Friday, May 18, 2012

Quebec Student Strikes

One thing I have always admired about Quebecers is their lack of tolerance of their governments giving them what they perceive to be a bad deal.  It does not matter what group it is or the political stripe of the government that is committing the perceived wrong, they make it very difficult for any government to do so without consequences.

We are seeing that this mind set runs deep and it runs thoughtout the province, including in the youth.  I say good on them. 

On the merits of their case I cannot say that I blame the students for their actions.  They enjoy the lowest tuition rates in the country and they would like to keep it that way.  As well, they know that the proposed tuition hikes are only the beginning.  Once they start they will not stop.  They only need to look at all of the other provinces in Canada where governments have been raising tuitions for the last 20+ years.  The reason why they are doing so is the wet noodle reaction of student organizations to the proposed hikes.  The student organizations make all sorts of noise about "access to education being a right" but they never really took action to back up their words.

I daresay that this might not be a problem in Quebec.  The current proposal will be enacted because for the Charest government to back down now would be a political disaster but the events of the last four months will probably give future Quebec governments pause before proposing more tuition increases in the future.

Indeed, if the PQ Party has any political smarts left they should be planning on promising to roll back any tuition hikes in the coming election in an effort to take political advantage of a suddenly energized youth vote.

It is good to see that there is still one last jurisdiction on the continent where the people of that place are unwilling to let their government give them the shaft without putting up one hell of a fight.  Now if only the rest of the continent would follow their example.

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