Elections, a theatre of democracy (Huffington Post)

By: Étienne Boudou-Laforce, Ianik Marcil, Steve E. Fortin, Bianca Longpré; signatories at bottom of post
Originally published on: October 15 2015
Original French text here: http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/etienne-boudou-laforce/election-theatre-democratie_b_8307102.html

With its cardboard stage set, contrived acting and empty issues, federal elections can resemble an interminable production of summer theatre. Thankfully, at the end of the day, the theatricality makes way for handsome and unshakeable democracy. Elections are in fact the people’s calling to vote and choose their own destiny. Is it not a deeply noble thing to see democracy enacted?

Theoretically, the answer is yes, indeed. But maybe you should check with Greece. They elected an anti-austerity party and won a referendum against austerity, and yet their creditors answered back with a categorical “no” and even greater austerity in order to possibly punish them for even thinking they could get away with a referendum. As Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund-Adorno once said, “if voting could change the system, it would be illegal”.  Does this mean that our “less bad system” would be a simulacrum of democracy that is more pernicious than others because it suggests real political consequence? Is Étienne Chouard correct in stating that “the fact of having to designate our masters is a fraudulent imposition. It yields plutocratic results, with the rich leading for the past 200 years”?
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Fuck it all! (Le Devoir)

By: Sébastien Jean
Published on: April 10, 2015
Original French text here: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/437086/fuck-toute

A generation of spoiled brats, as the saying goes. A generation saddled with debt that will probably not have a pension, will retire at 74, have a 50-year mortgage, life-long precarious employment, a slowly privatising healthcare system and a environment ravaged by their parents’ heedlessness. Its offspring, if it dares to have any, will have only the schooling they can access, if the system hasn’t self-destructed under pressure. All-out cuts, endless hikes.

When this generation marches to denounce what’s going on, it gets pounded. “Stay home and study”, it is told. People applaud the police, who are trained to rough it up while the complicit media complacently demonises it. This generation is only questioned in order to be mocked. The very government doling out austerity awards itself retirement packages and excellent salaries while the very rats accused of collusion are free as a bird.
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Austerity in the Time of Abundance (Liberté)

Money, there is. But not for everyone.

By Julia Posca
Originally Published: Fall 2014
See the original French text here: http://revueliberte.ca/content/lausterite-au-temps-de-labondance

At a stone’s throw from the Colisée Pepsi, the former home of the Québec Nordiques, workers are busy on the worksite of the city’s new amphitheatre. The official opening of this four hundred million dollar project is scheduled for September 2015. As they await this exciting date, hockey fans in the capital region dream of attracting a new NHL team due to this arena that has been financed directly by municipal and provincial funds.

In mid-July, when journalists wandered around the new building in the neighbourhood of Limoilou to take in the progress of the construction, union members from the Laval CSSS were had their picket signs in the hopes of making themselves heard by the Minister of Health and of sensitizing public opinion to the consequences that the public will surely feel from the cuts of around twelve million dollars that had been announced by the Liberal government.  There are no cuts to the staffing framework currently planned, but we know already that night posts for auxiliary nurses will be cut and that the number of extra hours will be lowered.

Welcome to the reign of austerity in the era of massive wastefulness. All spending is allowed, so long as there is no question of making it seem to us, the little guys, that the purpose of government is to respond to the needs of their supposed constituents. Before treating me as a killjoy, know that my intention is not at all to take aim at our illustrious national sport. I will instead say this: the Neoliberal State is not a Lean State, that spends prudently like only a good father of a family could do. The Neoliberal State is rather one that gave, in 2011, to a company represented by a former political counsellor of the premier at the time, a two hundred forty million dollar contract to install forty thousand indispensable smart white boards in primary and secondary schools in the province. During this time in Montreal, students were chased out of their neighbourhood schools by dangerous mold that had made its home in the walls of their buildings. The situation has been going on for more than two years, but the Montreal School Commission, responsible for these infected buildings, also had to work towards budgetary equilibrium. In short, everything suggest that a solution is within arm’s reach in this case.

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