Did Éric Duhaime release forces whose violence is beyond him today?
The debate has raged since the accusation of Marwah Rizqy. However, channeling all the blame for the toxic outbursts that afflict the political sphere onto the Conservative leader would be a mistake.
24 hours late, Éric Duhaime has finally recognized that he cannot escape the consequences of the embers he has lit. When a candidate accuses journalists of violence against the people of Quebec, Éric Duhaime downright lacked good faith by taking refuge behind perceptions and freedom of expression. A political leader has the minimum responsibility to land the discussion in the sphere of facts and reality. By stubbornly looking away when his own supporters broadcast images of bloody election signs of his CAQ opponents, he was tacitly encouraging them.
It is therefore to safeguard his own credibility and that of his political project that he finally, with white gloves, appealed to his troops for calm.
He missed the chance to remind them that they thus had the unique power to help detoxify the political climate of which they claim to be victims.
Two weights, two measures
Because Éric Duhaime is right when he wonders about the little regard that has been made of his volunteers attacked with knives. Above all, he puts his finger on the proverbial bobo when he stresses the importance of channeling the anger of part of the population into a coherent political offer.
It is easy to deplore the fact that 50% of conspiracy theorists in Quebec support the PCQ. But still. When we concentrate all the debate around the Conservative Party fanatics, we miss the point.
We are interested in the symptom rather than the source of the problem. Finally, we clear our conscience instead of risking a real introspection.
How is it that such a large part of the population has switched? Blaming the social media echo chamber is not enough.
When there were thousands in the streets crying out their discomfort with confinement, their fears over vaccines, their distress over the violent break with any semblance of normality, should they have been heard rather than criticized and ridicule?
The strength of our collective pandemic consensus, our docility, even our enthusiasm in the face of repressive measures such as the vaccine passport, were they not due to our own fear of this virus which tore our lives apart?
The collapse of our health system, the terrible sacrifices imposed on our youth, the unworthy death of 5,060 seniors in CHSLDs, have they not greatly contributed to this violent rejection of traditional politics?
I am afraid that the answer to all these questions is: YES! Admitting this is not a disavowal of the work of mainstream media and parties during the pandemic.
Nor is it an endorsement of Eric Duhaime’s strategies. It is an examination of conscience which is essential.