The Righties are coming! The Righties are coming! (And they're speaking French...) -

The Righties are coming! The Righties are coming! (And they’re speaking French…)


So, Réseau Liberté Québec, then.

I saw the group’s spielmail in my inbox this morning and figured it was another sovereignist/separatist/nationalist cabal springing up to protest the Queen, or some such. The first clue that this was something entirely different is the ‘.ca’: no self-respecting separatist group worth his/her epaulettes would ever use such a domain. It’s a mark of the conquest, for Christ sakes.

In fact, RLQ is a brand new righty initiative that aims to favour  the coming together of all Quebecers who share the ideals of liberty and individual responsibility.” There’s some Foxy sounding language in here, including the necessity to “defy the media establishment” in Quebec, encourage “climato-scepticism” and “redefine nationalism”. The thing is set to formally launch in October, with keynote speaker (wait for it) (actually, don’t; it’s not at all that surprising) former Stephen Harper flack Kory Teneycke.

It’s already making itself known. Simon Durivage of Radio-Canada’s all-news network just referred to RLQ spokesperson Joanne Marcotte as “Quebec’s Sarah Palin”. I’ll leave that one well enough alone; suffice to say that Marcotte is a smart, articulate woman whose central belief–that Quebec society simply isn’t tenable, economically speaking–has been endorsed by noted non-wingnuts like Lucien Bouchard and La Presse’s André Pratte. Her movie, Illusion Tranquille, was a rare critical look at the big-government, big-union and anti-English tenets of Quebec society. I won’t pretend to agree with everything she says, but it was refreshing to hear the sound of a Quebec filmmaker not preaching to the choir.

There is a considerable conservative vote in Quebec, one largely orphaned since the near-complete collapse of the ADQ. Maybe these people are coming home to roost. Or to be loud, proud and organized, at the very least. Interesting.

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The Righties are coming! The Righties are coming! (And they’re speaking French…)

  1. Well there's certainly a federalist vote in Quebec, and also a conservative vote….but is there enough of an audience for a combined conservative-federalist vote?

    • They used to all vote Liberal.

      • That was my point. Are all the federalists now willing to vote conservative?

        • EMily asked:
          "That was my point. Are all the federalists now willing to vote conservative? "

          I think perhaps, that the Federalists who prefer not voting for Corrupt Liberals may be willing to do so.

  2. I'm under the impression that any potical entity preaching the importance of "individual responsibility" in Quebec will be either shouted down or ignored entirely. I think you'd have more luck as an organization that stressed "government responsibility". Such an organization would win scores of fans advocating for a government agency to do your grocery shopping and walk your dog.

    "Should personal shoppers and dog walkers be available only to the rich? Should one's freedom from mundane tasks be determined by the size of ones bank account? Not in a society that prides itself on equality! Not in my Quebec!"

    • Yep, Quebecers are pretty much a demographically undifferentiated bolus of drooling Maoist state-slaves whose Pavlovian collectivist reflexes make Raoul Castro look like a libertarian. I guess those shots of anti-Central Canadianitis vaccine you took before departing Wild Rose country are starting to kick in, real hard.

      Got a little history quiz for ya, framed by your sense that Quebec utterly lacks a heritage of personal responsibility: when expensive, fiscally unsustainable socialised health care, invented on the prairies by a party founded mostly by Albertans, was pushed onto the national agenda by Lester Pearson, which two provinces opposed it? Would the answer be "Ontario and Quebec"? Yeah, it sure would.

      Some more recent history. In what province did the first Supreme Court challenge to the state's monopoly on health care take place? Would the answer be "Quebec"? Oh, you bet.

      Frankly, I was rather disappointed that no freedom-lovin', raw-meat-eatin' Albertan ever sought to challenge that monopoly in open court. I guess we can just chalk it up to the knee-jerk Albertan commitment to "government responsibility", presumably unchanged from the days when the Albertan Ginger Group virtually invented Canadian socialism and, helped by our Saskatchewan brothers (who now drown their guilty consciences in a slavish fealty to the CPC), spread it across the nation in order to drag us benighted reactionary Central Canadian hordes out of the 19th century. Thanks for that, by the way.

      • Some more recent history. In what province did the first Supreme Court challenge to the state's monopoly on health care take place? Would the answer be "Quebec"? Oh, you bet.

        I suspect that had a little to do with the rugged individualism of a québécois libertarian streak… and a lot to do with Québec's socialized medicine disarray being in even worse shape than most other provinces' socialized medicine disarray.

        • I guess one can always locate rugged individualism and libertarian streaks in phenomena lying outside the people who seem to carry them. For example, I've always suspected that a little place called "Leduc" and the consequent massive deluge of American capital had just a little something to do with the genesis of rugged Albertan individualism, which had, up ‘til then, not been a conspicuous component of the Albertan character.

          Now, Manitobans—they were legitimate bad-asses.

        • I think you're right. There are emergency rooms that cannot be staffed due to lack of doctors. The worst wait times in ERs across Canada are in the Outaouais region, with wait times of 18 hours on average in some hospitals. Their disarray exceeds the disarray everywhere else.

          • Don't forget S-C-F….

            Quebec hospitals are so busy with labour disputes, the nurses don't have time to do basic sanitation or hygiene.

            Why do you think Quebec patients catch C-difficile and other bugs so much more often than patients in other provinces?

      • First of all, I didn't say that Quebec has no "heritage of personal responsibility", in the sense that if you look back far enough, all modern groups have a "heritage" of personal responsibility. Second of all, Quebec has throughout history opposed national programs and federal intrusion into areas of provincial jursidiction, so the implication that they opposed the nationalization of health care on the basis of some commitment to individual liberty or opposition to universal health insurance is unsupportable. Indeed, Quebec had universal hospital insurance before Lester Pearson was PM (although later than the other provinces). Also, a stout Albertan patriot named Bill Murray did challenge Alberta's laws, although I'm not sure what ever came of the suit.

        And fourthly of all, I would have levied approximately the same critique against any Canadian jurisdiction, although my gut tells me (and my brain doesn't disagree) that the phenomenon is most acute in Quebec, where raising your child is a state responsibility and hiking tuition rates to approximately half what the rest of Canadians pay is sound reason for a riot.

        • …that they opposed the nationalization of health care on the basis of some commitment to individual liberty or opposition to universal health insurance is unsupportable…

          Quebec opposed the program on the basis of a commitment to provincial liberty, which is how personal liberty tends to masquerade in this country, including in Alberta (perhaps especially there).

          Quebec had universal hospital insurance before Lester Pearson was PM (although later than the other provinces).

          You're correct, though a little coy. In fact, Albertans (at least 90% of them) had virtually total medical coverage by 1950, through the Medical Services (Alberta) Incorporated, apparently quite determined to beat Saskatchewan in the race to make the government take away “personal responsibility” for the provision of medical services.

          I'm not sure what ever came of the suit.

          Obviously nothing. Perhaps Mr. Murray (loved him in Groundhog Day) lacked Mr. Chaouilli's rugged, individualist perseverance.

          I would have levied approximately the same critique against any Canadian jurisdiction…

          …east of Manitoba…

          …where raising your child is a state responsibility…

          …though no one has yet reported seeing agents from the Regie de La Garderie Nationale breaking down doors and snatching infants out the arms of mothers who wish to stay home to raise their kids.

          …[and] where… hiking tuition rates to approximately half what the rest of Canadians pay is sound reason for a riot.

          ..whereas the healthy, Albertan reason to riot is to bust up the Blue Mile real good in order to mourn an Oilers loss (or celebrate an Oilers victory).

          • Provincial liberty can lead to more libertarian policies in more libertarian polities (hypothetically Alberta) and communitarian policies in communitarian polities (stereotypically Quebec). It's not inherently liberty enhancing, so I'm not sure what your point is.

            And yes, Alberta was confused in its youth. Nice to see that we've grown up to be the provincial valedictorian, become gainfully employed, raise a fine family, and make enough to make charitable donations to the rest of the country every year. Canada should be so proud of our achievements and thankful for our continued support.

          • Alberta was confused in its youth.

            And expensive. Don't forget expensive. I can't recall the Eastern bastards getting any "thanks" for putting in all that pre-Leduc coin. Then again, none has ever been asked. That would be graceless.

            Funny how American states never ask for thanks from other states for being, well… American. I don't recall London and the Home Counties ever asking the provinces for thanks, or the former West Germany asking the former East Germany to thank it. I guess the notion of expecting thanks for submitting to the humiliating, demoralising travails of being vested with the citizenship of an advanced Western nation just seems a tad silly to everyone but us.

            Canada should be so proud of our achievements…

            I'm certainly proud of all those dinosaurs that were kind enough to die and rot beneath the soil of your fair province; they've helped us out a whole bunch. Wish I could send them all a nice fruit basket.

            I'm also rather jealous that so few of them chose to die beneath the soil of my fair province—otherwise, you would have had a reason to be proud of and thankful for me. Curses.

    • You might want to consider hanging around better-informed impressers.

      • The problem is getting them to agree to hang out with me.

        • (For the record, though I will continue to harangue you from time to time when I think you're way off-base, I'll never really be able to hold it against you since I relate so intimately to your self-deprecating humor.)

  3. Joanne Marcotte: "Le Québec et le Canada n'offrent pas suffisamment de diversité dans l'offre médiatique et que nos élites médiatiques nous ennuient à nous casser les oreilles d'idées reçues (promotion d'une société égalitariste, social-démocratie, primauté du débat fédéraliste-souverainiste)".

    I'd say she's bang on about the élites médiatiques, particularly in Quebec.

    • The media goes with what sells.

    • Whoa. Hold on there pardner. Wait just a wheat-and-barley pickin' minute…

      You learned to read French? Just what kind of Albertan are you? Did you grow up within 4X4-distance of the one Albertan school board that offers French immersion? Cool. But the beatings at recess must have been just brutal… ;)

      • He's likley Metis.

      • You're absolutely right – I learned French in Calgary in the eighties and nineties! No beatings at recess, because the other kids were also stuck in French immersion. In fact, tens of thousands of grade school students in Alberta (roughly 6%) are currently enrolled in French language programs offered by more than a hundred schools throughout the province. The more you know…

        Sorry if I shattered any stereotypes. ;-)

        • Sorry if I shattered any stereotypes.

          No, you're not. ;)

          Now, go ahead. Tell me you make your own candles, subscribe to The Walrus, and enjoy sitting down with a tisane and the latest Atwood or Ondaatje. It's OK. It's safe. I'm sitting down.

          • I've never made candles or subscribed to The Walrus, but I've read Atwood and Ondaatje. (Don't worry, I've never paid for an Atwood book, thanks to Calgary's excellent public library system). I've even read books by Ignatieff – in fact, one of the books currently on my reading shelf is Blood and Belonging.

            Also, my own mother is a devoted Catholic, a loyal NDP voter and a Maude Barlow aficionado.

            I hope you haven't fainted.

          • Heh. My grandmother, who prayed the Rosary daily, routinely voted NDP.

            I guess the only way to put one's Christianity into electoral action in this country is to vote for the officially agnostic socialists or the practically agnostic Objectivists. Both choices are doubtless somewhat sinful.

          • May I suggest the Christian Heritage Party?

          • We Anglo-Catholics are enjoined not to vote for religious enthusiasts, I'm afraid—which I think a wise and humane injunction. Surely you know what Saki said of the over-ambitious proselyte: "The earliest Christian gets the hungriest lion". I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt on my unworthy behalf.

    • You mean like the The Gazette columnists? Those from La Presse, Le Droit, Le Soleil and other Gesca? Like Nataly Elgaby and Facal and JJ Samson and whoesle from le Journal de Montréal / de Québec?

      Seriously, Marcotte is out to lunch. Not ignorant, mind you: off the rails, in denial, the works. Her critics basically apply to two media entities: Radio-Canada and Le Devoir. That's it. Other than those two (and Rad-Can aren't exactly the most obnoxious or intellectually dishonest and nobody reads Le Devoir), who would you say Marcotte's description apply to?

  4. Mesdames et messieurs! Votre prochain premier ministre du Québec: Maxime Bernier!!!!!

    • Considering the one he brought at Rideau Hall for his ministerial swearing-in, imagine the plastic knockout he would have at his side at his prime ministerial swearing-in!!!

  5. "Say you don't care about climate change, or say the economy is more important, but "climato-scepticism?" Really? "

    Agreed. I think Cons/cons have been woeful explaining their beliefs and this type of half-assed attempt at taking a position is not at all helpful.

    As my grandfather was fond of saying, 'say what you mean, mean what you say'. If all political parties, msm and other political types used that adage to guide them, politics would improve immeasurably.

    • But how else do you say that AGW believers are out of their tree? It would be nice if there were a word for it. I don't like the use of the words denier or skeptic, because both words turn the tables on the issue. Those who don't believe something outrageous should not be labeled a denier or a skeptic, they should be labeled a conformist or realist.

      • "But how else do you say that AGW believers are out of their tree?"

        You say it like that. No one talks like this – climato-scepticism – except for a few partisans. Speak english and get rid of consultant speak.

        I was raised on diet of Orwell.

        "But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."

        "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

        • You do not say "AGW believers are out of their tree" because saying so marks you as an ignoramus who thinks political ideology is more important than facing scientific reality. As long as Conservatives are also deniosaurs, they will be seen as Stupid Conservatives.

  6. You're not supposed to mention Le Journal de Montréal on Patriquin's blog. Remember when they ran that "Maclean's se moque de Jacques Parizeau" story, including a front page headline?

    • Remember? I went toe-to-toe with the faux-outrage in the comments section of his blog post! Ironie délicieuse… Ah, good times…

      I think the bigger deal is mentioning Patriquin's name on a French-language web page.

  7. Having made note of the earth-shattering creature, perhaps your natural reporting
    instinct might lead you to follow the moneeee ?

    • It's not going to be involved in politics, I don't think there's big money influence behind this.

  8. Maybe they meant Clamato-skepticism… mmmm.. Clamato..

  9. Bah, that'll show me for reading after I typed..

  10. Joanne Marcotte Quebec's Sarah Palin ? Excuse me but comparing Joanne Marcotte to

    Sarah Palin is like comparing Stephen Hawkings to dumbo the elephant.

    She has a very pertinent blog:

    go see for yourselves

  11. Hawking

  12. This is what happens when a people or race starts aging- it becomes conservative, scared, xenophobic and really whiney.

    This is what is happening in Europe, the US, Australia and Canada as the majority white race gets old and starts dying off. You see this in Europe with the Islamaphobia, in the US with the Tea Baggers and their 'anti-black' and anti-'illegal' Hispanc movement. Now in Quebec.

    What's next, Jesus Freak Francophone evangelicals whining about the 10 Commandment displays and 'War on Christmas'?
    Yawn. I'll just wait for the old Cons to die off in about 10-15 years!

  13. Its time someone stoood up to the fascist government of Quebec that robs us dry. Remember USA had 80% tax rate before reagan and it was not enough.