All this Quebec candidate would ask for? A “cellphone, a penis and lots of chips”

by: Obert Madondo  | Sep 2, 2015

All Bloc Québécois candidate VirJiny Provost would want in the event that she was the sole survivor of of a catastrophic nuclear attack is a "cellphone, a penis and lots of chips." (Photo: Facebook)

All Bloc Québécois candidate VirJiny Provost would want in the event that she was the sole survivor of of a catastrophic nuclear attack is a “cellphone, a penis and lots of chips.” (Photo: Facebook)

All VirJiny (ex-Virginie) Provost would want in the event that she was the sole survivor of a catastrophic nuclear attack is a “cellphone, a penis and lots of chips,” thank you very much.

Provost, 18, is contesting the Quebec riding of Mégantic-L’Érable for the Bloc Québécois during the 2015 federal election, scheduled for October 19. She faces uphill battle against the Conservatives’ Luc Berthold, a former mayor of Thetford, the Liberals’ David Berthiaume, and Jean-François Delisle for the New Democrats.

According to La Press, a year ago, Provost was asked on the Internet to list the three things she would need in the event that she was the sole survivor of a cataclysmic nuclear attack.

“Mon cell, un pénis, ben des chips,” she responded. Translation: “My cell, a penis, uhh some chips.”

Now, why the hell would this be worthy news for The Canadian Progressive? It’s simple. The Bloc Québécois has allowed Provost to be herself and have a voice. She remains the party’s candidate and will not be reprimanded.

The Bloc Québécois’ decision exposes the anti-democratic strain in some of the decisions made by other federal parties so far on the 2015 campaign trail. Decisions relating to opinions or convictions that displease the mighty party leader.

There is a dictatorship-style gag on Conservative candidates.

“Conservatives running in the federal election have been advised not to attend all-candidates’ meetings or speak to reporters during the campaign,” the Toronto Star reports.

Here in Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson recently planned meet-up thing with all nine Conservative candidates in the national capital region. They all bailed out “at the last minute.”

And, as the Ottawa Citizen reported this week, “Only 18 Conservatives seeking election across the country responded favourably to requests for interviews made by the Citizen to determine whether the party has truly clamped down on candidates’ availability to the media.”

The NDP has purged a whole bunch of aspiring MPs for criticizing Israel and supporting Palestinians. The Ontario Civil Liberties Association has officially protested the party’s revocation of the candidacy of Morgan Wheeldon and Jerry Natanine.

In a letter dated August 20, addressed to NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, the OCLA wrote:

All candidates of all parties in Canada’s federal election should have free speech concerning all matters, including the conduct of Israel. Free speech is a necessary condition for democratic participation and decision making.

Candidates and members of Parliament, like regular citizens, must be free to express both opinions and recommendations, especially on matters of national interest such as Israel and the conflicts in the Middle East.

Without a free and vibrant exchange on the most important questions for the nation, there cannot be valid and tested knowledge, or valid and tested moral positions. This is a natural law of democracy. Cleansing or suppressing expression is antithetical to democracy, and, as such, cannot be justified by any image-management device or imposition.

The NDP’s stance in barring any criticism of Israel is undemocratic and wrong. Morgan Wheeldon and Jerry Natanine were not breaking confidence with a democratically-determined party policy platform, or engaged in any such mutiny.

They have uttered words critical of Israel, in contexts of democratic discourse.

Your actions are incompatible with your claim of seeking a balanced approach. A balanced, informed, and tested approach cannot be found by suppressing free expression among potential and actual law makers.

Addressing the Israel Knesset in January, 2014, Harper told the Israelis that “through fire and water, Canada will stand with you.” The Justin Trudeau Liberals have the same uncompromising pro-Israel stance. In July, 2014, Toronto Star columnist Haroon Siddiqui declared that Trudeau had “fallen in line with Stephen Harper’s support of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.” Plus, a whole bucketful of Liberal hopefuls have so far had to make way for Trudeau’s preferred candidates.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of the aspiring candidates deserved to be reprimanded. For example, Julian Di Battista, the Conservative torch bearer in the Liberal-friendly riding of Toronto Centre. According to Metro News, Di Battista once wrote that “Guns Don’t Kill People” and that “Ontarians are idiots” for voting Liberal. He once believed that affirmative action discriminated against white men.

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Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow me on Twitter: @Obiemad