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By Peter Stockland, For The Calgary Herald October 29, 2010 8:14 AM

 

 

As usual, Calgary author Ezra Levant said it best without perhaps fully appreciating the significance of what he'd just said.

 

"The average age would not be 25 for a right-wing event in Alberta," Levant told about 500 conservatives gathered in Quebec City last week for the founding meeting of the Reseau Liberte Quebec (Quebec Freedom Network). "I feel like an old man."

 

Levant spent 75 minutes last Saturday morning delivering his trademark snappy patter on the horrors of human rights commissions, the grim litany of threats to free speech in this country and the evils of acquiescing to the "fascist theocracy" of militant Islam.

 

Yet, it was his ad lib exit line on the youthful composition of the audience, and his own relationship to it, that stood as his most compelling observation.

 

Only 14 years ago, after all, Levant was one of those mid-20 somethings at Calgary's Winds of Change conference, which he helped organize with David Frum.

 

Ultimately, the Winds of Change set in motion the generational shift among Canada's conservatives that the Quebec Freedom Network hopes to stimulate in la belle province. Out of the Winds conference, a whole crop of 25-year-olds stepped forward to ease their elders aside and reunite divided conservatives. Just so, the under-30s in Quebec City may be the force to shift Quebec society in a direction it desperately needs.

 

No one would pretend the 1996 gathering in Calgary, like last weekend's meeting in Quebec City, was anything but a tentative first step. It took a decade of false starts, electoral disasters and wound healing for fractured Canadian conservatives to forge an effective coalition within Stephen Harper's Conservative Party. The time frame is a realistic one for conservatives in the Quebec Freedom Network to keep in mind if their end is power and not just talk. The Quebec network's long-term goals remain unclear. None yet knows whether it will be a Tea Party North talking shop, seek to re-energize the troubled Action democratique du Quebec provincially, or help create a new political party.

 

Still, as with Winds of Change, there was an unmistakable feeling of something significant having begun in terms of organizers' stated ambition of shifting Quebec's political dialogue from the insular polarity of sovereigntist-federalist disputes to the left-right axis conventional in modern nation states.

 

As political philosopher Frederick Tetu told the audience, the binary proposal of either sovereignty or federalism has left zero space or energy to debate the kind of economic renewal Quebecers desperately need.

 

Discredited socialism remains entrenched within Quebec because the fixation on federalism versus sovereignty has left no time to challenge the left-nationalist orthodoxy that only the state can protect the nation.

 

Maxime Bernier, the Conservative MP for the Beauce region south of Quebec City, pointed out the poisonous paradox that after 50 years of debate, and two torturous referendums on "the national question," Quebec is economically weaker and more financially dependent on Canada than when sovereignty first emerged as the primary political option.

 

In fact, he argued, the "two nationalisms of Canada and Quebec" have reinforced each other in a codependency relationship that was toxic to the economic growth and genuine autonomy of the province.

 

"Successive governments in Quebec have undermined our autonomy by demanding more and more from the federal government," Bernier said. "They want independence, yet they are more dependent than ever."

 

Quebec, he said, need only insist on respect for the autonomy it's already guaranteed in the Canadian Constitution. The result would be a Quebec that regains legitimate constitutional autonomy within a united Canada, thereby allowing Quebecers to see their fellow Canadians as compatriots, not threats.

 

Such talk naturally affronts the left-nationalist orthodoxy that created and sustains the so-called Quebec model of omnipresent state intervention in both economics and culture. In what has become de rigueur behaviour for Quebec's intellectually exhausted leftists, a handful of them responded by trying to disrupt the Freedom Network gathering, dumping manure on the front steps of the hotel where it was held, scrawling slogans in a washroom and conducting a noisy protest.

 

Here, however, Levant again stepped out as the unrealized embodiment of the shift in Quebec that those behind the Freedom Network seek to represent. The unilingual Calgarian, called upon to address an audience that was almost unanimously francophone, tossed off his telling observations and trenchant one-liners entirely in English. And no one batted an eye.

Fifteen years ago, there would have been showy walkouts, or at least audible hissing, had a Quebec political movement been kicked off by a speech from a high-profile anglophone unable to speak French in Quebec City.

 

Last Saturday morning, though, they applauded even when Levant asked such pointed questions as: "How did Quebecers forget their lineage of freedom?"

 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if a group of 25-year-old Quebecers, inspired by winds of change coming from Calgary, reminded their political class of the true meaning of the motto je me souviens?

 

Peter Stockland is the Montrealbased director of the Cardus Centre for Cultural Renewal and a former editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald

© Copyright © The Calgary Herald

 

Hmmm interesting :goodvibes:

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This is a really great turn of events. Of course, it will all come down to whether the ADQ (or another right-of-centre party) could take power. So far, the emergence of the political right is pissing off all of the usual suspects, so it has to be a good thing!

 

Some more good press for La Belle Province.:

Quebec's Mike Harris moment?

 

Tasha Kheiriddin, National Post · Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010

 

Getting 450 right-wingers to spend a sunny Saturday in a dark hotel presents a challenge anywhere in Canada, never mind in left-leaning Quebec. But this past weekend, the fledgling Reseau Liberte Quebec (Quebec Freedom Network) succeeded, no arm-twisting required. At $25 a head, their event, La droite s'organise (The right gets organized), sold out two weeks early, packing a room on the outskirts of Quebec City with people eager to bring small government to a notoriously big-state province.

 

The meeting inspired quite a reaction from those who, to put it politely, don't share their views. The day before, local union leaders held a press conference to denounce the RLQ. Saturday morning, someone dumped a load of manure on the steps of the hotel. By lunchtime, 20-odd protesters had convened on the opposite street corner, chanting socialist slogans. The women's bathroom was defaced with the words, "RLQ=fascism."

 

Detractors were incensed by the discourse of Sun Media columnist Ezra Levant and Quebec City radio host Jeff Fillion, who expounded on the need for more right-of-centre media. lawyer-writer Adam Daifallah and yours truly -- talking about how to build a conservative movement encompassing think-tanks, youth groups and environmental organizations focused on property rights -- also attracted criticism. Scary stuff for the left, indeed.

 

At lunch time, the politicians took the stage. This was supposed to be Conservative MP Maxime Bernier's show, and for most of the mainstream press, it was. Subsequent news reports focused on his speech and the enduring mystery of his cross-Canada tour. Namely: Why hasn't the PMO put the brakes on this guy? Are his pronouncements really trial balloons for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's secret thoughts?

 

Mr. Bernier delivered a strong speech on the need for "positive nationalism" in Quebec. By this, he meant a return to respect for Canada's constitution and its original division of powers. He

 

repeated his recent call for an end to the federal government's incursion into areas of provincial jurisdiction, proposing a "third option" to bridge the federalist-separatist divide.

 

But the surprise star was lesser-known Quebec politician Gerard Deltell, leader of the Action Democratique du Quebec (ADQ). He brought the crowd to its feet with a fiery speech that called on Quebecers to affirm themselves through "responsible" nationalism and economic freedom. He decried separatists for coupling nationalism with big-government policies, which have rendered Quebec more financially dependent on Canada than ever before. Mr. Deltell then outlined his vision of a "have" province that fully exploits all its resources -- including environmentally-controversial shale gas--instead of constantly denouncing rich people and wealth creation. On the thorny question of language, he called for Quebecers to be bilingual: Instead of fearing English, they should use it as a means of accessing global economic opportunities.

 

Strong stuff -- and the right medicine for what ails la belle province. Quebec is encumbered by record debt and deficits, crumbling infrastructure, sky-high drop-out rates and a failing health care system. It needs to stop obsessing about government-based "solutions," language politics, and handouts from Ottawa; and focus on making money instead of finding ever-more creative ways to redistribute it.

 

The 450 people meeting in Quebec City aren't the only ones who think this way. A recent QMI poll indicated that 30% of Quebecers would vote for a hypothetical centre-right party, without a name or a platform, led by two former Parti Quebecois politicos, Francois Legault and Joseph Facal.

 

The ADQ also has a golden opportunity. Mr. Deltell is hardly a household name, and he heads a party reduced from 41 to seven seats in the last provincial election, under former leader Mario Dumont. But his style and substance bring to mind another underestimated leader: Ontario premier Mike Harris in 1995.

 

If Mr. Deltell can deliver his Saturday stump speech to every community in his province, as Mr. Harris did in the year leading up to his big win, Quebec's political elites might be in for a big surprise. One thing is certain: With the Reseau Liberte Quebec stirring the pot and Mr. Bernier spreading the small-government gospel, the ADQ leader is in good company. Now it's up to the Quebec right to live up to the event's slogan -- and get organized.

 

[email protected]

Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/Quebec+Mike+Harris+moment/3726531/story.html#ixzz13mfwZP4s

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On avait pas besoin d'un Tea Party.

 

Mais comme tout medecin va te dire, le the est bon pour la sante!

 

A recent QMI poll indicated that 30% of Quebecers would vote for a hypothetical centre-right party, without a name or a platform, led by two former Parti Quebecois politicos, Francois Legault and Joseph Facal.

 

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:rotfl:

 

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Edited by Cyrus
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Great news for Quebec! We definitely need a tea party type movement here to get the high spenders, high taxers, and mega wasters out of office. At least here, opponents can't falsely claim racism... :-) they'll have to look for other insults that distract from the real issues.

 

it-doesnt-matter-what-this-sign-says.jpg

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Un bon exemple de propagande droitiste de Pier-Karl Péladeau. Quand t'en es rendu à appeler ça un "parti de centre-droit" (bref, mentir), c'est que t'as un désir immense de rallier la population (majoritairement ignorante) derrière une cause anti-syndicaliste, anti-impôts et anti-taxes qui ne lui rapportera qu'à lui. L’hypothétique parti de François Legault est un parti de droite, point final. Je pense que c'est Mario Dumont, lorsqu'un journaliste lui avait parler de l'ADQ en la qualifiant de "centre-droit", il avait interrompu tout de suite l'interlocuteur pour lui dire que c'était un parti de droite et que le "centre-droit" était un euphémisme pour rassurer les Québécois.

 

Par contre, on hésite pas à dire que le Parti québécois est un parti socialiste, ce qui ne rassure pas du tout la population ignorante, parce qu'on sait tous que le PQ couche avec les syndicats, ce qui nuit à la richesse de notre PKP national.

 

Si vous ne comprenez rien à mon message, ce n'est pas grave. Ça fait trois versions différentes que j'écris pour essayer d'être plus clair, et je ne suis pas capable.

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Great news for Quebec! We definitely need a tea party type movement here

 

No we don't! I'm gonna be patient with this movement. I want to hear everything they have to say before I sign-up with these people. I don't want some religious fundamental freaks(like the tea Party) in my backyard.

 

If this "movement" is a right wing movement (with regards to the Québec "model" and economy) then I am all for it. But if they start talking about some batshit crazy religous freakshow crap like outlawing abortion and gay marriages, then I'll do all I can to stop this party.

 

Like I said numerous times, I am on right with regards to fiscal policies, but not on social issues. I like the idea of having 7$/a day daycare, and I also like the idea that our post secondary education is very inexpensive. But we have to come to the conclusion that we can't afford both. Let's be reasonable and decide which we want to keep. Cheap education or cheap daycare. We obviously can't afford both, so let's cut the other one.

 

Quand t'en es rendu à appeler ça un "parti de centre-droit" (bref, mentir),

 

Pourquoi dis tu que c'est un mensonge? Penses-tu que ça se pourrait que tu sois rendu TELLEMENT à gauche, que même si un parti est légèrement à droite, tu les considères commes des extrêmistes de la droite religieuse comme aux USA. Crois moi, ce parti n'arriverais même pas aux chevilles des groupes de la droite Américaine. (ex: Le tea Party) Nous avons tellement de choses à régler au Québec, que ça commence à en être inquiétant.

 

Ça fait 45 ans que le Québec est au ralenti, et trop de gens à la gauche ne semble pas s'en préoccuper. Peut être que tu es un Baby-Boomer, et tu t'en fiches du fait que les prochaines générations paieront des taxes à n'en plus finir pour payer les dépenses de Boomers, mais moi ça m'inquiète.

 

Le Québec vit au dessus de ses moyens, et tout le monde s'en crisse. I"Bof, c'est pas grave, on paiera l'épicerie avec la Visa!"

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Faudrait etre completement stupide pour s'imaginer implanter une vision alignee avec celle du tea Party au Quebec...

Francois Legault n'est certainement pas stupide et il est issue du PQ...

 

On a besoin de pragmatisme et de leadership en politique au Quebec afin de prendre les decisions difficiles qui s'imposent.

Appareil gouvernmental plus performant, adhesion syndicale volontaire, laissez la place au prive ou ca s'impose, etc...

---> le tout dans l'optique de gere la dette et d'offrir les services auxquels ont tient chez nous: education, sante, etc.

 

M. Legault n'a meme pas parle d'une seule de ces politiques et il n'a meme pas de parti forme... (Il a recu des appuis importants par des gens que l'ont pourraient qualifier de pilliers de l'economie du Quebec - des gens qui tiennent notre economie debout et qui nous permette de vivre comme on vit...)

 

On vote par elimination au Quebec depuis 2 ou 3 elections.

On a besoin de vrai sang neuf.

On a besoin de gens qui comprennent ce qui se passe dans la realite des choses (economiques surtout) et qui sont pret prendre les decisions difficiles.

Le fait que les sondages le positionneraient tres haut dans les intentions de vote est clairement revelateur...

 

J'ai vraiment hate de voir comment ce mouvement va evoluer.

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