In yesterday's National Post, Jonathan Kay posed the question of whether Quebec Solidaire will be the "go-to sovereigntist option for 2018."
Quebec Solidaire is a hard left separatist party that, as Kay noted, "meant one thing, and one thing only, to Canadians outside Quebec: a lone Iranian-born anti-Zionist oddball MNA named Amir Khadir conducting an eccentric weekly protest outside a Montreal shoe store that sold Israeli products. "
There is, however, much more to the party and it's every bit as discreditable as the shameful behavior of Amir Khadir suggests.
The basis of the party is Marxism and its core principles are to oppose capitalism and to impose a Hugo Chavez-style government in an independent Quebec.
One of Quebec Solidaire's founders, Roger Rashi, gave a talk just before the election in Quebec to the communist "Greater Toronto Worker's Assembly" in which he outlined his party's principles. Making it clear from the outset that he is a Marxist, he sees the rational of Quebec Solidaire as being an "anti neo-liberal" party. Neo-liberalism is a nebulous concept but is generally understood to mean the promotion of liberal economic markets, free trade, deregulation and the enhanced role of the private sector in society. Politically, it generally is interpreted to be synonymous with classical liberalism and the liberal democratic values of democracy and free expression manifested by the marketplace of ideas.
So, like the Marxism held so dear by its founders, the fundamental purpose of Quebec Solidaire is to oppose classical liberalism, capitalism and in effect, free expression.
Rashi's talk was moderated by Abigail Bakan, who was a featured speaker at a pro-Iran, Khomeinist al Quds Day event and is known for views which match the Canadian government's definition of being an antisemite. Currently, she is head of the "Social Justice Education" at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
Speaking at Bakan's elbow, Rashi gushed praise for the recently deceased Hugo Chavez and was effusive about the Venezuelan dictator's vision for "21st Century Socialism."
For those actually living under Chavez' rule, that form on socialism included state control of the press in which private broadcasters were forced to run lengthy, Fidel Castro style speeches by the nation's strongman while denying those opportunities to his opponents. It also included and continues to include the murder, imprisonment and persecution of members of rival political parties. Right now, there are mass protests against Chavez's appointed successor, Nicolas Maduro in which the state has killed dozens of student protesters, including a nationally known beauty queen.
Since thew Chavez/Maduro regime took power, Venezuela has assumed the world's fifth highest murder rate and is plagued with rampant food shortages, skyrocketing inflation and poverty.
The crushing defeat of the Parti Quebecois in this week's provincial election is widely seen as a rejection by Quebeckers of the call for independence from Canada. But the tiny Quebec Solidaire party did raise its seat count in the provincial legislature to three seats from two. That number may be relatively insignificant, but the debacle that would arise if Quebec Solidaire's radical, totalitarian fanatics ever were in a position of significant political influence is something that could send shockwaves across the continent, even if it were to be as far off as 2018.