Sunday, March 23, 2014

Comment Dites-Vous Voterfraudfraud en Francais?

Yes, it is that time of the election cycle where the PQ's self-destruction leads to focusing not on how to appeal to more voters but get certain voters out of the pool.  Who would be such folks?  Students and non-Francophones.  Perhaps the PQ move to the right is leading to some GOP imitation?

The challenge for the PQ is that their xenophobic stances of late are not only good for mobilizing rural folks who fear immigrants and dividing other parties (the CAQ), but are also good for mobilizing those who are opposed to race-baiting.  Non-Francophones are very much more likely to turn out in an election where they are a target for discrimination.  The PQ has made it very clear that Anglophones who are not Sikhs nor Muslims nor Jews have much to fear since they want to tighten existing rules that limit English in the workplace and in society (no more bonjour/hi).  Allophones--those whose first language is neither French nor English--are mostly immigrants and do realize the symbolic politics of the Charter of Xenophobia is aimed directly against them.  So, yes, PQ, use xenophobia at your peril.

Students?  At first, I thought this was just about limiting McGill students from voting, but it may be more than that.  The PQ role the student opposition to tuition increases into power, but then became less friendly to student interests.  Plus the kids are not the fans of sovereignty/secession that the old folks are.  So, another constituency that is not so likely to vote PQ these days.

So, what to do?  Limit their ability to vote, of course.  Making actual appeals to people is just too damned hard.  This, like other measures, reeks of desperation.  The Charter of Values was very much aimed to win this election, but the PQ seems to be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with all of its bad moves.  It has brought on board a right wing nationalist that was sure to alienate the unions that play a big part of Quebec politics and in the PQ.  It started talking about sovereignty when a super-majority of the province just does not want to think about such stuff.  And then it waffled on that issue, which raises the natural question for a separatist party: if you don't want separation, why do you exist?  So, what does it have left to enhance its appeal?  Not much, so the resorting to #voterfraudfraud makes all the sense in the world.  After all, the party proved with the Charter of Values that it has no shame.

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