Log Cabin Chronicles

Quebec Identity Cards:
A bad idea whose time has come

John Mahoney


POSTED 3 May 2000 | 8:40 a.m.

You have to admit this: Quebec's Parti Quebecois government makes it really easy to hate them.

They saddled Quebecers with Law 101 - the infamous language-control legislation - and the Ministry for Suppression of Other Languages.

Their latest bit of dirty work is a plan to impose so-called National Identity cards - a rotten idea they've kicked around for some time.

The government intends to introduce the bill in the National Assembly today. Of course, they say, the plan is to make obtaining and carrying and presenting the cards a voluntary action.

But voluntary for how long?

The Parti Quebecois holds its annual convention this weekend and one hot item is - what else? - mandatory ID cards to vote.

That way, the secessionists reckon, they can keep anglos and ethnics and monied-people and assorted federalists with cheating on their minds from spoiling the PQ's chances of winning a referendum to separate from Canada.

"The question remains open," says Premier Lucien Bouchard. "…to ensure that democratic rights are exercised in a certain and controlled way is not bad…"

The operative word here -- as it always seems to be in Quebec -- is "controlled."

Reportedly, the cards will include the bearer's photograph and, of course, date of birth. The cost will be upwards of $20.

A recent government-funded poll supposedly shows that 71 percent of Quebecers favor national identify cards for residents who wish to possess one.

Quebec is very big on having a "national" this and a "national" that -- makes it seem like it's a real country and not a province of a real country.

Thus, this seems to be an excellent time for the separatist government to decree the lamb as its national animal.

So, first we get voluntary national ID cards, then we get mandatory national ID cards.

What's next in this great democracy -- Internal passports issued by the Ministry for the Democratic Control and Regulation of the Population?

Yes, they make it increasingly easy to despise them.

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Copyright © 2000 John Mahoney/Log Cabin Chronicles/05.2000