If you would like to volunteer and join the effort, please contact us at the above email before embarking on any translation work, in order to avoid any redundancies. We cannot accept translations that have not been cleared with us first.
For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
Jean-Herman Guay August 20, 2012
Caption: Whether or not you agree with her ideas and proposals, it has to be said that Francoise David broke free from the other three politicians’ waffling language more than once during yesterday’s debate. Photo Credit: Robert Skinner, La Presse.
Francoise David had everything to gain by just being present. But she did more than that: she succeeded in embodying a modern, open left, which had never before been done so clearly in a leaders’ debate. Whether or not you agree with her ideas and proposals, it has to be said that Francoise David broke free from the other three politicians’ waffling language more than once during yesterday’s debate. Smiling, relaxed but confident, she successfully conveyed her message on multiple points. Although this is highly subjective, it is probable that a wave of sympathy has set in between her and certain segments of the electorate.
On matters of the environment, social policy, education and health, Francoise David clearly explained her party’s positions: free education at every level, against the privatization of healthcare. She tried to enlarge the debate more than once, beyond the strict question of the number of family doctors, for example. And she succeeded.
On the question of electoral form, she clearly outlined the virtues of reducing electoral spending. And in a striking manner, she defended the virtues of an electoral form that would introduce elements of proportionality. The hurried sovereigntists will find a credible spokes-person in her.
She succeeded in showing flexibility by occasionally agreeing with Jean Charest, with Francois Legault or with Pauline Marois. Far from being on the periphery of the arena, her positions allowed her to be at the heart of the debates. Her willingness to contribute to a minority government sent a similar message, that of openness.
At most it’s not the realism of her propositions that cause this, but her particular position. Long-time activist, first in the radical left in the 70’s, then in the women’s movement of the 90’s, she successfully embodied the left during the leaders’ debate with the clarity, simplicity and sincerity of the moderate left.
During her first debate, with no parliamentary experience, accustomed to speaking in left circles, she probably reached a greater portion of the public. Perhaps better than Amir Khadir, who could have upset a lot of people, she gave a more human face to the québécois left.
Has she decided to oppose the strategic vote that could cost her party dearly? Will she steal votes from the Parti québécois? Will that be enough to win in Gouin? Nothing is certain. Her performance last night can, however, bring together a lot of voters searching for more direct, honest and simple politics.
What will harm her: her absence from the TVA debates… Her success could, therefore, fade away into memories and media coverage.
It’s now up to activists to relay the message that Francoise David delivered so well last night.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.