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Trudeau and la Loi 21


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With just a few terse words Justin Trudeau managed to vex and infuriate the entire province of Quebec by puzzling comments linking hate attack in London (Ontario) to Loi 21 (Quebec). The entire political spectrum of Quebec condemned comments of the Prime Minister. Journalists used terms like bizarre and outlandish.

Certainly attacks on innocent civilians, bystanders are not excusable and must be condemned by anybody of conscience regardless of political and any other views. But why bringing outlandish, non-defensible by any objective argument connection (Ontario has more hate attacks than Quebec; recent discoveries in residential school in BC)? And why now?

Really it's not easy to understand the logic here. If there was ever a chance of a majority in a fall election this looks like a perfect emploi to shoot it down or in the foot. Who knows. But to me it looks like another symptom that Canada is not working. Serious discussions of important matters to the society are no longer possible. It is not clear who decides and determines the policies and how. For a long time now it is not elected representatives by a closed and not always known circles and groups with little or no accountability. There are no checks, balances, accountability or even complete information to the society. This quality of management of public matters may not be a good sign in the complex and dynamic environment of this century. Is anyone concerned though?

Edited by myata
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I think most of the problems we’re having now result from a lack of trust due to lack of community connection.  Each side of a debate, right or left, Québécois nationalist or federalist, takes an extreme position and tries to lock it in because few people believe in compromise or reasonable consensus.  When people feel powerless and alienated from the political process they either disengage from it altogether or disrespect the process entirely.  We end up with racist attitudes or ridiculous attacks on Canadian institutions without recognizing that a healthy democracy requires open debate and compromise. Strange that on the one hand we have some Indigenous and Muslims, for example, who feel mistreated and marginalized at the same time as we hear Quebecers or multi-generational Canadians saying that they don’t recognize the country they grew up in and that they feel disrespected and disenfranchised.  I think this happens when any one side is allowed free reign to tell everyone what to think.  The toppling of statues of Canada’s founders is unhelpful for this reason.  It shows no perspective and fails to see the good in these people, as there most certainly was in figures like Ryerson.  People feel that their opinions don’t matter because the loudest, brashest voice is allowed to dominate and tell everyone else how it is.

Robert Putnam talked about how when people stop getting together and building relationships, social currency is lost.  We just went through a pandemic where everyone retreated to their immediate families, and most people probably clung to people who looked and sounded as they do in their extended families and ethnic communities.  That’s not how to build social cohesion. The pandemic restrictions have been unhealthy for many reasons.  The level of distrust in a country with a typically high level of social harmony relative to other countries is concerning.

Edited by Zeitgeist
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27 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

When people feel powerless and alienated from the political process they either disengage from it altogether or disrespect the process entirely. 

Well yes, what's the point of a discussion if there's no way to feed it back to the government and effect actual visible change? Only those who have direct interest i.e. paid for making a show of a discussion are interested while society in general has little interest because it knows it'll have little or no influence on the outcome.

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18 minutes ago, OftenWrong said:

Mr. Trudeau thinks that mask-wearing is of high social value, but for other reasons.

Trudeau says COVID mask-wearing may change Quebecers' opinions on religious symbols

He wouldn't mind for it to continue as long as possible.

Trudeau has hurt Canada in ways that may be very hard if not impossible to repair.  He unleashed irresponsible forces that he couldn’t contain.  Now he is cornered, having to fire cabinet ministers and appease radicals. Rhetoric and hair won’t protect him much longer, but I don’t see anyone else on the horizon who could really improve the situation rising to power.  Canadians are more brainwashed than I can remember in my lifetime. 

Edited by Zeitgeist
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Trudeau offers one approach to essential issues in the society: top-down, one-way, no questions asked no discussions or explanations benevolent we-know-better-than-you-whats-good for you. It is not the only one possible though. And it's not a fact that swiping problems under the table while keeping goodness appearance would help to understand and through understanding seek and approach solutions.

I don't mean talking heads of course and inquiries long after the fact. They are useless waste of time (and public money) and a mockery of a vibrant and vigorous democratic process.

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5 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

Trudeau has hurt Canada in ways that may be very hard if not impossible to repair.  He unleashed irresponsible forces that he couldn’t contain.  Now he is cornered, having to fire cabinet ministers and appease radicals. Rhetoric and hair won’t protect him much longer, but I don’t see anyone else on the horizon who could really improve the situation rising to power.  Canadians are more brainwashed than I can remember in my lifetime. 

The Canadian voter is lazy and self-serving.  Unable to comprehend the meaning of compromise, and unable to see the long term effects that voting in an inept fool will have on the future.  Yes, Trudeau is the perfect leader for stupid Canadians.  They deserve each other.

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Reluctantly, I have to concur. Even if at some remote point some act by an entitled government vexes the folks to its fall, it would prove nothing and solve very little. Only that very disappointed folks know how to push a different button (of exactly, two) when they're really disappointed. Will it be enough for a vibrant and dynamic democracy in this century with its problems though? I wouldn't bet on it as it's within the mental capacity of a two year old.

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Nothing sticks to Justin, and if the conservatives do not get their shit together Justin will win another majority.. Canadians have been lead to believe that if the cons get it the earth will explode, or it will be open season on liberals, either way the left is not going to change even if the country was in flames and the conservatives have the only fire truck.

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1 hour ago, Army Guy said:

Nothing sticks to Justin, and if the conservatives do not get their shit together Justin will win another majority.. Canadians have been lead to believe that if the cons get it the earth will explode, or it will be open season on liberals, 

I don't think the earth will explode; I think things would go along more or less as always -- except it'll be open season on immigrants, while green and social programs will become priority # last and second to last.  This is not to say that Trudeau has done a stellar job, but at least he and Liberals say object to anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric (maybe Conservatives will start to now) and makes promises that we can try to hold him to when it comes to helping the less fortunate and doing less environmental damage.  I do see more and more posts from people (not here) who say they would (and did) support the Conservative party until they demonstrated their disinterest in the environment and expressed attitudes toward immigrants/Muslims.  There's even Muslims who'd like to vote Conservative because they more closely match their own more conservative views - but not while "niqab ban", "cultural report hotline" and refusing to condemn Islamophobia are so fresh in memory and they've done nothing to make anyone think they've changed at all.

1 hour ago, Army Guy said:

the left is not going to change even if the country was in flames and the conservatives have the only fire truck.

Pretty sure you are wrong there.  Everyone keeps calling me a 'leftist', even though I've voted conservative in the past, and would again in the future if they weren't so wedded to the anti-immigrant, anti-environment policies.  

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7 minutes ago, dialamah said:

Pretty sure you are wrong there.  Everyone keeps calling me a 'leftist', even though I've voted conservative in the past, and would again in the future if they weren't so wedded to the anti-immigrant, anti-environment policies.  

People call me right wing.  It usually just takes an outspoken attitude on one topic to have the views on others overlooked.

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21 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

I think most of the problems we’re having now result from a lack of trust due to lack of community connection.  Each side of a debate, right or left, Québécois nationalist or federalist, takes an extreme position and tries to lock it in because few people believe in compromise or reasonable consensus.  When people feel powerless and alienated from the political process they either disengage from it altogether or disrespect the process entirely.  We end up with racist attitudes or ridiculous attacks on Canadian institutions without recognizing that a healthy democracy requires open debate and compromise.  and tell everyone else how it is.

You have nailed it here 

My mantra is that our system was not built for people who connect to each other only through mass or social media.

I do think that part of the problem is that social media is not being used socially.. yet. I am part of some community Facebook groups where people, when faced with a prospect of arguing with someone they may know and encounter on a daily basis, a little more circumspect with their opinions and more willing to give the benefit of the doubt.  So I am hopeful.

21 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

Robert Putnam talked about how when people stop getting together and building relationships, social currency is lost.  

Please provide a link to this article, it sounds interesting. As for the pandemic.. I am more connected to my neighborhood then I have been since my youth in a small town.  Again, I think social media has the potential to connect people exactly as it promises.. socially.

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Posted (edited)

We should take it another step and admit that the problem with the system is that it that it was never intended to receive real feedback from the society, only to manage and control it. Elections mean very little in this frame other than just recording general sentiment of the society as "representatives" have very little say on the decisions that are made by partisan clubs in a non-transparent for the society process.

And in such a system discussion of serious matters becomes either obscure and opaque like some theatrical show; or degrade and eventually becomes hollow and meaningless. And it's not clear that either way helps with finding effective solutions to complex problems.

Edited by myata
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  • myata changed the title to Trudeau and la Loi 21
2 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

Please provide a link to this article, it sounds interesting. As for the pandemic.. I am more connected to my neighborhood then I have been since my youth in a small town.  Again, I think social media has the potential to connect people exactly as it promises.. socially.

Read his book:

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Impossible to deny the real issue of hate crime. As well, there are legitimate questions. Some grown up democratic societies are capable of distinguishing the two and looking for answers and solutions to legitimate questions, separating them from hate crime.

Then there are groups and I'm not interested in branding, who seem to suggest that there is one, default and rubberstamp answer to any and all questions. Further, they argument their position by mixing up obviously unacceptable acts, violence with legitimate questions.

The question whether there can be an expectation of a right, or privilege to impose specific views or traditions on the general society where it is not a matter of choice for the public is meaningful; important and absolutely legitimate. Pretending that there can be a default answer and some groups have monopoly to it will not help to find working solutions to problems.

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34 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

Read his book:

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
 

 

 

Yes, I have heard a few analyses of this phenomenon. Basically the fall of religion and siloing of individuals is a problem.  People used to fight (and sometimes literally fistfight) with people that they liked and respected...

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Posted (edited)

Recently, there was a discussion on TVO with an author of a book on crisis of liberalism. I have yet read the book but a few points from the discussion rang true.

Liberalism (and he argues that Progressive Liberalism and Thatcher-Reagan's classic conservatism are different flavors of liberalism) was intended to "deconflict" the society, including on religious/ethnic grounds etc by providing a framework of social communications that avoids the need for conflict (let and let live). However as common with us humans we do not know where is enough and where we should stop and beyond certain point liberalism changes from preventing conflict to dictating. This is a long discussion for another time elsewhere, but a simple and direct illustration is provided by this very topic.

Is there a point in a conflict about how someone is dressed at home, in a park, on a street and so on? I think that the society can have a very broad consensus on this question. Yes we are free to dress as we like including if we like so, based on religion and tradition requirements.

Live and let live and minimize reasons and grounds for conflict. Liberalism does not stop there though. If we have freedom where it is reasonable, shouldn't it be absolute so that we have the right to impose our views, beliefs, traditions on others where they have no option to avoid it?

Note that it's not the society that makes these decisions. A huge majority understands the need for compromise in social interactions. The majority would be fine with having a private religious token or symbol while and when in public roles, following common norms. That decision, that it's OK to ignore concerns of others, to dictate and impose is made by something else. An ideology. And that's how liberalism creates and created the grounds for its downfall. At some point there will be resistance to the dictate, even enlightened and benevolent whatever it looks and thinks of itself. And it means that someone would ride the wave of the backlash.

Like anything of this is new. Like it has not happened countless times already.

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10 minutes ago, myata said:

Liberalism (and he argues that Progressive Liberalism and Thatcher-Reagan's classic conservatism are different flavors of liberalism) was intended to "deconflict" the society, including on religious/ethnic grounds etc by providing a framework of social communications that avoids the need for conflict (let and let live). However as common with us humans we do not know where is enough and where we should stop and beyond certain point liberalism changes from preventing conflict to dictating.

Yes, freedom of religion mitigated religious conflict, but I think you are saying that there are always going to be ways that conflict appears.  Cultural conflict, in the 1960s, re-established tribalism and you had things like guys in hard hats beating on hippies just because they were different tribes.

McLuhan appeared at that time to explain all of it, but having an explanation isn't the same as having a solution.

We have added LGBTQ as protected groups, and made racism a cultural no-no (ignoring the fact that nobody agrees on what it is) but we still have conflict based on ... whatever.

Liberalism outlines your freedoms, but we need a new philosophy to outline our responsibilities.  Consumer society has created a mass of crybabies who demand their "rights" ... which mostly amount to rights to consume or behave badly.

The creators of democracy didn't really talk much about responsibilities, as I understand, because they considered the liberal class of elites to be the wisest body of leaders, and the best public to choose a national leader.

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4 hours ago, myata said:

1. We should take it another step and admit that the problem with the system is that it that it was never intended to receive real feedback from the society, only to manage and control it.
 
2. And in such a system discussion of serious matters becomes either obscure and opaque like some theatrical show; or degrade and eventually becomes hollow and meaningless.

3. And it's not clear that either way helps with finding effective solutions to complex problems.

1. I disagree.  "Society" is exactly who was to give direction, if you use the 2nd definition of society: "an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity."  There was a relatively small public of white, Christian, male landowners who wrote letters to publications, debated, wielded influence... and VOTED.  

2. It was not always so.  The system has been in place for 250 years and there is an ebb and flow to how effective it is... a complicated question.

3. Do you think that things were better in 1867 when Canada was founded as the national entity we live in today ?  At that time, the USA was around 38 million people - the same as Canada today.  What was different ?  What got better/worse - or maybe ... what challenges came up and how were they addressed, if they were ?


We are at the dawn of an era wherein democracy has the possibility to work according to its stated goals.  

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1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

Yes, freedom of religion mitigated religious conflict, but I think you are saying that there are always going to be ways that conflict appears.  Cultural conflict, in the 1960s, re-established tribalism and you had things like guys in hard hats beating on hippies just because they were different tribes.

That can be true, but the perspective here is somewhat different. It's how liberalism progresses from its claim, to promote freedom to its opposite, to dictate. It does that by failing to understand, admit and accept that multiple types of freedom can be in conflict; and that it is not possible to balance such conflicts on the basis of some, even well meaning enlightened and progressive ideology. Through ideological dictate liberalism looses claim to legitimacy and without it the whole project collapses.

The only way to balance them with some effectiveness is to have an open; honest; civilized and meaningful conversation in the society. It can be messy and at some points look "divisive" but better than swipe all questions under the carpet and hope they'll remain there.

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Quote

Peter White is a former principal secretary to prime minister Brian Mulroney, and also a former assistant to premier Daniel Johnson (Sr.) of Quebec.
Let me say to all the bien pensants in the “Rest of Canada” who make up the growing chorus of critics of Quebec’s Bill 21 provisions on the wearing of religious symbols by certain public servants: Have a care. You are playing with fire, and your knee-jerk reaction to legislation supported by a vast majority of Quebeckers risks starting a major conflagration that might consume our country.

The rest can be read here...

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-a-memo-for-canada-back-off-of-quebecs-bill-21/

Edited by Benz
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1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. I disagree.  "Society" is exactly who was to give direction, if you use the 2nd definition of society: "an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity."  There was a relatively small public of white, Christian, male landowners who wrote letters to publications, debated, wielded influence... and VOTED.  
 

We are at the dawn of an era wherein democracy has the possibility to work according to its stated goals.  

This is a long discussion but some quick points. Canadian culture does not seem to 1) understand and 2) appreciate and value public debate on essential questions. Is there a well-known example of an essential debate in this country? I know one (universal voting rights) but that's a hundred years ago and for 150 years of democratic history. The decisions I saw and participated in personally were made by a group of people in a room emerging with a consensus solution. How, long story again, but counting back it seems entirely plausible that it was like that a hundred, and 150 etc years back.

But what's essential here, and in Quebec it was understood, not all decisions can be made by a group of people in a room from above and for the society. Yes there are essential questions and matters that do not have solutions in this format. For niqab or against, whatever the room decides, some part of the society would be disappointed, possibly disenfranchised and so on. This model of "closed room" top-down democracy is not efficient for solving essential and sometimes complex questions, only for swiping them under universal goodness umbrella.

The only effective way to look for solutions in such matters is for the society to understand itself. And that happens in public debates, articulating, listening understanding different, sometimes opposite points of view in a peaceful manner and finding first understanding of the problem and then hopefully, solutions that could be accepted by most, if not everybody.

Canada has been getting away with with this top-down democracy only because it's in far away backwaters, and has (or had) plenty of timber and beavers with a small population for which there was always enough of bread and circuses. But is it assured or even reliable strategy in these times and environment? In evolution, is anything ever guaranteed?

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14 minutes ago, myata said:

1. Canadian culture does not seem to 1) understand and 2) appreciate and value public debate on essential questions. Is there a well-known example of an essential debate in this country?

2.But what's essential here, and in Quebec it was understood, not all decisions can be made by a group of people in a room from above and for the society.  

3. And that happens in public debates, articulating, listening understanding different, sometimes opposite points of view in a peaceful manner and finding first understanding of the problem and then hopefully, solutions that could be accepted by most, if not everybody.

4. Canada has been getting away with with this top-down democracy only because it's in far away backwaters, and has (or had) plenty of timber and beavers with a small population for which there was always enough of bread and circuses. But is it assured or even reliable strategy in these times and environment? In evolution, is anything ever guaranteed?

1.  Holy crap.  What ?  Of course, I mostly can only compare to the US example but it seems like all we do is discuss....

Some examples in my lifetime ?

Repatriation of the Constitution 1980
Meech Lake Accord 1987-1990
Free Trade Agreement 1988
Quebec Sovereignty 1967, 1970, 1976, 1980, 1995 and forever
Native Peoples in Canada 1990, 1991-1996, 2008-2017, 2021... oh never mind ... forever

Those are the big ones.

2. I forgot to mention "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman.  You really need to read that book if you want to pursue this topic.  It talks a lot about public responsibility, media and politics.

Now, we're not FRANCE.  I lived there and they seemed to have nightly talk shows about sociology and politics... I guess they must get better wine and sex over there or something so when it's time to get serious, it's time to really get serious.

3. Agreed. Democracy was designed for the public sphere of the 18th century, not Snapchat.

4. Well, yes, but Canada and every other democracy.  I don't see how different we are.  There are likely as many differences within Canada as external but that is just a guess.

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17 hours ago, dialamah said:

I don't think the earth will explode; I think things would go along more or less as always -- except it'll be open season on immigrants, while green and social programs will become priority # last and second to last.  This is not to say that Trudeau has done a stellar job, but at least he and Liberals say object to anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric (maybe Conservatives will start to now) and makes promises that we can try to hold him to when it comes to helping the less fortunate and doing less environmental damage.  I do see more and more posts from people (not here) who say they would (and did) support the Conservative party until they demonstrated their disinterest in the environment and expressed attitudes toward immigrants/Muslims.  There's even Muslims who'd like to vote Conservative because they more closely match their own more conservative views - but not while "niqab ban", "cultural report hotline" and refusing to condemn Islamophobia are so fresh in memory and they've done nothing to make anyone think they've changed at all.

Pretty sure you are wrong there.  Everyone keeps calling me a 'leftist', even though I've voted conservative in the past, and would again in the future if they weren't so wedded to the anti-immigrant, anti-environment policies.  

Not open season, but a reduction, not anti immigration, i hope one day our immigration system gets revamped, with a newer more stream lined process, with much better processes such as vetting, investigations etc. Canada can not sustain these high levels of immigration, not with our infra structure deficit, that includes housing, city infra structure, national infra structure the list goes on and on..

I think there is going to be some social programs that will be cut, Justin has added lots but has not found any long term funding for them, perhaps your right, maybe it will take a while for some of these social programs to be eliminated...

Everyday we are bombarded over the media about messages about anti first nations, anti Islam, with our MP's taking action for a few select groups when they should be concentrating on the problem of racism as it pertains to all, including white people.. We need to eliminate all these policies that promote racism, or biased opinion, take governmental hiring practices where they tell everyone that they are looking for a applicants that are Black women, with health issues because they are not represented enough on their graphs. We should do is hire the best candidate, end of story regardless of race, color or creed...Make it law, and end all this special interests groups and select laws and enforce those laws.

Environment, sure but not at the cost of our economy .. we are a resource nation, and now we have tied both hands behind our backs because of special interest groups and environmentalists. to the point we can not get anything built or jump through all the hoops we need to, our system is designed NOT to get anything down... and when or if the government decides to go ahead, there is something or someone that sues or blockades, protests...

And what burns we the most is we don't have a solution to fossil fuels yet, we are just running down the hall with our hair on fire yelling climate crises stop using fossil fuels or we are going to die.... we has a nation declared a climate crises, and how much have we put towards finding that alternative fuel source, or solar, tidal, Geo thermal, nuclear, hydro any major funding going towards theses projects...and not just a few bil here and there, i mean we are in a crises, right, 10's of billions.. I see it all as a shame, the government is not serious about anything except getting re elected... 

Dialamah, I'm not referring to you as a leftist, but rather leftist people in general. the divide is to great to be overcome to even sit down and discuss stuff.  The liberals have a genius as a campaign director, who has convinced those liberals in the middle that Conservatives are evil, and you private parts will fall off if you vote for them, they will steal your first born, and use them for medical experiments...people are afraid of what the conservatives will do, cut the free money, slash social programs, etc... and yet even if Justin does get re elected how are we going to pay for all this stuff, for him it is a win win... He could promise you a mansion on a hill by the water on the moon...i mean he has be honest with us so  far right ?

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