Quebec used to be what made Canada cooler than the US. With a genuine social democracy, a childcare program the envy of the rest of us backwards provinces and more affordable tuition, Quebec was arguably the sole reason why our federal politicians couldn’t drift too far to the right like their American counterparts.
With Quebec now having shifted drastically to the right after Monday’s election, it looks like all that’s over. The surge of Mario Dumont’s far-right ADQ is even making waves in Britain where The Independent is calling Dumont (correctly, in my opinion), Canada’s Le Pen.
Moreover, if the surge of the ADQ was not enough, this nice little bit of propaganda does a good job of adding insult to injury.
The article notes that “The legacy of those years – Quebec’s vaunted welfare model – is now under the strain of an aging population, while Quebecers have made sport of grumbling about high taxes and longer emergency-room wait times.”
So I guess the archaic legacy of progressivism in Quebec is their welfare model which is under the strain of an aging population (damn baby-boomers and their stubborn aging). And, apparently, emergency wait times would be improved if it weren’t for the government of Quebec spending all that money on, you know, doctors and stuff.
I guess I missed that memo.
With Quebec now shifting to the right, the real question becomes, which province will keep our already right-wing federal politicians from having the incentive from becoming more like their American counterparts? Ontario? BC? Neither seems like it would step up to the plate.
So, despite the fact that the people of Quebec had a truly progressive and fresh option (Québec solidaire) to chose from that was polling at the highest rates seen by any genuine left-wing party in this country since before the days of the NDP, “Le Pen”-lite is now being portrayed by the media as the “fresh new face” of Quebec politics. And, what is worse, the media is praising this as a vindication for the unity of Canada when, in actuality, all it merely does is shift the threat to Canadian unity away from internal fracture to even further and deeper economic subjugation from abroad.
The politics of “Le Pen”-lite, flat taxes and hyper-capitalism are neither new nor are they fresh, and we should start treating them accordingly.