Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pauline Marois Buries her Betrayers

Pauline Marois- Winner by a knockout!
We've all heard the familiar saying, 'To the victor belong the spoils' and most of us have understood it to refer to war, wherein the winning side gets to confiscate the riches of the vanquished.

But the saying actually has a different root.
"During a Congressional debate in 1831 a New York senator, William L. Marcy, used the phrase "to the victor belong the spoils." This saying accurately described the spoils system of appointing government workers. Each time a new administration came into power thousands of public servants were discharged and members of the victorious political party took over their jobs."

For the fifty odd years before the Parti Quebecois was elected, the Quebec government flipped between the Liberals and the Union Nationale party and with each change, supporters of the winners were rewarded and losers were punished.
The practice of spoilage was so entrenched that there were actually 'Blue' snow removal contractors and 'Red' snow removal contractors and rights were awarded according to which political party held power in Quebec City.

Even today, the effects of this type of dishonesty haven't been banished from government completely and rewards for political support remain a sad part of the Quebec political landscape all the way from our towns and cities up to the highest echelons of government.
Today, politics remains a game of winners and losers, where partisanship, financial benefit and personal aggrandizement override the public's best interest. Those things never seem to change.

Yes, Politics is a rough and dirty game, even rougher and dirtier in Quebec, just ask Gilles Duceppe who was destroyed by Pauline Marois when he attempted to engineer a takeover of the party and steal her job.
It seems that Marois had been keeping in reserve a devastating political skeleton, the fact that Duceppe has used House of Commons funds to improperly fund partisan party politics.
From the speed at which Duceppe exited the political stage after the bombshell was dropped, it became patently clear that she had the goods on him.

Yup, things get rough, especially in the PQ caucus where over the years, leader after leader has been betrayed and driven from office or leadership by a dirty backroom effort by those colleagues and party members who should have been loyal.

A couple of months ago, Pierrre Curzi and three others PQ MNAs decided that by bolting the PQ caucus to sit as independents, they could trigger a leadership crisis that Pauline Marois could not survive. They believed that their action would leave Marois in an untenable position, a political dead woman walking, a scenario that just about every political pundit believed to be true.
Hoping to return to the party in triumph after her demise and a Gilles Duceppe coronation, things didn't exactly work out as he and the other conspirators planned.

As we all know, Marois pulled victory from the jaws of defeat and the stunning turn of events sent the bewildered hard line conspirators to the rail.

It is perhaps one of the greatest turnarounds in Quebec political history and places Marois alongside Jean Charest as a political operator extraordinaire.

And so the Curzi group was forced to confront the reality of a future electoral disaster, as independents with zero prospects of returning to the National Assembly. They were left with the choice between grovelling for reintegration into the PQ  or ignominious retirement.
You'd think Pierre Curzi would understand that a return to the PQ caucus after his duplicitous betrayal was a non-starter, but apparently he's a dreamer in more sense than one.

Apparently he thought he'd be welcomed back like the Prodigal Son and so had the audacity to demand that Marois give him his old job as language critic back and a commitment from her that he would be allowed to re-write Bill 101 to his hard line satisfaction à la Camille Laurin.

While toying with Curzi during those few 'reintegration' conversations, Pauline must have been wondering whether Curzi was smoking crack, so out of touch with reality was he to naively believe that all would be forgiven and that his previous vaulted position would be returned to him on a silver platter. To the victor belongs the spoils and Curzi and friends were decidedly the losers.

If Madame Marois was to accept Mr. Curzi back into the fold, it wasn't to forgive and forget, it was to humiliate.
Poor Pierre was to be banished to the obscurity of the back benches where he would fulfill the role of a stuffed Rhinoceros head on a wall, a trophy conquest held up as an example of what happens to those who cross Pauline.
Like a group of mutineers on a pirate ship after a failed mutiny, it is time for the plotters to walk the plank.
When the penny finally dropped on Curzi that he was dead political meat, he abruptly announced his retirement, with Marois surely enjoying the moment.
Let's be fair, she deserved her moment of revenge.

And so the same fate awaits Louise Beaudoin who is also trolling for the right to return to the PQ caucus after bolting with Curzi, Lisette Lapointe and Jean Aussant.
Lisette Lapointe, a sworn enemy of Pauline was smart enough to read the handwriting on the wall and took  the only option open to her- retirement.
Jean-Martin Aussant, is playing out the string as leader of a no-chance party with less prospects of electing a member than the Montreal Canadiens have of making the playoffs. It won't be long before he'll be teaching 'Separatism 101' in Cegep in Drummondville.

Watching the events of the attempted insurrection over at the PQ reminds me of those all too often  coup d'etats attempts in various South American or African banana republics.
The rebels mutiny and try to storm the palace to supplant the leader du joir. Sometimes they win and sometimes they don't, it's always hard to predict who will prevail, these things seem to turn on the smallest of variables.
The very clever rulers keep themselves out ahead of the conspirators and make contingency plans even before the plots are hatched.
It is rumoured that Fidel Castro kept ahead of coup plotters by surreptitiously hatching his very own phony plots to overthrow himself which allowed him to scoop and neutralize anyone stupid enough to join,  thus eliminating potential problems before they happened. Clever!

Those political leaders who don't watch their backs are prone to be stabbed between the shoulder blades, the best example perhaps, is Paul Martin's two year campaign to destroy the then sitting Prime Minister, Jean Chretien.
Surprisingly, Chretien, usually a savvy and competent operator, didn't show much spunk in fending off the attacks and ultimately was taken down in a palace coup that led to his resignation and subsequent coronation of Martin as leader.
The list of similar victims is long, especially in the ranks of the PQ leadership, including Rene Levesque, Lucien Bouchard and Andre Boisclair, to name just a few.

Like Castro, it seems that Pauline, has mastered the art of self-preservation, something none of her predecessors managed to do.
We need to give her due... Pauline played a political game of hardball that few knew she had within her and out manoeuvred any and all rivals, destroying them in the mix.
What is most interesting in all this is that Madame Marois has decimated the radicals in the party  and will be the first PQ leader to rule without the radicals nipping at her heals, at least for the forseable future.
Swept aside are the ultra radical elements which have always demanded a referendum come Hell or high water, a sure-fire loser and electoral albatross.
This leaves Marois free to pursue her policy of sovereigntist governance, a policy that dictates a nationalist agenda with a referendum an option only in the case of winning conditions.

So now Pauline is free to make a serious run at power.

Just last week the PQ unveiled the new election platform, one which promises whatever the people want, regardless of cost, regardless of consequences.....a surefire winner in Quebec.

And so the PQ has come out in favour of students in their battle to reverse fee increases and has promised to eliminate the health premium to be charged all Quebecers next year. Also they are promising to put a moratorium on just about any wealth producing energy or mining project, all very popular among the entitled set.
The vote for sixteen year-olds, and consultative referendum process, proposed during the PQ's darkest days, is still on the table but will probably be dumped after an election victory.
Today the PQ is concentrating on old fashioned pandering and to that end has stolen a page from the old ADQ, in appealing to xenophobic elements by attacking Halal meat as some sort of Muslim conspiracy to take over the province.
With the greatest impediment to a PQ resurgence out of the way, the PQ can realistically compete to become the next government.

And so we have a whole new electoral ballgame.


  1. Editor,

    Good analysis. Having written that, what do you think of Marois's chance in the eventual upcoming election?

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I'm the first one to vote my reaction to this post: Hate it!

    Editor, why this old hat? It's getting stale, redundant and just plain boring! Goody goody gumdrops and whooptie-do, Polly wannabe premier Mah-wad beat the smallest of the small minds who have been stirring the shit for the last half century. Félicitations to her. She's now the grand wizard of the Que Qlux Qlan du Québec, i.e., the queen bee of the hive of small minds.

    For chris'sake Editor, I was licking my chops waiting for the cavalcade of partition posts you promised last week. Do us a favour: Stick to the program on Friday, and instead of posting more French vs. English stupidity, go back to your promise to br-r-ring on the cavalcade! Try and cut down on that French vs. English to once or twice a month...unless you're running out of topics!

    1. Actually, I hope that cretin wins the election and keeps her promises to roll back the university tuitions and health care premiums. Puts Quebec further behind the fiscal 8-ball and guarantees another bond rating reduction. With any luck, that will be coupled with with a reduction in equalization payments in 2014--a big one! Before long, Greece will be in better shape than Quebec! Take that you donut-eating seppies!

    2. Egad, Editor! Everytime I try to use an apostrophe, I get this ' rigamarole. What about it? Now I have to use a space for the apostrophe. I refuse to use a quotation mark!

    3. Mr. Sauga's Epilogue to the Epilogue (i.e., Epilogue Squared)Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 1:05:00 AM EDT

      So I put in this #39... (each dot is a yadda) and I get an apostrophe. Never a dull moment on this blog! OK, donut king, you're on!

    4. I give up! It works for the text, but not identification.

    5. Hey Mr. Sauga,

      Not that I don't agree with a lot of what you say, but you're identity as an actual Mississaugan is suspect. I've been reading this blog and the comments for about a year now and here is what gives me the feeling that you are not who you say you are:

      1) For someone who left Montreal 28 years ago you're repeated commenting here sounds more like someone who is in the thick of Quebec language politics - not someone who has left it all behind.

      2) The fact that you re-tell the same story about leaving, your reasons for doing so, and your lack of regret sound more like someone with an agenda or at least some "skin in the game", so to speak.

      3) In a comment last week you referred to some of the newer, growing, suburbs north of Montreal in Laval and beyond. It seems possible yet highly unlikely that someone who lives in Mississauga would be so familiar with which North, off-island suburbs had experiences such growth.

      Like I said, I'm as anti Bill 101 and all that entails as you claim to be, but I can't shake this feeling that you are not who you say you are.

    6. 1st of 2:

      mdblog: You're certainly entitled to your opinion. I simply keep tabs on what's going on, and I stay with my common-law's family in Laval when we come in, about once a year, so I see things and hear stories of the goings-on; furthermore, this blog does a very good job of keeping me informed.

      What irks me to no end is I feel that while I left Quebec as I say I did back in late 1984, it's as if the place is still dogging me. What irks me more now than ever is Ontario is still the largest net contributor to the equalization program, and Ontario can no longer afford to be a contributor.

      Our own Minister of Finance has warned us our upcoming budget is going to be brutal. In the end, it may not be as bad as he makes it sound, but an economist hired by the Ontario government last year came up with a report recommending 362 places to cut expenditures without raising taxes, and the Ontario government already said certain recommendations will not be followed. That means one of three things: (1) Expenditures elsewhere will be cut deeper to make up the shortfall where they won't follow the recommendations; (2) Tax increases, and more likely (3) A combination of the first two.

      The Liberals are known for being a tax-and-spend party, so I see the last alternative being the way of the budget. Trouble is, will Ontario still be expected to be a contributor to the equalization program when it is seriously in debt?

    7. 2nd of 2:

      I'm embellishing about equalization payments from the "have" to the "have-not" provinces because Ontario WAS a "have" province for a long time, but the latest economic downturn hurt Ontario very badly, and Ontario is not expected to have buoyant recoveries like in the past, i.e., simply through healthy economic growth. Ontario's economy has a heavy industrial base, and manufacturing is not expected to recover as well as in the past. Cheap labour abounds elsewhere, so a lot of these jobs are permanently lost; furthermore, the population is aging and that will wear on health care expenditures.

      Quebec is the biggest beneficiary of the equalization program, and this is where I feel the "Quebec Effect" has never escaped those of us who left Quebec and stayed somewhere else in Canada, esp. Ontario and Alberta where lots of ex-Montrealers now live. I simply don't feel Quebec should benefit from equalization at all. First, and most of all, the Quebec government is disloyal to our Confederation, and our equalization program enables Quebec (well, not really considering their endless deficits) to deploy expensive programs the ROC doesn't even have, like $7-a-day daycare and other family leave programs. Many of these programs have merit, but they are abused.

      My common-law moved in with me after living in Laval all her life until a few years ago. She worked at a daycare, and there was at least one woman on welfare who put her kid in subsidized daycare so she could sit on her ass all day smoking, watching soaps or other TV drivel. Too, the rich could take advantage of this program, it's universal. It should only be for the working poor and those on modest wages to benefit from this program as they could least afford daycare for their children; in fact, it's not even worth their effort to work for minimum wages and pay for daycare without subsidies. At least this way, modest wage earners are contributing to societal output.

      For the affluent, c'mon! They can afford it, and if you're on welfare with kids, you're always home to take care of them and should not be eligible for the program. Where welfare is beneficial is it gives those who can't (or too often choose not to) work. Welfare receipients usually have to spend all their benefits on goods and services and that is beneficial to the economy. I accept the fact there is welfare as any one of us can be a victim of misfortune, and we're fortunate to have a society affluent enough to help those who cannot help themselves; however, those who are able to work must work and be given incentives like the daycare program IF AFFPRDABLE, or that society is willing to pay the taxes to support the programs. There are other programs like Logirente and PWA for modest wage earners, all nice programs, but the ROC doesn't have these and so why should the ROC contribute to programs for Quebec that the rest don't have. If Quebec wants to have these programs, Quebec must ALONE pay for them.

    8. "Quebec is the main beneficiary of the equalization payments"

      Ontario is obtaining half of what Quebec is obtaining, and its trending up fast. Just wait a few years! Wonder if you'll keep your tune if Ontario benefits more than Quebec. :)

    9. Mr Sauga,

      I am not sure that I get you right. I understand that, according to you, Québec should not get equalization payment, but do you mean by "Québec effect" that Ontario's economic problems are caused by the equalization program?

    10. Ontario would be in a much better financial and economic position today if it had not been forced to contribute untold billions of dollars to Quebec in transfer payments during the past 40 or 50 years. Ontario could have used that money to pay off its debt, for additional infrastructure projects, or to build a heritage fund.

    11. To Anon @ 12:30 yesterday: PROVE IT! Substantiate your numbers...if you can; furthermore, even if what you claim is true, and I'm VERY skeptical, Ontario has a population 40% larger than Quebec's, and Ontario is still the largest NET contributor the equalization program and Ontario cannot afford to contribute at all at this time and it looks like for sometime to come. Quebec has NEVER, repeat NEVER contributed to the program.

      Michel Patrice: No, Quebec shouldn't get equalization in my opinion, and I'm sure that of many other Canadians outside Quebec. Quebec has been an endless and constant antagonist to the federal government and the PLQ has been just as antagonistic as the PQ. Since politicians measure by the cost of votes and not dollars, so that leads me to believe all Quebec parties MUST antagonize the ROC because the voting population WANTS it that way. The antagonism is endless, so why not simply stop the flow of milk and honey to Quebec, especially now that Polly Mahwad is now promising voters and endless supply of cakes and ale if elected. Quebec will antagonize no matter what, so let them antagonize on deaf ears. Why keep our ears open and continue to give Aspirins a headache?

      By the "Quebec effect", I'm implying that even having left Quebec to get away from the political crap it spews, I'm not really away from it. The fact Quebec is the biggest beneficiary and still bitches loud and long and the rest of us are still paying Quebec is what I mean by the "Quebec effect.

      Finally, no, Ontario's economic problems are not caused by Quebec itself, but if we're still a net contributor to equalization, then Stephen Harper is playing with fire because it is ONTARIO that gave him his majority so if Ontario can giveth, Ontario can taketh away!

    12. Are you seriously too lazy to google things? I grow tired of googling shit for you and then you go on your merry way ignoring it.

      Quebec Equalization : 7,391 billions.
      Ontario Equalization : 3,261 billions.

      "Net contributor to equalization payments" my ass. Sask, BC, Newfoundland (lol) and Alberta are the only ones who can claim that. Ontario has its mouth firmly on the teat, and will soon replace Quebec as the object of derision du jour in western Canada.

      Just wait a few years, Ontario's have been skyrocketing.

  3. It is incredible how much ado is made of treasonous thugs. Too bad Canada has not the balls to deal with treason as the constitution provides!

    1. Treasonists, terrorists and separatists. But jails cost money....mmmmmph!

    2. La peine de mort est plus efficace et surtout moins coûteuse.

    3. It is perfectly democratic and peaceful. There is nothing against this in the criminal code.
      If you actually read it, what it says about treason, it speaks of anyone who uses force or violence for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Canada or a province.
      Or anyone who assists an enemy at war with Canada.
      Stuff like that.

      So Canada is a prison and no province could leave even if the majority of its residents wanted to?
      Do you believe in democracy and freedom or not?

    4. Anonymous at 09:35,

      So Canada is a prison and no province could leave even if the majority of its residents wanted to?
      Do you believe in democracy and freedom or not?

      When did that happen?

    5. @Troy : The OP refers to pro-separation as "treasonists".

      That implies that it's treason to want to leave or to try and convince others to leave, which implies that Canada is a prison and that provinces are not allowed to leave, majority or not.

    6. @Anonymous Mar 21, 2012 03:00 PM

      I think Troy was asking a rhetorical question. The point is that NO province has ever had the majority of its residents want to leave Canada. Quebec has asked its people twice (well, they never actually asked if the people wanted to leave Canada - but that's another matter altogether) about this and both times a majority of the voters voted to stay in confederation.

      Question for you: Would an independent Quebec be a "prison" whereby none of its provinces could leave even if the majority of its residents wanted to?

    7. No, mdblog, the referendums were NOT "another matter altogether", they were very intentionally and ridiculously ambiguous, especially the one in 1995. The separatists knew very well a straightforward question would not then and probably never give them the results they sought. What percentage of the voting population read "the agreement" signed on June 12, 1995? What did it say? What did it mean? Too, who signed "the agreement". Ottawa didn't sign sweef f-all! "The agreement" was between Quebec political parties and Ottawa had nothing to do with it.

    8. mdblog - incorrect. The majority of Nova Scotians wanted to secede right after confederation. While all 3 other provinces held referendums to see if the population wanted to join Canada, the politicos knew it would fail in Nova Scotia so never bothered holding one at all.

      For that reason, in the first election 18 out of the province's 19 MPs were anti-federalists, who went to Ottawa only for the purpose of shaking things up and try to cancel the (arguably illegal) union. London refused to care about something that wasn't their problem, so they were stuck with us, however.

      I've heard it say that it would have been much more effective for the 18 anti-federalists to just stay in Nova Scotia, and for the province to continue running as if it wasn't part of Canada. At some point the RoC would have had to deal.

    9. Anonymous Mar 22, 2012 12:18 PM:

      That's a really interesting piece of history that I didn't know about. I stand corrected.

    10. I, too, was not aware of that piece of Nova Scotia history, but they should thank their lucky stars they're part of Canada for Britain had forsaken them. NS is a beneficiary of equalization and many of them are part of the 10/42 Plan that is really more of a 10/355 Plan.

      Translation: The 10/42 Plan was mostly for those claiming to be fishermen who worked for ten weeks per year and collected EI the other 42. A news report I once saw on TV several years ago explained that by working one day a week somehow qualified as a week, so for ten days work, there were some fishermen collecting the other 355 days. Talk about living off the dole!

      I have a feeling Harper's government somewhat curtailed this, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's still pretty generous, so would Nova Scotians be better off independently? What do you think?

      Oh, and as a matter of record, I have no desire to see the Atlantic Provinces separate even though the benefit from equalization. I've been down east a number of times and I found the people there very hospitable and a pleasure to be with...and they've grown loyal to Canada.

  4. "Take that you donut-eating seppies!"

    Je ne sais pas pourquoi mais depuis un certain temps,je préfère les Baklavas aux Donuts.

    1. Yeah, they're good--very sweet though.

    2. "je préfère les Baklavas aux Donuts."

      Yes, no doubt as the Greeks who have a monumental debt and economic crisis in hand similar to Quebec's.

  5. Send the army to QC and restore the Canadian Country. Oh, I was forgetting: close the tap for QC!

    Affectionate reader, WA

  6. "Just last week the PQ unveiled the new election platform, one which promises whatever the people want, regardless of cost, regardless of consequences.....a surefire winner in Quebec."

    Is the out of her mind with these promises. Are the people in Quebec going to be taken into this abyss of further debt? If Quebec does not radically cut spending on social programs they will assuredly wind up as Greece. Of course, they will expect the ROC (especially the West now that Ontario is a have not) to bail them out.

    Have a look at this.

    Now, you have to add to this the portion of the Federal Debt that has to be added on top. About 23% of 548 Billion. This would put the net debt in Quebec at 375 Billion. This is clearly unsustainable and will result in decreased bond ratings and consequent higher costs of servicing their existing and future debt which will rise with the irresponsible spending Marois is planning.

    Its not the language debate or the sovereignty debate which will be an issue down the road. It will be crushing debt which will crush their economy...Unfortunately, it will likely affect the ROC negatively, as Quebec is still part of Canada. How do you say broke, en francais.

    Is is it any wonder the matron of Ile Bizzard does not want to put sovereignty on the platform? Simply put, it would be a disaster.

    1. "Is the (sic) out of her mind with these promises"

      No, she's not out of her mind. She's just lying to get elected.

      Bill Maher had a funny bit about this last week. He said something like: "Kids, let me let you in on a little secret: The world is full of liars. Here's how you know someone is lying to you: If they want your vote, your money, or you naked, chances are they are lying to you."

      This is as valid an explanation as any, and it's pretty simple.

    2. Bill Maher"

      Pretty fair explanation :) Hard to believe, however, that Quebecers themselves don't understand the implications of economics 101. (don't spend more than you earn)

      I guess that people as a whole don't give a lot of thought to their kids and grandchildren who will be saddled with the future problems.

      Cut programs all you want but DON'T touch any of my programs.

    3. Every politician buys his votes. Right wingers buy them by promising tax cuts, left wingers buy them by promising spending increases.

    4. Québécois are a selfish lot, they care little for each other (lowest charitable donations in all of Canada, consistently year after year) let alone care for future generations. Family and estate planning are practically non-existent In Quebec. The Provincial debt and Quebec's share of the Federal debt are abstract terms rarely mentioned by the political class here. Out of sight, out of mind.

    5. "The Provincial debt and Quebec's share of the Federal debt are abstract terms rarely mentioned by the political class here. Out of sight, out of mind."

      Something like the Greeks....Italians...Spain...etc etc.

      Abstract...but real nonetheless.

      Stupid is as Stupid does.

    6. "Every politician buys his votes. Right wingers buy them by promising tax cuts, left wingers buy them by promising spending increases."

      And the people (voters) buy into this BS.

    7. Every politician buys his votes. Right wingers buy them by promising tax cuts, left wingers buy them by promising spending increases.
      Left - tax and spend
      Right - borrow and spend

      I guess that people as a whole don't give a lot of thought to their kids and grandchildren who will be saddled with the future problems.

      This is now universal (national debt). Here's the problem: Obama (for example) had to run up twice as much debt as every preceding president combined just to keep the worldwide debt ponzi from collapsing:

      Mike Maloney – Debt collapse and $20,000 an ounce gold

      What your government sells to pay debt is you


  7. If they happen to become the next government in the next election campaign, chances of forming a majority will less likely be the case to be since the three parties are pretty much all tied in term of vote percentage. The PQ may hold a 4% lead ahead of the liberals right now, but that doesn’t guarantee them victory and hopefully, it won’t for that matter….

  8. Anything to do with this troll (Mrs Marios) can be summed up with the following: WGAS/WGAF!!!


  10. ""

    Tous sommes unanimes pour dire que pratiquer le squash est excellent pour le cardio mais à éviter dans une boutique de verre soufflé.

    1. So you're saying that bilingualism may be good, but it depends on time and place. There are times and places in which bilingualism may not be good because it threatens a language, or favors one language over another...In other words there are exceptions to the rule, and Quebec is that exception.

      Why are your elites bilingual then? Why were the people who drafted bill 101 bilingual? Laurin, Levesque, etc... Why have all your leaders been bilingual? Parizeau, Bouchard, Landry, Duceppe, even Marois...Why isn't bilingualism bad for them, but it is for the rest of us?

    2. I honestly want an answer on this. Why are they (and their offspring) allowed to play squash in a glass boutique, but we are encouraged not to?

  11. Why are your elites bilingual then?

    Parce que leur fonction l'exige ?

    1. Anonymous Mar 22, 2012 08:05 AM

      Wow. Who told you that? Your elites? These people are clearly trying to keep you dumb and ignorant for their own devices. Didn't you learn anything from your experience with the Catholic Church. I guess not.


    2. So the elites are exempt from the rules they themselves impose because of "their function".

      Thanks for your answer. It says a lot.

    3. What about the children of the elites? They don't have a function that requires bilingualism.

  12. Adski,je n'ai pas besoin d'une voiture pour mon travail et vous insistez pour m'en vendre une ?Qu'est-ce que vous voulez que je fasse?Que j'en achète une parce que Charest a une limousine.

    1. I'm not asking you why you should aspire to owning a car if you really don't need one, I'm asking why you take it at face value that you don't need one only because car owners like Parizeau or Boisclair or Landry tell you so. If they say that you don't need a car, why are they enjoying the benefits of owning one? Because of "their function"? What about your functions? Like improving your lot by finding a better job that requires a car, or a better job to which you can only get with a car, or for personal uses and fun like taking your family on trips to places beyond the reach of the bus or metro? In the meantime, when you're stuck in a job for which you don't need a car, they are enjoying the benefits, professional and personal, of owning one. And you don't question it.

      Also, I don't care if you want/need a car or not. But you're not talking about you, you're talking about the whole of Quebec (you're saying that Quebec does not need bilingualism, not you personally). So your question has to be rephrased to the following: WE don't need a car for our jobs, so why do you insist WE should buy one? My answer to that is: how do you know that WE don't need a car? How can you assume it about all of us?

  13. You don't need English to work, and yet you are writing on an English blog. Go figure.

  14. @Tanya S

    Le thème principal de ce blogue porte sur la litigieuse question linguistique Québécoise.Ai-je le droit d'intervenir dans la langue officielle de celle-ci?Ou êtes-vous en train de me dire : Speak white?

    1. I was merely stating the fact that knowing English proves useful in this case and it does not apply to work.

    2. Anonymous Mar 22, 2012 11:12 AM:

      As the Editor has said many times, people are welcome to post in whatever language they please on this blog.

      And don't you dare bring up the whole "Speak White" thing. If you find the idea of being commanded/told to speak a particular language reprehensible then I suppose you don't support Bill 101.

      Just because some old hag who's been dead for decades told your great grandmother to speak white at Morgan's in 1946 doesn't give you the right to do it to others, no matter how entitled you may feel to do so.

  15. En passant,je suis Québécois pure-laine et jamais personne ne m'a interdit d'apprendre une autre langue,y compris l'anglais.

    1. The entire cultural and political elite of Quebec is and has always been staunchly opposed to full scale bilingualism. Charest somewhat broke the rule by proposing intensive English in the 6th grade, but this has met with an enormous opposition of numerous Quebec institutions, as well as Quebec's political and cultural elites. Here's just one example:

      In Quebec there have always been powerful forces, both political and cultural, that fought bilingualism tooth and nail. So yes, Quebec doesn't forbid bilingualism, but it works very hard to steer people into monolingualism (or very basic bilingualism). You may not be physically barred from taking an ESL course downtown Montreal, but you are manipulated from early on into not going in that direction, while your self-appointed betterers and their offspring do go there.

      Also, note that the existence of bilingualism in Montreal does not equate with the acceptance of it by Quebec elites. It simply means that the people defied those elites. Bilingualism exists here despite your elites, not because of them.

    2. Je suis Montéalais, pure-laine et jamais personne me fera accepter d'être Québécois!

    3. Je suis Montéalais (sic), pure-laine...

      Vous êtes du Monténégro ?

  16. "Ai-je le droit d'intervenir dans la langue officielle de celle-ci?"

    Have I the right to send my children to an English school in Quebec when I am an immigrant from the US or abroad. No, didn't think so! Do I have the right to put up a sign up on my depanneur in either official language in Quebec. No, I didn't think so.

    You have the right to post here in French as you say. Why don't I have the rights?

  17. Non car nous représentons une minorité en amérique et la minorité anglo du Québec représentez la pointe de l'iceberg anglophone Nord américaine.Vous pouvez afficher votre dépanneur en français ET en anglais.Les mexicains peuvent-ils envoyer leurs enfants dans des écoles hispanophones aux É-U?Pourquoi selon vous?

    1. As a matter of fact their are hispanic schools in the United States...check it out.

      "Vous pouvez afficher votre dépanneur en français ET en anglais"

      In Quebec the French must be pre-eminent. It's ok to have a sign in French only, but not English only, without the French in larger print (pre-eminant) . Pour Quoi est ca! Oh, I forgot,bigotted law 101.

    2. Public hispanophone schools? Not what I heard from ex-Californians...

  18. Je suis Montéalais, pure-laine et jamais personne me fera accepter d'être Québécois!

    1. "Je suis Montéalais"

      Nous sommes dans un pays libre :)

    2. Bien sûr. Le Canada est certainement toujours un pays libre.

  19. Speaking of Spanish in the US, it seems to be doing quite well despite being surrounded by a "Sea of 350 million anglophones".

    It's amazing what happens when people decide that they want to support a language: they speak it and it survives. Only in Quebec do we have the notion that the Gouvernmaman is needed to protect the French language. What a joke!

    1. mdblog,

      You will find here the language legislations of Spain and Mexico :

      If interested, take some time to explore this website a little, you will find the language legislations of 195 UN recognized states and of 389 states or territories. Among them, the USA who felt the need to have laws protecting the status of english.

      It is indeed amazing what happens when people decide that they want to support a language. What do they do? Among other things, they vote laws.

      The spanish, for instance, decided to support castillan, so the voted spanish constitution (1978) says : "El castellano es la lengua española oficial del Estado. Todos los españoles tienen el deber de conocerla y el derecho a usarla." (Título Preliminar, art. 3) Google translation : "Castilian is the official Spanish language of the state. All Spanish people have the duty to know it and the right to use it."

    2. No matter how you try to explain it, the truth is Canada is our country and the separatists’ sabotage is treason. If you separatists are so righteous and wish to bring back time to a moment that France had the advantage, be really righteous and go back farther to the time when the native Indians owned it. Of course, that doesn't sit well with you, so in that case stop the deceptive warring on your countrymen and share, with all of us, the best god has ever been able to provide.

      Treason is treason! One day you'll have to answer to that!

    3. M. Patrice,

      Out of curiosity, while Spain mentions Spanish language as its national language in its constitution, does that country have regulations that prevent Kentucky Fried Chicken to maintain its original name, and instead force it to be, let us say Pollo Frito de Kentucky?

    4. One other thing, M. Patrice.

      One of the top football team in the world is Real Madrid CF from the Spanish La Liga. Do you think there was an uprising there for the hiring of Jose Mourinho as the head coach of the team? Senhor Mourinho is Portuguese.

    5. M. Patrice,

      You're missing my point. How do you explain the growth of Spanish in the USA, where it has no legal status or protection? How does Spanish, despite the fact that English remains the only officially recognized language in the USA, continue to flourish and survive? How do you explain this?

    6. Troy,

      I don't know about Pollo Frito, you can look for yourself in the provided documentation. And no, there was no problem with Jose Mourinho speaking portugese, I guess that they don't care about the Real Madrid coach any more than I care about the coach of the Canadian.

    7. mdblog,

      Whatever your point may be, you stated that only in Québec is the notion that the government is needed to protect the French language. And I my answer was that language legislation do exist in most countries in the world.

      You suggest that the protecting of language must be left to individuals. And I said that when a majority of individuals want something, they act by the mean of their government. It is the idea that government represents the people. The government IS (or is supposed to be) the people.

      If language should not be protected by law, what do you think of the constitutionnaly protected right of the Québec historic english minority* to have education in english?

      And, if we speak about cultural protection at large, what do you think of the Canadian Content Act?

      Michel Patrice

      * I know that the Editor doesn't like the "historic english minority" label, I just could not find another way to put it.

    8. "I know that the Editor doesn't like the "historic english minority" label, I just could not find another way to put it."

      Quel doigté ce Michel,un vrai diplomate.

    9. M. Patrice:

      You're avoiding the question. Is it because the answer wouldn't fit into your world-view? Not trying to provoke anything but an answer.

    10. M.Patrice: "And I said that when a majority of individuals want something, they act by the mean of their government. "

      Not by a long shot. Governments act on behalf of the elites, and use popular elections as an excuse for legitimacy. That the turnouts are below 50% of eligible voters, parties indistinguishable from each other and representing interests of the same group, and the media molding public opinion, are "details" that are not often mentioned.

      When individuals want something, they act individually, or in organized groups directly opposed to governments (e.g. labor unions before they got "assimilated" or "domesticated" by the governments). When it comes to the language, the Hispanics in the US for example do not use the US government and their language flourishes down there. There is no reason why the French shouldn't survive or flourish in Quebec, and it would if people only wanted it. If they don't, why force them? Oh wait, I know why. So that the French-speaking elites (including the media) don't lose their subordinates.

      "And, if we speak about cultural protection at large, what do you think of the Canadian Content Act?"

      Scrap it, so we don't have to hear Nickleback 10 times a day on the radio.

    11. Spanish in the US is kept alive by a constant influx of new hispanophones. Assimilation typically takes about three generations, so if you increase your population faster than you assimilate, it can give the impression that the language is "flourishing". Be there no mistakes - without public schools, the hispanics in the US would be assimilated were immigration to stop.

      The francophone association of Alberta uses the same phenomenon to pretend that french is "flourishing" in Alberta, as the total number of francophones in that province is increasing through inter-provincial migration. They conveniently don't mention that Alberta's francophone retention is about 50%.

    12. I was answering your 5:58 comment which contained two things that I disagree with :
      1. language legislation exists only in Québec
      2. the suggestion that language protecting should be left to individuals alone.

      You ignored my two counter-arguments, but you did not have to answer them and I will not childlishly argue that you had no good answer or that the answer would not have fitted your world view. Instead, you replied (8:43) that I was missing your point which is : "How do you explain the growth of Spanish in the USA, where it has no legal status or protection?" (It is not a point, it is a question and I did not know that I had to answer it. In the first comment (5:58), it wasn't formulated as a question but as an argument, an instance of a language florishing without legal protection.)

      I simply reformulated (6:29) my previous two counter-arguments that you ignored once again. And I have asked two additionnal questions :
      1. one about the constitutionnal protection of english education in Québec
      2. one about the legislative cultural protection of the Canadian Content Act.
      You ignored them. Again, I will not childlishly argue that the answer would not fit your view.

      I guess that the question you are refering to is : "How do you explain the growth of Spanish in the USA, where it has no legal status or protection?"

      My answer is : I don't really know. But I would guess a mix of two factors : massive spanish speaking immigration to the USA (and probably a high birth rate) and the critical mass factor.

      You can read about critical mass here :

      Michel Patrice

    13. My previous comment was of course adressed to mdblog 10:40, sorry for the omission.

    14. adski,

      I understand (and share to some extend) your scepticism regarding government representing the people, hence my "(or is supposed to be) the people)".

      "the Hispanics in the US for example do not use the US government (...)" Of course, they don't, since they can't. It will be interesting to see if they will when they will be a majority in a given state. When they will be able to use the government, they probably will and I would not blame them.

      Anonymous11:11 makes a lot of sense.

      "Oh wait, I know why. So that the French-speaking elites (including the media) don't lose their subordinates."

      This is biassed, contemptuous and simplistic.

    15. M. Patrice: 1/2

      Thank you for answering the question honestly; that is, you don't know. Neither do I for that matter but I do appreciate your honesty. The point attached to the question that perhaps there are less heavy handed, less condescending, less draconian measures available to enable the conservation of a language and culture than language laws.

      "You will find here the language legislations of Spain and Mexico"
      "the USA who felt the need to have laws protecting the status of english."
      "The spanish, for instance, decided to support castillan"

      Here is where I fear we may never agree:

      You want your country to be more like the more ethnically pure countries you've used as examples in your response. In this way, you see your country as an inheritor of European civilization. A junior version of a European state that aspires to be like her older cousins.

      I see my country as something completely different. It is something that the world has never seen before and represents a fundamentally different version of what a country can be. We do not define Canada and "Canadianness" by a rigid set of criteria. Rather, we are open to ambiguity. How else can you explain the fact that no less than two conquered peoples (the Natives - through subversion and law, and the French - through military conquest) remain as active, important parts of our society. Yes, there are shameful periods in our history such as the Manitoba schools, the hanging of Louis Riel, the trial of Big Bear, the October crisis, etc. But these episodes represent lapses in judgement that any modern Canadian would be quick to condemn. What's interesting and what applies to our debate is that at the heart of all of these lapses in judgement were people trying to be more like Europe/the Old World, instead of embracing the wonderful ambiguity that this country breeds in us.

      How do you feel about immigration? I noticed a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment being expressed on various blogs by Francophones. This sentiment certainly increased following the depanneur de l'eglise controversy. Once again, this is a lot more like Europe than Canada. Consider that of the immigrants who arrive on Canadian shores, more than 80% become citizens. Compare this to around 5% in countries such as Italy, France, and Germany.

      "If language should not be protected by law, what do you think of the constitutionnaly protected right of the Québec historic english minority* to have education in english?"

      I think that this is perfectly acceptable given that up until the late 1970s, the Anglophone community was a charter member of Quebec. Anglos built these schools and never did they prevent anyone from attending them. Anglos never tried to prevent anyone from attending French school either. The only reason that the historic English community requires a constitutionally protected right to send their offspring to English schools is because the PQ cruelly and vindictively stripped the Anglo community of its legitimate voice in the province that it helped to build. I suspect that the PQ recognized that completely stripping the English of all rights would have been a net loss to them and towards achieving their goals. Overall, don't you dare try and tell me that the PQ was doing us a favour here by "allowing" us to keep the schools we built.

    16. M. Patrice: 2/2

      "what do you think of the Canadian Content Act?"

      I don't really think about it all to tell you the truth but here goes: I don't seem to have trouble getting non-Canadian content when it comes to music, books, TV, and movies. The difference between the Canadian Content Act and something like Bill 101 is that CanCon peacefully encourages the production and distribution of Canadian-made content. It doesn't shove it down my throat, telling me that I HAVE to listen to Nickelback because they are Canadian.

      "the suggestion that language protecting should be left to individuals alone."

      I am NOT making this assertion. If anything, I believe that languages are living things that have a lifespan; they do not live forever. What this comes do to is that yes, individuals at the end of the day have to choose to speak a particular language if it is to survive. Should it be left to this? I'm not sure. There must be ways to make a language more appealing without forcing it upon people. Do you not agree?

    17. mdblog,

      I read your comment quickly, it is already a little too late so I will have to keep it really short for now.

      How do I feel about immigration? Here is something I wrote a while ago about it :

      Take sometimes to read the comments following this article :

      The depanneur story is not about race, it is almost not about immigration, it is about language. If this nigerian man spoke french, there would have been no story.

      There is a of course a lot more to tell about these matters. But I will be probably not be back tomorrow night. Sorry for now, I have to leave.

      You wrote "Thank you for answering the question honestly; that is, you don't know. Neither do I for that matter but I do appreciate your honesty." I notice a subtle change in your tone. It sounds different from : "Michel, you are an imperialist. You make me sick."

      See you later,

      Michel Patrice

    18. M. Patrice,

      About the change in tone, I am a passionate man; sometimes to my detriment.

      I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my response.


    19. mdblog,

      "You want your country to be more like the more ethnically pure countries you've used as examples in your response"

      Ethnicity has nothing to do with it. I define the nation in terms of belonging, not in terms of ethnicity. (See the first link I previously posted.)

      "...these episodes represent lapses in judgement..."

      I will not go over all of the history of Canada, but I will take Louis Riel's hanging as an example. The hanging of Louis Riel is an anecdote. What matters is the rebellion that lead to the hanging and the geopolitical events that lead to the rebellion. The rebellion was caused by the arrival of numerous white anglo-saxon protestant settlers that were invading their land against their will. This policy of colonization of the west was not a "lapse of jugment", it was a planned and deliberate action which was a part of the building process of Canada.

      The idea of a multicultural Canada is an idea no more than a few decades old. It is an idea of Trudeau's.

      "How do you feel about immigration?"

      I posted a link to a old comment of mine that explains it. I assumed that you read french, if not, I could translate it for you. The second link I posted leads to an article followed by numerous anti-immigration comments expressed by english canadians. Integration of immigrants is a challenge in the whole western world.

      «The point attached to the question that perhaps there are less heavy handed, less condescending, less draconian measures available to enable the conservation of a language and culture than language laws. (…) There must be ways to make a language more appealing without forcing it upon people. Do you not agree? « 

      In the fifties and the sixties, francophones were second class citizens and anglophones ruled. Any ground gained by franco could have only been gained at the expense of anglophones. Bill 101 got results. Could we think that any measure that would have been acceptable to anglophones would have been a measure that got no result? And a measure that got no result would have not been acceptable to francophones.

  20. "You're missing my point. How do you explain the growth of Spanish in the USA, where it has no legal status or protection?"

    Isn't it fairly obvious that they wish to retain a language without laws which enforce the same. It is a heratige that they wish to retain, while all the time, attempting to learn the new language of their country.

    Quite different in Quebec where they use laws to protect a language, at the detriment of another.

    1. I think it's fairly obvious that they face anti-hispanic racism all the time, so rather than "rock the boat", they count their blessings and haven't awaken as a political force.

      Reminds me of lots of ROC french populations before the 60's, actually.

    2. "Reminds me of lots of ROC french populations before the 60's, actually."

      The difference between the US and Canada is that they are founded upon completely different sets of values and experiences. In the US, the mentality has been one of conquest; basically being the natural inheritor of European civilization. Canada's identity is founded upon, among other things the idea of tolerance and acceptance of the "other". Canada was a much harsher land than the US and was much harder to survive in for the early European settlers. We needed the natives and as such formed a very different kind of civilization than had hitherto been seen in Europe of the American colonies. I would say that it was this native mentality that is in large part responsible for Canada's acceptance of les Canadiens (the conquered people of New France) as equal partners in the project known as Canada. There are other examples to be sure, such as the Great Peace of Montreal.

      Your comparing the Hispanic people in the US to the pre-1960s French Canadians is a good try but it just doesn't hold up when we consider the facts.

    3. Meant to say "...than had hitherto NOT been seen in Europe..."

    4. "The difference between the US and Canada is that they are founded upon completely different sets of values and experiences"

      Si vous êtes si différents,comment se fait-il que la "culture" canadienne est si dépendante de l'américaine?Et que nous au Québec pourrions pratiquement vivre notre culture sans la présence des américains,considérant que nous avons des valeurs fort différentes et que nous possédons nos propres médias,notre cinéma,littérature,musique,etc.Qui est véritablement différent des américains?Les Québécois ou les canadiens...Surtout ceux de Harper et de ces "nouvelles" valeurs?

    5. Canada's prime reason of existance is that the politicians of United Canada hijacked a proposed scheme to unite the maritime provinces under one government. The reason the politicians from the Canadas wanted to hijack said scheme, is that United Canada had become impossible to govern.

      Imagine, if you will, that Canada was formed of two provinces, and that there was no federal parliament. Instead, a party would be expected to win in both provinces to govern. Both provinces would have a premier, technically, though they would alternate premiership over the entire dual-province. For instance, John A. McDonald (who you might have heard of) was premier of West-Canada, while Georges-Étienne Cartier was premier of East-Canada.

      Of course, then just as now the problem was to get a majority in both provinces when West-Canada was english and East-Canada was french. So, to obtain independance from each other in a way that Britain would accept, they hijacked the proposed Maritime province union and got New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to join. We should note that Nova Scotia was added against the will of its populace by the previously elected government, as it failed to produce a referendum on the issue while all 3 other provinces had one.

      So there we have it - the founding principle of Canada is that the french and the english can't stand each other.

      If you're talking about multiculturalism and all that jazz, that really has only been around so Trudeau, so you really can't say that Canada is founded upon it.

    6. "Si vous êtes si différents,comment se fait-il que la "culture" canadienne est si dépendante de l'américaine?"

      I wouldn't say Canada is any more dependent on American culture than American culture is dependent on that of the UK, for example (that's where all their reality shows come from such as American Idol, X-Factor, and Big Brother). Just because some Canadians like some American TV, movies, and music, that doesn't make us culturally dependent. Canada produces a lot of its own when it comes to the arts. Think Arcade Fire, Tragically Hip, Bon Cop Bad Cop, Margaret Laurence, Leonard Cohen...

      By the way, there are lots of countries besides Canada who enjoy American culture. As a matter of fact, American culture might just be the only culture that is successfully exported around the world. The Japanese are nuts for Americana, but you wouldn't accuse them of being dependent on American culture.

      Once again, your rhetoric just doesn't hold up to the facts.

    7. "So there we have it - the founding principle of Canada is that the french and the english can't stand each other."

      That is a gross oversimplification of a very complex and nuanced issue. Maybe you can convince yourself that your argument supports this conclusion but I just don't see it. Canada came about because of many reasons but I don't for one second believe that a country that has hosted these two nations peacefully for centuries was founded upon hate.

      I see where you are going but let me put a more positive spin on it: Canada is founded upon the notion that different people of different backgrounds and languages can live together in peace.

      We have done things this way for a very long time so it is intellectually dishonest of you to claim otherwise.

    8. Well yes, tensions weren't so bad that the francos and anglos were gutting each other in the streets in 1867. Though in 1848, the anglos burnt down the Parliament of United Canada in Montreal, that's why it was rebuilt in Toronto where it sits to this day.

      Otherwise, you're right - it was mostly non-violent.

  21. Before that hateful, divisive '95 referendum, one of my separatist’s friends said “In the same way Hitler had to rid himself of the Jews, the Québécois must rid themselves of the English”.

    Needless to say, I got rid of many “friends” that year. Good riddance!

  22. La société St-Jean-Batiste à elle-même proposé des cours d'anglais dès le primaire pour faciliter le billinguisme. Ça doit bien faire 5-6 ans de cela et il me semble que c'était un message clair de l'acceptation et de l'intention des francophones face au débat anglo/franco. Tout le monde était d'accord: les vieux conflits sont aussi stupides qu'ennuyant à trainer. On croyait à l'évolution de nos relations, que les anciens conflits resteraient d'anciens conflits de génération.

    Les blogs m'ont réveillés. Premièrement je ne vois plus de bassin de population chez les francophones pour tenir une telle haine active. De fait quiconque utiliserait certains commentaires ci-haut se ferait normalement remettre à sa place assé sec.

    Il y a plusieurs excellent commentaires ici mais je vais quand même présenter ce blog à quelques amis qui me disaient que le roc est très ouvert et ne demande au Québec qu'à s'y investir. Je vois déjà leur réaction. Ça fait 10 ans que je travaille en anglais et connais des gens qui parlent différentes langues. Personne ne commente un sujet avec une telle hargne sans se faire reprendre à moins que l'auditoire ne soit implicitement d'accord.

    Je pense qu'il y a encore beaucoup de ressentiment dans la communauté anglophone face à la réalité québécoise et qu'on est pas loin de perdre notre temps à essayer de nous entendre. Je fais quoi maintenant je me tourne vers la majorité des anglophones que je connais et je me dis que les meubles sont sauvés? Ou au contraire on est tous des hypocrites et ce sont les haineux des deux bords qui ont raisons?

    1. C'est ce que je me pose aussi tous les jours depuis que je suis ce blog.

    2. Haineux?

      PQ, BQ, CAQ, Quebec Solidaire etc. = Haineux

  23. Madame Marois is telling the Quebec electorate what they want to hear "vote for the Particular Quebecois and we will be you gouvernemamas". Telling people what they want to hear is easy, once in power politicians usually have to govern and that is when the electorate feel betrayed. It is a sad reflection on society in general that politicians have to lie to get elected!

  24. Nazism. Period. A very Dangerous Times.