Posts Tagged ‘Parti Québécois’

Pardonez-moi M. Lisée.

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Paul Wells of the Toronto Star offers it as evidence that sometimes a journalist can make something of himself. Besides an ass, we assume.

Wells was writing about Jean-François Lisée who won the leadership of Quebec’s Parti Québécois last Friday. We all had a good laugh at the PQ last time when they chose millionaire Pierre-Karl Péladeau. We might also have a good laugh at this one. Lisée might have more political smarts than the scion of the Péladeau media empire but his fingerprints are all over the former PQ leader Pauline Marois’ controversial Quebec Charter of values.

The bigotry and xenophobia of the charter sent the last election in Quebec skittering off the rails for the PQ. The arguments about the charter split the PQ and their opponents. The province ended up with a majority Liberal government under Philippe Couillard.

Mind you, we should wonder about Lisée’s political smarts as he came into politics from an academic and journalism background to advise then leader Jacques Parizeau prior to that PQ government launching the 1995 Quebec referendum. He continued in an advisory capacity with Parizeau’s replacement Lucien Bouchard. He left the Bouchard government in 1999 because Bouchard was not interested in putting another referendum before Quebec voters.

Paul Wells tells us that Lisée is formidable. He also tells us that he thinks separatist referendums are fun. Mind you, he equates it to “playing chicken in traffic” type fun.

But Well’s admiration for his friend Lisée could be very misleading to the readers of Canada’s largest circulation English-language daily newspaper. No doubt we would all prefer to wait for the more expert analysis of national affairs writer Chantal Hébert. Despite being born and educated in Ontario, Chantal has been weighing Quebec politics for most of her adult life. Her opinion is respected.

Lisée has only been in the Quebec National Assembly since 2012. He survived the Liberal sweep in 2014 that cost Marois her seat. He claimed in the heated race to replace Péladeau that he would not push for another referendum until his second term as premier.

But in that same race for the leadership, he defended the Quebec Charter of Values and the Quebeçois jingoism that it represents.

Frankly, in our opinion, English-speaking Canadians have little reason to trust M. Lisée nor should they.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Did Le Pen expect rose petals?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

What did Marine Le Pen president of France’s Front National Party expect? Canadians are hardly about to strew rose petals in her path when she decides to come here and tell us what we are doing wrong. We are open-minded people but we are not particularly interested in people who spread bigotry and fear.

Who does Le Pen think she is, Donald Trump?

Mind you, that seems to be the hard-right wing politician’s thing. Marine Le Pen is a problem for France in that role she rails against immigrants and Syrian refugees alike. She wants to keep France pure. She embarrasses the conservative and the left-wing alike in her own country. And it is why she is being shunned during her holiday in Canada.

No Canadian politician of any stripe is eager to be seen with Le Pen. Even Pierre-Karl Péladeau has denounced her and her political views. He has little choice. While he might have been impressed with the Front National during his years of living high in Paris on the Péladeau family fortune, he is now the leader of a mainly left-wing Parti Québécois. It would never do for him to be seen hob-knobbing with the likes of right-wing Le Pen.

The best we can do for Le Pen as a tourist is to point out some of the excellent restaurants she will find while visiting Quebec City and Montreal. We would also point out to her that some of the most interesting nightlife in Quebec City is in the western suburbs such as the Sainte-Foy area.

One of the Canada’s federal politicians who might have found a conversation with Marine Le Pen interesting is Canada’s Minister of Democratic Institutions. In the recent round of regional elections in France Le Pen’s Front National candidates did very well in the first round of voting. They reached as much as 42 per cent of the vote in some areas.

But France, with its two-round voting system, requires a majority to be elected. In the second round of voting, Le Pen’s candidates fell by the wayside as more mainstream candidates won the majority of votes. In some cases more left of centre candidates had stepped aside to ensure that the Le Pen candidates were defeated. And they were.

Minister Maryam Monsef in Ottawa should pay heed.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me