What does Quebec need?

This week, I began cleaning my library, just to lighten it. Books have to circulate.

I came across What does Quebec need?a collective essay that I co-directed in 2011. At the time, at the TV magazine BazzoTV, on my set or in the surreal and kitsch space of a Tempo shelter adjoining the studio, I systematically asked this question to my guests: “In your opinion, what does Quebec need? »

Over the episodes, the question has become a ritual. Everyone was waiting for it, preparing for it and wanting to respond. The most common response was: “We need a kick in the butt/leaders/vision.” » There was a sense of urgency in the air in 2011.

We were experiencing the last months of the Charest regime. There was a smell of the end of the cycle, of corruption. Exasperation and cynicism reigned. Not a week went by without my columnists or guests making an outing against this zeitgeist which was paralyzing collective life. Everyone felt that we were at a crossroads.


Jean Charest in 2011

So I decided to do this test, where the same question was asked to around thirty actors in Quebec society, from various backgrounds and ages. What emerges is a Polaroid of the time, of this end of the cycle.

The sociologist Guy Rocher, for example, states that “the fact that we have succeeded in a Quiet Revolution should be such as to give us confidence in ourselves”. Filmmaker Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette: “We must explode cynicism. It’s like intelligent laziness. » Psychologist Camil Bouchard: “We need to get rid of the complaining, which is prevalent in almost everything we do now. » Biologist Claude Villeneuve: “Quebec needs to stop developing through opportunism. » Retired general Roméo Dallaire: “Quebec needs to seriously listen to those who are under 30 years old. » Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, then a young lawyer and columnist at BazzoTV : “Quebec needs the return of public service. There is a price to pay for the loss of pride. »

It appears from the test that we were collectively dissatisfied. Not just disappointed by our leaders, but by ourselves.

Several interlocutors expressed the same idea: something essential to our development is missing. While preparing for the essay, I also asked my Twitter followers the question. The answers poured in, varied, but ultimately overlapping those in the book.

It was 13 years ago. You might as well say a century. The following year, Quebec would experience its maple spring. The Charest government was going to be beaten by the Parti Québécois of Pauline Marois.


Parti Québécois rally on the evening of the election of Pauline Marois, in 2012

Thirteen years. One hundred years in politics, a snap of the fingers on a social scale. Quebec will re-elect the Liberals in 2014, then elect the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) in 2018. What seemed frozen in 2011 will accelerate. We will experience a decade of fundamental upheavals.

We elected the first woman prime minister, witnessed the appearance on the scene of figures from a new generation with the student movement. Québec solidaire, born in 2006, will become more and more talked about, crystallizing the aspirations of some citizens. Founded in 2011, the CAQ quickly presented itself as the voice of consensus and became the ruling party seven years later. An extremely rapid political cycle which seems to be ending soon…

In 13 years, power will have passed from boomers to X and millennials. Society has also become “right-wing”, both in its uninhibited opinions and in its governance. Paradoxically, the left has invested in places of power like town halls.


Demonstration during maple spring, in 2012

Compared to 2011, we are in another world.

Worn down by the pandemic, we have become suspicious of others. We now live in an atomized society. We hardly have any common points of reference. A generation gap has widened. Different groups thrive in silos. Opinions are becoming more and more clear-cut. Fractures and divisions appear on most subjects where, until recently, common ground could be found. The different currents which divide Quebec society operate against a backdrop of cultural globalization, with a worrying indifference.

I look through my 2011 essay and feel this very distant time. But we have both feet in the end of something again. The new political cycle will have been extremely rapid. Something is over, something is beginning. In 2024, at a crossroads, what does today’s Quebec need to plan for the future?

I ask you the question.

I really want to read your responses, dear readers.

Calling all

For you, politically, culturally, socially, what does Quebec need? And why ? Write to me: all answers are good. I will give you news about you, about us, in a future column.

Write U.S ! Let us know your point of view

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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