A press release from the Bloc Québécois informs me that “Le gouvernement fédéral refuse de voir les conséquences de sa réforme idéologique de l’assurance-emploi”. Now I know what you’re thinking. “There’s still a Bloc Québécois?” To which I can only reply that there must be, or it wouldn’t be sending me press releases. What I can’t explain, though, is what it means by “ideological”.
I can see that it means “bad”. But if that’s all the meaning the word contains, why not save yourselves five syllables (OK, only three in French, from “idéologique” to “mauvais”)? And if not, could you please try to explain what specifically you dislike about the political philosophy behind these reforms instead of hurling polysyllabic mud at it?
As you also doubtless guessed, the head of the BQ (name him or her without looking it up, I dare you) claims the reform is bad for Quebec and was carried out without listening to Quebecers. An objection that tells us about as much as using the word “ideological” to disparage it. But a major objection to the Harper Administration, at least from my direction, is that they have no discernible “ideology” in the sense of a set of political principles and policy positions logically derived from those principles. Unless, of course, you consider “vote-for-me-in-return-for-moneyism” to be an ideology.
Where Stephen Harper out of politics was a libertarian, and in opposition stood for limited government, his Doppelganger at 24 Sussex is outrageously willing to offer subsidies and tax breaks to any blueberry industry, venture capitalist or arena-goer whose political support might be susceptible to such incentives.
If only Harper had an “ideology,” either the limited-government one some of his adversaries continue to ascribe to him despite his conduct or an articulate big-government one, people across the spectrum could try to have a rational debate about it. As is we’re struggling to remember such things as political principles exist while flailing away at incoherently opportunistic actions justified by rhetoric devoid of content and unrelated to action.
Which is very frustrating. But it’s no reason for the BQ to respond in kind.