You wouldn't know it by watching American media, but yesterday's provincial election in Quebec could go down as one of the most historic days for voting in world history.
By an unexpectedly narrow margin, Quebecers elected their first woman premier, Pauline Marois of the Parti Quebecois (PQ) which is dedicated to removing Quebec from Canada.
However, the real story was --and we're not talking some Middle Eastern or Third World country here--that a 62 year old man crashed the Marois victory party shooting one person to death and injuring another. We await further details as to whether the as yet unidentified man was in fact trying to gun down Marois. Apparently he shouted--in less than perfect French--"The English are waking up."
Not that you'd know that by watching American media.
As I reported from Quebec over the weekend, feelings were running high with dirty tricks (including robocalls against the Liberals and rumors that Marois had sent her son to English-speaking Harvard--wow!) rampant in the final days. I also alluded to reports on English radio stations that English fears were on the rise as the PQ seemed all but sure of winning. There was much talk of some Anglophones looking for property in neighboring Ontario province. One can only wonder how such wild rhetoric might have played into the shooting. I'm not usually one to bring up such things, but you can be sure, Quebecers will be wondering about it.
As it turned out, the PQ captured only 54 of the 125 seats in the Quebec Parliament meaning that a minority government will be formed an most likely will not last long enough for Ms. Marois to beat the drums of separation.
The Liberals, riddled with corruption and given up for dead over the weekend, came on strongly election day (in fact, the PQ tends to do less well in actual vote total than pre-election polls) gaining 50 seats to 19 for the newly formed Coalition Avenir Quebec and two for Solidaire led by Leninist Separtist Amir Khadir who was re-elected. (I actually witnessed two of his workers putting up a street sign in the Plateau region Sunday night).
Try as I might to get a report on American TV last night, all I could get was a crawl on Fox News around midnight. Obsessed with running the same Democratic covention coverage over and over again, Fox not only failed to mention this major story out of Quebec all night but all morning as well--and I watched most of the morning. Channel 9's morning news went with the briefest of stories imaginable.
One would think that with an election generating a murder, American media would run with the story big time even though it's only in a province (state) of the country to our north.
Raw vote totals seems to have been very close: 31.9% for the PQ, 31.2 % for the rejuvenaged Liberals of Jean Charest (who apparently lost his own seat by 100 votes in Sherbrooke), 27.1 % for the CAQ, 6.0% for Solidaire, and 3.8% other--not that you'd know any other that by watching American television.
I admit that as a regular visitor to Montreal, I care more about Quebec and Canadian elections than your run of the mill American, but this lack of coverage by U.S. media is simply ridiculous although, I suppose I should add that it's not unusual given the American media's fixation on covering only one story at a time.
A man in Colorado goes mad and blows up the crowd of a Batman movie, and it gets wall to wall 24 hour coverage. Political murder in a great democracy to our north is ignored by the media, no wonder they are called LAME STREAM MEDIA.
Two good web sites for details are montrealgazette.com and cjad.com, both in English. I suspect the Toronto Globe and Mail and National Post will also be covering this. Who knows? Maybe Fox will even get around to it...if they can tear themsevles away from wall to wall coverage of pablum from Charlotte!