Sunday, September 26, 2010

Andrew Coyne our own Kurt Westergaard?

Anyone remember the reaction to the Danish artist Kurt Westergaard in 2006? It took four years to remind Europeans and the world about the importance of a free society. Are those upset about their festival or cultural icon repeating the same mistake? Will politicians show courage and defend our Freedom to offend or allow public pressure and threats suspend their principles again?
Not my Canada, property destroying thugs
Do we live in a free society and the freedom of expression is not only protected but encouraged? Are we so afraid of criticism that we bow down to the pressure of political correctness?
No, thanks this is not my Canada.
This is my Canada
Andrew and Macleans should be applauded for doing his job, even though I don't agree with many of his opinions. In his article What lies beneath Quebec's scandals.
Freedom of Expression Western Standard?
It is a very interesting time in Quebec. A sitting Premier is testifying about allegations of influence peddling of appointments in the judiciary from on behalf of the Liberal Party from a former high ranking Liberal.
Mr. Bellemare testified before the commission of inquiry into the nomination process of judges that he first warned Mr. Charest of the influence peddling by party fundraiser Franco Fava, a construction entrepreneur, during a one-on-one meeting on Sept. 2, 2003. Mr. Bellemare said he complained about efforts made to get Marc Bisson appointed to the Quebec Court and judge Michel Simard promoted to associate chief justice.

Testimony at Gomery Inquiry
Mismanagement of the Sponsorship Program
  • There was insufficient oversight at the very senior levels of the public service, which allowed managers of the Sponsorship Program to circumvent proper contracting procedures and reporting lines;
  • There existed a veil of secrecy surrounding the administration of the Sponsorship Program and an absence of transparency in the contracting process; and
  • There was a lack of clear objectives, criteria, and guidelines for the Sponsorship Program, which resulted in the sponsorships being used for purposes other than national unity or federal visibility.

A loss of nearly $39.8 Billion in the Quebec Pension Fund, nearly 25% of its total value covering over 500,000 workers did not warrant this much backlash, but a magazine cover and a few articles does?
Apparently Andrew Coyne's decision to flash a spotlight on the problem with money in Quebec politics is causing an interesting spectacle.
Was his prediction to the criticism, predictable? You betcha!
A number of  people have a vested interest in keeping the gravy train moving. A similar outrage by the media opposed to Rob Ford for Mayor has taken place.
..constructive criticism in Quebec, given the francophone majority’s perception of itself as an embattled minority, all too often leads to a closing of the ranks against what is invariably described as “Quebec-bashing.” If from outside, it is put down to ignorance of Quebec’s particularity; if from a non-francophone Quebecer, a failure to identify with the goals and values of the majority; if from a francophone, a traitorous readiness to advance on the backs of his fellows.
If you read the comments critical of the story, they in most cases ignore the evidence of the facts introduced in the story by its author. They in fact launch into an ad hominem attack against the author and his publication.
I'm a native french speaker from Quebec and I have to say that no article with such an adequate understanding of the situation would ever be written in a Quebec media in 200 years.

Quebec's socioeconomic portrait is a bunch of special interest groups fighting for the government treasury, which is understandably the greatest province resource given the taxation level, the heavy involvement of the state, and incredibly high public debt. Anybody who doesn't see that is schizophrenic. And, unfortunately it's pretty much everybody. So how about your next front-page being Bonhomme in a straitjacket.   - Stephane (one of the hundreds of people who stopped and invested their time to write a response on the Macleans blog.)
  1. Allege author and magazine is bashing unfairly (check)
  2. Threats of lawsuit for publishing article  or use of cultural icon (check)
  3. Federal Political Parties are to blame (check)
  4. If you agree with the article, live in Quebec you do not qualify as a Quebecer.  (check)
  5. If you are not born in Quebec, or don't speak Quebec French you are not allowed to criticize on Quebec matters. (check)
This is time to check if we hold true to our principles. Do we support the right for Macleans to be offensive or do we bow down to political correctness?
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