Some people who read my blog don’t live in Canada or even north America, so I was thinking of what it would be like to describe the Political situation of Quebec to someone who is, let’s say…starving in Africa? Or how about a little girl in China who has to get up and work for 12 hours in a factory to make our shoes? I realize everything is relative, but can we really ignore how petty this province is being anymore?
I long ago hung up my political spurs. I don’t even entertain whitty banter at dinner parties any more. I do not talk politics, because I stopped caring. Long ago, it all seemed so petty, the people were so fake, the language so was hypocritical. I didnt see much good in the political arena for a long time, so I voted myself out of having that in my life. That is up until this week.
Quebec is the only province in Canada which is designated as a French province. Back in 1759 in a 15 minute fight, English won the war and the french stayed pissed off. Ironically, my direct ancestry is actually some of the first families that were sent to “New France” from France itself. Actually I think mine were of the Filles du Roie (the Girls of the King) who the women sent to populate the country. I am serious breeding stock! So frankly, I have as much right to this frustration as any “pure laine Quebecker”, and PROBABLY MORE than most. However, I am one of those “fall in the cracks” Quebeckers. I identify more with the anglophone community in my heart- having been raised in the west end of the island and sent to English schools. But my name is about as french as french gets. Sometimes when I speak with “Pure Laine Quebeckers” they make fun of me or ask with petulance how come I have an ENGLISH accent. By the way, Pure Laine means french Quebeckers who don’t speak a word of English and give you shit for having an English slur when you speak to them in french. In English it simply means “pure wool”. Did you know about 60% of english is derived from french already?
As an indivudual, I am not particularly attached to being anglophone – Actually I’m not really attached to being Canadian either. I used to be, but my thoughts have become allot more global as I read and learn more, so I have decided to be just Jo – Citizen of the world. But even with that, I have to be conscious and responsible that the culture I spend my life in properly represents my moral values – which Quebec no longer does for me, and tomorrow I may find out I am in the minority in my beliefs in this place. So, obviously I don’t think I would not be ME if I wasn’t a Quebecker – unlike my francophone confreres who treat their french identity as though it were the only thing that makes them who they are. What disturbs my sleep though is that slowly and over time the franco culture here in Quebec has become so insular in its thinking, that it now has exploded into full out racism. They have even made racism policies legal LEGAL. Unbelievable. For example – We aren’t allowed to have ENGLISH on our store front windows. All signs have to be in french. We cannot educate our kids in the language we choose, french is mandatory. As I write these things that, if you live here you may take for granted but I am still picturing those people in countries with REAL problems and how they would percieve all of this ridiculousness.
This government have even gone as far as to lower the bar with a crappy reform and dumb down the English kids through the school systems. They have continued to lower the funding to English schools and increase them to the french school boards for many years now. In the school where I substituted for 5 years, some of the kids were using science textbooks that were 5 and 6 years old at the time and I STILL see kids using them from that school. This is unreal to me. There is an emphasis in the school system on sending English kids to trade schools while a huge push was effected in the french sector on getting more kids, not only through high school but through Cegep and University. Why isn’t anyone doing anything??
Why…because anyone is US. WE aren’t doing anything.
Well..here’s what we CAN do:
Voting for Pauline Marois, whether you are francophone or anglophone is sort of like handing a robber your gun. In the end, these people take something from you.
I know that voting seems like a pretty small deal, and really (statistically) it kind of is. But even more important is the intention and energy you place behind going to the polls. We have to vote in UNISON…together, or else the vote will split and she will win a minority government which will render her both ineffective AND dangerous all at once.
I want to see a new kind of politics emerge. A politics of compassion, and love. Of doing good. Of stopping the bullshit. Of getting rid of people like Pauline Marois and yes…Jean Charest too. I think even he is tired of his own bullshit. We are ALL looking for this…!
I think we really saw the beginning of it with the appeal of Elizabeth May and her Green Party in the Federal Elections. I get a real sense that finally people are looking for a very different direction in our choices as a society. This waste of time Parti Quebecois is only a deterrent from the very real fact that we need to be much less concerned with protecting a culture which will only be destroyed if some of the critical issues facing us globally and environmentally are not addressed by us all.
WHAT WE FOCUS ON GROWS.
FOCUS ON CHANGE. FOCUS ON ACCEPTING EACH OTHER. FOCUS ON UNITY.