The Parti Quebecois has always played politics on the backs of minorities. For them, the identity issue is bread and butter.

You can easily draw a line to today from October 30, 1995 and what was perhaps the most offensive political speech in Canadian history from then premier Jacques Parizeau.

“C’est vrai on était battu par l’argent et la vote éthnique. Essentiellement…”

Money and ethnics were blamed for the defeat of the separatist dream.

In other words, “les autres,” the others. People who are different. People who don’t come from old stock pure laine genes.

Later that same night, then-finance minister and future premier Bernard Landry yelled at a Hispanic hotel worker, telling her “it’s because of people like you that we lost the referendum.”

The PQ Charter of Values underscores what the PQ is and has always been.

The mentality is us versus them. Ethnic nationalism coupled with separation is and always has been its raison d’etre.

Simply put, many if not most in that party do not want us here.

The message is being heard and it may be working. In an unscientific CTV Talkback poll this week three-quarters of respondents say they are giving serious thought to leaving Quebec.


Mourani did the right thing

You have to give Maria Mourani credit for shoving politics aside and doing the right thing.

I don’t agree with much Madame Mourani says but she is right when she argues that the Charter divides the population and stigmatizes certain communities.

Is this the kind of society we want, where there is no room for dissidence, where you get fired because you don’t agree?

At the end of the day it’s not about secularism, because smaller religious symbols would still be allowed.

The religion police would no doubt be put in charge of determined what is considered ostentatious and what is acceptable.

This is not the way the PQ had pictured this all unfolding.

It’s heartening to see that some of the most stinging criticism is coming not from foes but from their friends. Maria Mourani. Michel Rivard. Dan Bigras

But the Charter was not designed for Montreal voters. It is a manufactured crisis designed to win support in the regions.

Frankly I do not believe this will ever be voted on in this legislature because the PQ does not want it to pass.

It wants to make this nonsensical idea an election issue. It will argue that there exists a clear and present danger to the Quebec identity.

It will spend millions of dollars of your money in promoting its vision of tribal nationalism.

If it senses an election wind blowing in its direction, you can be sure we will be called to the polls.


Quebecers among poorest in the nation

And the news that got buried this week.

Stats Can reports Quebecers, among the poorest people in the country, are least likely to own their homes, and their incomes are rising slower than other Canadians.

In the province which lost more than 40,000 jobs since the PQ came to power, and struggles with high taxes, language tension, corruption and political uncertainty, the government is playing a classic game of three-card Monte.

With its focus only on the next election and the stinging memories of October 1995.