And if PKP was federalist? (continued)

News 22 January, 2018
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    Fire Paul Desmarais father

    Josée Legault

    Monday, 22 January 2018 10:23

    Monday, 22 January 2018 10:44

    Look at this article

    Last Friday, I published the chronicle as follows : “And if PKP was a federalist?”. Issue provide concrete examples of the two weights, two measures that seem to apply in terms of policy interventions as soon as the influential person who speaks is sovereigntist.

    However, in the daily newspapers, the space being limited to any chronic, so here’s the detailed version of my text from Friday, including for those interested in the subject, the appropriate links as a reference.


    And if PKP was federalist? (continued)

    Support for the Parti québécois, melting like snow in the sun, in this election year is crucial for the pq members, one question is on everyone’s lips. Their ex-chief Pierre Karl Péladeau would be-he tried to make a comeback in the political arena? In the sovereigntist movement, more hope.

    On social media, its output felt against the government Couillard feed, of course, the rumors. The fact that his departure surprise of the policy in may 2016 has been involuntary for the reasons that we know is only adding to the mystery.

    Result : of the criticisms are starting to mount. Can we even accept, ask, some, a great patron of the media can continue to mingle openly of a social media policy, and consider maybe even, who knows, a possible political comeback?

    Last week, my colleague columnist at The Press, Yves Boisvert, was worried about the situation and said this : “these days, in the case of owners of national media involved in the political debate […] are quite rare in North America.”

    Let’s go so for a few facts, which, without mentioning “our days”, are nevertheless in recent memory.


    Visor lifted

    For or against his opinions, PKP works to visor lifted. In contrast, the late Paul Desmarais father – federalist irreducible and patron of the empire Power Corp. including The Press, was very visible.

    To pull the strings of political leaders in Quebec, in Canada and even in Europe, there is strong preference to behind-the-scenes muted and discrete power.

    An example among many others : his friendship influential with Nicolas Sarkozy. Once president of France, he traded the policy of non-interference and non-indifference towards the sovereigntist movement for a bias open for the national unity of Canada. In France, it was a major shift in foreign policy. This is what is called doing politics on a large scale.

    Grateful for the active support of Mr. Desmarais father, Sarkozy has rushed to decorate his friend of the highest distinction in France – the grand cross of the Legion of honor. And the president of the Republic did so in these words of praise and personal : “If I am president today, it is thanks in part to the advice, the friendship and the loyalty of Paul Desmarais.”.


    Tools of political combat

    Another difference. To the late Mr. Desmarais father and his family, owners of the empire Power Corp., the editorial policy of their newspapers is unconditionally federalist, and few are even its chroniclers to be ventured on another field.

    In the Face of the sovereignty movement, on the national question, their editorials have been and remain the tools of political struggle. It is certainly their right to do so, but the fact is undeniable.

    If The Press now takes the risk of leaving the market of the newspaper and reduces significantly the number of its columnists political, and this is in large part because over the past few years, the “threat of separatism” is missing from the radar. In short, his need to attempt to influence public opinion through its positions on the editorial is no longer what it was.

    In 2008, when he was 81 years old, the patriarch Desmarais gave a very rare interview with French magazine Le Point, which confirmed openly.

    At a time when Desmarais father rejoiced at the victory of his friend Sarkozy, and was comforted by the presence of Stephen Harper federally and Jean Charest in Quebec, here is how The Point was : “Desmarais is not only a business tycoon. It has got the upper hand on the press of the Belle Province. And all the Premiers of Québec (and Canada) are his friends. Desmarais, a man of influence…” Difficult to be more clear.

    Remember, too, that his immense sphere of influence in policy also includes the marriage of a son of Desmarais father to the daughter of Jean Chrétien, ex-prime minister libréal of Canada.


    Still, you make the policy ?

    The question candide asked by the journalist from the magazine Le Point – “when you do politics ?”, Desmarais father confessed to having already attempted to show, but its stuttering the could have prevented it.

    “What is the editorial line of The Press”, he also asked the journalist. The answer of Mr. Desmarais is equally clear : “This is my son Andrew, who is in charge of The Press. Our position is known : we are federalists. It has earned us the conflicts very hard. In the end, we came up with a compromise : I must not intervene in the newspaper. The point of view of the separatists may appear, but the editorial line was a federalist. There are no ambiguities. If Quebec separates, it will be his end. Me, I am attached to freedom and democracy.” His “end” ? As a political statement, that’s a whole.

    And what of this exchange epic – a threat just as policy -dating back to 1988 between Paul Desmarais father and the new leader of the PQ at the time, Jacques Parizeau. An exchange whose content was confirmed by the two men in the interview for the 3rd volume of the biography of Mr. Parizeau by Pierre Duchesne. “In any case, to launch Mr. Desmarais Mr. Parizeau, if you present yourself in the next election, we will defeat you my dear ! We will defeat you.” And who was this “we” ? These logs ? The QLP ? The two of them ?


    Desmarais father preferred the scenes muted and discrete power

    March 15, 2014, in one of his chronicles, signed in the pages of the Journal de Montreal, the ex-prime minister Jacques Parizeau, commenting on the nomination surprise of Pierre Karl Péladeau for the Parti québécois, was, in fact, this observation, which continues to be of great relevance :

    “For three newspapers in quebec (Quebecor), which, of course, the Journal de Montréal, they are also in a class of its own. There has never been an editorial page, it has never told people how to vote and we manage since the very beginning, to columnists come from all walks of life. If we condemn this kind of practice, what must we think of those Power Corporation, which, through its subsidiary, Gesca, which controls seven of the thirteen quebec newspapers, including the two free.

    It is true, however, that the influence of a media empire on the operation and the guidance of a government problem. The concentration of the media has become a universal concern. Their influence, their interference, in the affairs of government can be exercised in many ways, more or less transparent.

    As well, in my case, I would have liked that mr. Paul Desmarais seat in front of me at the national Assembly, rather than exert his considerable influence on the affairs of quebec, to Paris, to Ottawa, as well as Montreal and Quebec. I’m sure everything would become a lot more clear !”


    Inspired strategy of Harper

    Today, how also think that in the middle of election year, $ 10 million loaned by the government Couillard Group capital cities Media, Martin Cauchon (*) – the former minister in the federal liberal and a close friend of Desmarais, who has purchased the regional newspaper of Power Corp., would suddenly the chance ?

    This loan is generous and selective (The Duty not to receive a maximum loan of$ 526,000), is also reminiscent of the media strategy of the former conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper. Which preferred them greatly to pass his “messages” by the local media less critical of tradition in matters of national policy.

    The moral of this story : if PKP was a federalist instead of being sovereignist, that he had lifted a fist to the maple leaf flag, which he had directed the QLP, and that he was speaking now against the PQ and for the canadian unit, the criticisms of its interventions is likely to be more nuanced…


    Addendum :

    (*) This morning, the Bureau of investigation of the Log reports this : “wealthy anonymous investors to tax havens have wagered at least $ 165 million in pot growers allowed in Canada. (…) In all, 35 of the 86 producers authorized by Health Canada, 40% of them, have benefited from funding offshore in the past two years, according to financial documents consulted. Among them, we find a firm pot administered by Alain Dubuc, columnist, La Presse, and Martin Cauchon, owner of the newspapers.”