PQ: The initials stand for “Beatles Fan.” No, really!


The embarrassing little episode where Paul McCartney’s Quebec City concert drew complaints because he’s British and so were Quebec’s conquerors drew so much attention in the rest of the country that it’s worth pointing out that Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois is still dealing with the damage that stance caused her party.

Now she’s warned her caucus not to take sides when depositing petitions at the National Assembly, because it was just such an action that caused three of her caucus members — Martin Lemay, Daniel Turp and Pierre Curzi — to decide complaining about McCartney was a brilliant idea. A caucus rule urging neutrality with regard to petitions seems a bit circuitous; Marois could simply have reminded her MNAs to try a little harder not to be cretins. But at least in Turp’s case, that counsel has long seemed particularly hard to follow.

Anyway. My point here is that it wasn’t all Quebecers, or all francophones, or all Quebec City residents, complaining about a Paul McCartney concert. Far from it. So far from it, in fact, that the few who did complain have suffered lasting political damage. Because in general, as a rule, anywhere you go, most people aren’t silly.


PQ: The initials stand for “Beatles Fan.” No, really!

  1. I thought the ‘controversy’ illustrated how void of ideas the PQ were. I think the PQ has won significant battles over the past 40 years and there is not much more it can do. I don’t believe Quebec will separate and Francophones have been integrated into Canada society. Only minutiae remains to be fought over.

    I read the Le Devoir article, thank you Google Translate, and I don’t understand what petitions are. Are they similar to private members’ bills?

  2. These were the type of people that drove Bouchard out of the party, but I get the feeling even some of the PQ diehards were feeling a bit embarrassed about the whole thing, the criticism was so stupid that I wouldn’t even taint the PQ with it, just the three dopes who proposed it. As for petitions, its the same word in English, its a statement signed by any number of citizens and sent to the goverment; usually the MNA/MLA/MPP/MP receives them and presents them to the legislature. They are pretty common there is usually 15 minutes or so a day set aside in the legislature to allow the members to present the petitions.

  3. Thanks Jim. I knew what petitions were in the general sense but assumed they were something different in Quebec. I thought they were an important part of the political process in legislature because of all the attention it received. Didn’t realise it was only a few cretins trying to drum up some publicity.

  4. Definitely a P.R. disaster for the P.Q. This wee teapot tempest will probably do some good in the end, since it demonstrated to all thinking Canadians (of every ethnic extraction) the small-minded peevishness that motivates chronic grievance-peddlers.

  5. The problem with Pauline and her dwarfs is not that they are sorry for what Curzi said… they agreed with those opinions. It is the result of the whole thing, the fact that they were seen for what they really are, ethnocentrist and mean, that mortified them.

  6. When Marois became leader it was widely assumed that she could more than hold her own in any upcoming election. I guess it didn’t occur to some that she’d actually have to perform as leader first.

  7. I am still fascinated to see how happy and excited some canadian journalists are when some marginalized fools in Québec say stupidities.

  8. Since when are three elected members of the Parliament of the Nation of Quebec considered to be marginalized fools?

  9. Curzi and Turp hold critic positions in Marois’s shadow cabinet and would, one can reasonably assume, hold cabinet posts in a Marois government. So calling them marginalized fools is only half right.

    But it’s true that the McCartney business got more coverage outside Quebec than it really deserved. I’m pleased that at Maclean’s we concentrated on other aspects of the 400th-anniversary celebrations (and, in fact, there’s more to come).

  10. The man wrote “Ebony and Ivory” and “The Dog Gone Girl is Mine” and they complain about his nationality???

    The PQ should just be grateful that McCartney doesn’t buy the entire province and turn Quebec City into a seal sanctuary.

    Somewhere, the ghost of Mordecai Richler is laughing his ass off.

  11. Perhaps the notion of neutrality on petitions could extend to the House of Commons (where they also exist), or better yet be rid of the practice?

    “Mr Speaker, I present a petition from 157 residents of my constituency of Moose Defecation-Beaver Dam, Alberta declaring that gay marriage causes lower wheat yields…” etc. etc.

  12. I don’t think these guys are idiots or bigots, but ever since the last election the ADQ and the PQ have been competing for the “nationalist” label. There just seems to be something about this topic that brings out the worst out of politicians, suddenly turning reasonable and sensible people into intellectually challenge polemists.

    You got to understand that these guys recall with nostalgia those Lévesque or Bourassa speeches about referendums, constitutional negotiations, the lake Meech accords, etc. Now, they’re down to obsessing about Paul McCartney, girls warring hijabs at soccer games, and what to do in the totally hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario that a woman would want to vote with a burkha.

    Put yourself in their shoes … you can’t help but feel small … it’s sort of sad in a way.

  13. Since when are three elected members of the Parliament of the Nation of Quebec considered to be marginalized fools?

  14. Nice to see there is this sort of incredibly dumb behavior in other parts of the world and not just here in the US.

Sign in to comment.