And what they said there simply floored me. I remained standing, but in astonishment, when I heard almost word for word what I had heard 35 years ago, when the Parti Québécois was elected for the first time as a majority government under René Lévesque
Without any shred of what can be called evidence, the pundits on that TV news show kept hammering down the “financial instability” that would surely result from the election of the Parti Québécois; of houses losing their value
; of nervousness, even fear running rampant in the English-speaking community; of people and corporations preparing to flee
(as if Québec had become another Syria); of English-speaking people’s fundamental rights being threatened (despite all historic proofs to the contrary); or of a generalized “English exodus
”. One guest of that English TV station kept repeating, and repeating, how terrible it would be if the PQ, now in a minority government, could still maintain itself in power with the help of the two elected members of Québec-Solidaire.
Frankly, it was very easy to think that the world as we knew it was ending, that we were on the brink of some disaster
, the nature of which we had never seen before. But wait, I said to myself, while regaining some composure, what the heck are they talking about? The Parti Québécois is not a new party; it has even formed a majority government
in Québec more than once before, and would you know it, the world has not stopped spinning. So, I asked myself, what’s going on here, what is it that is driving these pundits to declare suddenly that we’re on the brink of disaster if Pauline Marois
is elected Premier?
Was this an allergic reaction on the part of political and community leaders and spokespersons who now realized they were again losing control over the conquered? Or was this an incontrovertible sign that men – and women – are still very much afraid of having a woman as leader?
I don’t know. We’ll never know.
One thing we do know, though, is that later on that evening, while the peacefully and democratically elected Pauline Marois was giving a speech, a 50 year old man went over there with a rifle and a gun and apparently shot and killed
one person, while yelling “The English are rising up”. (CORRECTION: the suspect has been identified as businessman Richard Henry Bain, 62 years old).
Pundits and some others in the media need to calm down, right now.