Unfriending Parti Quebecois supporters

I recently posted a status message on my Facebook profile, explaining the fact that I ‘unfriended’ a couple of individuals who went ahead and ‘liked’ the Pauline Marois Facebook page. Now, to some this would seem like an act of intolerance and exclusionary behaviour. But the truth is, it’s actually a gesture of pure Federalism, pure and simple, nothing more.

We all use the term ‘friend’ loosely on Facebook. Many of us have throngs of acquaintances we don’t really know. Due to my radio program in Montreal, I have a lot of listeners and fans of the show that have found and added me on Facebook. I accept most of the friend requests because I want to be grateful that they are faithful to my show, and also to let them feel like they have access to me.

It’s also worth noting that I generally don’t post any pictures of my kids or family on there, and don’t give out too many details of my private life. To me, Facebook is a social networking tool, designed to better seek out and reach people with whom you are interested in communicating and monitoring.

So when a couple of people decide to celebrate a politician whose only goal in public life is to break up the country that I live in, well, I took great exception. As a result, I HAD to delete those that encouraged the dissolution of the only nation that I have ever lived in.

If I don’t stick up for what I believe in, how could I look my kids in the eye. Sure, it would be the politically correct decision to ignore the Parti Quebecois support of a couple of Facebook friends for the broader appeal of me and my public dealings. But I am not wired like that.

Any party that encourages the limiting of religious freedoms, the separation of Quebec from Canada and the crackdown on the English language in every facet, cannot be something that I act indifferent towards.

Don’t get me wrong, I know my actions don’t amount to a major ripple in the political waters of this country. But it’s a way to vent and to have a non-destructive outlet. I had a satisfactory exhale upon my ‘unfriending’ exercise and was able to move on with my day. Non-Quebecers don’t understand how emotional and anxiety-causing the Quebec separation issue really is to some La Belle Province natives.

It’s definitely a cathartic activity for frustrated English-speaking Quebec citizens. Simply visit the Marois Facebook page and see what common friends of yours have liked it. You will then know who to delete right away from your friends list.

I am sure these guys will never notice that I am no longer friends with them. I have no illusions about my at-best “E level” celebrity status in this town. But, if they were thinking of sharing the Pauline Marois Facebook fan page with me at some point, they have another thing coming.

Matthew Ross is a communications professional and freelance journalist. His sports radio show has been on TSN 990 since 2004. 

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7 Responses to “Unfriending Parti Quebecois supporters”

  1. Prin (@furry_princess) Says:

    Please don’t use “we all” or other generalizations to justify yourself when your generalizations aren’t vastly applicable. What does being a federalist mean? Just keeping the country together? Or building a Canada that includes “all” of us (all being my inclusive “all”, not your selective “all”)? Part of a Canada with Quebec still in it will be sovereigntists. They are Canadian too- until enough of them decide not to be. Therefore, how can you be a federalist and not include them? And how is shunning people for their beliefs while denouncing them for the same Canadian at all? It’s not. Being a federalist doesn’t mean blocking yourself off from sovereigntists. It means learning their point of view, debunking your fears, misconceptions and prejudice and coming to terms with the fact that we’re all different and value different things and that is what a great Canada and great Quebec is about.

    • contentservicing Says:

      Unfortunately, you are counting sovereignists as though they are willing and proud Canadians, they are not. They want their own country, with so many unknowns that it would threaten to completely unearth our economy. I am not shunning people, I am simply not encouraging the breakup of our country, big difference. I respect your difference of opinion, but what I don’t respect is the absolute limiting of the freedoms of others. And this is what the PQ is all about. They are not for Quebec, they are for THEIR version of Quebec. Big difference.

  2. christopher curtis (@titocurtis) Says:

    It’s a great lesson to teach our children to ignore opinions they disagree with. Being open minded or civil with the people who don’t share our beliefs would be weak and cowardly.
    Matt Ross “bleeds for Canada” because it takes a lot of courage to unfriend someone on a social network site and then brag about it on a blog. Its the kind of courage our great nation was founded on (well that on having the foresight to steal billions of acres of land from First Nations and Inuit).

    In all seriousness though…

    I’m half francophone and many of my relatives are Quebec nationalists. It’s not necessarily an opinion I agree with but I’ve learned plenty from listening to them and keeping an open mind.
    Being half English at French school, my brother and I were teased and bullied. But you know what, we took our lumps, we grew up and we’re okay now. We don’t gain anything by breaking off contact with those who disagree with us. That’s a basic tenant of free speech (maybe they don’t have copies of JS Mill’s “On Liberty” kicking around at the Peel Pub but you should pick one up some time).

    Also, when you say you bleed for Canada do you mean you’ve served in the military? If so, then thanks for serving our country. If not, don’t say you bleed for the country. If you bleed for the country, enlist or maybe visit a veteran’s hospital and try telling someone who lost their legs in an I.E.D. explosion that you “bleed” for Canada. I’m sure he’ll appreciate your sacrifice.

    I respect you right to say what you want and to courageously “unfriend” your throngs of evil PQ fans but Jesus Christ don’t insinuate that you represent frustrated English speakers.

    The PQ may have a great number of policies I disagree with and some policies that restrict individual rights in a way that makes me uncomfortable. But two wrongs don’t make a right and that’s a lesson we should always teach our children.

    • contentservicing Says:

      This is about not wanting to see certain things on my Facebook feed, including giant pictures of Pauline Marois. It’s a social, personal experience on a social media platform, and you are free to customize it as you wish. I have two children and preach tolerance of everyone. The PQ does not. I don’t wish them malice or any harm in any way. I just don’t also need to hear about it in every facet of my life. It would be nice to live in peace, and not have to worry about language or education or religious freedoms being a problem in a so-called first world country. If you think I am being intolerant because I simply unfriended a couple of individuals who I didn’t know to begin with, I think you need to look up the meaning of tolerance and get a refresher. It’s angering, sickening and saddening that conformity and anti-freedom are considered a mere difference on opinion, good for lively debate and discussion. But the truth is, the people that say it’s not okay to wear a head cover in a public setting are a little more than differing with me on something – they’re the ones that are intolerant. And I don’t need to turn on my Facebook feed and check out the latest adventures of how we can further restrict our freedoms and break up the country. I am all for a debate in public and would have any day of the week. Unfriending on Facebook has nothing to do with my willingness to discuss, it’s more about my unwillingness to be force-fed their policies in my own Facebook profile.

  3. Tim FitzGerald Says:

    “This is about not wanting to see certain things on my Facebook feed, including giant pictures of Pauline Marois.” That’s not what I understood in your original post. What marked me the most from your initial post was the pleasure that you imply all Anglo Quebeckers should feel by removing people who have “liked” the PQ in Facebook.

    It is your right to like or unlike whoever you feel. Just as it is your right to write all about it after the fact. With no offense to you or your opinions intended, however, this is the kind of statement that reinforces preconceived notions of the other and gets amplified by people whose agenda it plays to. And all sides, in all arenas (not just Quebec politics), are guilty of this. I am therefore motivated to register my disagreement with what you have to say.

    I thank you for not censoring these comments.

    • contentservicing Says:

      Yes, it’s about weeding out unwanted messages in my Facebook feed and about being pro-federalist…

  4. contentservicing Says:

    I was actually asked to interview to be a candidate for a specific party for this election. I chose not to. But I can definitely see I would have encountered some passion. Outstanding. I love a good debate.

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