A divorce made in heaven . . .

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Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

With the PQ’s sudden loss of its billionaire leader, and given Premier Couillard’s disappointing embrace of Tory austerity, are we ready to ask if
our big political parties haven’t outlived both their energy and their original ambitions?
Investigators, moving on from the Charbonneau hearings, have found

Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

With the PQ’s sudden loss of its billionaire leader, and given Premier Couillard’s disappointing embrace of Tory austerity, are we ready to ask if
our big political parties haven’t outlived both their energy and their original ambitions?
Investigators, moving on from the Charbonneau hearings, have found
corruption not only between individual contractors and politicians but corruption also within the three big parties. Campaign donors seem to have continual favours to ask of the parties they support.
As for today’s leaders, we are seeing only shadows of leadership and hearing only words, not the ambitions of past great political programs like the Just Society. Parties themselves seem to dampen leadership fires, as “protecting the party” quickly becomes the number one goal in governing. Parties are rigid; they have entrenched special interests, and they have staked their all on a set of
projects which should be always open to compromise for the sake of
efficient government. And they’re not.
This questioning of the parties can be exasperating: what do our major political parties stand for, or stand against? Deep down, we mean, not merely their talking-points. And in the end what we find is that the parties merely stand against each other. In their maturity, political parties grow into their own justification.
A French journalist recently spoke to the CBC about his decade in Syria. He was remarkably refreshing in that he avoided the petty details and gossip (bare-chested Putin). The journalist’s analysis is that both sides have created each other, and certainly are keeping each other going. ISIS and Assad rely upon each other, for without an enemy, a focus, each side alone would have fallen apart, and certainly not have the funding and arms they both yield today. ISIS uses Assad’s cruelty to justify its own cruelty, and Assad uses ISIS’ brutality to justify his own barrel-bombs.
Wait a second! This sounds like Quebec (apart from barrel-bombs). If the PQ did not have the “vendu” Liberal party selling out the province, and if the Liberals did not have the scary separatist PQ to defend us from, would we be so accepting of the utter trash they both put forward as programs. “Trash” means all talk, all message, no content.
Both the PQ and the Liberals have taken as their holy duty the defence of Quebec from each other. If we don’t vote for one side, the bogey-men in the other side will certainly win . . . and destroy us all. It’s incredible that such a silly or trivial self-justification by the parties has been so effective in stampeding us, the electorate, at every election, decade after decade after decade. 
The solution here, to salvage our democracy from these manipulative self-promoters, must surely start with us – us, the voters – rejecting this false dichotomy. How tiresome: if we vote for the PQ we are separatists, point final. If we vote Liberal, we are the colonized.  Same plot-line. But in reality, Joe, over there, can vote for the Divine Right Party if he wishes, without threatening the future of a united Canada; Jean can vote PQ because he supports their social programs.
What can we do?
When a candidate can only tell us how dangerous the opposing party is, rather than his own program’s benefits, he’s admitting he doesn’t deserve our vote. No more emotional manipulation!
Dump the parties that were built on merely opposing someone else.  Ask each party or candidate to justify their program – without referring to the opposition! Let’s BOO the next attempt at manipulating us. Boo them out of government entirely and end the charade.