There’s no dose of reality for the rebel like getting involved in politics. The aim might be to transform the world, but the newbie will soon find out being a firebrand doesn’t necessarily get day-to-day business done.
Montreal’s La Presse is reporting that one of the student leaders heading protests last spring against tuition hikes in Quebec is planning to enter provincial politics. Leo Bureau-Blouin, the newspaper says, will run for the Parti Quebecois in Montreal’s Laval-des-Rapides riding.
If the report is true, this rookie isn’t afraid to tackle a big opponent: he would be up against Liberal junior finance minister Alain Paquet.
So far, Bureau-Blouin hasn’t confirmed his intentions, but has said he will in the next day or so.
But just pretend he does run, and does win his seat, he will have some choices to make – and he’ll have to do it quickly.
Sure, the PQ came out against tuition hikes. As anyone would expect from an opposition party, they’ll take any mileage they can get from a move by the governing party, especially one that encountered massive protests.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean Bureau-Blouin has signed on to a team with his pet goal in mind. There are all sorts of ifs, ands and wherefores that go into reversing such a huge budgetary matter.
The baldest of facts to rise from the student protest was that tuitions in Quebec are the lowest in the country.
A PQ government, if that is the result, would have to take that into account in any changes. If you decide you want to subsidize post-secondary education more, you have to take from some other area of spending that affects other voters and taxpayers. That’s the mundane bean-counter side of politics. And Bureau-Blouin could either be a team player in those deliberations or go back to being a revolutionary.
In fact, such an exercise could be an interesting learning curve for both the PQ – should they win the next election – and for Bureau-Blouin, if he too proves lucky.