Friday, October 12, 2007

Charest not helping Liberal fortunes in Quebec

He's looking pretty desperate and after having just eked out a minority government this spring, there's talk of him heading for defeat already. Here's his boneheaded latest:
In a drive to rebuild support for his minority government, Premier Jean Charest unveiled major initiatives this week, including reannouncing a project to bring Quebec's decaying infrastructure up to acceptable standards within 15 years.

On Tuesday, in response to the debate on reasonable accommodation of minorities, Mr. Charest said he would amend Quebec's Charter of Rights and Freedoms so that gender equality would trump religious freedom.
Mr. Charest's decision came as a recent poll showed that most Quebeckers oppose any accommodation for non-Christian minorities.

The proposed amendment has raised eyebrows among some legal experts who feel the government is too hasty in creating a form of hierarchy of rights.
Elevating one set of rights over another in order to pander to the lowest level of vitriol toward minorities that's on display with this religious accommodation inquiry is a poorly thought out hasty response to this debate. His move doesn't detract from religious rights, he's just saying one set of rights "trumps" the others. I'm not clear at all how that would resolve the recent issue of women in veils voting, or if it relates to that at all.

I'm pressed to see how this helps anyone, other than Charest and his short term political goals. Politicians shouldn't be messing around with Charters like this in response to a mob mentality. It's kind of disgraceful. Profiles in courage all around with some of our Canadian leaders these days.

And by the way, Charest's not helping Liberal fortunes in Quebec in the least by doing so.