Let's not help the PQ out. The Parti Quebecois put forth its "Charter of Quebec Values" today which is aimed at generating conflict between Quebec and the Rest of Canada [ROC]. Oh, they say it is aimed at protecting Quebec identity, but I am sure the Quebecois are pretty damned secure in their identity--they have protected their language well, they have great food, they have a great culture, they own an entire province which is rich in water and energy (water). And they have one less hockey team than they should.
This is really about politics--that the PQ cannot run on good governance because both the problems in Quebec are hard and the party sucks at governing. So, some distraction sauce is necessary. Hey, what about those folks wearing religious symbols while working for the government? Let's pick on them. Turns out that about 1/4 of the folks employed in Quebec work for the government in some way--doctors, nurses, teachers, professors, police, judges, etc. So, this would affect a large number of people.
And it is aimed to solve what problem exactly? Yeah. So, what it is really aimed to do is to mobilize the Quebec public once everyone else piles on, accusing Quebec of being racist or xenophobic. Let's be clear about it: the PQ is being opportunistic, cynical, and insincere. The PQ is demonstrating that its values are contemptible. Attack the party and not the populace. Do not give the PQ what it wants. Yes, public opinion favors it, as it kind of does elsewhere in Canada. Tyranny of the majority is not just a problem in Quebec but everywhere. It is easy to try to inflict one's values on a minority and it seems desirable. But we, those who live in democracies around the world, are better than that. We know that tolerance is a better path. It might not always be the easiest path and it might not be the most popular. But it is the path we take to avoid conflict, to avoid oppression and persecution.
The approach that we should take is that we are all better than this. The PQ is playing to our worse instincts. Do not go into the mud with them. They are the xenophobes, they are the ones who cannot govern and must engage in
Could I be any clearer? I hope not.
Quebec identity is made of it's people's identity... which are Irish, English, French, First Nations, Indian, Jew, Muslim, etc. Protecting our identity cannot be different from protecting our multicultural identities. And by definition, liberal democracies can not choose or endorse one religion. By choosing the French people identity, PQ automatically chooses French Catholic people. Mmm... that doesn't look good for neutrality!
That charter of values is not something we need and want. Yes.. some Québécois fear the difference and feel the urge to protect their identity because French Canadians are a minority. But by protecting one minority, we attack another minority on their fundamental rights to equality and liberty. Again, not so good for a liberal democracy.
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