Babara Kay Strikes Back To the Future
I’m sorry to go after her again, but I’m lazy and it’s just too easy.
Everybody’s favourite National Post columnist Barbara Kay is all exited about a new film she just discovered called “L’illusion Tranquille” by Joanne Marcotte. The movie is nearly two years old but Barbara just heard about it, presumably because of the dubbed version that just came out.
L’Illusion Tranquille is documentary about what Québec’s Right considers the failure of the Québec Model.
The Québec Model is a one-size-fits-all of a concept used to describe all that is supposedly different about Québec’s economics, things like cheap tuition, cheap electricity, government intervention, one of the biggest cooperative sectors of the free market economies, high income taxes and low corporate taxes.
Everything that makes Québec either the shinning beacon of progressive capitalism or a stray Soviet republic, depending on where you stand.
We all know where the National Post and Barbara Kay stand:
“See [L'Illusion Tranquille] to be informed, but if for no other reason, see it to penetrate the wall of silence used by the mainstream francophone media to shield their audiences against criticism of the “sacrosanct” Quebec Model. The wall of silence ensured that press reaction to the French-language version of the film was, predictably, to shoot the messenger rather than acknowledge the message.”
See, this is what you get when you hire someone as uninformed about the society she lives in as Barbara Kay to write commentary about Québec.
L’Illusion Tranquille actually received an unprecedented amount of coverage in the Québec media considering it was small budget film made by a pair with no film-making experience. Just about every political commentator in the province wrote about or discussed the movie.
Canal D, a very popular cable channel, bought the right to air it 15 times.
This is an astonishing response for what turned out to be an uneven movie that even the people featured in it refused to endorse. The more enthusiastic called it a healthy Micheal Moore-style exercise in shit-stirring. The others dismissed it as a Micheal Moore-style exercise in shit-stirring…
L’Illusion Tranquille was first screened in November 2006. Four months later, the conservative Action Démocratique du Québec and Mario Dumont became the official opposition in Québec’s National Assembly on a pledge to overhaul the “Québec Model”. In front of them sat the Premier, Jean Charest, twice elected on a promise to re-engineer the “Québec model”.
In June 2007, six months after the movie came out, the film’s director, Joanne Marcotte, was named by the Premier to a government commission presided by former health minister Claude Castonguay on health care financing in Québec.
In six months Joanne Marcotte went from complete nobody to government consultant on the provincial government’s biggest budget expenditure, health care.
They sure shut her up!
What really bothers Barbara Kay about Québec is not the wall of silence, but precisely the absence of this wall. Barbara Kay has a problem with the fact that there is actually a relatively healthy debate on the issues in Québec and that people don’t automatically buy the Right’s Miracle Magic solutions to all that’s wrong in the world.
She has a problem with the fact that people in Québec ask the Right annoying questions like: Why are we in Afghanistan? What good will come of sending 14 year old children to jail when Québec already has the lowest crime rate in Canada? How exactly is the sad parody of capitalism currently collapsing all around us better than the Québec Model?