Re: Politics, Power and Puck in La Bell-Centre Province

A lousy hockey season is political fodder in Quebec, and a threat to the fragile truce between the two solitudes

-this is a response to an article from the Globe and Mail-

The original idea behind the Club Hockey des Canadiens was to create a team on the ice that would support the image that the small minority of English-speaking bosses in Quebec were trying to instil into the French Canadian majority.

That image was that of a hockey team of French-speaking players, whose salaries were paid by the English-speaking bosses, that would be supported by the French-speaking public, whose ticket and concession money would also be used to profit those same English bosses.

The result was to be a vehicle through which the French Canadian worker would learn to obey and respect the fact that the English-speakers were the bosses and if the French Canadians accepted that, then they would get something good in return, like a winning hockey team.

It worked. In fact, the evolution of the Canadians and its players can be clearly studied to connect the dots between historical cultural perspectives and the specific players who were chosen to wear the sweaters of the bleu-blanc-rouge.

I’ll go one step further and say that the political and cultural truth today is even more accurately depicted by the Canadiens hockey team then actual Canadian people themselves want to admit.

An American is the owner of the team, and if the Canadian people accept that the Americans are the boss, then they will get something good in return, like a winning hockey team. The team is losing this season and the American boss is thinking of selling.

The team is comprised of a variety of ethnic backgrounds, not just francophone, because just like the population of Quebec is today, these are the workers who must feel like they are the ones being represented by the Canadiens. It is hard for the average worker to relate to a NHLer making 2+million dollars/year for working 7 months in a year, and the Canadiens might only need to work for 6 months this year.

The rest of Canada (ROC) has their hockey teams and sagas, but the misconception is that the Canadiens represent French Canadians. That was the case in a different era, but the days of the Flying Frenchmen are gone. The reality is the Club Hockey des Canadiens has always represented the relationship between the workers and the bosses in the province of Quebec, which today is an ethnic hodge-podge of players working for an American.

tj

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