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A short word on today’s passing of Jacques Parizeau.
This will be quite an unexpected lesson in conditioning (the subject of the current series of several posts) – one which was not planned and is completely by chance owing to today’s sudden announcement of Mr. Parizeau’s passing.
Although controversial, Jacques Parizeau was a man of incredible vision and one of the most influential people in not only Québec’s modern history, but also Canada’s modern history.
The book “Jacques Parizeau, un bâtisseur”, by Laurence Richard, was the first biography I ever read (in the early 1990s, strangely enough when I was in was about 14 or 15 years old).
During his time as Premier, it was quite apparent to most people that he had one goal. He had the integrity to head straight for that goal as fast as possible — No detours, no hesitation. It was understood that the any pieces and “collateral damage” resulting from that goal could be dealt with after. Regardless if people agreed or not with his approach or end goal, people knew where he stood, and were invited to take it or leave it. In 1995, people left it.
Mr. Parizeau was generally upfront in this sense (as upfront as he could be considering he had to form and maintain coalitions with others who were more hesitant), and he deserves everyone’s respect for having the integrity to let it be known where he stood on issues under such circumstances.
It is a lesson all politicians from all political stripes can learn from.
How this fits into conditioning:
As a builder of government institutions during Quebec’s Quiet Revolution, he achieved more in his time as a cabinet minister during René Levesque’s government than what several ministers achieve in the course of a few governments. He embarked on a wide range of industry nationalizations, the setting up of sovereign investment and pension funds, and other government institutions – many of which have since been copied across Canada – provincially coast to coast, or federally.
I always thought that had Mr. Parizeau been federalist, and had he sought to change the federation, the country in its entirety would have achieved heights never before conceived of. However, history made it so he assumed a different role.
Yet his role as a builder of Québec’s fundamental institutions, and the values which have ensued from those institutions have undoubtedly had a spill over imbued effect into Canada’s overall collective psyche (one region of the country invariably and eventually affects other parts of the country).
In a strange twist of fate, Parizeau’s role as a “builder of modern Québec” has made him a builder of Québec’s modern psyche and society — and through the spill-over affect, of Canada’s modern psyche and society also (which heavily revolves around our highly province-to-province integrated collective welfare & social systems, economic and political systems, and societal expectations). Thus, Mr. Parizeau has indirectly (and probably quite unknowingly) played a role in bringing Québec’s and English Canada’s collective psyches and societies closer in line than any time before.
He likely thought that Québec would have achieved independence decades ago before such a phenomenon could have ever occurred.
In this sense, a little bit of Jacques Parizeau will always be with all of us, regardless if you are Anglophone, Francophone, or regardless if you are from Vancouver, Saskatoon, Yarmouth or Hamilton. We have all be impacted in some way by Parizeau’s society-building efforts.
Yet neither Anglophone patriotic conditioning, nor Francophone nationalist conditioning has him seen in this also equally valid light.
SERIES: HOW THE PRESENTATION OF EVENTS IN MODERN HISTORY WHICH HAVE CONDITIONED US ALL REGARDING HOW WE VIEW OUR PLACE IN CANADA (13 POSTS)
- Conditioning: A contributing factor in the notion of the Two Solitudes – Introduction (#275) Part 1 of 13
- Conditioning: And its affect on our cultural cohesiveness and national psyche (#276) Part 2 of 13
- Conditioning: The importance of gestures (#277) Part 3 of 13
- Conditioning: In the context of Canada’s “modern” history (#278) Part 4 of 13
- Conditioning: The goal of the “Estates General of French Canada” (#279) Part 5 of 13
- Conditioning: Modern Canada’s “First” Night of the Long Knives – a trigger for the all the rest (#280) Part 6 of 13
- Conditioning: What happened after the Estates General? (#281) Part 7 of 13
- Conditioning: From the 1980 referendum until present (#282) Part 8 of 13
- Conditioning: Wrapping up history and moving into the “now” (#283) Part 9 of 13
- Conditioning: Daily examples of “an Incomplete Picture” – post A (#284) Part 10 of 13
- Conditioning: A few words regarding the death of Jacques Parizeau (#285) Part 11 of 13
- Conditioning: Daily examples of “an Incomplete Picture” – post B (#284) Part 12 of 13
- Conditioning: Daily examples of “an Incomplete Picture” – post C – Closing post (#287) Part 13 of 13