ALLiance Quebec 2.0: Our Organization’s Future
Nobody ever knows in what direction the wind will blow them. Case and point, since starting ALLiance Quebec 2.0, I’ve received two job offers from the United States, one of which is a freelance/contract writing gig which I have accepted. I’ve also received more offers of help from Americans than I have received from Canadians, even from Quebecers themselves! …And, I’m even deep in the process of carving out a business relationship with an American-based documentary filmmaker! Yet, the issues we are fighting for concern us; they concern our democratic future and status as a society. And perhaps not surprisingly at all, more of us are talking about “les Habs” than any of this “stuff” that just so happens to concern our children and our children’s children. Wow. Really?!
I find it shocking and more than a little frightening to be honest. …Like pod-people frightening.
At the best of times, it’s been frustrating. First off, trying to wake up a whole city’s media and getting them to start conducting themselves in a manner consistent with other major city’s media outlets across North America – this, this has proven astoundingly insurmountable, particularly tasking one person with this. I mean, I get it: Montreal is Montreal and it functions under the various rubrics that have been laid out for it and embedded into what is a highly engineered and legislated society. But still – who precisely is making the decisions on behalf of us of “what is news” and do these people bring with them an established bias? The answer of course is yes, they do. As to who they are… I’ll let those who are interested conduct their own investigations.
I will forever ardently maintain that media is a fundamental societal check and balance system. That’s what it should be anyway. In Montreal it is not this. The sheer volume of ever-exposed corruption ought to prove this, right? Montreal newsrooms are much more given to pursue news tips than to investigate and actually “BREAK” news. We have almost as much “fluff” in our daily newscasts as we have reports on the latest corruption inquiry headlines… And I’m not even going to get into the embedded media bias present in both English and French language media in this city; I believe I am on record with that one, having worked in multiple jurisdictions myself over the last two decades. Of course, another unique feature onto Montreal media is the longevity by which media people here in this city CLING to their jobs, literally forcing more journalism graduates out of Montreal than medical professionals! (…Little known factoid).
It doesn’t end or even begin with the media though… in fact, the real “news” story here is us, Quebecers. We have become so accustomed to having the government do everything for us, make our decisions for us, legislate things for us the likes of which, again, doesn’t exist anywhere else in North America, that many of us have acquiesced ourselves into a corner… and the crazy thing is, many of us, are comfy in our snug, albeit all too often tight-fitting corners. To many Quebecers, in 2013, making a single “x” on a ballot every four years and paying 100 million dollars for that opportunity to label ourselves a democracy this way, is sufficient. That’s not a democracy to me – it doesn’t cut it anymore. We can do so much better than that, it’s almost a joke even debating where we are at now as a collective, as the Quebecois people.
And that’s where I find myself, the day after this somewhat cathartic Easter weekend, although I’m kind of laughing at myself some. We have worked so incredibly hard at ALLiance Quebec 2.0 and have produced so much content and product based on message, that we were honestly expecting to be a little further down the pike than where we find ourselves now. With no volunteers to assist, I’ve been working 8-12 hour days for no pay for going on four months now. Cue the violins, no don’t; I chose to make that sacrifice because I believe in our message and I believed I could make a difference.
Obviously though, this current framework isn’t sustainable. With little or no media coverage, no one purchasing our product(s), donating to our crowd-funding campaign – and so few actually helping to spread our online digital footprint and message, we’ve been forced to conclude that we need an altogether different formula – one that is more sustaining on this end.
So, I am very seriously considering turning the ALLiance Quebec 2.0/Bill-101 product line into a division of a larger, private company that specializes in creating humorous political product. At the very least, this way, if I am going to be working 8-12 hour days for no pay, I will have profit motive to sustain me. We do have some incredible product developed in-house and in production as I type this; I refuse to accept that it’s all been developed for nothing. I also save myself a tonne of aggravation trying to convince people to get on board with my message.
Drop the message. Keep the products. Embed as much messaging into said products. Go Private. That is Le Plan, in a nutshell at this point in time.
Finally, if I may say, there are waaay too many players with egos in this particular field. In my admittedly biased and short-term analysis, many of them are clueless, have no business or political experience and/or are too old to be able to fight the fight the way it needs to be fought today. I admit I’m new to the Quebec political scene, but I stand by this analysis. I’ve been fighting “my own” for most of my organization’s existence. I’ll even add this, as a final, concluding, perhaps chilling thought:
We are on a precipice as a society here in Quebec – and we’re about to take the plunge off the democratic cliff into unchartered waters. It is most definitely a slippery slope. When leaders see that they can get away with taking away “X” with little or no recourse, the pattern usually concludes with more letters of the alphabet being taken away.
There are however three letters of the alphabet that the Quebec government will never be able to legislate away and those of course are, “U”, “S”, and “A”.
I invite everyone to sign ALLiance Quebec 2.0’s Quebec Refugee Registry. I don’t know about you, but once Bill-14 passes, I have a personal appointment with a Mai-Tai and a palm tree, in Malibu. Surf’s up!