the fault of us anglos, right?  QED.

lagatta

"Pauline Marois, poor old dear".

She is a year younger than Gilles Duceppe.

That is ageist and sexist.

I think the anglophone community in Québec city experienced its main decline before the first PQ government was ever elected. I don't remember many anglophones there in the 1970s (I'm a "poor old dear" myself), yet there are obviously many cultural institutions that attest to the presence of a considerable anglophone community.

The one I'm most familiar with is a lovely (now) United Church that is now shared between the original anglophone parish and a francophone one; I'm familiar with it as I was involved in supporting an Algerian refugee claimaint taking sanctuary there (you'll find more about this if you search the old threads).

There were very good exhibits about all the cultural communities of Québec City and their histories during the 400th anniversary celebrations; I'm sure anyone interested could find a lot of relevant material online.

I think a lot of the anglophones simply moved on to Montréal or to English-speaking Canada, where there were more opportunities. Francophones were far less likely to.

As for Amir, he is an elected representative of Québec solidaire. You'll get the same answer from the e-mail on our website as from him, but of course you can write to him if you prefer. Warning: he is EXTREMELY busy right now, between assuming his functions and turning over his medical duties.

Wilf Day

Denis Dion, a spokesman for the chief electoral officer, says the electoral chief is eyeing certain ways of ratcheting up voter interest including Sunday voting and introducing proportional representation.

Quote:
only 57 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot during last Monday's provincial election.

The turnout rate was the lowest in Quebec since 1927.

"We're extremely disappointed because we were expecting to have numbers similar to the 2003 election - which was the worst turnout we had," said Denis Dion, a spokesman for the chief electoral officer.

The turnout five years ago was 70 per cent.

 

Stockholm

"It is a fact that Anglo-Quebeckers that haven't learned to speak French
- or do very poorly and would rather speak English - find themselves at
a disadvantage in a public service whose working language they have
shunned. "

That is bullshit. Nowadays, Anglo-Quebecers are just about the most fluently bilingual segment of the entire Canadian population. There is a whole new generation of Anglos in Quebec who speak and write perfect French and would be more than happy to take jobs with the Quebec government. I think that the Quebec gov't should take steps to bring in some employment equity programs so that the demographic makeup of the Quebec civil service reflects the demographic makeup of the province. If Anglos are 12% of the population of Quebec, there should be an affirmative action program to make sure that 12% of the Quebec civil service is anglo as well.

Here in Ontario, it amazes me what extraordinary lengths the provincial government goes to to provide services in French and to make sure that franco-Ontarians are well represented in the Ontario Public Service. It would be nice if Quebec would do the same.

martin dufresne

"Anglo-Quebecers are just about the most fluently bilingual segment of the entire Canadian population"

Hmmm... I suggest you walk into two Montreal high school yards - one French, one English - and try to verify that hypothesis. Quebec Anglos are - on the average - more bilingual than Saskatchewan or PIE residents, but they are much less so than Montreal Francophones... and I especially don't think they should get 12% of public service jobs regardless of their degree of fluency in French.

Stockholm

I go to Montreal very frequently and what strikes me is how often I find myself in conversation in French for quite a while with someone who speaks French so perfectly that it takes quite a while before we realize that we are both anglophones. Its almost unheard for anyone anglophone in Qubec under the age of 35 not to be fluent in French because its common knowlegde that unless you are perfectly bilingual you won't even get a job as a barrista at Starbucks.

I agree that fluency in French should be a prerequisite to work for the Quebec civil service - but given that there are hundreds of thousands of anglophones and allophones in Quebec who speak and write French perfectly - there are more than enough of them to fill that 12% quota and to make the civil service of Quebec refect the makeup of the population.

The fact that non-francophones are so grossly underrepresented in the civil service in Quebec should be considered a disgrace to the province and there should be a royal commission to investigate what to do about this sad state of affairs. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I was at work out on the ferry when the results came in, so belated congrats to Amir Khadir.  Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the transformation of Quebec, and it offers hope to others in other places.

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Our Demands Most Moderate are/
We Only Want The World!
-James Connolly

toddsschneider

martin dufresne wrote:
Quebec Anglos are - on the average - more bilingual than Saskatchewan or PIE residents, but they are much less so than Montreal Francophones... and I especially don't think they should get 12% of public service jobs regardless of their degree of fluency in French.

Too bad for your bias, then, that anglophones now make up 11% of the Quebec provincial Cabinet:

http://tinyurl.com/4589qb

" ... There were some surprises starting with Kathleen Weil taking on the
big justice job despite the fact she is a greenhorn politician.
Perfectly bilingual, the MNA for Nôtre-dame-de-Grace has been
fastracked into cabinet ...

" ... D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman, dumped from the cabinet last
time, makes a return - this time as caucus chairman, a role that allows
him to sit at the cabinet table. The only other anglophone in the
cabinet remains Yolande James who stays in immigration ..."

 

Ze

toddsschneider wrote:

4. Quebec City used to have a substantial anglophone community. What happened?  The Quiet Revolution?  Bill 101? Lack of opportunity due to discrimination?  Serious replies only.

 Louisa Blair has written whole books on that topic. Without, it seems, much of a chip on her shoulder. 

 http://www.ocol-clo.gc.ca/newsletter_cyberbulletin/portrait_e.htm 

The decline of Quebec City as a commercial centre (to Montreal's benefit) is certainly one reason. The anglo decline there came well before the 1970s, anyway. 

martin dufresne

Do you doubt that any of these ministers is fluent in French? As for their percentage, if it was to reflect the part played by Quebec anglos in Mr. Charest's reelection, it would be much higher...

How telling that when every progressive in Quebec - plus even the Montreal Gazette! - is taking note of Amir Khadir's election and pointing out the giant step he and Quebec Solidaire represent for Quebec minorities, you, Todd Schneider, are cheering for a right-wing party promising more of the same!

 

toddsschneider

martin dufresne wrote:


Do you doubt that any of these ministers is fluent in French? As for their percentage, if it was to reflect the part played by Quebec anglos in Mr. Charest's reelection, it would be much higher...


How telling that when every progressive in Quebec - plus even the Montreal Gazette! - is taking note of Amir Khadir's election and pointing out the giant step he and Quebec Solidaire represent for Quebec minorities, you, Todd Schneider, are cheering for a right-wing party promising more of the same!


Taking note of what the elected Liberal government of the time is doing is not advertising, it's critiquing.

And doing the same for Quebec solidaire, is the same.  I won't be so "progressive" I don't point out some principles I wish to see in practice (such as minority rights and respect), and not just policy.

The recent practice of Liberal-anglo policy is largely tokenism, so why should I cheer for that?

When I say anglophone, of course, I refer to native language, regardless of ability assumed in the dominant one in this province.  No unilinguals need apply (something even "progressive" Jacques Parizeau has stated), unless of course they are unilingual francophones out of their socio-political depth:

http://tinyurl.com/3zwl4h

" ... The most important weakness in Charest's inner circle appears to be
Nathalie Normandeau, once again named minister of municipal affairs
and, mysteriously, vice-premier.

Quebec has many cities but only one metropolis, and Montreal seems
to remain a mystery to Normandeau, a unilingual Gaspésienne and former
mayor of Maria (pop. 2,433). Her Bill 22 this year, intended to paper
over the damage done by the suburban merger-demerger wars, left nobody
happy; the wound still festers. Her return to this vital-to-Montreal
job is not a good omen ..."

By the way, I wouldn't care to see, not have I ever implied, anglos in the Liberal Cabinet reflecting their level of electoral support.  That might be almost as distorted a bias in the other direction as the one assumed by the dominant political class.

 

 

 

 

 

lagatta

On a somewhat lighter note, an article in the Glob about Amir Khadir's swearing in, and oath to da Queen:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081218.wswearing18/...

Great photo, eh?

And an interesting column by Josée Legault in the Gazoo:
http://www.montrealgazette.com/columnists/Khadir+might+shake+things/1093...

Stockholm

Its nice to have a progressive voice in the Quebec National Assembly with QS having an MNA - but why do they have waste everyone's time with this regressive sovereignist crap. Why don't they just say that social justice is the ONLY priority and that there is no time to waste on stupid ethnic national wild goose chases like sovereignty that will never improve the living standards of a single solitary person - it only means that few upper class Quebecers might get to be the first Quebec ambassador to Bruseels driving around in a chauffeured Mercedes with "un flag sur le hood"

martin dufresne

Thank you Stockholm. If it wasn't for dorks like you, people wouldn't be reminded of the necessity of national self-affirmation in the face of some people's unfettered ethnic hatred.

lagatta

I'm amused that a doctor who is the son of leftist, secular Iranian refugees is accused of "stupid ethnic ational wild goose chases". Hardly a "pure laine", unless we are referring to Persian carpets, of course. (His wife is just back from fighting AIDS in Africa, by the way).

I don't think "standard of living" is the only proper concern of socialists. Cultural and ecological issues are also a key aspect of our combat.

And if we do become independent, at least in the Low Countries, our ambassadors will have to get about via diplomatic bicycle!

Stockholm

We have seen lots of examples of new countries being formed as a result of ethnic nationalism in recent years - Slovakia, all the former parts of the Soviet union etc... and in every single case it did not result in one iota of more progressive government and the poor are every bit as badly as ever. Creating new countries is just a distraction from the cause of social justice.  If I want an independent Quebec i can vote PQ and get a referendum some day - why waste my time with Quebec Solidaire?

Let's face it, if Quebec ever became independent - it would almost certainly elect an ADQ style centre-right government and NOTHING will change except for maybe having Maurice Duplessis appear on the money instead of the Queen and few jobs in the highest ranks of the civil service for the Outremont crowd.

I would have a lot more respect for Quebec Solidaire if they would denounce the whole soveerignty movement as a petty bourgeois obsession.

 

martin dufresne

Stockholm, if Quebec solidaire gained the respect of someone as reactionary as you are, it would surely have made a few wrong moves along the way. I think your worldview is seriously shook by having to acknowledge that a party, a movement can be both left-wing and sovereignist. And progressing in Quebec while the rest of Canada remains mostly mired in Harperism. But isn't that one of reality's benefits, that of nudging impacted paradigms along?... ;-)

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