The advent of a PQ government in Quebec is both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada. This is a time for renewed national leadership that reaches out to Canadians to offers an overarching vision for Canada in the 21st century -- one where a strong federal government works with the provinces. I look forward to working with Quebecers and all Canadians to build a 21st century Canada -- one Canada, for all Canadians.
The brilliance of the result of the Quebec election is in the rejection of the government without any real endorsement of the Parti Quebecois or its program. The apparent, emergent premier, the desperately unimpressive Pauline Marois, a bag lady where some distinguished statesmen have preceded her, is, politically speaking, a prisoner in her own body. The PQ barely squeezed ahead of the Liberals, in votes and parliamentary strength, while fudging whether they would even hold a referendum on an ambiguous question. This is a cruel, vegetative state for Ms. Marois, a strident separatist. This brilliant election changed governments without breaking any furniture or burning any bridges.
As a man lay dead and Canadians sat glued to their social media feeds patiently awaiting updates on the appalling violence that struck Tuesday night's Parti Quebecois victory rally, the trickle of breaking news from the nation's top commentators was frequently interrupted by cryptically off-topic offerings from otherwise credible sources. If nothing else, it was a reminder of the perils of setting up one of those time-delayed auto-tweeters.
The Parti Quebecois' slim victory has a bitter taste this morning, made even worse because of the sad and deplorable events in Montreal. This victory does not give the PQ the margin it needs to carry out its platform. Yesterday's disappointing results reflect well the mood of a very unenthusiastic population and separatist electorate that are still struggling to see themselves as part of the party that will form the next government, despite nine years of Liberal rule.
This is no longer the Quebec of the Quiet Revolution. This province is willing to be loud about what it does and does not want. The problem is; it still needs to figure out what it is and what it isn't. And then shots were fired. And we all collectively gasped and came to our senses. Today, we hopefully all take a step back. There's an existential crisis brewing. A province realizing it's not necessarily the open, welcoming, progressive place it thought it was; a people grappling with questions of identity, inclusiveness. This is a society in real flux. A society that is, in some ways, holding on to the last vestiges of a past that defined what it became, but can no longer allow it to become what it must. Quebec is experiencing major growing pains.
Last night during Pauline Marois' victory speech a tragic shooting left us all speechless. This is the moment where one needs to pause, not the moment to start pointing fingers at whomever or whatever. It is the moment where we must stop, take a step back from the electoral fervor, forget our political and historic baggage to mourn the death of an innocent man who was only doing his job, who wasn't even there for a political rally, but simply to earn a living.