[Opinion] The pride of a resigned people

Defining pride is a surprising undertaking. Anyone who, struck by its ubiquity in Prime Minister François Legault’s speeches and aspirations, would like to know what it means, would be very surprised to discover the definitions given in dictionaries. Where Little Robert tells us she is a “arrogant attitude”, the larousse lists them as synonyms “beautiful, pride and vanity”. When our prime minister tells us he wants to “make the people of Quebec proud”, is he telling us that he wants to make us arrogant, proud and vain?

Undoubtedly, Mr. Legault and his CAQ troops are more focused on giving Quebecers a sense of self-esteem. By wanting to be ‘creators of pride’ they no doubt want to straighten our spines in the face of the disdain, it is said, of English Canada. But it’s not clear that pride is something like the economic value Mr. Legault holds dear, is created so easily. You don’t get proud by “proud!” to call. just like we don’t find a sustainable and fair economy by throwing money here and there on the polls of the moment. To be proud, you have to be proud of something.

As we are on the cusp of a decisive election, at the time of the balance sheet let’s ask ourselves what the CAQ has done that we can be proud of together. It is certain that we will not find anything like it in the day-to-day political management of our nation, in these multiple small investments that our government is proud of in its list of “104 changes that prove beyond any doubt that the CAQ keeps its promises”. ( She is even twice satisfied with her boss!) No, pride and esteem seem to require something more important, more structuring, more durable: something that we can say without cynicism that we will remember and that above all will carry us forward.

When we ask the citizens of Quebec what they are proud of, exactly those things come to mind: the creation of Hydro-Québec and its massive dams, the introduction of the defunct solar map, free access to public education,” Law 101 “, the creation of the CPE network, and so many others. We are justifiably proud of these achievements on which our future is built. What does the CAQ offer us? Has she done anything about that, she who is so proud?

Some might be tempted to point to the recent update to Law 101. But this isn’t just a renovation, it’s still too weak to achieve the goals it sets itself. If the CAQ’s ambition was to make Quebecers proud of the lifeblood of their language, it must be admitted that this ambition is weak and the resulting pride can only be fearful and fearful.

Still others might suggest the controversial “Law 21” recently lifted over independence, such as great bonus Quebec nationalism. It is not certain that we will find many who, if the artificial fears aroused by the “crisis” of reasonable accommodation have calmed down and looked at the progress made, still be able to take it as a cause for pride. judge.

Can we really be proud of a principle for the management of relations between religion and the state? However, the identity vein seems to be paying off: so let’s play the election on the pride of talking about immigration!

In reality, when we observe what the CAQ offers us, our reasons for pride are reduced to a trickle. The only large-scale project that this government is proposing to us is a financial and environmental debt, called the third link, which is intended to satisfy a handful of motorists in the Capitale-Nationale region. A big solid cylinder at the bottom of our river, is that cause for pride?

No, really, it’s hard to see the creative projects of pride and esteem carried by Mr. legal. And yet many, and the majority among French-speakers, are Quebecers who are content with their government today and who, in four short months, are preparing to renew this complacent pride of junk for a second term. What has happened to us that, in all clarity, we can be proud of so little? Since when do we confuse pride with resignation?

And the daring?

Perhaps it is there, the root of the evil eating at us: we are a people who have resigned themselves to tirelessly repeating the same present. We have lost the taste for risk – no doubt we have become too rich, like those third generations of great bourgeois who, ignorant of the efforts of the first, squander their inherited fortunes in all laziness and enjoy them. But we don’t even create: we just consume and repeat.

Finally, it is possible that this collective resignation explains why the only two parties who in all objectivity carry a real social project, the Parti Québécois and Québec Solidaire, are so low in our sad polls. As Bernard Drainville said about independence, Quebecers are “elsewhere”. But since when has politics in an energetic, forward-looking nation been reduced to slow following the lack of dreams of a majority saturated with its gifts?

Barely three years after the failure of the 1995 referendum, I, like many members of my generation, have known only a tired and gloomy Quebec. Admittedly, I was told about the Silent Revolution in school, but I never experienced this great fizz of possibilities and dreams that they say was going on at the time. If a generation has to step down, it has to be mine. Still!

But you who have lived and brought this place to the new magic, how do you justify today massively satisfying yourselves with a resigned pride? Was the Great Darkness so comfortable that, giddy at the magnitude of the task you had inaugurated, you would rush to take refuge in the arms of a prime minister who promised you, with garish checks, that everything will be all right? at the right? Where is this daring that would make you so proud?

On October 3rd, in a campaign that promises to be fierce, let’s at least hope the Quebecers have a little memory.

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