lundi 11 mai 2009

Where is the North?

When I was a child and a teen, Québec was a simpler place. You were white, save if you were a porter at one of our train or bus stations or a chinese restaurant or laundry operator. You were Catholic or Protestant, French or English speaking. Well there were some in betweens, like me for instance. For us, the going could be tough...but if you had some resiliency you could soldier on and even make a place for yourself. You knew the Union nationale blue (Québec name for the conservative religious right--most Québecers), or Liberal red (the bad anticlerical left, a discredited minority that went out only in daytime). The Bishops and priests at election time warned us that the sky was blue but hell was red.
Then came 1960. The so-called Quiet Revolution saw the dreaded Liberals elected to form the next government. Things began changing. Electricity was nationalized. Schools, hospitals and social services were nationalized. Then immigrants started pouring in and the churches emptied although the two are not linked. Everything went very fast...and suddenly the Separatists came out of the woodwork and, in 1972 we had a Péquiste government.
T'was then that things got blurred. You had politicians switching sides and allegiance, people calling themselves Catholic or Protestant and not worshipping anymore. The head of the federal Conservative became the Liberal Prime Minister. The former president of the Liberal Youths became head of the A.D.Q. (Conservative party in disguise). A Liberal Minister created the Parti Québécois, and a Federal Conservative Minister created the Bloc Québécois...of Socialist leaning.
Then we had two referenda on sovereignty with questions so obscure that only a theologian could make heads or tails of them, and both with rather inconclusive results. We are still wondering who really won the last one.
These days no one really seems to know who is who and where all that will lead us. Got any idea where the North is?