“Well, it’s official,” reported our local anchorperson when the election was announced.  “But the real question remains, “Does anybody care?”

That certainly said it all for me, but seeing as I had just agreed to write about the election from a Quebecer’s viewpoint, I felt I ought to look a little deeper.  I discovered that my long-standing cynicism with regard to politics is currently shared by millions of Canadians who are angry ad fed up with the incompetence and disingenuousness of our elected representatives.

For years pro-lifers have warned about the corrosive effects of politically correct lawlessness and disrespect to human life on the fabric of our society.  Even though the life issues are not front and centre, the moral and legal erosion which has been apparent in the abortion struggle is increasingly evident in other aspects of our society.

Growing anarchy

We have a society in which anarchy is growing.  The traffic in illegal cigarettes is turning the area near Cornwall, Ontario into a Wild West show every night.  This because many thousands of ordinary, otherwise law-abiding people are buying black market cigarettes.  The local people are caught on the horns of a dilemma.  They fear and resent the guns which resound at night, but the big money the smugglers bring into the city is a relief in this economically depressed area.

The so-called tax revolt which is behind the cigarette smuggling, as well as substantial GST avoidance, is only one indicator that our society has lost respect for government and its laws.  Years of governing by polls have caused Canadians to question their government’s ability to lead.

For Quebecers, the weak central government has been a boon to the sovereignist Bloc Quebecois.  In most respects, Quebecers share the sentiments of their fellow Canadians regarding the major parties and politicians.  But the call for change has broad implications.  As a result, despite all the constitutional angst we have endured over the past few years, Quebec is again preparing for still more navel gazing.

For many in Quebec, this election is a dream come true.  They believe the Bloc Quebecois gives them their first opportunity for true representation in Ottawa.  Indeed, with the recent announcement by Premier Bourassa that he will be stepping down, the effectiveness of the BQ in this election is seen as an indicator of the way next year’s provincial election may go.

Nationalism replaces religion

Among Quebec intellectualoids, nationalism is high on the agenda.  If religion ever was the opium of the people, then surely nationalism is its LSD.  It is an addictive fantasy on which this impoverished province can trip out, sparing politicians the nasty business of campaigning on real issues.

The emotional appeal of the Bloc Quebecois attracts a lot of voters, and the BQ is expected to do well.  At press time, their support exceeds forty per cent.  Lucien Bouchard has the luxury of a one-province campaign, whereas the Liberals and PCs have to sell themselves from coast to coast.  The other parties, even if they bother to run candidates, are not in the running in Quebec.

Like the other candidates, Lucien Bouchard’s battle cry is for change.  Change for change’s sake.  Like men with the TV remote control.  Change, change, change.  People want meat and potatoes, but they’re served up pie in the sky.

In terms of substance, the Bloc’s maitres-chez-nous line is no worse than the chicken-in-every-pot line the other parties are slinging.  From a pro-life, pro-family perspective, the major parties and the Bloc are equally disappointing.

And while the civic-minded cast their votes for or against sovereignty, a jobs plan, Medicare user fee…the real business of political social engineering will no doubt resume following the election.  Those issues which nobody ever mentioned during the campaign will work their way to the front burner.

Someone once said, “Don’t vote.  It only encourages them.”  It is tempting to agree.  On the other hand, our vote is the only real weapon we have in the struggle to rescue our future.