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Les publicités négatives 2015 / 2015 Attack ads (#229)

Avec un peu moins de 200 jours avant l’élection fédérale, je remarque déjà une différence de style entre les publicités négatives. 

With around 200 days to go until the Federal election, I’m already noticing a difference in styles and focus in attacks ads.

Quatre des partis s’attaquent les uns les autres — mais au moins ces attaques visent les enjeux qui ont rapport à nos vies quotidiennes, et celles de nos enfants à l’avenir… …

Four of the parties are attacking each other, but at least on issues which concern our daily lives, and those of our children in the future… …

Ci-dessous – Exemple d’une publicité conservatrice contre les libéraux

(Below – Example of Conservative ads against the Liberals)

c.on.atq.1

Ci-dessous – Exemple d’une publicité libérale contre les conservateurs

(Below – Examples of Liberal ads against the Conservatives)

l.ib.atq.2

Ci-dessous – Exemple d’une publicité néo-démocrate contre les conservateurs

(Below – Example of NDP ads against the Conservatives)

n.dp.atq.3

Ci-dessous – Exemple d’une publicité des Verts contre les autres partis politiques

(Below – Example of Green ads against all the other parties)

v.er.atq.4

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Et puis, il y a un parti qui se démarque par ses attaques contre… … et ben… le monde”!

And then there’s that one party which stands out for its attacks against… well… “the world”!

Exemple des publicités du Bloc. —— Mais en toute honnêté, chu pas sûr que c’est le NPD qu’elle vise

Example of ads from the Bloc.—— But I’m not sure it’s the NDP they’re truly targeting

b.loc.atq.5

Grand soupir, Il y en a toujours “une” dans la salle, n’est-ce pas?

Big sigh, there’s always “one” in the crowd, isn’t there!

————————————


Lien:  Comment gérer la colère d’un enfant ?

Link:  10 Great Books That Can Help an Angry Child

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Paul Arcand (#176)

Paul  Arcand is one of Québec’s best known opinion-maker talk-show radio hosts, and is best known in the Montréal area (where his daily radio show is broadcast).  However, unlike many other Québec opinion makers, he rarely aligns himself with controversial subjects, and he keeps his show relevant to what the vast majority of people can relate to.  It is one of the reasons why he is so popular, and in this sense, he is associated with being a man of the common people.

He has been on the radio for 35 years.  Paul Arcand would be the first person many people in Québec would think of when their thoughts turn to Québec talk radio (simply by virtue that the region in which he is broadcast contains over half of Québec’s population).

To give you an idea of his popularity, this past week, the internet in Québec was abuzz regarding Paul Arcand “losing it” on the radio when he heard his name being used (not very flatteringly) in a radio advertisement for a product. (If you’re learning French, “losing it” or “freaking out” can be referred to as “péter une coche”).  In short, Arcand did not give his consent for his name to be used in the advertisement.  Needless to say, he did not take too kindly to the idea of his own station played such an advertisement, and he let his station have it on air.

It became one of the most viewed news stories of the week in Québec, which attests to his popularity with the public (this would not have been a story had someone less popular made a deal of a similar issue).  Like I mentioned earlier, probably the reason why he is so popular is because his approach to topics, and the way he presents them resonates so well with the public (as does any popular radio host).

He hosts the morning show, “Puisqu’il faut se lever” (Since you have to get up) on 98,5 FM Montréal.   It should therefore come as no surprise that he is the voice who many people in Montréal listen to while getting ready for work or during their morning commute.

98,5 FM’s official website is:  http://www.985fm.ca/

You can listen to 98,5 FM at the above link.

Paul Arcand’s morning radio show can be listed to as an online re-broadcast at http://www.985fm.ca/em/puisqu-il-faut-se-lever-391.html

If you’re learning French, perhaps try listening to Arcand’s shows online for a week or two.  See if it helps with your comprehension skills.   The language he uses is at an average speed, but it not overly filled with Joual or slang.   This might be a good way to ease yourself from “news reporter” French, towards more “street informal” French.  In addition, the topics he discusses and how he discusses them are relevant and should also be of interest to the average Anglophone Canadian.

If you find you listen to 98,5 FM on a regular basis, they have a downloadable app which works quite as well (it covers all the Cogeco FM network radio stations – a grouping of various talk show radio stations in different cities of Québec).

Enjoy the programs!

2015-02-08

 

The Duo “Coderre – Lebeaume” (#175)

A new travelling road-show has taken to the stage over the past couple of months, and the fans are loving it.  However, they have not yet hired a band or back-up singers.

During the winter, we have been witness to the rise of a different type of media sensation in Québec, quite different from anything we’ve seen in Québec or Canada – at least during my time.   The mayors of two major cities, Montréal and Québec City have entered into what can only be described as a political marriage (for lack of a better term) – and they’ve taken it on the road.  But what is more significant, this hand-in-hand “best friend” relationship has turned them into celebrities of a completely different type; almost with rock-star status.

Denis Coderre (Montréal’s mayor) and Régis Lebeaume are together so often in the news, at events, and as a part of each other’s city’s respective initiatives that I’m left wondering if they’re spending more time travelling between each other’s cities than they are in their own cities (Québec City and Montréal are a three hour drive apart, after all).

We have three levels of government (Federal, Provincial and Municipal), but in Québec, this duo has seemingly forged a relationship which appears to be operating as a fourth level or province unto itself (take your pick), that of the “Montréal-Québec City” government (singular).   The two mayors are speaking as one voice, even on issues that don’t concern each other’s cities, to maximize attention to issues and to get what they want from the federal and the provincial governments.   As a duo, they have become a sort of “Captain Municipality”, standing up for issues important to smaller communities which do not necessarily have the populations behind them to bring their issues to the forefront.

It’s almost as if Coderre and Lebaume are now operating as their own city council, giving each other the nod before either embarks on any individual project, and this new approach to municipal politics is making waves.  The public cannot get enough of it and both Coderre and Lebeaume have been appearing on television and radio talk shows together, non-stop, for weeks on end.

Any time politicians gang up together to get what they want from another level of government, you would expect there to be verbal clashes and fighting.   But what I find fascinating is that they’re not confrontational towards either the Federal government (Ottawa) nor towards the provincial government (Québec), and the higher level of governments are not being confrontational towards this duo neither.  Instead, all levels are meeting together, almost as chummy friends, to talk about issues.  What’s more, they’re all meeting as if they were “equal-level” partners – and we’re not hearing many of the condescending tones towards the city level which we often hear from the provincial governments (or federal government).

There are probably a few reasons why this Coderre-Lebeaume approach has not degenerated into conflict.

  • One is that the mayors bring “population numbers” with them to the tables. It is in the interest of higher level governments to meet on friendly ground with the mayors (it would be political suicide, especially in a federal election year, to peeve off such large base populations).
  • The second reason likely stems from both Coderre’s and Lebeaume’s personal backgrounds. Coderre is a career politician (30+ years in the Federal government), and Lebeaume was a successful businessman.  Both have the experience and knowledge to know that things do not change overnight.  In this sense, they are patient and seemingly quite understanding of financial constraints and political nuances when talking to their provincial and federal counterparts.  They’re making demands, but they’re also giving higher levels of government a lot of slack in light of current economics.  Likewise, their federal and provincial counterparts are affording this mayoral duo due respect and consideration in return (these “new” dynamics are truly fascinating to watch – and not just from my point of view, but from that of Québec at large – the media coverage of it speaks for itself).
  • Another reason likely has something to do with this duo’s personalities. I get the impression both mayors want to approach matters with a win-win approach (regardless if you agree or not with their stances on issues).  Both are very personable people, with populist personalities, and they are very media savvy.  They love to laugh and make jokes on camera, and common people can’t get enough of them.
  • Perhaps the feature of this duo which the public finds the most attractive is that they seem to be above petty ideological politics – something which the public in Québec is not used to seeing in many other politicians. In the case of the Coderre-Lebeaume couple, it’s almost a case of “opposites attract”.  Denis Coderre is very federalist (as I stated above, he was a federal Liberal MP and minister in Ottawa for decades, fighting hard for Canada, including during the 1995 referendum).   Régis Lebeaume has traditionally supported sovereignty.  But in their roles as mayors, they’ve been able to do something very few other politicians in Québec have ever been able to do… they put these ideological differences behind them, rolling up their sleeves, calling others players to the tables, working with them, and addressing matters head-on.
  • Montréal went through a rough patch of mayoral scandals and controversies the past few years (a water-metre scandal, one mayor resigned because of corruption in city bureaucracy, and another mayor was arrested for corruption).  Québec City’s population was also polarized by a prior divisive mayor.   The rise of Denis Coderre and Régis Lebeaume came as a breath of fresh air to many – even for those who may not agree with their policies.

This duo’s ratings continue to be sky-high.  Even those who perhaps are not so hot on their individual policies find this duo has a certain star appeal.

If I can draw a parallel, Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi, recently won the “world’s best mayor” award.  Upon receiving the award, he was asked if it posed problems that he is a progressive mayor in a conservative city (Nenshi could very easily be a Liberal, and perhaps even NDP whereas his city’s electorate is quite conservative.  Yet Calgary loves him).  Nenshi responded I reject these terms – ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’. I think they are meaningless to the vast majority of people, who just want good government at a decent price.  As the former Governor of Washington and Senator, Dan Evans, wrote in 2002, “There are no Republican schools or Democrat highways, no liberal salmon or conservative parks.” I really believe that this kind of categorization alienates people and keeps them from participating in the political process.” 

In the case of the Coderre-Lebeaume duo, their relationship seems to be based on the same principles.  In their roles as Québec politicians, this duo is a rare breed which seems to have rejected the terms ‘federalist’ and ‘sovereignist’.  Rather, they are taking on the issues, one-by-one, with the attitude that city issues are neither federalist, nor sovereignist, neither Liberal, Conservative, nor Péquiste.  In return, higher governments have repaid them in kind for their “depolitization” of municipal politics (which works well for both the provincial Liberals, and federal Conservatives).  Higher levels of governments have repaid by not “playing politics” with city governments.

One could ask themselves how much of the media hype around this duo is owing to their electric and populist personalities.   It is obvious that they are a good match on that front (these two probably wouldn’t be dancing if their personalities didn’t matcH).  I get the impression the public can’t get enough of this duo owing to the fact that it is simply rare to see politicians working so well together on so many levels, and even more rare to see politicians laughing and joking as a duo as they go about their jobs (hand-in-hand).

Something unexpected just happened in the last couple of days… the Coderre-Lebeaume duo may be opening up their relationship.  When they were in Toronto for the annual Canadian mayor’s conference this last week, Coderre had one-on-one indepth discussions with Toronto’s mayor, John Tory (one of their meetings lasted two hours).  Tory’s personality is not far off from either Coderre’s or Lebeaume’s and Toronto and Montréal pledged they are going to start to work together.  Is the Québec duo positioning itself for a menage-à-trois?.

A few days ago, Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi, travelled to Québec City and had meetings with Régis Lebeaume. Perhaps the relationship has the potential to become even kinkier than a ménage-à-trois (politically speaking, of course).  After all, Toronto’s John Tory, and Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi also both speak French (and French is the language of love, n’est ce pas?  Oh la la!).  Regardless, this kinkier political twist and turn is just pure speculation on my part (only a political infidelity divorce filing or love child time will tell)… But in the meantime, we’re going to see more and more of this political couple – and it is rapidly changing the face of Québec politics.

Perhaps they’ll soon hire that band I mentioned, along with back-up singers for their travelling road show to go with all the rest 😉 .

Québec’s Evening News Programs (#45)

If you’re like me, and many of you are, the internet has changed the way how, where, and when you receive your news (as opposed to 10 or 15 years ago when we sat in front of the television to catch the evening newscast).

Nonetheless, major evening newscasts still exist in both in English and French.  In Anglophone Canada the major evening newscasts are CBC’s “The National”, “CTV National News”, and “Global National”.

In Québec, the French language major evening newscasts are

  • Radio-Canada’s “Le téléjournal” at 10:00pm, (click HERE to view the last newscast), and
  • TVA’s “TVA Nouvelles” at 10:00pm, (to view the last newscast, click HERE to open the news page, then click the box at the right side, half-way down the page, named “Revoir le TVA Nouvelles”).

Because of competition from the internet, the evolution of these evening news programs has closely followed the same recent changes in Anglophone evening newscasts.  Many people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s are now accessing news through mobile phones and the internet throughout the day.   Their interest in, and need to spend an hour before the television in the evening to catch a resumé of the day’s news is no longer as vital (and even viewed as a waste of time by many).  Therefore, just as “The National” and “CTV National News” have had to change and adapt their formats to remain relevant, so too have “Le téléjournal” and “TVA Nouvelles”.

These news programs’ recent countermeasures to remain relevant and unique include presenting a brief resumé of the news, but then to greatly supplement news reports with analysis and commentaries.  Due to budgetary restrictions and travel limitations for foreign correspondents, they have incorporated long-distance on-screen interviews into their programs using Skype to discuss current events with independent reports, eyewitnesses, and news-makers around the country and around the world.   Although the public may not have perceived this gradual change over the past several years, when you compare evening news today (in both English and French) to the same programs a decade ago, the difference is actually quite stark.

TVA Nouvelles generally attracts a larger viewer audience than RC’s Le téléjournal.

Le téléjournal:

Radio-Canada is the Federal public broadcaster (the French counterpart of the CBC).   For several years now, the chief anchor and host of Le Téléjournal has been Céline Galipeau (prior to Galipeau, the host was the well-known Bernard Derome, who was the chief anchor for nearly 30 years.  Stéphane Bureau hosted the program for a short period prior to Galipeau taking the reins.

Le téléjournal is broadcast every evening across Canada, in every part of the country, from the most Northern Arctic communities, and from the Pacific ocean to the Atlantic coast.

They do cover issues across Canada, but the concentration of news and matters discussed continues to be on Québec-specific affairs (news covering the provincial government, events in cities, etc.).   For television news geared to Francophones and Francophiles in other provinces or regions, Radio-Canada offers the 6pm Téléjournal [provincial], such as Le téléjournal Alberta, Le téléjournal Acadie, Le téléjournal Manitoba, … Ottawa, … Colombie-Britannique, … Ontario, and … Sasktachewan.

TVA Nouvelles:

TVA is a private broadcaster owned by Québecor’s QMI.   QMI also owns the English language Sun News television (available in various part of Anglophone Canada), as well as the Sun newspapers and other newspapers across Canada.   In an earlier post, I had mentioned that Pierre Bruneau is the well-known host of TVA Nouvelles.

TVA Nouvelles concentrates mostly on issues of interest to Québec viewers (its prime audience).   When it reports news from elsewhere in Canada or on Federal politics, it does so by relating the relevancy to Québec and how it may impact Québec viewers.   If you’re outside of Québec, you may find TVA Nouvelles is not as pertinent to you, unless you wish to have a better understanding of what news the Québec public is watching.  Remember, just like pop-culture, news exposure, and how it is presented, can influence a society’s collective views and opinions – the word is “soft power”.   Thus, catching TVA Nouvelle’s perspective on issues of national events can perhaps round out your own views.

Good for learning & improving your French :

Both newscasts are presented in standard, international French, albeit with a Québec accent (just as BBC is presented in standard, international English, but with a British accent).   If you are beginning to learn French, these program’s avoidance of joual (slang and informal French) make them ideal launching grounds with which you can train your ear and distinguish the different sounds in French.   At the beginner’s stage, it’s not as important to understand what is being said as much as it’s important to be able to make out different sounds.   If you’re at an intermediate level, these are good programs with which to begin to build a greater vocabulary.  If you’re at an advanced level, well then, just enjoy taking in the news.

Guy A. Lepage (#4)

Guy A. Lepage was mentioned in this blog’s first post as being the host of Tout le monde en parle.

Where does one begin (or end) when talking about Guy A. Lepage?  From a pop-culture point-of-view, he has a long list of accomplishments – a force unto himself over a period of 30 years, with wide reaching appeal in Quebec culture (but from his youthful looks and energy levels, you’d never guess he was born in 1960!).

It would take a book to write about the number of cultural and popular awards he has won, or just how well-known he is with Francophones.

In pop-culture, there are past references we can all recall from when we were younger;  references you can joke about any time, and have them instantly understood by your peers.  These shared experiences create a feeling of belonging, commonality, and sense of “yah, I remember that — yes, we are cut from the same mould – , and yes, we get each other in a way nobody from another culture could”.

That’s why pop-culture is an important building block to nationhood in the social sense.  In an English-Canadian context, an example of might be the “Chicken Lady” from Kids in the Hall.  Despite how long the show has been off air, many Anglophone Canadians in their 30’s or 40’s (maybe even 50’s) would instantly understand the context if you mimicked the Chicken Lady.   Even regurgitating that the “Polkaroo” call from Polkadot Door makes for instant recognition — a bonding feeling of “Yah, I get you… we’re definately hatched from the same nest!” (mention Polkaroo to someone in Prince George, Moose Jaw, Windsor, or St. John and you’ll get the same nod and smile).

Guy Lepage has appeared in so many popular programmes, on so many different media platforms, that it could be said he has been a source of many Québec pop-culture references over the past 30 years.   He has become a bonding figure for Québec pop-culture and society in general through the major events in Québec during that period.   That’s a powerful force in all senses of the word.  Whether it’s on purpose of inadvertent, pop-culture holds sway and influence over public opinion on a range of issues.  Being at the helm of numerous programmes also means one has a degree of control over the business and economic end of what the public will see when they turn on their television or radio in the evening.

He rose to stardom as one of the main actors in the regularly aired comedy group Rock et belles oreilles (simply known as RBO).  It ran for nearly 15 years on TV.  For comparison sake, its presentation style was similar to that of Kids in the HallKids in the Hall could be considered risqué for its time, often making fun of issues like sex and homosexuality, at a time when it was daring to touch upon those subjects on TV — let alone make fun of the issues (remember the “anal probes”?).  In a national sense, the programme probably played some role in pushing the envelope of public awareness and acceptability.

With that reference in mind, RBO also used humour during the same era, but to a broader and deeper degree (sexual inuendo,  homosexuality, politics, sovereignty issues, Anglophones, Francophones, public figures of all streams and colours, and various ethical issues).   The majority of the sketches may not have been overly controversial, but by integrating humour into sensitive topics, RBO captivated the province and drew in the masses.

Since the programme disbanded, the actors went their separate ways and continued on various paths of stardom.  But none of them achieved the status of Guy Lepage today.

In the early 2000s, he became more focused on the actual production of TV programmes.   He created the Québec version of the France TV programme Un gars une fille, which ran weekly on Radio-Canada from 1997 to 2003.   Apart from being the producer, Guy was also the main co-actor.   The show became supremely popular, centered on the funny and quirky dynamics between a husband (played by Lepage) and his wife.  The success of the series cannot be underestimated. It’s one of the most internationally prize-winning TV series in Canadian history, and has been adapted and copied in 26 other countries, more so than most any other TV programme in the history of television — full stop.   With that, Lepage has a larger-than-life status in Québec and francophone pop-culture (it may now be more apparent why I mentioned two posts earlier that there were Francophones seemingly “shocked and horrified” when Le Journal de Montréal poll revealed the vast majority of Anglophone Canadians had absolutely no idea who Lepage was – despite the international accolades he has attracted towards both Québec, and Canada as a whole).

Since Un gars une fille went off the air in 2003, Lepage was further propelled into the sky when he adapted the France TV interview show Tout le monde en parle to create the still-running Québec version, starting in 2004 (the topic of this blog’s first post).

Apart from these achievements, Lepage has been an actor in several movies, he’s been the host of several major TV events (Québec national award ceremonies, annual galas, live televised celebrations, etc.), a stage-actor, an actor in commercials, and the producer of other artistic endeavours (with the TV comedy Les Chick’n Swell also having been galvanized in Québécois collective memory).

One of the most surprising aspects of his career is his brilliance as in interviewer.  Perhaps it is owing to his boldness stemming from his RBO days of pushing the envelope into uncharted territory, or perhaps it is his overall confidence stemming from his contact with all aspects of society – but it’s undeniable that his talents as a provocative, probing, and quick-witted interviewer are quite unique.   There are elements of Québec society who may not agree with the direction he takes his interviews, which battles he picks and choses – or who he choses to single out in interviews (he does have political and social opinions), but few would deny his talent.  He nonetheless deserves much respect and accolade.

With all of this behind him, it’s a wonder Guy A. Lepage has time to sleep.  And with his energy levels and determination, it will be interesting to see what comes next, what it will lead to, and how it will shape Québec society’s collective views.

References to search online to view or read:

  • Tout le monde en parle (TLMEP)
  • Un gars une fille
  • Rock et belles oreilles (RBO)

Radio-Canada sells past programmes in various formats.  Please do not pirate.