Living in Quebec sure has its advantages. The Province is home to the REAL North American devil's playground: Montreal. Also Quebec City, who's combination of coziness, beauty and rich history is unmatched by any city on the whole continent. Quebec is also home to the Montreal Canadians (best dam Hockey team in the history of the sport), the Formula 1 Grand Prix, summer festivals like "Just for Laughs" and The Jazz Festival. Combine all that with drop-dead gorgeous women, Molson beer and maple syrup, from the long range Quebec looks like some kind of utopia.
But once you begin to dig into Québec politics. The province takes a nasty turn to modern day version of hell on earth. The threat of separatism notwithstanding, the province is facing some real dangerous challenges.
You have the demographic time-bomb
(Its estimated that by 2025 there will be 2 able bodied workers to one retiree), a mounumentous provincial debt
totaling over 100 billion dollars (due to lavish social spending), Public Sector Unions whose actions and demands border on extortion
and a foreign policy outlook that can be easily spun into Fidel Castro worship. (Americans are pig headed Imperialists!).
In short, Quebec is the socialist experiment whose Revolution Tranquille
outcomes have brought its economy and demographics into a vicious cycle of decline. But what's worse in all this is that those who are advocating for modern-day Political and Social change have no voice.
The Action Democratique, Quebec's right-leaning provincial party is limited to a handful of seats in the provincial legislature and doesn't qualify for an official opposition party (despite receiving 20 per cent of the popular vote in the last election). Artists, actors, musicians and academics , all of whom are government subsidized, are made up entirely of radical separatists, Che Guevera admirers, Michael Moore worshippers and late-sipping socialists (Quebec Conservatives and Libertarians call them "La Gauche Caviar
Why does the Radical Left have such dominance over Quebec society? Well...the short answer lies within the French-Language mainstream media. Editorial boards, Media Figures and News Directors are well known to be staunch status-quo defenders. And whenever a movement comes along which challenges the status-quo is immediately demonized and repressed (as we've seen in the case of CHOI FM
). The idea of a political debate usually takes form with a rabid communist on one side with a social-democrat on the other. Resulting in a kind of leftist strangulation of the news and political debate. If your not a pro-soverignist, pro-union or anti-American. Chances are the Quebec media will have nothing which can represent your views.
But within the past few years, Quebec Conservatives and Libertarians have taken advantage of the internet to help break this strangulation, much to the horror of the liberal-left elite in this province.
Let's go through some of those alternative media sources:
Everybody knows "Le Quebecois Libre"
, the only web magazine in Canada that is 100 per cent, take no prisoners Libertarian magazine. Every two weeks, the site releases a string of articles that slice and dice old socialist myths, advocates greater individual liberty and responsibility, calls for an unrestricted Free Market society and offers commentary on modern day events from a Libertarian viewpoint. And with writers such as Martin Masse, Pierre Lemieux, Paul Beadry, Mathieu Bédard
and Bridgitte Pellerin
(who now writes for the Ottawa Citizen
), you can be sure that this is not a site for the weak hearted Grit or Dipper.
Some right leaning Quebecers have taken advantage of the blogsphere as well, and believe you me, if I had to give ONE argument in favor of bilingualism, it would be for people to be able to read and understand the writings of Laurent
(though fortunately he blogs in both English and French), Jonathan
(Notwithstanding he's a Leafs fan :p), Xavier
or the mysterious guy behind Kébek
Their writings are MUST-READS for those who are interested in the developments in Quebec Politics. ALL outstanding bloggers with an amazing writing style. (Something about Right-Wing talking points done in the French Language that just makes their posts fascinating, to me at least).
But the most interesting kind is the most recent phenomenon:Internet Radio!
Yes, without the CRTC breathing down their necks, or the anal News Directors editing their content, some right-leaning Quebecers have taken the airwaves in hopes of elevating the political debate in Quebec. All these stations are 100 per cent independent, created through the efforts and financial resources of the individual normal, everyday working Joe's behind these stations.
A Montreal Based internet station animated by former Montreal City Councilor and ADQ activist Jean-François Plante (Laurent talks about him here
). Plante's show usually consists of phone interviews where he speaks to other like minded individuals (Vincent was on the show a couple of times) about recent developments in the Quebec Political world. His style is ardent, but respectful to opposing views. He brings with him political experience, so much of what he says usually carries clout. Basically, he rants in a much more respectful manner.
There's no charge for listening.
: The rotwiller of Internet Conservative radio based in Quebec City. Now unlike Plante, this station is downright vicious to everything that's Left Wing. From Monday to Friday, 9 am to 12 pm, Ismael Trépanier and Jonathan Bouchard (both in their 20's) rant away slamming the repressive government intervention in our daily lives and hammer away (in a very extreme and personal manner) the politics of the Bloc Quebecois, The Liberal Party, the NDP, and the Parti Québecois. However their Conservative views tends to be restricted to fiscal policies. More or less of the South Park Conservative
The station has apparently had some very good success reaching a large audience, and the guys are planning to open an office in Calgary sometime soon (at least that's what they said in their e-mail to their viewers).
Their is a membership fee to access the archives, however you can listen to the show on the same day for free (provided you register for free).
3. Radio Pirate
: Jeff Fillion is back!! One year after he resigned from CHOI FM due to a witch-hunt by the Quebec Political and Social elite, Fillion comes back with his own internet radio station, where he is expected to animate his own show (with several music channels). If you want to know more about why Jeff was censored by the CRTC, please refer to this
article by Frederic Têtu in the National Post at the time of the CRTC announcement.
Now if there's any reason the Quebec City region became fertile ground for the Conservatives, its because of this guy. Fillion for years blasted away the ideology of the Left and most specifically the Parti Québecois. He was an ardent defender of the United States and Israel, and slammed the Unions and the pacifists whenever he could. All that in mind, he managed to average 410 000 listeners weekly! (if you want a comparison, Rush Limbaugh averages 200 000 in the entire US market).
The best part is that the CRTC is absolutely powerless to censure or punish him through the net. And Jeff will have a free hand in getting his message out.
Their is a registration fee you must pay in order to listen to Radio Pirate, 5.99 per month. I already signed up, and if your bilingual, I strongly urge you to do the same for the short term.
Will all this activism revive the old "Bleus"? Who knows. But one thing is clear, the left no longer has monopoly of thought in Quebec.