Baffled by the Mirror-Image Election

Baffled by the Mirror-Image Election

I hate to contribute to the cynicism many of us feel towards our political class, but sometimes, it’s just inevitable.  This is one of those times.

Remember the 2012 election?  The PQ, allied with a student movement, presented itself as the staunch defenders of civil liberties, in opposition to the PLQ’s direct assault on the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in the form of Bill 78, which curbed both freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

Fast-forward to today.  The PLQ, allied with a student movement, is presenting itself as the staunch defenders of civil liberties, in opposition to the PQ’s direct assault on the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in the form of the “Charter of Values”, which curbs both freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

It’s like the politics of the last 18 months have just been a bad waltz.  You can change which of the partners is leading, but they’re both falling into the same steps.

Still, though, this election hasn’t been short on delicious irony.  The PQ’s electoral promise to cancel the Health Tax (they didn’t) is now being echoed by the PLQ (they installed it barely two years ago).  Meanwhile, former student leader Leo Bureau-Blouin is leading the charge in trying to deny the rights of students to vote, and the PQ is spending this whole election trying to deny that they’re still separatists, diving and dodging at every question about a referendum thrown at them by the PLQ and CAQ.

If the last election was the Satellite Dish Election, then this, my friends, is the Mirror-Image Election.  Left is right, and right is left.  Separatists don’t want to talk about separation, and federalists want separatists to want to talk about separation.  There’s got to be a “in Soviet Russia” joke somewhere in there.

Somewhere in the back of a political science classroom, there’s got to be a playbook of moves and counter-moves, not unlike the gambits and counters that high-level chess players know by heart.  The Queen’s Gamit is answered by the Slav Defense; the appeal to order is answered by the appeal to liberty.  The dance goes on.

I just wish instead of playing to win, our leaders would cut with the games.

Categories: Opinion

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset is passionate about discussing (among other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québécois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québécois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image. He has an engineering degree from Université Laval and is currently a law student at McGill University.

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