Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Il y a du place en mass dans mon jacuzzi - Quebec Election 2014

[I was going to link to Gens du Pays on You Tube, but the nastiness of the comment thread stopped me, I don't what to stir that pot...we need each other too much. So I went with Radio Radio]

It's time progressive Quebeckers start showing the world a better way forward.

The awful Quebec election that saw ugly nationalistic and cultural divisions flare up in a way we'd not see in almost two decades is over with a massive Liberal Majority and the all but collapse of the Parti Quebecois.

Pauline Marois and her advisers took Quebeckers down a dark path and she's been served her head. Thirty years of public service will now be forgotten.

I really didn't like her, I thought her fanning the flames of ethnic nationalism was evil, her arrogance revolting.

But I'm a progressive. And a federalist. And while I'm proud Quebeckers rejected this incarnation of the Quebec nationalist dream, Liberal business as usual is not acceptable and the question of federalism vs separatism, living together or living apart needs to be addressed head on. It's not going to go away and to let it fester is a recipe for disaster.

So there's work to be done on the ground.

I'm lucky - I live in Montreal in the middle of Projet Montreal and Quebec Solidaire territory. It's a bit like Fantasy Island

(google it, younguns) - a mixture of successional immigrant communities, artists and professionals. People inclined to try out new ideas.

I worry sometimes that it's an artificial island - that our collective good fortune makes our situation so different from other communities that initiatives that work here are not translatable elsewhere.

But you work with what you have.

I feel it's time to redouble our efforts to demonstrate what a vibrant, ecologically sound, culturally inclusive and politically engaged community looks like. What is possible.

The number of individuals and groups doing inspiring things is growing all the time. I've not started a local list, but I've started a global one. A jumping off point for hope for the future.

This election is a clarion call for action. Divisiveness leaves us weakened, and individuals and groups licking their wounds are not capable of taking the kinds of actions all human societies need to to confront the challenges of the 21st century.

So get planting, building, renovating, teaching, learning, playing together, whatever - find something to keep moving forward. Grow a garden on your balcony, do stand up at a senior's centre. And do not despair.

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