Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MP Maria Mourani renounces separatism, defends believers

I hope she does a 180 on abortion.

I share her sense of Quebec identity. Growing up as an Anglo in Quebec City, I often felt excluded. It wasn't an exclusion of participation.People were not mean to me and I was allowed to do what I liked. But let's just say that Quebeckers talk to each other like people of different persuasions aren't in the room. So Anglos aren't in the room. Federalists aren't in the room. Believers aren't in the room. All kinds of people aren't in the room, except that they are. It's rampant in the mass media.

(And I happen to be an Anglo, a federalist and a believer).

So I believe that there should be no ideological litmus test for being a Quebecker (or Canadian for that matter). 

I appreciate and like Quebec's French culture, the culture we typically call "québécois". I don't want the disappearance of those ties that keep us tightly knit.

That being said,  for its own good, Quebec cannot be a society closed in on itself. Quebeckers often have a knee-jerk reaction to what is perceived as "foreign". So when talking heads want to cast aspersions on something, they mention that it's from English Canada, or another country, or another religion. The message is that its proponents don't really get us. And God forbid your French is not proper Quebec French when you say it...

That closed-in mentality stops people from properly evaluating things for their own merits.

Today the outsider group is religious people. They're spoken of as if they are not in the room.  It would help if believers had their own media, which they don't, but that's another blogpost. Because believers are not in the room, their opinions on religious apparel don't matter. 

That's exactly how modern Quebec operates.

Maria Mourani thinks their opinion should matter.

But today's Quebec is not about examining opinions.

One person who really understood Quebec on this point was Pierre Trudeau. I don't often say a lot of positive things about the man, but he really "got" that Quebec is a tribal society that operates in a sheepish fashion. Opinions there are not changed by dispassionate examination of the facts. Not even close. I realize that other parts of the world aren't completely cerebral either when it comes to adopting different public policies. But the sheep mentality is especially pronounced in Quebec. People change their opinions according to what they think everyone else thinks. So if they think everyone else thinks that religion is bad, they're going to think that, and they're going to talk like believers are not in the room.  

Pierre Trudeau got this, and I believe this is one reason why his motto was "reason over passion". 

That motto never really "sold" well in Quebec, just like much of his attitude.

Maria Mourani is having a bit of a Pierre Trudeau moment. She is understanding Quebec tribalism. 

I hope that someday more Quebeckers stand up and say enough is enough with the sheepherd mentality.