On this, the eve of yet another QC provincial election, the issue is the same. As with other elections, this is in fact a referendum on another referendum. It is never just an election here. It is always and forever a choice between voting for a party that will try its damndest to rip Canada apart, and all other parties. It should be a vote that comes from the head, but alas, it is always a vote from the heart.
If it had been a vote that comes from the logical side of the brain, the PQ would never stand a chance. Or the party would have already morphed into a party that represents the good of the province. A party that wants to create jobs, that is inclusive and welcoming … a party who sees the bonus in having a society, one of the few in North America, that speaks at least 2 languages fluently. It would be a party that would not be trying to split Canada apart, but rather, it would be trying to influence the rest of the country to look at it as an example and a model. A party that would show the world that the English and the French can work side by side to create a province that stands high above others in terms of quality of life and economy. They don’t see this. Emotion overtakes logic.
Instead, they live in a dream world. A world that they believe will include a prosperous QC outside of the country that it gets the most money from. Canada transfers 9 billion$ to QC a year … more than any other province gets. QC’s argument for not needing Canada is that they wouldn’t have to pay the 2 billion$ they send to the federal government every year. Did anyone do the math here? Apparently not. They think that if they win the referendum, the next day there would be a country called Québec, which according to the PQ leader, would have the same currency as Canada, no border and no passports. Uhm, hello? How is that a separate country? Rules would have to be undone and rewritten, the constitution would need to be remade and ALL provinces would need to agree to let QC split Canada apart. Yet again, emotion overtakes logic.
And this time, they have added the charter of “values” to the election platform and again, they are imposing values on us, just like they imposed language. They want to make QC inclusive by excluding people according to their language and their religion and their culture. They believe that by making everyone the “same”, they are respecting or adhering to some never-before-seen values. The cross at the national assembly is a cultural symbol, but the hijab, worn voluntarily by Muslim women, is repressive. They ask them to remove the hijab, when all that will do is force them to stay at home and not go out to find work at hospitals and daycare centers, where they will be forbidden from wearing this beautiful headscarf. If they really want to erase sexism from the workplace, they should ask all women to stop showing cleavage, wearing high heels and short skirts and anything else that they wear in order to attract men. If it works one way, it should work the other way, too. I don’t agree with either one of these cases, because I am a strong believer that people should be able to wear, or not wear, what they want. The government can’t start getting involved. This is a very slippery slope.
The next government could decide that speaking your mother tongue on the street is offensive, or that selling books in other languages goes against its “values” and then we’re working our way towards a place I don’t want to go; somewhere circa 1940 in Europe where book burning became commonplace and so many worse things happened. I’m pretty sure no one wants to go there again.
So when you go to the polls on April 7, keep in mind for whom you are voting. Remember, the choice you make that day will show the world the person you are. I am hoping that I am wrong about most Quebecers. I fear, sadly, that I am not. I hope they prove me wrong.