It's been five gruelling weeks of symptoms and suffering but Canada's lengthy bout of Quebec Election Fever is set to finally break. It will bring an end at last to the ostentatiously cynical editorials from the Canadian punditocracy, all of whom were eager to spout various theories about why there were no good choices in this race between three equally hopeless parties led by three equally loser dinguses. Debt! Incompetence! Dubious loyalty to Canada! It matters not who you vote for, puny Quebeckers, either way your province is doomed, dooooomed!
What the PQ fails to understand is that the continual sparring with the federal government and defiant support of succession, regardless of a demonstrated lack of public support for separation, creates an unstable environment for investors, who are in a position to strengthen the quality of life for all residents of Quebec. Here is to hoping cooler heads prevail.
There are two elections this autumn that will have repercussions throughout Canada. The first happens in Quebec next week, the second in the United States in November. What makes these so important? What happens in Quebec next week and in the United States in two months' time will help shape the future, not only in that province and country, but for all of Canada as well.
Oh what a completely gratuitous way of getting you to read this blog! Shameless sensationalism, pure and simple. We try to be more high-minded than that at HuffPost, at least over here on the blog rail, where we would never post links to the red-headed royal frolicking around a Las Vegas hotel room in the buff, with an equally starkers "poker" (poke her? surely that's what the reports meant ...) companion. At most we would publish a serious think piece on the increasingly diminishing returns of the monarchy -- one which would thoughtfully weigh its relevance to our country, one which might indeed spark an important national debate on the topic.
As a general rule, one can find at election time a candidate or two who inspires at least some slight degree of votability. Not so this time around in Quebec. We have one man who has already proven himself unworthy, another whose professed political raison d'être is so preposterous that people can only assume he must be lying, and a woman who appears more and more to be a bigot determined to rid Quebec of immigrants, the English language and, ultimately, Canada. As they say, the choice is yours.
In the election, the xenophobic comments and party promises such as banning religious symbols among public service workers all say, very clearly, that to truly be a Quebecer, you must be Francophone, white and Catholic. Bonus points if your family descended from the Filles du Roi. This is textbook intolerance and xenophobia.
The Parti Québécois (PQ) have unveiled some disconcerting aspects of their would-be mandate: all overt religious symbols would be banned from public institutions... except for Catholic religious symbols. In addition to lengthy and costly constitutional battles with Ottawa, certain Quebecers can now be expected to have their basic civil liberties trampled on in order to appease an increasingly intolerant voting population. The PQ are once again marginalizing a segment of the Quebec population because they are not seen as being an important fabric of Quebec's so-called distinct society. What I find truly alarming, however, is that the PQ is poised to form the next government. Vive le Québec libre indeed.