JuicyLesson 163: As an election approaches, I am having trouble making up my mind: PQ or Option Nationale

I intensely dislike – “hate” is too strong a word – the way the election campaign is evolving both as far as commentary and the politicians themselves both go.

Philippe Couillard seems like an intelligent capitalist pig, wouldn’t vote for him if you paid me; the same with the CAQ led by Francois Legault. Couillard seems to be running scared a bit, vascilating on certain issues like the charter of values at first saying something like it would pass over his dead body and now seemingly reversing positions saying that perhaps people in authority – judges, cops, people of their ilk, – should show the state’s neutrality by not wearing any religious symbols whatsoever whether these symbols be of the ostentatious variety or not.

Couillard is obviously reacting to the fact that the majority of people recently polled said that they agreed with the principles underlying the so-called values charter; Couillard is simply going with the flow in this case, taking the anglophone vote for granted here and hoping like hell that the charter doesn’t come to a vote in the near future so that he can say what he believes is the expedient thing without having to either put up or shut up. Screw him. So a vote for Couillard is a vote against rather than for something. He is trying to hold the line as best he can but a vote for the Liberals on 7th April is not a positive vote. We are voting for him for the same reason we supported Bourassa’s Liberals during the 70’s and 80’s, because he was the person around which the “NON” side coalesced.

Same with Couillard. Who’s left? The independantistes including the PQ, Quebec Solidaire, and the Option Nationale and the Coalition Avenir Quebec headed by the ex-separatist, Francois Legault, an ex-Minister of Education in a separatist government not that long ago. Do you trust him? He doesn’t seem to have a solid position on any one issue except to say that he tried separatism a while ago and realized that this was not the right and proper option for Quebec.

Maybe all non-PQ voters should vote for him since splitting the Anglophone vote between the two non-Sovereignist parties only helps the PQ. So if choosing Legault is our only hope on Election Day we have to mobilize the vote en masse. From his appearance on television news yesterday, Legault is not running scared nor does he seem to be using scare tactics; he can afford to attack Couillard for this same behaviour … Ah, the luxury of a party running third in a field of three, at least for the moment.

So now it’s down to the nitty-gritty. I am actually leaning to the left and am contemplating a vote for the PQ or the Option Nationale. Quebec Solidaire presently with two seats in the Assembly, is led by Francoise David who, according to the pundits, distinguished herself quite formidably in the previous election campaign, especially in the debates during that campaign which took place in 2012 only about eighteen months ago. Unfortunately, the other QS seat is held by a guy who is anti-Israel and, therefore, possibly an anti-Semite which would obviously preclude not only Jews but others of open mind voting for a party which calls this guy one of its own.

That leaves me with two choices, short of wasting my vote by casting it either for an independent or a leftist group, even more of a splinter party than either QS or the Option Nationale (ON): these two choices being the ON and the Parti Quebecois.

Which one would you pick?

This week I plan to deal with some of the scare theorists and the tactics they are using to hopefully, according to them, defeat the PQ in the next election – or, at the very least, keep the PQ in a minority position where they cannot do that much damage.

Too bad all those Anglos, including my uncle, aunt, sister, and four cousins all took off since the PQ was elected for the first time in 1976. We could have used their support, as well as that of their progeny. The fact of the matter is almost 200 000 Anglos and others have split the Quebec scene since 1976: what this means to me, for one thing, is that a good percentage of students that I taught in a private Jewish school for around 24 years in Montreal now live elsewhere – Toronto, California, New York, Boston, Van – you name it – and are sending their kids to schools in these places rather than where they were born and brought up themselves.

Just saw Mayor Cordere beside Pauline, top-hat and all for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade saying, quite unequivocally I might add, that he doesn’t want to hear anything about sovereignty and/or referenda, with The Chairman, Madame Mar, right beside him.

Anyway, I have nothing to lose either way. My bread ain’t invested here, I am retired and no longer working in a private school – a job dependent Quebec remaining in Canada. While it is true that housing prices here are likely to take a significant tumble in the event that the PQ gains the seats it needs to form a majority government, these prices are likely to stabilise by the time we decide to sell, if we ever do.

So I am waiting to see what happens. When I decide which way I am gonna vote, I will divulge that here, whether you care or not.

FYI, I voted “NO” in the 1995 referendum while in 1980, I couldn’t decide, even with my job at stake, so I ended up not voting at all in that first 110-word question referendum. I guess, I was feeling more responsible at the age of 47 in 1995 than when I was a youngster of 32 years old in 1980. Plus I would have been given a very hard time by my wife, Lee, if I had either not voted or had I voted “YES” in 1995.

Please remember that the PQ winning a majority government on April 7th, is no guarantee that we will be subjected to another referendum or that Quebec will ever be an independent country.

Think about it rather than reacting emotionally. What could possibly be that horrible?

P.S. Is it just me or does the guy in today’s cartoon look a lot like the founder of the PQ and it’s first Premier, M. Rene Levesque? Yes or no?
Peace out.

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