*English follows – yes, a message for you guys. J
Il fallait bien en parler à un moment donné. Cette fameuse charte qui fait bouger bien des lèvres au Québec et même ailleurs.
Je suis contente que les langues soient déliées. Pour moi, il y a des éléments dans cette charte qui n'ont pas lieu d'être. On comprendra que je parle de l'interdiction des fameux signes ostentatoires. J'ai bien hâte de voir comment ils vont gérer les barbes. Imaginez (en admettant que quelqu'un serait d'accord sur le principe d'interdiction des signes ostentatoires) un musulman qui voudrait participer à movember (bon, c'est la moustache, mais vous comprendrez mon point)...
Pour moi, interdire simplement de discuter des idées religieuses au travail serait suffisant. C'est vrai que les gens n'ont pas à subir quelqu'un qui veut les convaincre de convictions qui sont personnelles à chacun. Mais encore là, est-ce réellement nécessaire? N’y a-t-il pas déjà assez de règles qui encadrent notre conduite? Ne peut-on pas juste se fier sur le jugement des gens et voir les exagérations comme des exceptions (ce qu’elles sont)?
Et surtout, l’interdiction des signes religieux visibles? Quelle belle façon de nous obliger à tous faire partie d’un bien joli moule (en apparences). Est-ce que je comprends pourquoi c’est si important pour quelqu’un de religieux de porter ses signes ? Non. Surtout que pour moi, la personne qui suit les règles est une bonne religieuse mais ça ne fait pas d’elle une bonne croyante. Mais je comprends la liberté d’avoir les convictions que je désire et je n’ai pas envie que l’état me montre le « bon » chemin. Tant que je ne brime pas les convictions de quelqu’un d’autre, ou quelqu’un d’autre à cause de ses convictions, je ne vois pas pourquoi on me mettrait des limites, de toute façon. Ou à qui que ce soit.
Non seulement cette vision brime-t-elle la liberté de religion de certaines personnes, mais en plus les conséquences sur ces personnes ne sont même pas considérées. L’impact sur l’égalité homme-femme, dans le cas des Musulmans, est complètement écarté comme de moindre importance (les femmes auront le fardeau de choisir entre leurs convictions et leur travail alors que les hommes n’auront pas ce choix à faire). Alors qu’on parle moult fois d’égalité homme-femme dans le texte de la charte.
Et puis, à la base… Une charte des « valeurs québécoises », ça devrait inclure la vision des autochtones, qui sont les vrais Québécois. Nous on est sur des terres empruntées. Ou volées plutôt. (Quoiqu’il n’y ait pas la notion de propriété de terres chez les autochtones, seulement la responsabilité de prendre soin des parcelles qui ont été confiées à notre gang - mais ça reste un autre sujet). On oublie ce fait dans tous les débats publics. La vision autochtone est drôlement plus inclusive que ce qui est mis en évidence dans cette charte.
Bref, je ne trouve pas que cette charte représente bien mes valeurs, en tant que « Québécoise ». Je suis tout de même d’accord avec l’idée de faire des démarches par rapport à la laïcité qu Québec – je me demandais d’ailleurs pourquoi on avait un peu mis le rapport de la commission Bouchard-Taylor au placard depuis sa publicisation. Mais je ne comprends pas pourquoi les conclusions du rapport de la commission Bouchard-Taylor n’aient pas été mieux exploitées. Le sens général des recommandations n’est pas du tout respecté et au contraire, on donne une porte ouverte aux personnes racistes pour se flatter le dos et se permettre des commentaires déplacés et tout à fait hors de la réalité (souvent par méconnaissance et peur exacerbée par les médias – et même les politiciens - et non l’expérience personnelle).
Je vous laisse donc ce lien vers une pétition avec laquelle je suis en accord. Le texte exprime très clairement plusieurs des questionnements et critiques que j’ai le goût de faire à propos de la charte.
En fait je ne vous laisse pas tout à fait. Je vais traduire ce que je viens d’écrire vers l’anglais parce que je trouve important que les Canadiens anglais aient d’autres versions que celle de leurs médias. Je vais aussi reproduire un courriel que j’ai envoyé à un ami anglophone, qui exprime mon sentiment par rapport à la réaction canadienne anglaise sur le sujet.
I had to talk about it at some point. This famous charter which makes people react in Quebec and elsewhere.
I'm glad that languages are untied about it. For me, there are elements in this policy that should not be part of it. It will be understood that I speak of the famous prohibition of ostentatious signs. I cannot wait to see how they will handle the barbs. Imagine (assuming anyone would agree on the principle of prohibition of ostentatious signs) a Muslim who wants to participate in movember (I know it's the mustache, but you understand my point) ...
For me, simply ban discussion of religious ideas at work would be sufficient. It is true that people do not have to listen to anyone who wants to convince them of beliefs that are personal. But again, is this really necessary? Are there not enough rules that govern our conduct? Can we not just rely on the judgment of people and see the exaggerations as exceptions (which they are)?
And most importantly, the prohibition of visible religious symbols? What a great way to get us to all be part of a pretty good mold (in appearance). Do I understand why it is so important for a religious person to wear his signs? No. Especially for me, the person who follows the rules is a good religious person but that does not make him or her a good believer. However I understand the freedom of beliefs and I do not want the state shows me the "right" way. At least as long as I do respect other people and their beliefs, I do not see why the state would limit me, anyway. Or anyone.
Not only does this vision not respect religious freedom, but also the consequences on these people are not even considered. The impact on gender equality, in the case of Muslims, is completely dismissed as less important (women have the burden to choose between their beliefs and their work while the men will not have this choice to make). While they talk a lot about gender equality in the text of the charter.
And basically... a Charter of "Quebec values"... It should include the vision of Aboriginal peoples, who are the real Quebecers. We're on borrowed land. Or rather stolen. (Although there is no concept of ownership of land in indigenous culture, only the responsibility of taking care of the lands that have been entrusted to our group - but this is another matter). We forget their point of view in all public debates. Aboriginal vision is much more inclusive than what is presented in this charter.
Anyway, I do not think this policy represents well my values as "Quebecker". I still agree with the idea to make representations in relation to secularism. I wondered why the report of the Bouchard-Taylor commission was put on the shelf since its publicizing. But I do not understand why the conclusions of the Bouchard-Taylor commission have not been better exploited. The general meaning of the recommendations is not respected and all in the Charter. On the contrary, it gives an open door to racist people to flatter their own back and permit themselves to make comments that have nothing to do with reality (often by ignorance and fear exacerbated by the media - and even politicians – not by personal experience).
I leave you this link to a petition with which I agree. The text clearly expresses many of the questions and criticisms that I would like to do about the charter.
Actually I do not leave you altogether. I'll translate what I just wrote to English because I think it is important that English Canadians have other versions than the one from their media. I will also reproduce an email I sent to an English Canadian friend, which expresses my feeling about the English Canadian response on the subject.
Email to my friend:
Just a follow-up after our chat yesterday. I just want to say thank you for trying to be neutral about the debate in Quebec around the Charte des valeurs québécoises.
One thing I can say is even though I don't aggree with all their plan and find they really lacked thinking about the effects their project can have on some people and how it can comfort some people in their racist view of what it means to be a Quebecker, I really resent the proportions such debates take in the ROC. Inevitably Quebeckers are depickted as wrong and closed-minded. Many English Canadians only get interested in Quebec when it's time for Quebec-bashing and at these times, it seems that all Canadians aggree with each other. Many keep quiet most of the time about the fact there's less difference between the richest and the poorest here. Most don't know that in Quebec, the federalists are the ones who believe most strongly in neo-liberalism (except for part of the new generation where there is more young people who consider themselves citizens of the world and don't see independence as necessary or desirable for reaching a state where there would be less inequalities) and that separatists are usually more left-winged (which explains why federalists don't want to separate, cause for them, Quebec ought to be more like the ROC).
So in all these debates I always feel uncomfortable saying my true mind to English Canadians, because I am always afraid this opens the door for them to comfort themselves in thinking Quebec - and especially separatists - have it all wrong. I am no separatist right now, but I cannot hide the fact I am afraid of the neo-liberalism which influences more and more people in Quebec and for me I am not afraid of immigrants, I am afraid of the link I can see between people who are federalist and who at the same time believe the most in social order, in the police state, in a strong economy where people are let to fend for themselves and I can go on.
To give you an idea maybe you did not know, there is a current right now of radio stations (and way of thinking) who are both federalist, believe strongly in freedom of expression and who hold the most sexist discourse (comparing women to trash and finding it funny or saying raped women deserved it cause they wore sexy clothes). They are also Parti Québécois-bashing all the time. This type of entertainment is especially popular among young federalist people. So it can give you an idea of why some people are so attached to nationalistic values or to French and why they can see English Canadians with a suspicious eye.
So yeah, it innerves me a little bit to see that many English Canadians take advantage of the current nonsense of the Parti Québécois to generalize "being wrong" as pertaining to this party and generally to people who would like to see independance of Québec. Even someone like you who is trying to fetch for "the truth" and who is generally more open-minded seem to let yourself be influenced. But I can see you are trying to understand better and I thank you for that. Maybe with this e-mail you also understand why even though I do not currently want the independance of Quebec I still do not trust the federalist current in Quebec because I can see how it is also linked to values I do not aggree with, especially neo-liberalism.
The fact that the Parti Québécois banks on the fear some people who simply don't know because they are not exposed to other cultures is disappointing, because on the contrary what they should do is try to have a project that is inclusive of everyone. For me, really, that's the kind of left-wing ideas I'd like to see (or maybe that is a concept that is neither left or right?). But that doesn't mean the whole left-wing of Quebec is racist. Be careful cause at the same time big industries and big people generally in the ROC have no advantage to see left-wing Québec ideas to be acceptable to the population in the ROC. Therefore it is to be expected that they would point out all the bad stuff the Parti Québécois can come up with and never mention the good stuff. It would make them more susceptible to have to share their riches. It is not only a question of if the current debate is right or wrong.
Also it has to be said that people who are left-winged seem to me to be more open to criticize politicians in general (even those who are "on their side" on ideas they don't aggree with). Therefore against the Parti Québécois or other left-wing parties, you can hear the right-wing people criticizing very strongly (while they never criticize their party), and you can also hear critics from left-winged people who are not as attached to a party but more to ideas. It gives the impression that left-wingers always fight and never aggree on anything, while they just want to reach for the best (at least for the ones who are furthest left).
BUT i have to admit that in recent years, the neo-liberalist thinking has made lots of progress even among the ones who would like to be independant (which used to be left-wingers). Therefore, the Parti Québécois is less and less representative of left-wing in Quebec, the pressure is on the other direction. It frustrates me cause we have less and less pressure to go left in the society. Right now there is the party I prefer - Québec Solidaire - who represents the values I aggree the most with in the parties with elected representatives. They are inclusive, they want equality among people, they want people to be empowered, they at least want to challenge a little the scheme of power in place. They also represent some of the people who want to be independant, even though their main focus is on social equality, not independance. But you'll never hear about that in English Canada, cause the main idea is - according to me - for Quebec progressive ideas to be demonized so that people would want to go all the way in the opposite direction.
Anyways, hehe. I think I had some stuff to express there. I just sometimes can feel the negative bias even you can have against Quebec and that makes me react a bit. I might take it too personally. :)