By YVON BRETON
On October 8 the Quebec daily La Presse published an editorial titled “For a Trudeau Government! La Presse Takes a Stand! Join in!” It is signed by the President and Chief Editor of La Presse Guy Crevier. We can expect the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and other monopoly media to “join in” in the coming days. It shows that MLPC leader Anna Di Carlo was right when she declared last week that the fix is in.
It also shows that both the spin and the counterspin in the election campaign led by the cartel parties and the monopoly media follow a definite agenda which is distinct and contrary to that of the people. Furthermore, it puts the lie to the claim that during an election the people get to express their sovereign will and chose their government.
There are no conditions for the people to exercise free choice when the candidates and parties which are slated to win are already selected by the ruling class. This puts the people between a rock and a hard place. Their “choice” is to either succumb to the disinformation or vote their conscience by choosing an option which they think will put them in a better position to fight in defense of their rights in the future.
This disinformation that the Liberals are an alternative to the Harper Conservatives follows two weeks of confusion-making about the “niqab issue” which was used to say that there is no support for the NDP. In fact, it signalled the rejection of the NDP by the ruling circles, besides attempts to marginalize the people of Quebec so that they do not make a difference in this election. It is especially important to draw the lesson from this latter point. People are asking: If the Bloc Québécois had wanted to defend the interests of Quebec as it claims, would it not have come out clearly opposing the Harperite attempt to divide the polity on the issue of values instead of creating this opening to both elect Harper’s minions in Quebec as well as create an opening for the Liberals? Why did they not say No! to all the stories about the niqab and speak on behalf of the people of Quebec, that Quebeckers are not islamophobic; Harper and Couillard are.
The poll by Léger Marketing which said that 90 per cent of Quebeckers are opposed to voting with the face covered actually came out in March this year. It was done on behalf of the Harper government, paid with public money, with an out and out absurd question, out of context. The question was a provocation but still the monopoly-owned media presented it then and present it now as a legitimate gauging of public opinion. It was again trotted out as “news” mid-September, in the middle of the federal election campaign at a time none other than the Australian “master of the black arts” was hired to advise the Harper campaign and turn it around. This was the point at which the Harper campaign launched its counter-offensive in Quebec to also “put the Duffy scandal behind them.”
The monopoly media editorials are not the people’s verdict! It is the gamble of the section of the ruling class which includes La Presse owner Power Corporation, which everyone knows is linked at the hip with the Liberals.
The decision of the workers, youth, women and all those fighting for their rights can make a difference in this election. They can persist in making themselves heard in defence of the rights of all against the neo-liberal anti-social offensive of both the Harper government and the Liberals in Quebec. They can take a giant step forward politically by going all out in the last week of the campaign to say that it is they who represent Quebec interests. It is they who represent the popular will in Quebec and even though they cannot elect a government of their choosing, they can definitely refuse to elect a government which is known to represent the neo-liberal anti-social offensive and security and war arrangements they do not approve.
It all shows the urgency for the democratic renewal of the political process, to ensure that it is the people who are the sovereign decision-makers as it should be in a democracy worthy of the name. To respect the will of the people in deciding the affairs of society is the most fundamental right history presents despite the marginalization of the issue by those who have usurped power. Everything that is positive socially, culturally, politically and otherwise is linked to the question of where the decision-making power resides.
On October 19 Quebeckers can make a clear distinction between the world of the monopolies and the world of the working people. Vote to defeat the Harper Government and make sure the Liberals are not elected!
Former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin has served as an Executive to Power Corporation and former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was Power’s “labour-relations” lawyer. The son of family head Paul Desmarais Sr., Andre Desmarais is married to the daughter of ex-Liberal Party Leader and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. John Rae (brother of Bob Rae) is a Senior Power Corp. executive who organized two out of three of Jean Chretien’s successful election bids. Between themselves Power Corporation and Quebecor own more than 80 per cent of media outlets in Quebec; the rest by CanWest and Transcontinental; less than two per cent are so-called independent, e.g., Le Devoir).
These owners dictate the editorial policies and openly side with their favourite parties during election campaigns. Who doesn’t remember Paul Desmarais threatening to fire the editorial staff of La Presse because they refused to toe the line during the 1995 referendum? At that time, President and Chief Editor of La Presse, Roger D. Landry declared that he would not allow journalists working for La Presse to sign editorials which favoured the Yes side during the referendum campaign. “I will not allow them to do that. Our position is that of the owner [Paul Desmarais], and so we are federalists,” declared Mr. Landry.
Source: Democratic Renewal, October 9, 2015 • No. 186. Previous Issues