Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

What Is Missing in Jean Charest’s Speech?

Posted on | February 23, 2011 | No Comments

Jean Charest wants to make of education his top priority, investing notably in English classes and pushing for a return to civic sense classes. Obviously nobody is against virtue, but coming from the current government, this promise only highlights the shortcomings of the liberal administration.

Thus, civic sense is first and foremost a sense of citizens’ duties and responsibilities, which is derived from the obligations ancient cities imposed upon the people. In modern democracy, we also include the necessity for political involvement, be it through the right to vote, citizen action, even militant action. We see it as holding a healthy respects for the constituents of democracy, starting with access to information (chiefly through traditional media), the administration of justice, and all government levels (school board, municipal, provincial, federal).

The current government has lost all credibility on some of these aspects. There was the scandal on the judges’ appointment process, there is an obvious disdain for Crown attorneys, and a voluntary blindness to corruption in many political organizations. These are Charest’s achievements.

Students are not imbeciles. How can you teach them to respect their society when their leaders themselves do not bother to do so? Civic sense classes will morph into cynicism classes. Unless we also make them mandatory for members of the National Assembly?

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