Conversation with a striking student

Last night I spoke with a student who's only missing 2 credits to graduate. She's out in the streets trying to block a tuition increase she will never pay.

She's already doing her practice teaching. Students are shocked that she would be on strike, not for herself - but for them. Your children, whom she'll also be teaching.

The language of spoiled brats infantilizes and casts this as an issue of order with Charest as the authority figure. This is obviously the framing that Charest wants us to have, but there's a better one. For more on political language, I recommend Lakoff's Don't Think of An Elephant!

Anyone who went through post-secondary education in the last 40 years is asking the next generation to pay much more than they did, and trying to cast it as getting students to pay their faire share. To add insult to injury they're reneging on the promise to eventually make it free.

In material terms, it is the students that are risking their sessions for someone else's gain - making a sacrifice. Meanwhile, their older generation is selfishly asking them to privately assume debt we used to have collectively. Who's spoiled again?

Making all post-secondary education free in our province would cost us 1% of our provincial budget. That's much less than we gave up in capital gains tax cuts and 10% what we could save by getting rid of corruption.

So the best frame for this is the red herring. While we shower opprobrium on those "spoiled brats", media spends less time talking about corruption. Plan Nord? Fracking? Anticosti? Out of sight, out of mind. The diversion is working: Charest's poll numbers are up.

I want Quebec to become a prosperous, tolerant and green society. This requires the rule of law, uprooting of corruption and an educated population. It is why I support the students.

What's your frame and vision?