Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time for Marois to show some leadership

I'm an anglophone Quebecer, I do speak French, however given that English is my mother tongue I am obviously most comfortable expressing myself in Canada's other official language.

When out and about with my wife we invariably default to English in our conversation.  The resident love goddess is just starting to learn French and will be beginning full time classes in the new year. We've never had an issue or a confrontation, in fact I often have to ask politely to be spoken to in French.  

With that being said, it is obvious that recent events here in Quebec are causing me some concern.  This evening's news had a story about a woman who, along with her young son, were hit with eggs, apparently for speaking English.

This comes after a recent story and video showing pro-separatists driving over, and wiping their feet, on the Canadian flag.

I haven't blogged on this before because Quebec is my home, and I find the vast majority of Quebecers to be warm and inviting people.  There are bad apples in every bushel and Quebec has a few certainly.  But  I didn't think drawing attention to the few bad apples would serve any purpose, other than to stir up anti Quebec sentiment, of which there is too much already.

Unfortunately stories like this are becoming too common, and its time for the political leadership in Quebec to take a strong and principled stand.  Je parle à vous Mme Marois.  Réne Lévesque had his flaws like everyone, but he knew how to stand up to extremists.  Does Pauline Marois have it in her to be a true leader like the founder of her party?

Sadly politics in this country has degenerated into a marketing strategy.  Polling the electorate and identifying the issues important to a core group of supporters large enough to get you elected.  Leadership used to be about outlining a direction for a society and then convincing people  that you're right, polls be damned.  

Mme Marois needs to show this type of leadership.  She has to be forceful in repudiating the actions of some of her most militant separatist supporters.  Is Quebec a modern and enlightened democracy that believes in tolerance, or a xenophobic hateful society?

The PQ's slogan during the most recent election was "C'est à nous de choisir".  Alors Mme Marois, c'est maintenant à vous de choisir! Are you going to pander to fear and intolerance?  Or do you have the royal jelly to be a strong and forceful advocate for the principles of inclusion, tolerance and ultimately democracy.

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