Yet another interesting article from the Gazette. I am considering a subscription to the Gazette.
About the student strike issue, she writes : « The voices may sound clamorous and confrontational to some people, but to me there is something awesome about the quality of the public debate.
As Quebecers, we are arguing about a slew of issues and we are doing it together, as a community of committed thinkers […] »
Another instance of a recent public debate : the Bouchard Taylor Commission and the reasonable accommodations, about which she writes :
« The public took the challenge seriously. […] Everyone was talking about it, arguing and questioning themselves over and over again. We were often fed up with the conversation, exasperated by what stretched us to the limits, but we held to it and eventually made the most surprising move of all: we handed the reins to two respected public figures – one, Gérard Bouchard, a francophone historian and the other, Charles Taylor, an anglophone philosopher – to help steer us through the difficult waters we found ourselves in.
When thinking was required, we had the wisdom to ask thinkers to help us with it.
How often does that happen? »
The Bouchard Taylor Commission has been often described as a freak show, notably in the reader forums of The Gazette, of the National Post and of the Globe and Mail. Yet, « it is nevertheless a genuine wonder that this province maintained a conversation about reasonable accommodation for almost two years without shedding a drop of blood.
[…] How often have communities exhibited such civilized discussion on a large scale? It is a task that every society needs to do, but that few manage. »
Ms Sasson forgets another instance of a very intense and very public discussion : the 1995 referendum campain. In how many societies in the world such a debate could have occured with such tight results without shedding a drop of blood?
Ms Sasson’s column reminds of a quote from Facal’s Quelque Chose comme un Grand Peuple :
« Le Québec possède un autre [atout] , moins tangible mais tout aussi important, qui nous a bien servis dans le passé. Nous sommes en effet non seulement une petite société, plus facile à mobiliser qu’une nation de centaines de millions de personnes, mais aussi une société comptant sur une tradition de dialogue et de concertation qui facilite l’établissement d’objectifs à communs et la mobilisation des énergies disponibles en faveur d’un plan d’action collectif. » (Joseph Facal, Quelque Chose comme un Grand Peuple)