"The Quebecois Elite - Patriots or Scoundrels", by Robert Sauve, traces the continuity from the original Catholic elite to the current political elite in Quebec. His condemnation of them echoes the condemnation of the Catholics by the Protestants in Madame Feller's time. Now that language has replaced religion in Quebec life, the teaching of English to French Quebeckers would be as controversial as Madame Feller's Mission to teach them Protestantism. Perhaps this helps us understand her motivation. - R

The First Élite: The Church, 1760-1960 ... 45 Overview
The Cassock in Poland and Ireland
The Cassock in Québec
The Feudal Church in Québec
Québec According to Lionel Groulx
Québec According to F.X. Garneau
Québec According to Lord Durham
Québec According to Etienne Parent
Québec according to the Bishops
The Church Triumphant
The Church and Demographics
The Church and Education
Consequences
Summary

Chapter Two: Indictment

"Do as I say, not as I do" is a well known admonition that many of us heard as children from tobacco-addicted parents who commanded us to be guided by their wise advice and not by their bad habits. Even though this proved, in retrospect, to have been good counsel, it seemed pretty suspect at the time. Consequently, our parents usually failed because we were sure that they were only trying to keep us from one more of life's great pleasures.

There have been interesting variations on this theme involving some TV evangelists who, when caught with their pants down, quickly confessed their sins, begged for forgiveness, and urged their followers to keep the faith. Though severely wounded, some of the faithful forgave the sinners and kept the faith, others did not.

Closer to home, the historical record will show that the transgressions of the Québécois élite are even more egregious. Although the original clerical élite have been rejected, the current secular élite have so far not lost the support of the faithful. Hence, it remains to be seen how they will be treated when they are eventually found out ... as they certainly will be.

The Québécois élite have traditionally called upon the people of Québec to make financial sacrifices to protect their francophone and Catholic culture which was and remains allegedly at risk in anglophone and Protestant North America. First among these élite was the hierarchy of the Catholic Church: They urged the faithful to reject modernity by remaining isolated in the countryside. Better, apparently, to be Catholic, French, uneducated and poor on the farm, than risk losing one's faith and language by going to school or by working in the wicked cities. Just in case the reader is unaware of this historical datum, it was in Québec's cities that the more educated Protestant English were developing a modern economy, and, of course, enriching themselves in the process.

The Church was followed by Québec's secular nationalists who successfully implemented political and cultural policies that were and remain inimical to the economic interests of the people. That is, they subordinated the people's need for bread and butter to élite preferences for culture, language and secessionist politics. However, the historical record is clearly not supportive of the élite position: The average Québécois has always been more interested in bread and butter than in language, religion and political manoeuvring. Nevertheless, modern secular nationalists have succeeded in getting the various governments of Québec to pursue the interests of the élite at the expense of those of the people. To accomplish this, they followed the same ignoble path trod earlier by the Church. That is, they:

Maintained control of, or at least a strong influence over, public policy in Québec; Kept the people under-educated and misinformed;
Implemented public policies whose effect was to discourage job-creating business investment; Justified it all by associating it with ethnocentric Québec nationalism. The members of this élite thus differ from traditional elites who generally see little need to ennoble or conceal their greed by cloaking it in the flag. But, these élite are not only greedy, they are duplicitous: Although preaching solidarity with the people, they in fact betrayed them. They accomplished this by dominating the public and parapublic sectors where they not only implemented policies that impoverished the people, but where they also paid themselves the highest wages in Canada, wages paid by the very taxpayers they were impoverishing!

Included in this august group are the members of l'Assemblée nationale du Québec, politicians who have seen fit to award themselves the highest salaries paid to provincial politicians in all of Canada: 30 percent higher than their opposite numbers in neighbouring and more prosperous Ontario. But, their sense of generosity, fair play and compassion ran out when they set welfare benefits for disabled persons 29 percent behind Ontario. To paraphrase one of George Orwell's commandments in Animal Farm, some Québécois are clearly more equal than others. Moreover, workers in the Québec public and parapublic sectors benefit from taxpayer-paid salaries that are equal to or greater than those in Ontario. To make matters worse, there are about 30 percent more people on the public payroll in Québec than in Ontario ..... and Québec is about 35 percent smaller than Ontario.

And what about the average Québécois who is unable to get his nose into the public trough, the guy who has to make a living in the competitive jungle called the private sector? Average family income from employment was 11 percent lower in Québec than in Ontario in 1960 and 20 percent lower in 1991. I will show that élite-driven public policies in Québec:

Produced in Québec the highest rate of poverty in Canada;
Produced one of the highest rates of illiteracy in Canada;
Produced one of the least educated work forces in Canada;
Produced a social environment that kept per capita job-creating business investment 15 percent below Ontario, the result of which are unemployment rates in Québec that are generally half-again as high as those in Ontario;
Saddled the Québécois with the highest taxes and the most onerous public debt in Canada. But what about the fabled Quiet Revolution, you ask? Not only was it supposed to make Québécois masters in their own house, it was also supposed to improve the economic lot of all Québécois. Indeed, some have done rather well by it: For instance, the news media are awash with stories of modern Québécois heroes, Québécois businessmen who have forged to the summit of, it is claimed, brilliantly successful Québec enterprises. Unfortunately, the same success has not been visited upon the people who toil for wages within those companies ..... if they can find work at all.

Moreover, during this same period, while the Québécois élite built and made good use of the largest private school system in Canada, the average Québécois has had to put up with what is demonstrably one of the country's least effective public systems. As a result, the levels of literacy and education in Québec are among the worst in Canada. Note that education, one of the keys to economic success, is under the constitutional control of provincial governments. In summary, as a result of delinquent behaviour by this élite during the first three decades of the Quiet Revolution, the typical Québécois family saw its economic position deteriorate relative to that of both Ontarians and anglophone Quebecers. Some revolution!

However, despite this sorry record in the social and economic fields, the Québécois élite succeeded magnificently in having the people of Québec advance steadily toward the political objective of this élite: The secession of Québec from Canada. That this secession would not improve the lot of the people seemed not to concern anyone. Moreover, to add insult to injury, these secession-related political policies will likely cause Québec to be partitioned: Those areas with secessionist majorities will be split from Québec to form the independent state of Laurentia(?). And, based on 1995 Referendum results, the poorest and least educated Québécois will find themselves living in Laurentia while the most affluent and best educated will remain in the residual Canadian province of Québec. Note that most secessionist leaders currently live in the Montreal area ..... which will likely remain in Canada after partition. And, anyone who thinks that these élite individuals will do the honourable thing by emigrating from cosmopolitan Montréal to, say, hinterland Chicoutimi in Laurentia, is dreaming. Thus, the circle will be complete: After enriching themselves and impoverishing the people, and after selling the people a political mirage, the Québécois élite will abandon the people to fend for themselves in Laurentia as the élite take comfortable refuge in Canada. P.T. Barnum would have been proud of the Québécois élite: They treated, and continue to treat their own kin as suckers and hence deserve to be called scoundrels and dealt with accordingly.

And, to complement their record in the social and economic arenas, the current Québécois élite have disgraced themselves in politics as well. First, to neutralize the inconvenient non-secessionist voting tendencies of Québec's anglophones and allophones, they resorted to policies whose effect was to encourage these recalcitrants to leave Québec. In other words, they resorted to ethnic cleansing .... and they appear to be succeeding. Second, to maximize the vote favouring secession, they set ambiguous referendum questions in 1980 and 1995 that clearly misled the voters into voting against their best interests. And, third, since the first two items were not entirely successful, they attempted to provide razor-thin winning margins to the secessionist side by cheating in both referenda: Their polling agents, the majority at every poll, simply rejected the valid votes of thousands of people who dared to vote against secession! The Québécois élite are obviously not very honourable.

That is the substance of the indictment.

Québec Compared to Ontario

Politicians' Salaries 30 % Greater
Other Élite Salaries 15 % Greater
Size of Public Service 30 % Greater

Average Family Income 20 % Lower
Welfare Benefits 29 % Lower
Investment 15 % Lower

Poverty Level 32 % Greater
Tax Burden 22 % Greater
Provincial Spending 18 % Greater
Provincial Debt 23 % Greater

Rate of Illiteracy 25 % Greater
Less Than Grade 9 30 % More
University Graduates 21 % Fewer

Élite-initiated ethnic cleansing in Québec.

The policies and leadership of the Québécois élite will likely result in the partition of Québec into the independent state of Laurentia and the residual Canadian province of Québec. The leaders of this élite will likely choose to remain in Québec, Canada as they abandon their supporters to fend for themselves, poverty stricken and under educated, in Laurentia: The scoundrels will be warm and cosy on the inside as their victims, fellow Québécois, suffer the traditional fate of suckers on the outside.

Members of the jury, you are now invited to evaluate the evidence and argument advanced in the following chapters and decide if they support the indictment. I will argue that, even though they love to wrap themselves in the flag of Québec, the record proves conclusively that the Québécois élite are classical scoundrels. However, before you make up your minds, I invite you to question those being skewered in this book. But, be prepared for tough going: When under attack, they usually resort to the virtually impregnable offended virgin defense.

Thus, if you wish to question them on the merits of the evidence and arguments advanced here, be prepared for cries of humiliated rage. For example, sensible adults of good will should be able to advance an argument, any argument, if not to its logical conclusion, then at least to its next stage. To do this, however, both sides must be willing to admit the obvious and concede the arguments won by the other side. But this is not always possible with this lot. For example, if you try to open a discussion on the fact that the rate of illiteracy among Québécois is about the highest in Canada, wear heavy armour and be prepared to take cover!

Although an orthodox approach would be to first ascertain the accuracy of such a statement (it is accurate), and then to address the issue, this discussion would likely not even get off the ground: The statement would probably be described as ridiculous and dismissed out of hand; the claimant would then be accused of making racist allegations that humiliated all Québécois! And, if you think that I am merely resorting to hyperbole to make a point, think again. Better still, ask Esther Delisle.

Delisle is the author of The Traitor and the Jew, a well documented treatise on the virulent antisemitism of the fascist right in Québec in the 1930s. Specifically, she fingered four nationalist icons: The Reverend Lionel Groulx, the daily newspaper Le Devoir, and two nationalist groups that have since disappeared mercifully into the mists of time. Guess how Québécois academics and journalists reacted to Traitor after its publication in 1993?

They either ignored it or savaged it because--get ready-- Delisle had humiliated all Québécois! She was condemned for having resurrected something disagreeable from the past that, they said, had no echo in modern Québec (Who do they think is being targeted when modern nationalists chant the racist hymn "Le Québec aux Québécois"? Sounds like a related echo to me!) Furthermore, added her critics, why was she pointing her finger at Québec when antisemitism was also common in English Canada at that time. Thus, they claimed, Delisle should have recognized that this quartet, especially Groulx, was only reflecting the ideology and public sentiment of the 1930s. Whether Groulx and company were following or leading the fascist parade is of course debateable: Delisle argued that they were in fact leading.

On the other hand, Traitor was well received in English Canada. So also was None is Too Many which was published in 1982. Irving Abella and Harold Troper, the authors of None, cited chapter and verse to argue that the government of Canada had acted abominably in the 1930s when it refused asylum to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. As a result, those desperate refugees had to return to Europe where many eventually perished in Hitler's death camps. That was an abomination, something that should have shamed us then, but did not, and which should shame us now, and does. And that was precisely how journalists and academics in English Canada reacted to the publication of None. Moreover, it became a best- seller. On the other hand, I am willing to bet the mortgage that Traitor is relatively unknown in Québec, except among those whose interests were best served by dumping on it.

Consequently, unless you are prepared to deal with the irrational, you might wish to avoid extended discussions with this type of Québécois: Facts cannot dislodge those who occupy the self-defined moral high-ground defending positions that make them impervious to the inconvenient facts of life. Furthermore, Québécois nationalists have been known to `invent' facts from time to time. I describe a few such inventions in this book. So, if you find yourselves debating with them, be prepared for the odd whopper ... and lots of flack!

Finally, although this polemic will help you understand the villainy of the Québécois élite, you will not be able to do much about them, except indirectly ..... unless you live in Québec. The final arbiters in this matter are Québécois who will, some day soon, I pray, deal harshly with their leaders. Since less egregious chicanery has provoked bloody revolutions elsewhere in the past, I believe that a vigourous condemnation of these scoundrels would not be unreasonable.