I feel compelled to write about the Quebec election. Not because I think the victory of Jean Charest is something to be excited about. To the contrary; I think the election of Jean Charest is going to be problematic for all of Canada.
I am writing about the probable end of the last vestige of defense for minority rights within Quebec. THE EQUALITY PARTY will be no more, now that its leader, Keith Henderson has officially resigned.
Remarkably, there are those within the English speaking community who are THRILLED with the news that the EQUALITY PARTY is more or less done.
I would be lying if I told you that I could not understand why many within the English speaking community are pleased to see the EQUALITY PARTY go.
They’re happy because the EQUALITY PARTY is a constant reminder to them that they are SECOND CLASS citizens within the province of Quebec. This is very uncomfortable for those who want to live with their heads stuck in the sand.
So, instead of acknowledging the message; just get rid of the messenger.
During the campaign to become the Premier of Quebec, Jean Charest hardly invested a dime or effort in EARNING the English speakers’ votes. As far as he was concerned: the votes of the “Anglos” were in the bag. He was right!
He never once hinted that Bill 101 would be changed to give Quebec’s minorities equal rights. Nor did he ever suggest that the LANGUAGE POLICE would be disbanded. In fact; he gave absolutely nothing to the English speaking community of Quebec. NOTHING!
Nonetheless, the “Anglos” voted en masse for Charest and his Liberals. And in return, the same “Anglos” who have been defended tirelessly by the EQUALITY PARTY, turned their backs entirely on the ONLY people who doggedly stood up for their rights to be equal.
It was no surprise to the EQUALITY PARTY that they were going to be blown out of the water in this election. And there was no great surprise that Keith Henderson would probably step down after the defeat. But; nonetheless, it is very sad that yet another chapter closes in the sorry history of Quebec’s once proud English speaking community.
WHO NOW IS LEFT TO SPEAK FOR THE “ANGLOS”?
Jean Charest made it abundantly clear in his silence, and lack of any effort to EARN “Anglo” votes, that in him, the English speaking community has no friend.
He will pander to “Anglo” big business and banking. He will make himself readily available to Montreal’s pathetic and appeasing English language media. But more than that: FORGET IT!
What the English speaking community that supported the Liberals and derided the EQUALITY PARTY don’t understand in their joy that the Liberals have won, is that they have won nothing.
This election EXCLUDED them entirely. The “Anglos” were less than a side show. And, so as not to make waves, or to disturb the “social peace”, or “language equilibrium” in the years to come, the “Anglos” will become even less than that.
As for the English speaking people of Quebec. They can only count the sum of this election as a loss. They have lost the only voice they had.
When the EQUALITY PARTY first came upon the scene in the late eighties, I was much less than a fan. But over the years, they won me over in spades.
BRAVO for Keith Henderson and his stalwart band of defenders of EQUAL RIGHTS. Their voice will be missed.