|The personification of the PQ's ills|
That singular statement "...faire du Québec un pays!" (make Quebec a country!) and half-hearted choreographed fist-pump defines the morass of the PQ right now. With Quebec's stalling economy and aging population, the ace up the sleeve of Pauline Marois was none other than media tycoon Pierre Karl Péladeau, or PKP, as the economic powerhouse that will reassure voters and investors alike that the Parti Québécois is on firm footing.
Unfortunately, his media empire is sagging as Videotron, his broadband company, is essentially subsidizing all his media ventures with the exception of TVA. The Sun newspaper chains have made large cuts in their budgets and remarkably, Sun News remains available for masochists.
This is a man whose locked out journalists for years and is consistently suing his media counterparts. He defends in a court of law the right of journalists to defame others under the guise of "freedom of expression".
His media crusade against the supposed islamification of Quebec society is a concoction that has now fermented into the Secular Charter. Instead of forming a consensus with the other parties, which was obtainable had they implemented the recommendations of the Bouchard-Taylor report, they riled people up with fears of hijabs, niqabs, and burkas. So scoring political points was more important than good governance. Shocking, I know.
In the midst of its collapse in the polls due to PKP's less than inspiring entry into political life, the PQ began throwing accusations voting irregularities in the form of Ontario students that were sprouting out of the ground and stealing our precious election. The Quebec Election Chief explained that no such thing is happening despite wall to wall coverage by Quebecor Media.
If that wasn't bad enough, the PQ's Secular Charter architect, one Bernard Drainville, trots out 89 year old Janette Bertrand, a one time talk show host, to secure votes from, well, it isn't the youth that's for sure. Out she comes with warnings of islamic McGill rich kids that could potentially reserve her apartment complex's pool. Quite possibly the most shameless display of political opportunism since the arrival of Joe the Plumber on the American political scene.
And so Pauline Marois is going into the election's stretch run with condemnation of Liberal leader Philippe Couillard's lack of condemnation of the Saudi Arabian regime. Because why not? It's a strange political landscape when the second debate was deemed a win for the CAQ's François Legault as the quinquagenarian spent a a chunk of the evening railing against imagined veiled female police officers.
Now, remember when higher education was the election topic of choice in Quebec? So how much is education a priority now for the PQ long after Pauline stuck a "carré rouge" on her blouse and clanked her pots and pans on the streets in solidarity with the students? It's number 22 with guarantees of quality lip service and empty promises.
There is one promise on the subject of education she plans on following through on, and that's making sure that anglophones in CEGEPs "master the French language" by reopening Bill 101.