Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Democracy II: Revenge of the Killer Democracy

Can I remind Chantal Hébert that the only viable parties in Québec during the 2004 Federal Election were the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals? Who both supported same-sex marriage! She says in today’s Toronto Star “In the last election, more than 80 per cent of Quebec voters supported parties that did not oppose same-sex marriage.”

I love the clunky use of negatives here. Very concerted, clearly. Because she knows it would be a stretch to say: Québec voters supported parties that supported same-sex marriage (much less: Québec voters supported same-sex marriage). For while Québec is, apparently, one of same-sex marriage’s staunchest supporters, the full number of its opponents there cannot, I repeat cannot!, be accounted for by the 17.3% of Quebecers who did not vote either Liberal or Bloc in the last federal election. 'Spretty obvious what was going on there, I think. Unity was the primary and overwhelming issue for Quebecers in the last election (as it has been since time immemorial and, indeed, will go on being) and they either voted for the Separatists or whomever the (now long-established) governing federal party at the time was. Didn’t matter which party it happened to be, only that odds were clearly in its favour. If you didn’t want the country to fall apart you’d be an ass not to vote for them.

And while I’m impressed at the apparent inviolability of principle of the 17.3 who did not vote for either the Bloc or the Liberals, I do wonder what the hell they were thinking. However, were it not for this otherwise too-credulous and politically backward few, Ms. Hébert’s means of determining support for same-sex marriage in Québec would’ve yielded a cool 100% “of Quebec voters [who] supported parties that did not oppose same-sex marriage.” But I guess that would’ve been too much; too obviously fiddled with.

(And will someone please tell her that not every sentence of her column need be a paragraph of its own. Every time I read her I feel like I’m being shot at with a blunderbuss.)