If you can't throw shoes at Charest... - Macleans.ca

If you can’t throw shoes at Charest…


Amir Khadir, Quebec’s second most popular NMA, once threw a shoe at an effigy of George W. Bush. The Iranian-born doctor is co-leader, with Françoise David, of Québec solidaire, a left-wing party of which he is the sole elected member. He isn’t as divisive as you’d think:  Gerald Deltell, leader of the rightist ADQ, once told me that Khadir was one of the MNAs he most respected, ideological differences be damned.

Since the shoe-chucking incident, which he performed in front of the U.S. consulate in Montreal, Khadir has limited himself to subtler forms of advocacy. Apart from his work in exposing the rather cozy relationship between the Quebec Liberal Party and members of some of Quebec’s leading engineering firms, Khadir has taken a shine to the humble internet petition. Since August, he has launched petitions on the National Assembly website calling for, among other things, “an immediate halt to gas exploration in the golf of St. Lawrence, baie des Chaleurs, Anticosti and the Magdalen Islands” (5165 signatures); “adequate funding of community kindergartens” (1257 signatures); “a rebalancing of the powers between city hall and the boroughs” (402 signatures). Khadir is responsible for six of the 11 petitions on the website.

This week, Khadir hit his stride. His petition dated November 15th calls for the resignation of none other than Premier Jean Charest. They list several well-known sore points: the refusal to call a public inquiry into the construction industry; a refusal to put in place a moratorium on shale gas exploration, and a refusal to negotiate, “despite the opposition of the majority of the Quebec population, the orientation of the government and in the measures contained in the 2010 budget.”

Khadir and his petition co-sponsor, 18-year-old a high school student named Anthony Leclerc, hoped to get 100,000 by February 15, 2011. The pair is well on track, to say the least: last night, they had roughly 28,000 signatures; currently they have 81,487. Er, 81,885. Uh, 83,068. (Coincidence or not, the site keeps crashing.)

Poor Charest. Even the internet hates him.


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If you can’t throw shoes at Charest…

  1. A public inquiry into the consturction industry is one of the most overrated ideas.

    What the hell is the point of getting people to testify in a public inquiry that will produce no results other than giving immunity to the people who should be jail. Public anything is highly overrated.

    • A public inquiry can be a goof follow-up to police investigations. Then you don't give immunity to people who should be in prison *and* you put a light on something the public is worrying about and come at the end with recommandations that governments should apply.

      What this shows, more than anything else, is the amount of disgruntlement of the public. That lonly liberal, with no-one willing to help him pass the motion for a debate on the necessity of an inquiry may very well become known as the moment the Charest government jumped the shark.

      As for "public anything is highly overrated", in this case I think not. The FPJQ did a fairly interesting review of journalists and municipal affairs and the amount of secrecy is simply worrying. This is public money being spent and there is, far too often, simply no way for the citizen wanting to know what's happening to actually access any info.

      Transparency is important, I think. I guess this is something we'll have to agree to disagree on.

  2. "..of which he is the *sole* elected member…"


  3. What's wrong with shale gas?

  4. Khadir is a crypto communist islamist who appeals to Quebecers softer compassionate side. I find it very ironic that he was elected by the “gauche caviar“ who inhabit the Plateau. Put him in power for a mere 5 years and watch out Castro !

    • Indeed Daveyy, I'm quivering at the thought of a Khadir dictatorship of Quebecers' softer compassionate side… Why, he might *gasp* increase social spending! Quelle horreur!

      • don't hold your breath et 6 % in the polls, there not about to take over, less than 10 % of their lectors have never paid income tax, no wonder there in such a hurry to increase taxes

  5. I voted for Amir Khadir and I am ashamed of this, particularly because of his recent boycott of a small merchant of St. Denis street because they sold shoes manufactured within the legal boundaries of Israel (from Tel-Aviv). Khadir probably uses Israeli technology daily, in his software and cell phone, but instead of targeting a large company with some power and influence he targeted a small Quebecois merchant on a street where tax-paying businesses supporting his salary have been struggling for the past few years because of increasingly high rents. I would love to see this politician spend time on issues of provincial concern, including increasing funding for women's shelters and employment programs, animal welfare, education and an ailing health care system that kills people with aspergillus and c-difficile infections, rather than distracting the population with PR campaign-moves about issues that are beyond his political jurisdiction. It is inappropriate and a distortion of what his role is as a provincial politician.

    Shame on this politician for targeting a small business rather than a big player, and distorting the spirit of what are le