La Seule Option?

Really? I mean are the Conservatives the only ones bringing us all together? Apologies if my translation/interpretation is a bit off the mark there. I suspect there’s actually more “inside baseball” going on concerning the promise of giving power to all parts of Quebec that, as an outsider unfamiliar with the unique political landscape of that province, escapes me… somewhat.

How ironic. If anything, the Harper Conservatives are one of the most divisive parties that Canadians have experienced in power for as long as I can recall (which, sadly, is getting to be a rather lengthy period of time).

In fact, it’s quite essential to their strategy… pitting one region against another; rural communities against city dwellers; “real” Canadians against the so-called “elites”; and so on. Divide and conquer seems to be their abiding motto as they demographically slice and dice the electorate in their well-funded “war room” and devise newfangled gimmicks that target certain segments of the population with paltry tax rebates for one thing or another.

And I have to say that this notion of being “the only option” is rather condescending. Likewise with the Liberal pitch in a similar vein that if Harper is to be defeated, you MUST vote for Ignatieff and the Liberals.

Personally, I like to keep my options open… I suspect that most people, or at least those who care somewhat seriously about these things, do also. Accordingly, being told that I really have only one choice doesn’t sit quite right with me.

p.s. If someone living in Quebec can provide me with a better understanding of what the message (and subtext) being conveyed in this advert is, I’d very much appreciate being enlightened.



Filed under 2011 Canadian Election, Conservative Party of Canada

3 responses to “La Seule Option?

  1. hitfan

    My first language is French, but I’m not from Quebec, having been born in Northern Ontario. I could not tell you how the rest of Quebec perceives Montreal and vice-versa. Obviously, the Conservatives have been somewhat successful in certain parts of Eastern Quebec where they have been shut out for years before their breakthrough in ’06. The Liberals strongest base in Quebec is Montreal.

    Someone who was knowledgeable about Quebec politics told me that in the Duplessis days, you could tell that those ridings who voted Liberal according to the condition of their roads. It was comical to the point where you could be driving in a nicely paved road in a Duplessis riding and then you arrived at a clear demarcation of dilapidation and potholes on a highway when you entered a Liberal riding. The message was clear: vote the right way, and Duplessis will send you the bacon.

    Political democracy by it’s very nature is about division. It’s not not a polite game of genteel fun. There’s even division and power plays that occur _inside_ of parties where the war is over turf rather than ideology (Mulroney VS Joe Clark, Paul Martin VS Chretien).

  2. I think we’re all familiar with that kind of scenario to one extent or another, where certain areas that are aligned with the party in power are favoured with infrastructure projects, government facilities, etc. and those who don’t vote the “right” way get frozen out of such patronage.

  3. redtory,

    You’re reading well the divisiveness in the ad. I’m not sure about the English usage, but in Québec, when we talk about “regions”, the subtext tends to exclude Montreal… This really really looks like an ad that targets people from Quebec City, where the Conservatives need to defend seats.

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