Charte des valeurs québécoises – Round-up

While irresponsible and playing to xenophobia, seems to be working politically for the PQ, particularly among francophones. Early days, and we will see how the debates and discussions play out, but not encouraging.

Sondage Léger-Le Devoir – La Charte relance le PQ | Le Devoir.

A strong opinion piece in Le Devoir by a group of academics noting the exclusionary nature of the proposed Charter:

Nous sommes fiers de l’héritage culturel et politique distinct du Québec. Cet héritage inclut la Charte québécoise des droits et libertés de la personne, qui garantit déjà les droits individuels, notamment l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes ainsi que la liberté de conscience. D’ailleurs, ces principes sont plus que des « valeurs » subjectives : ils forment des impératifs de justice. Il est désolant que le gouvernement tente de porter atteinte à ces impératifs à des fins électorales en attisant des tensions […]. Nous attendons plutôt de nos décideurs qu’ils se fassent les porteurs d’une vision s’appuyant sur notre héritage dans l’élaboration de politiques publiques justes, inclusives et ambitieuses.

Charte des valeurs québécoises – Une mauvaise réponse à un faux problème

And general commentary in The Toronto Star about the Charter, origins and likely impact:

In Quebec, religious ‘accommodations’ debate heats up

And good commentary by Doug Saunders of the Globe and Mail, noting just how counterproductive an approach to integration such a Charter represents:

Worse, though: If we take seriously the goal of eradicating religion from public life, this is a terrible approach. Any smart politician knows that the way to get voters to switch sides is not to insult them for having the stupidity to support the other party. It’s to make your side seem welcoming. This applies doubly in the battle against religious authority: We’re not going to convert people by humiliating and enraging them.

And the non-confrontation approach is working – fantastically so. The past 10 years saw the proportion of Canadians without religion rise by more than 50 per cent, to a quarter of the population; the same is happening in every developed country.

We didn’t make this progress by insulting the religious; rather, we got here by tolerating them and making secular reason appear the more moral and humane option. … The way to win an argument is not by ordering your opponents to shut up. It’s by getting them on your side.

 Quebec’s slapdash bid for secularism doesn’t even work 

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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