Legault addresses Quebecers in an emotional letter
Prime Minister François Legault's message is divided into three: thank citizens for their efforts so far, tell them not to give up for the future and be sensitive to the mental health problems that can arise in this difficult context.
Share November 7, 2020 3:00 a.m. Updated at 4:04 a.m. Share Legault addresses Quebecers in an emotional letter
Olivier Bossé Le Soleil In a new effort to convince Quebeckers not to give up in the fight against COVID-19, Prime Minister François Legault published on Saturday an open letter tinged with emotion in which he wishes, among other things, “that we celebrates Christmas ”.
“It won't be a big Christmas with all the relatives, but if the grandparents could finally see their grandchildren, for me it would be a great victory”, writes Mr. Legault, in this letter of 453 words entitled ” Life is stronger than anything ”.
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The Prime Minister's message can be divided into three: thank citizens for their efforts so far, tell them not to give up for the future and be sensitive to the mental health problems that can arise in this difficult context.
And that glimmer of hope about the possibility of organizing small gatherings during the holiday season.
Drowned in the rest
Element that is however lost in the rest of the exercise, according to an expert.
“The letter pulls in several directions, by betting both on metaphors of struggle and darkness and on a rhetoric linked to hope and solidarity”, analyzes Pénélope Daignault, professor at the Department of information and communication of the 'Laval University.
“The references to the coming winter, to the cold which pierces, to the battle, to the burden, to the trials and to the aggravated distress are confused with those on pride, mutual aid, victory, the return of sunny days, kindness and empathy. In addition, in the watermark of the letter, marked with large lines, is added the reference to children – a deliberately chosen symbol of life and hope.
“However, by thus appealing to such contrasting emotions, the expected manifestations of hope and appeasement risk being drowned out among those which have already prevailed for eight months and which testify to a generalized anxiety-inducing heaviness,” says Ms. Daignault, specialist in the psychology of receptors in a context of public and persuasive communication.
At the right time”
“A different way of getting our message across,” explains the Prime Minister's office. In two years in power, Mr. Legault had already used the route of the open letter to address the population, but not yet about COVID-19.
“As winter approached, with the time change and the first snow, we thought it was a good time to do it. Our situation is better than in other countries and provinces, so Mr. Legault wanted to congratulate Quebeckers for that. But also remember that there is nothing to gain and that we must not give up, ”sums up in the entourage of the Prime Minister, emphasizing this increased sensitivity to the subject of mental health.