A few thousand English speakers in the street to denounce its reform of the Charter of the French language, the Legault government could not ask for better.
His Bill 96 is not yet adopted, that he can claim victory.
The English are angry. That will be enough to convince Francophones that he has hit the mark in protecting French.
Add the loud cries to the Gestapo of the language, the eradication of an entire community, the cultural genocide of the First Nations, the radical discourse of a fringe—I mean a fringe—of Anglophones is so hysterical that it will have enough to discredit all the critics on the PL96.
Informed debate is no longer possible.
And yet, this enlightened, informed debate should have taken place.
As long as rewriting the Charter of the French language, shouldn't we have identified the most effective levers?
No. We prefer to cut the pear in half on the Cégep and erect a vast bureaucratic architecture, so complex that it escapes all but the experts. And to really convince Quebecers that it's tough, we add the derogation clause. That's fun!
Moral of the story, bogged down in legal and bureaucratic maze, the debate takes place strictly on symbols.
The PQ would go even further by imposing Bill 101 on the Cégep. A clique of English speakers balk at the very idea of having to take 3 French lessons.
Between these two opposites, the PL 96 passes for reasonable. Taking advantage of the polarization of the debate, François Legault passes for a moderate. Thus he reassures his electorate thanks to a nationalism which gives good conscience.
On the tactical side, the debate on the PL 96 engulfed Dominique Anglade. Favorable to French courses at Cégep, she backed down in the face of outcry.
Here she is walking at Dawson College, the ultimate symbol of anti-Legault resistance.
Rest assured, she and her caucus did not walk in red for generalized bilingualism.
No, it worked because the judicial powers granted to the Office québécois de la langue française go too far, because the demonization of the English-speaking community has gone on long enough.
The PLQ worked because the mountain of regulations promises to be a nightmare for businesses to navigate.
Finally, the PLQ opposes the PL96 for the same reasons as many Francophones, as the Barreau du Québec, as the chambers of commerce. But these nuances, they are lost in the current polarized debate.
Dominique Anglade walked alongside the moderates, but, unfortunately for her, also alongside the proponents of a bilingual Quebec who cry out against Nazism and cultural genocide.
François Legault couldn't ask for better.
Even if it means having few substantial victories on the front of his Quebec nationalism, he will be quite content with tactical victories.
In light of the voting intentions, it seems that Quebeckers are not asking for more.