Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Now showing on Gilles Duceppe’s campaign plane!
We’re only two days into this campaign and already things are getting a little strange on the trail.
Not since Jacques Parizeau railed on about the money and the ethnic vote, has a separatist candidate for office offered up such an eye brow lifting comment, as that which came from the Bloc camp today.
Those who have sat down and watched the occasional documentary on the CBC over the years, probably realize that Quebec as a political entity and culture, shed itself of the influence of the Catholic church back in the late fifties.
The Quiet Revolution which progressed through the sixties, transformed the province from one where the parish priest held much sway over the provinces riding's, to a more egalitarian process, a watershed period of time for the once heavily religious province.
By the time that the events around St. Jean Baptisite Day became Le Fete Nationale, the transformation was more than complete and the province hasn't looked back since.
So it was a little surprising to see that the first real bit of news we heard from the campaign of the Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe, was a broadside at a Conservative candidate for her past association with the Opus Dei movement.
Duceppe who appears to have sat through more than a few showings of the Da Vinci Code, appears to see sinister intent with the candidacy of Nicole Charbonneau Barron, who was once a spokeswoman for the organization made famous by the Dan Brown novels and the movie featuring Tom Hanks.
Most pressing for Duceppe, was an impression that was apparently left with him of events within the mysterious organization, from the Globe today Duceppe was quoted as saying “Those people certainly share an ideology, a narrow ideology, that doesn't correspond at all to the modern times in Quebec…. That candidate said very openly that self-whipping is a sacrifice they have to do. I question myself on such practices.”
Now we don't know much about the inner workings of Opus Dei ourselves, nor any proclivities for whippings. And we do understand that a return to the narrow views of the forties and fifties as delivered from a pulpit, is not where a functioning democracy may wish to revisit. But we can’t help but make note that his comments come about as the Bloc is reported to be in a wee bit of trouble in holding some of its vote and suggestions abound that the Conservatives may benefit from any potential meltdown of the Bloc’s support.
So perhaps his Opus Dei ruminations are designed more to scupper a potential seat loss, rather than to warn the population that the Dark Ages are about to descend on the Plains of Abraham again.
Mr. Duceppe should get back to issues of unemployment and his favourite topic Sovereignty, things he might have a little less trouble with.
We’re pretty sure that the population of Quebec isn’t going to turn back the clock and be told who to vote for, whether by a parish priest or a worried for his legacy leader, watching his shelf life begin to tick away…
Mr. Duceppe needs to either change the video options on the plane, or start handing out the tinfoil hats. it would seem that his paranoia is starting to seep into the campaign.