Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The political insane asylum that is Quebec

I grew up in Montreal, but I haven't lived in the city--or the Province of Quebec--since 1991.  Still, I have family and friends there, so I maintain an interest in the place.  For the life of me, I truly don't understand the linguistic insecurity of the French-speaking majority, the result of which has been oppressive, anti-democratic measures employed by even the so-called "federalist" (i.e., they don't want to dismember the Canadian Confederation) political party (The Liberals, for those keeping track).  The overtly separatist party, the Parti Quebecois ("PQ"), doesn't hide what it is, and as a result of that, we have the bizarre spectacle of so-called language police running around the city of Montreal citing people working in retail outlets for the horrific crime of saying "Bonjour/Hi!" to store customers.  Worse yet, the PQ has promised much more in terms of restrictive legislation if it wins the provincial election scheduled for April 7.

I must be weird this way, but it seems to me that if you want to call yourself a truly democratic society, everyone should have the same rights.  In other words, a person should be able to speak the language that they want, when they want, and where they want.  If they want to put up an English-language business sign, that should be fine, too.  It may not generate much (if any) business from the French-speaking majority in the province, but that's the problem of the business-owner.  It should not involve the government.  I really don't understand why so many non-French speakers accept being treated like second-class citizens in a place where many of them have lived for (in some cases) hundreds of years.  It boggles the mind.......................

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