What else is going on in the world?

Ron Resnick (rresnick@dialogosweb.com)
Tue, 01 Sep 1998 05:23:21 -0400

Yes, there is other news in the world. Here's a smidgin of
currently topical Canadiana.

Don't the PQ ever learn? You'd think they would after Parizeau's
little fiasco in 95. Above all else that's wrong with the PQ,
their apparent misunderstanding of the "one voter, one vote"
basis to democracy is most concerning. Of all the forms of
"lying with statistics", election-rigging is amongst the most
odious. Having the government-in-power repeatedly attempting
to do just such rigging - in a sustained & repeated fashion -
only highlights the historic wimpiness of the ROC.

> Landry's remarks condemned
> PQ politician calls up ethnic minority vote
> By Sandro Contenta
> Toronto Star Montreal Bureau
> MONTREAL - Setting the level for a referendum victory higher than a
> simple majority vote would give Quebec's ethnic minorities a veto over
> independence, the province's deputy premier says.
> That's something the Parti Quebecois government
> can't accept, Bernard Landry said yesterday.
> Landry noted that in the 1995 sovereignty referendum, the Yes side
> narrowly lost even though 60 per cent of francophones supported
> independence. He calculated only 10 per cent of Quebec's ethnic
> minorities voted for sovereignty.
> ``Ninety per cent against you is something,'' Landry told CKAC
> radio's Paul Arcand.
> ``If we take that into account, everyone knows very well that if we
> put the bar too high, it's like giving a right of veto to our
> compatriots - brothers and sisters from the cultural communities - on
> our national project. That can't be done,'' he said.
> Groups representing Quebec's ethnic minorities were quick to denounce
> Landry's statement, comparing it to former Premier Jacques Parizeau
> blaming ``money and ethnic votes'' for the 1995 referendum loss.
> ``So I'm not a Quebecer again,'' said Athanasios Hadjis, vice-
> president of the Hellenic Congress of Quebec, which represents
> some 80,000 Quebecers of Greek origin.
> ``Implicit in Mr. Landry's statement is that the votes of members of
> cultural communities in Quebec are somehow different from votes
> expressed by anyone else in Quebec, and that's unacceptable,''
> he added.
> ``We've heard this in various forms in the past and we're tired of it.
> To point again to cultural communities as a barrier (to sovereignty)
> is to try and create divisions in our society,'' Hadjis said.
> Dorothy Zalcman Howard, chairperson of the Canadian Jewish Congress,
> Quebec region, called Landry's statement ``a form of shameless
> demagoguery.'' After reading a transcript of Landry's interview,
> Zalcman Howard accused the deputy premier of ``resurrecting the old
> and worn distinctions between old stock Quebecers and other
> Quebecers.''
> ``His comments certainly show a disrespect for the democratic process
> and suggest that he is bringing back a kind of ethnic nationalism
> perspective in the debate,'' she said.
> ``He's suggesting that there are two classes of voters in Quebec and
> their votes are of unequal value, which is completely intolerable.''
> Told of Landry's comments by reporters, Premier Lucien Bouchard
> appeared annoyed.
> ``I'm not trying to say things like that,'' Bouchard said as he toured
> a school in Laval.
> Landry has been in hot water before with Quebec's ethnic minorities.
> The night of the referendum loss, a hotel worker of Latin American
> origin said Landry walked up to her without warning, assumed she voted
> against sovereignty, and verbally blasted her.