Achelos Painter 6th BCE,
with permission from Art Resource, NY
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Le Devoir: http://www.ledevoir.com/
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The Student’s Strike in Quebec
Yesterday, Quebec‘s Minister of Labour, Madame Michelle Courchesne, walked away from the negotiations table. In other words, the Government has walked out on the students.
I wonder whether or not negotiating tuition fees with those who pay tuition fees can lead to a resolution of the conflict. These negotiations may be unrealistic. If the students do no think they should pay for their education, why negotiate tuition fees? They now look upon a free education as their right. Their collective behavior reveals a form of entitlement.
The Myth of Sisyphus (Greek Mythology) is, I believe, a metaphorically appropriate description of the current situation. Sisyphus had to push a boulder to the top of a hill only to see it fall again and again. If the students do not accept a compromise, and it appears they will not, they too will be pushing the boulder up the hill only to see it fall time and again, as was Sisyphus’s fate. Governments cannot give what they do not have and increasing taxes is out of the question.
The former Quebec Minister of Education resigned and left politics and Madame Courchesne, her successor, has walked away from the table. As for the students, did they even come to the table? What they want is a free education.
At any rate, why is the government negotiating tuition fees with the students? Have the people of Quebec not elected representatives into office and given these representatives the degree of authority they require to carry out their responsibilities?
I just ran to the radio and heard that the Premier had said that only an election would lead to a resolution. If indeed there are elections (the situation keeps changing) and Madame Pauline Marois is elected Premier, just how will her government pay for the students’ education?
This situation remains an “assault on reason” (Al Gore) and the tail still wags the dog.
I managed to insert a video into this post, but somehow, I did not do it correctly. My apologies.
© Micheline Walker
June 1st, 2012