This week, I wrote about the Quebec values charter. You can read it here. The piece focuses on the schism between Montreal and the rest of Quebec, and how the city is frequently the province’s bogeyman when it comes to language, identity and politics.
I asked former Premier Bernard Landry about the wisdom of Parti Québécois strategy of courting the off-island pur laine vote. Given how our electoral system essentially makes rural votes more valuable than their urban equivalent, I noted how this may well benefit the PQ in the next election. However, it would arguably hurt the party in the event of another referendum, which by definition are of the one-person, one-vote variety. His answer was, well, astounding. He said the PQ doesn’t need Montreal to win a referendum; all that needs to happen, as Jacques Parizeau himself once said, was for old-stock Quebecers to vote even more separation.
“Montreal is important and winning with diversity is fantastic. But winning is winning, and that’s great too,” said the former premier.
Here’s a take from a fellow named Will Prosper. Will is a former RCMP police officer, community organizer, documentarian, political candidate and, like Landry, a sovereignist. His take is decidedly different:
“With this charter, the Péquiste government only accentuates the perception among immigrants that if Quebec ever attains its independence, there will be two types of citizens: Marois’s ‘Nous’, and the others who may have different colour skin, differently shaped eyes, or who wear a headscarf, a kippah or a turban. We need to find a way to open the off-island regions to Montreal’s reality and reverse the perception that the city is a debaucherous hell hole filled with immigrant barbarians who attend public stonings on Saturday nights.”
Interesting times in Quebec, as always. Again, you can read the whole piece here.