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For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
Lise Ravary August 9, 2012
My column in this morning’s Journal de Montréal and Journal de Québec
Pauline Marois’ refusal to take part in a leaders’ debate in English has elicited strong reactions. It’s a reminder to our beloved Anglos that French is the only official language here and if they want to understand what’s going on all they have to do is to learn the language. And if they don’t like it, we’ll close McGill and English hospitals. Stop your whining, pampered minority.
The problem with “nous”
In refusing this debate, in continuing to insist on the fictitious anglicization of Quebec, the absolute necessity of Bill 101 in CEGEP, and the imposition of French on Aboriginals, Marois has made the “nous” [we/us] in her party’s slogan problematic: “C’est à nous choisir” (it’s up to us to choose).
Which nous are we talking about? Is it the nous of the Quebec nation, heirs to the glorious French Canadians and valorous settlers from France? Is it nous as citizens, including all those who know their postal codes by heart? Or is it the emotional nous that dwells in the hearts of sovereigntists? There are as many answers as political options.
Josée Legault August 14, 2012
There are mornings like this.
We wake up. We read our papers. And then, all of a sudden, a title attracts our attention, but not for good reasons…
So much, in fact, that we reread it and, for several seconds, we think that we have misread it. Really misread it.
This reaction was inevitable this morning in seeing the headline of Le Devoir: “Young Quebeckers think too much about the ‘good life’, believes Legault”. Excuse me? Not this “Legault”, in any case.
And, reading the article, it was even worse.
It gave off the impression of a combination of moral paternalism, facile populism, antiquated prejudices, and so on.
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.
Josée Boileau August 15, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/elections-2012/356810/elections-jeunesse-doree
François Legault confuses everything: youth and productivity, the good life and the dropout rate, education and self-realization, the practices of a society and its values … And from this mixture comes out a Quebec without future, but mostly without a baring in reality.
What exactly was denouncing the leader of the Coalition avenir Québec, François Legault, on Monday when a citizen from Lambton lamented that young people cared only about the good life? This remains unclear.
He claims to denounce consumer society. But then, he evokes the Asian model? In Japan, Singapore, Korea, the latest useless gadget sells very well, thank you … The immediate satisfaction of wants is common across all developed societies, and an aspiration for all others. And how do we push back against such a society? In leading… the good life! Practicing voluntary simplicity, resisting the commodification of the world, something that requires effort and real self-realization, as the CAQ leader wants… Why then is he so afraid?
Blandine Parchemal, Ph.D. student, Université de Montréal August 9, 2012
“If the student strike continues, that will play into the Liberals’ game”. “By prolonging the strike, students are participating in the re-election of the Liberal Party”. These words can be heard everywhere these days: as much from right wing pundits opposed to the movement as from those wearing the red square, be they citizens, journalists, professors or students.
But what exactly does that mean, playing the Liberals’ game?
Josée Legault August 9, 2012
Original French Text: http://www2.lactualite.com/josee-legault/2012/08/09/exit-gabriel-nadeau-dubois/
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is stepping down from his position as co-spokesperson of CLASSE.
In his resignation letter, GND (as he became known during the student strike) sets out his reasons.
“I am leaving with my head held high, with the conviction of having done my duty and of having participated in a historical popular movement,” he says.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, like the other leaders of FECQ and FEUQ, effectively gave a “human face” to the student conflict.