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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.
Pierre Luc Brisson August 20, 2012
Original French Text: http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/pierre-luc-brisson/education-debat-quebec_b_1811381.html
This morning you will read plenty of analyses of yesterday’s leaders’ debate. Comments on Pauline Marois’ jacket, her haircut and her –too? - sweet tone. On Jean Charest’s arrogant smile, François Legault’s aggressive tone or Françoise David’s performance. Everyone will enjoy dissecting the funny gestures, what was left unsaid, the linguistic twists and turns. But after a two-hour verbal tête-à-tête, with the Moisan report hanging in the air, they debated everything from the number of doctors necessary for our system, to law 10 to their positions toward the federal government, such that there was only one loser in yesterday’s debate: education. The education that 200 000 student hit the pavement for last spring. The education that, in everyone’s opinion, should be THE priority for a society that wants to remain anchored in the reality of the 21st century. It is education, we must remember, that, after the historic conflict that shook Québec’s cegeps and universities, brought on this summer’s election.
A number of questions for the future
No word was spoken on the subject, except for Québec solidaire’s spokesperson’s small overture into free education. Not that health or the economy was a legitimate, important concern either. But after Québec went through a social crisis regarding the university system’s financing and future, it seemed somewhat out of sync for none of the three “principal” party leaders to approach the subject. Yet the stakes are high and largely go beyond the September 4 election. Above and beyond the question of financing the university system, what must be the educational project of our post-secondary system for the coming years? Providing the ultra-specialized technicians that the employment market will need, or concentrating on finding a balance between technical training and humanistic education for the future citizens of Québec? What future will the humanities, often considered “useless” in a world measured by economic performance, particularly in the Anglo-Saxon system, whose most aberrant mistakes we unfortunately tend to imitate, have in the collegial and university systems? What will we do in the face of the multiplication of building projects, universities surrendering to a veritable “client” hunt, and this, without real coordination, from the mouth of the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation itself?
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.
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.