Canadian Commentary: Constitution and Politics: Notes

Constitution Notes

Here follow a series of short commentaries about various aspects of the Constitution, the Quebec question, language and all of those other related issues which continue to exasperate and entertain Canadians.

Sept. 16, 1997

Thank goodness the embarassing spectacle of the media freaking out over Lucien Bouchard's supposed unbalanced psychology is past. The most appalling offender was Saturday Night, which continued its new policy of character assassination by portraying Bouchard spewing saliva in period costume on its cover. Please! If this kind of panicked fear is the best the media can come up with when trying to understand Bouchard, it is no wonder that the federalists have not yet figured out a way to deal with him.

The primary accusations appeared to be that he was egotistical, inconsistent, and had a quick temper. Since the first two are pretty much necessary qualifications for successful politicians, they hardly seem grounds for calling him a psycho. As for the temper, the book Double Vision gives quite horrifying examples of Paul Martin's quick and violent temper (which in fact sounds remarkably similar to Bouchard's), but I don't see anyone labelling him a psycho.

Of course, it is true that Bouchard's appeal and success is incomprehensible to anglophone Canadians. He simply does not make sense to us. But if he is incomprehensible to anglophones, while being completely in tune with Quebecers, doesn't this simply show that Quebec really is a different society? Any province that could elect Lucien Bouchard must be distinct (or unique, or whatever).

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