It was a year ago this week that Quebec voters sent the Liberals to the woodshed and the PQ into irrelevance.
And the Legault Caquistes have never been more popular.
But that won’t last. Voters don’t stay in love forever.
Look at what happened in Ottawa.
The Trudeau Liberals had a heck of a honeymoon but now they are struggling to hang on to power.
Their wounds have been entirely self-inflicted and my guess is that the Caquistes will go down the same road.
The CAQ’s Minority Report
It has not been a good year for minorities.
Legault has stolen schools from the English community without consultation.
He has passed one the most odious laws in Canadian history with Bill 21. And it has given license to the yahoos of Quebec society to go after people who are different.
Standing Up To Racism
Just look at what happened to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh at the Atwater market this week.
Some idiot told Singh he should cut his turban off to look like a Canadian.
Singh replied that diversity is the beauty of Canada. He is right Wouldn’t it be terrible if we all looked the same?
Singh’s NDP may lose many if not all of their 14 seats in Quebec, but I give him high marks for the courage he shows campaigning here and showing what it really means to be a Canadian. And in Francois Legault’s Quebec, it’s not an easy task.
Although his TV ad in French shows a certain brilliance in trying to connect to a Quebecois mentality.
“I’m not like the others,” he says “Like you my identity is my pride”. In other words, I’m just like you. Different and proud.
He has run a decent campaign so far but I fear come October 21st, his fate will be far less than he deserves.
Face a Face
And he held his own in the French leaders debate this week.
Not sure who the real winner was. It didn’t seem to be a good night for the American Andrew Scheer.
Trudeau always seems so scripted and punching above his weight.
The best line of the night though came from the moderator, the esteemed Pierre Bruneau , who asked Bloc leader Yves -Francois Blanchet how many laws the Bloc has passed in its history.
The answer of course is none.
The Bloc continues to be a painful and useless hangnail on the Canadian body politic. Let’s hope Quebecers have the sense to put down this party of ancient and ridiculous grievance.
So long School Boards !
Another goodie from the CAQ is the plan to eliminate school boards.
We knew this was coming . Bill 40 will abolish school boards and replace them with service centres.
At first blush the idea looks half-baked.
Anglos will get some voting rights, francophone parents none.
Although board elections have not been box office hit, for various reasons.
Voting in school board elections has been anemic at best.
In 2014, 4.87 percent of francophones voted in school board elections, 16.88 percent of anglophones cast ballots.
I am not sure where the cost savings will come from in this idea which has become sacrosanct CAQ doctrine.
I think what the government is really trying to do is centralize all education decisions with the Ministry of Education.
I will be the first to agree that we need reform. The governance of the English Montreal School Board is a train wreck. The Education Minister said
“When I say we have too much petty politics at the expense of our children I’m thinking EMSB”
It has been a dysfunctional snake pit of competing agendas for as long as I can remember. I remember as a young reporter covering the meetings of the PSBGM, the predecessor of the EMSB. Barnum and Bailey had nothing on that bunch.
But somehow the English Montreal School Board with all of its issues has the highest high school graduation rate of any public board in Quebec.
So something is working, despite a broken board of commissioners . And it’s probably because of the dedication of the teachers and parents.
Not sure how the CAQ plan will impact that. But like anything out of Quebec these days, ideology tends to gain the upper hand over common sense.