OPINION -- Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Right now, Jean-Francois Lisée is a desperate man living on borrowed time. As Bob Dylan might sing, “the waters around you have grown… you’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone. For the times, they are a changin’.”
Lisée is going into this weekend’s PQ convention as a party leader whose job performance has been horrible and he’d better start swimming.
He is clearly not the anointed one to lead the separatists to their date with destiny.
The PQ is sitting in third place in all the polls, lately at a lowly 22 per cent.
Nor are rank-and-file Pequistes enamoured with the boss. Many are angry at his decision to postpone a potential hypothetical referendum until a potential hypothetical second term of a PQ government. Others are miffed at Lisée’s ill-fated attempted seduction of Quebec Solidaire, which wouldn’t even go to first base with him.
So Lisée has decided to take a hard line and to retreat from “friend of the anglo” persona which I didn’t believe for a New York minute. Anglo baiting is always popular sport within the ranks of the PQ.
Lisée’s latest battle horse is going to war against Quebec’s five English CEGEPS in hopes of shoring up his shrinking support.
If elected, he promises he would drain their finances and put an end to what he calls ‘open bar access’ to government funds.
Allowing open access to post-secondary education in Quebec in English is not a threat to French. But the reality doesn’t matter. For the PQ, anglos have always been a favourite whipping boy, like George W. after 9-11, the terror colour code always went higher when his political fortunes waned. So, for Jean-Francois, it’s code orange headed to red in language angst.
What so many language hardliners don’t want to accept is that it’s over.
The language wars are over.
We didn’t exactly wave the white flag, but they wore us down.
Many voted with their feet and now we just fight, not for any kind of victory, but to just maintain what we have.
Lisée may have a decision to make this weekend when the leadership review vote is announced.
Pauline Marois passed the last one with 93 per cent. Bernard Landry quit after getting 76 per cent support.
It would be hard to see Lisée hanging on with anything lower than that.
But there is an election in a year. Would the PQ change leaders now?
Who knows with this gang, which one way or the other is on the road to irrelevance: a weak leader, a weak party, where there the glory days are long behind them.
Road to disaster
And also this week, here’s another example of “what were they thinking?”
Some dimwit at the city decided that the sidewalks on Atwater Ave. could also serve as bike paths. The southbound side is pretty steep, meaning cyclists can pick up speed pretty quickly.
You know that old expression your mom used to say, “Everything is fun and games until somebody loses an eye”?
Same principle here. You would have thought that with all that 375th anniversary money floating around, some of it could have been used to actually make life better for people, like building a proper bike path down a steep hill.
It’s a good question. With e-races, stumps on the mountain, bridge lights and rodeos, you think there would be money for keeping Montrealers safe.
But the answer to that, as my friend Dylan might add, is “Blowin ‘in the wind.”