Recently, election results showed in Quebec and France interesting signs of a reaction against political correctness. The Action démocratique du Québec victory April 15 in the Saguenay by-election and Jean-Marie Le Pen’s surprising victory in the first round of the French presidential elections April 21 showed that people are tired of political correctness, political vacuity and old political parties which constitute an establishment blind to the real social and national problems.

In France, political columnists were scandalized that 30 per cent of the country decided not to vote. In fact, it could be argued that abstention is healthy because the French understood that it was worthless to vote, that French democracy is false and that there was no real political choice. The two main contenders, President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, had such similar programs that political analysts were calling them candidates “Chirpin” and “Josrac.” Jospin, the official candidate of the Socialist Party said, at the beginning of the campaign that he was not socialist but “modern.” Jacques Chirac defines himself as a modern gaullist, a very distant disciple of General Charles de Gaulle, to such an extent that we do not see any gaullist influence in his program. Would de Gaulle have accepted the new federalist Europe with no national borders and with a common currency and a common army? Jospin ran a minimalist and narcissistic campaign of self-justification. He was sure he would win in the second round and showed little regard for the French electorate.

French people decided to teach the establishment a lesson by voting for candidates designated by the establishment as extremists: Jean-Marie Le Pen (nationalist, 17 per cent, second best after Jacques Chirac and one per cent more then Lionel Jospin), Arlette Laguiller (Trotskyist, almost six per cent), Olivier Besancenot (another Trotskyist, more than four per cent), and Bruno Mégret (nationalist) and Corinne Lepage (Maoist) with two per cent each. At the end of this first round, Jospin announced that he had decided to leave political life. This, at least, is one good result from this election. A self-proclaimed “Protestant atheist,” Jospin has been very harmful to the French nation, particularly with his law creating a civil union for homosexuals.

Le Pen’s victory is the defeat of the establishment. Fear of facing social reality (for example, the problems of ethnic conflict and widespread crime) by the establishment candidates is another reason for Le Pen’s success.

In the same way, the people of Saguenay voted against the establishment parties (the provincial Liberals and Parti Quebecois) to give an easy victory to the ADQ’s François Corriveau with a majority of 4,156 votes over the Liberal candidate. He is the second ADQ MNA at the National Assembly, joining the party’s leader Mario Dumont. The defeat of the PQ was terrible for them because Saguenay was the most separatist riding in the 1995 referendum (73.3 per cent for Yes). It shows that even the separatists do not have any more confidence in the old and tired PQ. ADQ has nothing very exciting to offer, but voters are tired of old Quebec parties which are similar with the exception of the constitutional question. With no referendum about sovereignty in the near future, there is no difference between the PQ and the Liberals.