What val­ues ?

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

The badly for­mu­lated Que­bec Char­ter on Québé­cois val­ues, read Québé­cois vot­ers who would vote for the PQ if…, is one of those ex­cel­lent ideas so badly pre­sented that it makes one won­der if the PQ had not taken a page from the cough drop mar­ket­ing book. It’s page one ac­tu­ally: It must taste bad to be ef­fec­tive.

Rather that talk­ing sim­ply about val­ues, it had to say: Québé­cois, as in Québé­cois vot­ers who would vote for the PQ if…

Sim­ple facts first. The mar­vel­lous idea of forc­ing women to wear a veil comes to us cour­tesy of those hu­man rights par­adises: the Gulf States. It was al­most dy­ing be­fore the Western World dis­cov­ered that the Shah of Iran, who they had placed on an ar­ti­fi­cial throne decades be­fore, was not a nice guy and let the Nice Ay­a­tol­lah Khome­ini re­place him. Those who fancy his­tory will re­mem­ber that the Shah was not di­rectly re­placed by the bearded guy but by a demo­cratic re­former: Shapour Bakhtiar. Ay­a­tol­lah Khome­ini re­placed him and later killed him in Paris.

Then Khome­ini got go­ing. Iran, slowly be­com­ing a Western State (most of the pop­u­la­tion is not Ara­bic), got a real shock by be­com­ing a Mus­lim State, as in true Mus­lim: Ay­a­tol­lah Khome­ini style. Gone was the Paris of Ara­bia, Te­heran was to be as back­ward as Saudi Ara­bia, start­ing with those satanic crea­tures: Women.

But this is not po­lit­i­cally cor­rect to write. Mus­lim women are choos­ing to be veiled…

Rather than in­vent­ing another way of bol­ster­ing its po­lit­i­cal for­tunes, Madame Marois’ gov­ern­ment should have cho­sen the sim­ple way of an ad­min­is­tra­tive di­rec­tive. Doesn’t make head­lines.

And then, invit­ing de­bates, they shut out their only hope with the eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties: Maria Mouri­ani be­ing kicked out of the Bloc Québé­cois. If Mon­sieur Parizeau tries to de­bate, he is called a relic. So is Lu­cien Bouchard and any­one else with any small de­viance from the PQ view.

Yet, the idea of for­bid­ding re­li­gious signs by civil ser­vants at all lev­els is es­sen­tial for a democ­racy. Still, this is not the real de­bate, it’s the sug­ary coat­ing pro­posed by the PQ for its cough drop.

The real and only de­bate, as some of Que­bec’s most re­spected women wrote yes­ter­day, is about women’s place in so­ci­ety. One only has to walk in Mon­treal to un­der­stand what this is all about. Go to the Jean-Talon mar­ket and watch the show. NEVER will you see a veiled woman walk next to her spouse; she’s a step be­hind. Never will said spouse push the baby car­riage. If he has a choice, he will talk with his son rather than his daugh­ter.

And un­less you want to get real sick, don’t go to the Western North End of Mon­treal, near L’Acadie. By the way, this may or may not ex­plain why the Lib­er­als are so against the Char­ter: their main spokes­woman on the is­sue, Chris­tine Saint-Pierre, is the MNA from L’Acadie, the pro­vin­cial rid­ing with the largest con­cen­tra­tion of Arabs in Que­bec. At the fed­eral level, they are rep­re­sented by Stéphane Dion. On this is­sue, the Lib­er­als are as guilty as the PQ of crass vote- get­ting ma­noeu­vers and the CAQ dance leaves ev­ery­one won­der­ing with whom François Le­gault truly wants to have as a part­ner.

As it is pre­sented, the law should be re­tired. But the real de­bate should be en­gaged. Per­mit­ting a fringe of the Mus­lim world to im­pose this ret­ro­grade so­ci­ety on ours is not per­mis­si­ble. Try­ing to get votes on it is ab­ject. Party time: The three ma­jor Vermont po­lit­i­cal were rep­re­sented as in­vited guests of Pro­fes­sor Wil­liam Doyle – also a Vermont State Se­na­tor -at John­son State Col­lege re­cently. (l-r) Repub­li­can Se­na­tor Joe Ben­ning, Doyle, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cindy Weed, P/D and Demo­cratic Party di­rec­tor, Ryan Emerson, talked about cur­rent is­sues and an­swered stu­dents’ ques­tions.

“I was amazed at and im­pressed by the stu­dents’ po­lit­i­cal in­ter­est and knowl­edge,” said Weed, who was also a stu­dent of Doyle’s at JSC be­fore grad­u­at­ing in 2012.

Photo cur­tesy Cindy Weed

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