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David Desjardins 13 Sept, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/359051/la-culture-du-mepris
Jean Charest was stepping down live on TV when I flipped to that channel, pausing for a moment to listen to his trembling, tearful goodbye.
Did I smile?
A little, yes. But it wasn’t the toothy smile of someone who delights in another’s misery. Nor was it a smile of empathy. A person can’t be sad to see the end of a drawn-out spectacle where the actors and the director both seem to have been mocking the audience all along.
Really, I smiled to myself, hoping that we were witnessing the departure of a grand master of the genre, a rare breed of politician, in as much as politics is a game of manipulation — one who could ride the desires of the moment and the changes in mood of the people.
And Jean Charest rode like a king.
Olivier D. Asselin August 31, 2012
Original French text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/358149/odjine-monsieur-charest
Demonstrators surrounded the Salon du Plan Nord that took place at the Palais des congrès last April.
A letter to Mr. Charest,
A few months ago, I believed it was wise to let history judge you. I thought to myself that, before time’s relentless authority, your shenanigans, subterfuges and pettiness wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. I still believe it, but today I also believe that history alone cannot guaranty your downfall. Humans have to contribute too.
Manon Cornellier August 13, 2012
Original French Text: http://www2.lactualite.com/cornellier/2012-08-13/la-democratie-selon-jean-charest/
Since the beginning of his electoral campaign, Premier Jean Charest has declared that, after having taken to the streets, it’s now time for the Québécois to express themselves. As if the people protesting and banging on pots weren’t Québécois, but nevertheless. What was the most troublesome was the narrow view that his speech took: vote once every four years and then leave everything in the hands of those elected.
After his stop in Victoriaville on Saturday, we now understand that protesting to express dissidence does not reflect his vision of a vibrant and healthy democracy. So much so, that he constantly mixes protesting with violence and wants to do away with both. See for yourself: “We don’t want protests, do you hear? We don’t want violence. We created a law specifically to put an end to these things”, he said before a group of young Liberals.
Pierre Desjardins, Montreal August 11, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/356690/les-couts-de-l-entetement
Politicians have been talking about money since the start of this campaign. Isn’t it curious that no one is interested in the extraordinary sums being spent on public security in the last few months? As a taxpayer, I would like to know exactly what I’m going to have to pay for Jean Charest’s sickening stubborn refusal to negotiate tuition fees with students. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in overtime, paid to municipal and provincial police to handle hundreds of demonstrations. The cost is going to be higher than the amount of money the government hoped to bring in with the fee increase. It seems like Raymond Bachand, the Liberal party’s back-room bean-counter, forgot to provide us with those figures.
We all know that this strategy of refusing to negotiate with students is a big part of Jean Charest’s Machiavellian plan to win the election at the expense of the Parti Quebecois. By letting the situation fester, at the expense of the students, Jean Charest hoped that his opponent’s support for the student cause would make the public turn a blind eye towards his own party. If you trust the recent polls, though, it would seem that this foolish strategy did not work, and that our premier is stumped. Good! It doesn’t change the fact that his dalliances have incurred enormous costs for public security that we’re going to have to mop up at tax time. The citizens of Montreal can expect the bill to be particularly bitter.
Robert Dutrisac August 10, 2012
Still outraged by the CBC report on the tailing of Eddy Brandone in which he is mentioned, Jean Charest has suggested it sought to undermine his campaign.
“We say the timing was chosen. We are in an election campaign.” stated Jean Charest to the press yesterday morning. In addition to criticizing the work of the journalists as he had done the day before, he went after “those who direct Radio Canada and made the decision” to broadcast this story.
By contrast, the assumption that the federal establishment persuaded him to make the jump into Quebec politics in 1998 released today to throw his attention to François Legault appears to him as a “great conspiracy theory.”
The Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ)
August 9, 2012
Québec’s federation of journalists is astonished by Premier Jean Charest’s recent remarks following the publication of a critical report by the Inquiry team on the—as yet unexplained—halt on the surveillance of Eddy Brandone.
The Premier questioned the ethics of two Radio-Canada reporters, Marie-Maude Denis and Alain Gravel, who have done remarkable work exposing corruption and collusion problems in the construction industry. Their reports, along with those of other media, have often damaged the Liberal government’s reputation in recent years, which might help explain the Premier’s inappropriate outburst.
Tommy Chouinard August 8, 2012
Incumbent Premier Jean Charest will defer to the judgement of police to determine if Law 78 has to be forcibly applied.
Jean Charest, unlike this CAQ adversary François Legault, does not envision sanctions against professors who refuse to cross picket lines to give classes.
The Liberal party leader was walking on eggshells on Wednesday as journalists asked him what he would do if the return to classes did not go smoothly in any of the 14 universities and colleges affected by the student strike.
Paul Journet August 2, 2012
(Laval) CLASSE has rejected the appeal for a truce, put forward by Léo Bureau-Blouin, the PQ candidate for Laval-des-Rapides. FEUQ and FECQ remain “neutral.” The three student associations say they are nevertheless interested by the PQ’s idea of a summit about higher education, though they have some reservations.
Léo Bureau-Blouin says he doesn’t want to wade into student politics, but nevertheless, he does have one wish: that students “imagine an electoral truce.”
CLASSE believes Bureau-Blouin should have kept quiet. CLASSE co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was brusque: “There’s always a sense of malaise when people from outside the movement weigh in on the student debate to give advice.”
Michel Corbeil August 2, 2012
Photo caption: Wednesday, on the very night the election was launched, the leader of the Liberal party of Quebec was welcomed in the riding of Taschereau by a small group of opponents who tapped on casseroles for several long minutes. Credit: La Presse Canadienne
Now that demonstrations against his government are back and louder than ever, Jean Charest has challenged other party leaders to condemn any violent act on the part of protesters.
The incumbent premier took advantage of a meeting with the media on the morning of Thursday, August 2, to make his appeal. A journalist with TVA asked him for a comment on the fact that his office had been targeted by demonstrators. He retorted that he saw it as “an affair that troubled me greatly.”
Michel Corbeil August 7 2012
Photo caption: Jean Charest maintains that someone enrolled in classes can only undertake a boycott as an individual. He made a point of repeating that 15 students who decide not to go to classes cannot block the passage of 5 who have decided to return.
Richmond — Jean Charest grants no legitimacy to student strike votes.
The Liberal party leader has said that he doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of student associations that are soon to hold votes about whether to defy the law forcing them back to classes in CEGEPs and universities where classes have been disrupted.
Speaking at a stop on his tour, in Richmond, in the riding of Saint-François, Charest let it be known that a small minority is imposing its will on others. He said that, in the social science department of the Université de Montréal, less than 9% of members voted against restarting classes.