The Right to Be Who We Are, Not Who We Are Told to Be

– Rachel Hoffman –

Quebec has a rich and vibrant cultural diversity expressed in multiple social, spiritual and material forms, life-styles, beliefs, values and mores. Out of caring and sharing, working together and historical traditions of the different peoples of Quebec, a web of vast interrelations of the whole people is created.

One might think a modern, democratic Quebec would ensure revenues, venues and platforms for the promotion of this culture. One might think that in such a Quebec the inviolability of beliefs and mores among peoples would be secured on the basis of the human rights to conscience and freedom of speech. One might think that differences that arise amongst the people could be treated and resolved in a non-antagonistic manner and not become the target of police attacks. But this is not the case in Quebec today.

The big parties and the governments they form, attempt to turn the peoples' rich cultural diversity into absolute differences, starting with privileging the myth of two founding nations. The powers-that-be promote an atmosphere of so-called identity politics. Constituencies are formed dividing people by special interests and rivalrous cultural values. Individual is pitted against individual, collective against collective, and cultural community against cultural community. Racism, sexism, assaults on lifestyles and beliefs are promoted, while leaving individuals and communities constantly targeted by the police powers of the government. The narrow privileged and private interests of the few are preserved, while people are disunited, and the norms and rights required by a modern democracy are destroyed.

We must never forget that the most valuable asset we have is us, the Quebec people, and it is high time we united to have a say in the conduct of our own affairs.

I am participating in this election on the basis of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ)'s program for democratic renewal. For this renewal we sorely need sovereignty vested in the people and not in the Crown, the big parties or the rich they represent. I believe democratic renewal and sovereignty are intimately connected to the cultural life of the people.

Just imagine, if Quebec had a real, modern democracy, we would be equal members of society with a say-so and freedom to speak in our own name. We would not be burdened by a corrupt, party-dominated political process which manipulates cultural values to create the impression the only possibility is to go with "the devil you know" and against "the devil you don't know." Any political process that aims to reduce Quebeckers to subjects voting every few years for candidates they did not choose and who do not represent their interests, while allowing our culture to come under assault is not a modern democracy.

If Quebec had a real, modern democracy we could direct our economy, our resources and our social investments towards the well-being of the people. As a sovereign people we could block the rich and high financiers from plundering our resources and destroying our rich cultural heritage. The problems we face in the natural and social environment would no longer be turned into crises of cataclysmic proportions and ploys to divide us and pay the rich.

Let's come together to find more ways to have this discussion and use this election to block the big parties from grabbing majority positions for their reign of destruction on our people and culture.

Rachel Hoffman is the PMLQ candidate in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 23 - October 2, 2022

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