Friday, October 05, 2018

So Is Stupidity

As an old Quebecer, I was particularly interested in Michael Harris' take on the recent Quebec election. Harris writes:

The landslide victory of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) is a boulder that sends ripples into the furthest reaches of Canada’s political pond. Which is to say, the ascension of Premier François Legault is no regional flash in the pan.
It is suddenly open season on incumbents, with three Canadian premiers recently getting the boot, and a growing animus across the country against traditional politics.

Legault is an old PQ apparatchik who has taken a referendum off the table. But his policies are recycled Parti Quebecois boilerplate. He is pushing a Quebec values test again, precipitating a clash between religion and politics. And his Trumpian focus on immigration fans the age old French Canadian fear of the other. The revenge of the cradle no longer soothes Quebecois fears that they will be overrun by outsiders.

And to enforce his policy prescriptions, Legault -- like his neighbour next door -- threatens to use the notwithstanding clause.

Harris points out that Philippe Couillard's Liberals were not defeated for the usual reasons:

Former premier Philippe Couillard was a pretty good steward of the province’s economy.
He leaves office with public finances in good shape and a record-low unemployment rate. For those who like to rant about tax-and-spend Liberals, Couillard proved to be an exception. His government even paid down the provincial debt.
So it wasn’t the economy, stupid.

Change is in the air. And so is stupidity.

Image: National Post


Toby said...

"Former premier Philippe Couillard was a pretty good steward of the province’s economy."

Therein lies the problem. Who is served by the economy? As you know the rich are getting richer at the expense of the already poor and what used to be the middle class. Until politicians learn that they have to represent and serve all of their constituents we will continue to see established governments tossed to the winds.

Owen Gray said...

I think that's accurate, Toby. But that doesn't mean that what replaces those governments is better than the crew that is thrown out. Ontario is Exhibit A.

Toby said...

That's right, Owen. Often the government tossed out is replaced by one of imbeciles and incompetence. Several years ago I grew to like our rural MLA. He was a jerk but he was our jerk. He represented our riding when the trend was to kowtow to the big city mob. That's the key; we all want to be represented. Modern technocratic governments tend to focus attention on narrow interests.

Owen Gray said...

Exactly, Toby. The concept of responsible government has been corrupted. Power is not supposed to be vested at the top but at the bottom -- with the electors.

the salamander said...

.. there is a petro lobbyist I read about, his name escapes me.. and he now entrenched within the CAQ & embraced by Legault. Look for the fracking moritorium in Quebec to be repealed toute suite & pipelines uber alles.

By the way.. current status re First Nations if Quebec were to seperate from Canada ? Last I heard, the province (new country) would lose approx 50 - 75 % of Quebec including hydro dams, arctic access. Lawyers would of course become fabulously weathy for at least a decade of squabbling & I don't believe 'notwithstanding' could do a thing about it.. the economic collapse might be so far beyond 'epic! it staggers the imagination. Radicals and political animals in Alberta would look on with great interest..

Owen Gray said...

The name changes, sal. However, the dream never dies. Separation has gone underground for the time being.