Saturday, January 28, 2006

Vive le Quebecois Libre!

Forget Alberta, all the pro-liberty action is in Quebec.

Stuffed to the rims with so-cons, Alberta is only half-right when it comes to politics. The economic half. When it comes to money and wealth, Albertans are right--leave well enough alone and ask me before you put your hands in my pockets. When it comes to the social half, unfortunately, Albertans tend to get it all wrong--they like to meddle in everyone else's business.

And, yes, you heard me right. The front lines for freedom are all of them in Quebec.

Don't believe me? Try this list on for size:

1. CHOI-FM: The radio station slowly becoming synonymous with free speech hails from Quebec.

2. Dr. Jacques Chaoulli: The man who just about single-handedly brought down Canada's socialist health care system in what is surely one of the five most significant Supreme Court cases in our country's history is a fluent French speaker.

3. The Montreal Economic Institute: Want good policy? Turn to this libertarian think tank hailing from Montreal and rapidly growing in popularity.

4. Le Quebecois Libre: Canada's only one-hundred per cent, no exceptions, pro-freedom and popular publication hails from Quebec (the Western Standard has a few exceptions).

5. Pierre Lemieux: Quite possibly the most fierce liberty-lover in this country calls Quebec his home.

6. Andre Arthur: This election's only Independent MP who self-describes himself as a libertarian has "Je me souviens" on his licence plate.

7. Action Democratique du Quebec: Maybe somewhat controversially an addition to this list, but pretty kick-ass as far as the (practical) advancement of liberty goes.

8. Les invasions barbares: A gritty movie about the stupidity of Canada's health care system is both from Quebec and really, really good.

Has anyone else started to feel this particular breeze emanating from a province typically associated with statist philosophy? If you've got some suggestions, send them my way. I would love to expand this list.

NOTE: The list consists of either libertarians, or single-issue items that are pro-liberty on that issue. So, for instance, CHOI is all about free speech, and no one cares about their position on other issues.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.M., you describe a fresh breeze out of Quebec.

This from an Albertan who has always figured that Quebec is Alberta's greatst ally, and when we needed help to defend provincial rights, the only other province that has always stood with Alberta.

If we could only get the media in our provices to understand some of our shared history.

Please tell me though, that the Montreal Economic Institute wasn't the one that wanted a raid on Alberta's "oil wealth." I use quotes because most of the provincial royalty "wealth" comes from natural gas, production of which is in decline.

Otherwise, a very impresive list, especally CHOI. Anyne who tells the CRTC where to stick it has got my vote.


2:10 a.m.  
Blogger BBS said...

I don't know if I'd classify it as a breeze quite yet - but I'll give you a puff.

2:27 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Steyn lives in Quebec!

2:52 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Steyn lives in Quebec!

2:53 a.m.  
Blogger eugene plawiuk said...

You forgot the anti union right to work lobby in Quebec. As for most of these right wing groups they also have their counterparts in Calgary like the NCC, and the Fraser Institute (Vancouver). And no the MEI did not want a raid on Alberta's oil wealth they defended it. That being said Andre Arthur is hardly a libertarian more of a blowhard right winger like Rush Limbaugh.

3:00 a.m.  
Blogger The Arabian Knight said...

eugene have you ever listened to Arthur?

3:12 a.m.  
Blogger Road Hammer said...

Don't forget Les Invasions Barbares.

9:56 a.m.  
Blogger P. M. Jaworski said...

I didn't include Mark Steyn because he's not a libertarian. He's a conservative. All the people I mentioned are pro-liberty on social and economic issues.

eugene - The NCC and Fraser Institute have been around for a long, long time. The list I've made is supposed to show that Quebec's libertarianism (if I can call it that) is a nascent, growing, and popular movement.

road hammer - nice! I'll add it. If anyone has any other proposed additions, I'll happily, gleefully add them to the list.

1:15 p.m.  
Blogger dr_dog said...

I'd be delighted if the statist general opinion in Quebec were to erode. This could even form part of their "distinct society" thing. Who knows? Quebecers never cease to surprise.

Until then, my ideal is an Alberta-Quebec hybrid. Based on geography, this must lie somewhere in, er, Northwestern Ontario...

2:32 p.m.  
Blogger Matt said...

There was a small article in the Windsor Red Star today about Dr Nicolas Duval. He's Canada's only orthopaedic surgeon and from, you guessed it, Quebec. Last year he performed 3 times as many operations as he did in the public system and says he did it for much less money.

5:48 p.m.  
Blogger Steve said...

You are absolutely right about Quebec. There is definitely a growing groundswell against the state, which has spread its tentacles everywhere.

Harper was able to break through because of a healthy scepticism toward the state, even among those that embrace it. However, the socon albatross did prevent him from getting his message through earlier. But once it got through it spread like wildfire.

Peeling back the state won't be easy, especially in Quebec. But from what I have seen so far, Quebecers may be more open to it than any other provinces.

1:00 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can Quebec wean itself off statism? It would have to forsake the $11 billion in bribes it receives from the Rest of Canada each year. Or at least commit to paring it down over time.

In the meantime I'll enjoy my $1600 tuition here at McGill.

1:50 a.m.  

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