|Two Days- Two flip flops|
First she was quite specific;
"Marois said that if elected, she would reintroduce a controversial PQ bill requiring all new citizens of Quebec to learn French. But the new bill would go even further than the initial version of Bill 195, tabled in 2007.The PQ brain trust weighed the implications and promptly freaked out.
To be eligible to run in provincial or municipal elections, a non-francophone would have to speak French well enough “to be able to explain his ideas, explain his point of view,” Marois said.
The proposed law would apply to people born and raised in Quebec, including members of First Nations, as well as immigrants." Read More
And so she and the party did a fancy two-step and like a whirling dancer in a Quebec quadrille, changed directions without skipping a beat.
"Today, the PQ clarified their position: All those who would have the proposed Quebec citizenship would be allowed to run for election. All current Quebec citizens would automatically get that citizenship, but new immigrants would be subjected to a French test before being granted those rights." Read MoreDon't for a minute believe that the change of heart was out of deference to Anglophones and their historical right to speak English, had it only been that, Marois would have been happy to tweak the nose of our community and soldier on.
The reversal was in fact a result of the utter panic in the PQ brain trust that Marois had inadvertantly declared war on Quebec's natives, a fight that would be politically disastrous and impossible to win.
Many Quebec bands speak only their native tongue along with English and they did not appreciate in the least Marois' insult that the language of Quebec is French only.
Stirring up Native resentment, could only be described as a fool's gambit, something that even the dumbest, poorest federalist or separatist voter understands.
The spectre of confrontation à la Oka is frightening enough and Quebecers, like Canadians across the country understand, it's never good policy to piss off the natives.
And so it's a bit disconcerting to see the next potential premier of Quebec stumble so badly, making it up as she goes along, especially as she seems to be trifling with the most basic tenets of democracy as if she were discussing a new pork barrel recreation centre in Paris du bois, in an effort to shill for votes.
Lost in all this, is the curious fact that in Quebec, the ridiculous is quickly accepted as normal, where the details and modalities of Quebec citizenship can be discussed without anyone in the mainstream media pointing out the absurdity of a province creating such a device, akin to debating the colour of the lampshade one decides to sport over one's head, without considering the why and what for.
It is as if Quebec has become a sad version of Alice in Wonderland, where up is down, and political conversations are nonsensical, illogical and maddeningly frightful.
And so to paraphrase the Mad Hatter "The entire world is falling to ruins and poor Pauline is off to her tea."
While Marois' so-called Quebec Citizenship project, like the Herouxville Code of conduct, applies to all, its real target are the twenty percent of Quebecers who are not the 'pure laine.'
Madame Marois' citizenship project is just another extension of her well-established reputation of practising the politics of exclusion, well-established among Quebec hardliners, who view immigrants as the enemy within and the Anglophone community as a relentless evil force of assimilation.
The citizenship project is a not so subtle warning to those outside the French bubble, that if they expect to be included in Quebec society, they better embrace the values and culture of poutine and maple syrup while chugging down the Koolaid of Quebec nationalism.
What does that mean?
It means that speaking French is not enough.
It means embracing francophone culture, mores, values and customs and of course Quebec cuisine, poutine and maple syrup.
This is the minimum requirement for retaining the privilege of living in Quebec.
It means that the 20% must embrace French television, cinema, music, and sport.
It means that those coming to Quebec may not bring with them or maintain any semblance of their heritage, religion, orthodoxy, customs, language or dress.
No playing loud Arabic music in the car, wandering the streets in a sari, or promenading in flowing Hasidic regalia.
No weird native cuisine, egg rolls and pizza is all the exotic fare permitted.
It is a society that requires the 20% to understand that marriage is an outdated concept, that belief in God a no-no and a place where hard work and entrepreneurship a sign of social dysfunction.
It is a society where the children of the 20% should be careful not to study too hard, lest they show up the natives.
And more sickening, it is a society that tells the 20% to embrace the fact that Canada is evil and that Quebec is the cat's meow.
The citizenship project is a message that the very assimilation that French militants decry as it pertains to themselves, is what they demand of the 20%.
While claiming that saving French in North America contributes to the language and cultural diversity of the world, such diversity in Quebec is an anathema.
Now to my francophone and particularly sovereigntist readers, I know the characterization above is not the view of the majority of francophones, even among sovereigntists, who are a remarkably diverse group.
But it does reflect the hardline view, the one shared and promoted by Pauline Marois and the basis of the PQ policy on what a Quebec citizen must be.
And so Marois prattles on, lurching from one idiotic notion to another and no sooner had she done her flip over citizenship she faced another similar crisis over her party's platform of consultative referendums whereby citizens who gather signatures equal to 15% of the population, can trigger a binding referendum on any issue.
It's a moronic idea to begin with, but one Marois and the PQ defended until now, because nobody chose to challenge it.
But in her one on one debate with the leader of the CAQ, Francois Legault, he pounded her mercilessly as to the stupidity of the policy, asking Marois if she is bound to hold a referendum on sovereignty if militants gather these signatures, which as Legault offered, they were sure to do.
It was savagely delicious to watch Marois squirm and do her level best to sidestep the question, only to crash and burn over the issue, in the end.
The day after the debate, the PQ admitted that this cornerstone policy was to be abandoned, conscious that had they not done so, the opposition would run riot with the issue.
"In another surprise shift in the Parti Quebecois platform, Pauline Marois said last night that a citizen-initiated referendum could be a mere recommendation from the public, that would not force the government to act." Read the rest of the storyThere she is readers, our potential new Premier, floundering and flopping around like a newly hooked fish in the bottom of the row boat.
It is a frightful idea that she is in fact, the most experienced member of the PQ brigade and it's no wonder that even on the separatist vigile.net website, the prevailing sentiment is;
"Pauline, you're killing us!"