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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quebec's self-entitled brats

Nobody has to like it when the price of a product goes up. One of the reasons that free-market capitalism is so good for consumers is that competition provides a natural incentive to maintain low costs.

But Quebec's post-secondary school system bears no resemblance to the free markets, nor evidently does it do a very good job of teaching it to the bulk of  its students.

Quebec's self-entitled generation of spoiled students see their government sponsored university education as a right, not a privilege. It is a perceived right they expect the taxpayers of the province and the rest of Canada, through transfer payments to subsidize.

Quebec's youth have the inalienable right to be stupid,  and tens of thousands of them have been exercising that right for the last month in street protests. Outraged that the lowest tuition fees in Canada will continue to be the lowest tuition fees in Canada but not quite as low, they have rampaged throughout Montreal, smashing property and clashing with police.

Feeling their right to be aggrieved supersedes the rights of those students who want to go to classes and receive an education, they have violently prevented the operation of universities. And while this domestic terrorism has been applauded by radical left party Quebec Solidaire, the spineless provincial government of Jean Charest has continued to cower in the face of mob rule.

That attitude explains why Quebec is a world leader in very few areas aside from the production of maple syrup.

There is a recent national culture of protest gripping parts of the Canadian spectrum and nowhere is it worse than in Quebec. These perpetual protests, be it about student fees or G20 meetings or the intellectually vapid Occupy Movement all have one thing in common. The protesters are for the most part ignorant people who do not understand the issues they are protesting. The best illustration of that was the declaration of wanna-be protest icon Brigette de Pape, the ridiculous former page who marched onto the floor of the Senate with a homemade "Stop Harper" sign. She subsequently declared to the media that part of her motive was the need for Canada to have an "Arab Spring," betraying that she did not comprehend that Canada has for generations already achieved and surpassed every democratic goal the so called Arab Spring is attempting to reach.

But that's all immaterial to what the protests are about, which is protest for its own sake. The protesters may hate the Harper government, they may hate capitalism, they may hate that most of them are destined to unsuccessful or mediocre lives, but that isn't why they are on the streets. They are there for the chance to be part of something. The fact that they don't understand what that something is makes no difference to them, but it should to the rest of us and the democratic governments we elected.

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