I think I may have helped in last night’s crushing defeat of Pauline Marois’ Parti Quebecois, and with it the the shelving, for another decade at least, of all talk of another referendum on Quebec independence, along with the total demolition of the PQ’s Orwellian Charter of So-Called Values: the crappiest kind of identity politics, which would have seen Muslim women, for instance, who had served faithfully for years as teachers, nurses, civil servants, jack-booted out of their jobs for wearing ‘religious symbols’ at work.
My contribution may have been small – I simply wished, as I put it to Rob, that the PQ ‘crashes and burns in this election’ – but clearly it was significant. So much so that Pauline herself (I may call you Pauline, now, mayn’t I – you’re no longer Premier, after all, not even an elected parliamentarian) in a delightful twist of the electoral knife, lost her own seat as well as having to step down as PQ leader. She had, had she not, led them, the PQ-istas, like a troop of febrile lemmings, over the cliff edge and into political oblivion.
‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride’, I hear you snort. But it is not just my wishing defeat upon the forces of darkness that did the trick, it was my faith in the electorate, and the democratic process. You see, decent Canadians (who are, I believe, the vast majority) did not take kindly to the divisive wedge politics, the racism dressed up in the dubious garb of culture wars and secularism, the arrogance and ideological fundamentalism, the sheer perfidious nastiness, of the PQ in government, and the PQ on the campaign trail. They rose up, in all their glorious mildness, and slew the demon division, sweeping it from power with a huge majority for the (not entirely deserving) Liberals.
The next trick, I guess, is to remove the mean-spirited Harperites, and their notion – laughable, if not so deeply, profoundly subversive of democracy – of a ‘Fair Elections Act’ – from the levers of power and the statute books, and return Canada to a more civilised and decent notion of itself. Let Canada again be a light unto the nations, say I, or at least a tolerable beacon of working democracy: and then let that light shine where I most wish it would shine, in my home country, South Africa.
Now that’s wishing something.