Say it in English or in French, nothing is for sure politically in Quebec. Yet all the talking heads are referring to the upcoming Quebec provincial election as a cake-walk for François Legault’s Coalition Avenir du Québec (CAQ). You would think the pundits would know better.
First of all, it is never safe to prognosticate about what will happen politically in Quebec. The moods of the voters can turn on a dime. There has been many a Quebec premier who has stood there on election night, wondering why a speech for a possible loss had not been written.
I like to think of premier Legault as something like King Canute defying the tides. All this foolishness his party imposes on Quebec about the danger of speaking English is going in one ear and out the other across the province.
It must have come as a shock to Legault and his other bigots when they heard that, according to a recent survey, French is spoken in fewer homes in Quebec. Part of the problem is that they have been taking in more immigrants who speak neither English nor French. The other reason is that French-speaking parents want their children to have better economic opportunities by speaking both official languages. Legault has been trying to suppress those opportunities. His efforts have just led to more lawsuits that the province has to defend in court.
And quite frankly, Legault has gone too far. He knows the anglophones and allophones are pissed with him and he doesn’t care. He thinks his majority is safe with the farmers.
But Legault fails to understand the cycle of life. People age and new voters replace those who have past on. The younger vote is more volatile, more questioning, more eager to try something new.
Legault and his CAQ are living in the past. There is life beyond Quebec. Canada is a big and welcoming country. Those who speak both official languages benefit.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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