As I read Christopher’s blog today I confess my high school-level French did not serve me very well – especially nearly thirty years later! I tracked down the English translation to the Sherbrooke Declaration, to which he refers, through an indirect link from Pierre Ducasse’s current site.It makes the case, as so many have tried to over the years, that the NDP’s social democratic foundation ought to make us a natural for politics in Québec.
When the Parti Québecois was first elected in 1976 it was due, in no small part, to the perceived corruption of the Bourassa Liberals. (He, Bourassa, was the guy whose government declared my high school French good enough to be functionally bilingual. Ever since, I have begged to differ.)
Also the Parti Québecois was seen as being much more socially progressive. Many non-sovereignists voted for the PQ on that basis. It was the Levesque government, for just one example, which was the first in Canada to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the province’s Human Rights Code. Now as easy as it could be to find fault with the PQ at times their social democratic principles were more forward-thinking than any of us could have imagined.
So it is that I eagerly anticipate the trip to Québec tomorrow with hopes that Le Nouveau Parti Démocratique can be seen as a great alternative to the Liberals and Conservatives, certainly, but also the Bloc.