Monday, November 8, 2010

Nationalist Parties Eating Their Own?

A McGill grad student (ht to Melanee) pointed out this article, which set off an interesting FB discussion about whether the Parti Quebecois is irrational, sexist or perhaps less dysfunctional than other provincial parties.  I will focus on the PQ and the nature of nationalist politics, as I know nothing about the politics of other provinces in Canada. 

Specifically, Pauline Marois is facing some significant challenges from within her party precisely at a time where it should be preparing for the next election, which will be soon and which the PQ should win (Liberals have exhausted everyone including themselves).  Is it because she is female?  Melanee, who studies gender and politics, was suspicious of this.  Because I am a student of ethnic politics, I, of course, jumped on the ethnic outbidding bandwagon.  That is, I am not surprised to see actors within a nationalist movement position themselves at the extremes to be the best defenders of the group.  This creates an auction-like competition among folks to be the best nationalist, pushing for policies that discriminate more against "the others" and making themselves potentially less electable. 

So what is happening to Marois has happened to her predecessors.  I am not surprised, nor do I think it is gender.  Unfortunately, while I can take some glee in the intra-PQ fratricide, I do not see how the PQ will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  The Liberals have been too corrupt, too ham-handed, and in power too long to stick around.  Only the past frustration with the PQ has kept the Provincial Liberals around this long.  I am just hoping that this is delayed, delayed, delayed until my daughter is out of high school.

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