On Quebec Sovereignty

The secret to Quebec separation from Canada, it seems to me is simple.   I had this thought again as I read this article about how Quebec would be better able to weather the recession if it was a separate country. 

I have thought since the last referendum that the separatists in Quebec are doing things completely wrong.  Instead of trying to convince Quebeckers they are better off out of the Canadian nation they should try and convince the rest of Canada that it would be better off without Quebec.

I almost guarantee that if if 70%-80% of the ROC said good riddance to Quebec – it would only be a matter of time before separation.  You would start to see national politicians reflecting the attitude of their constituents.  You would see Quebec politicians exploiting this 70%-80% factor to the max and eventually the deal would get done.

Don’t get me wrong.  I want to see Quebec stay in Canada but I have watched this Sword of Damocles hanging over Confederation for my entire adult life – separatist sentiment ebbs and flows but remains intact. 

I’m at the stage where I think there should be an up or down once and for all vote on this thing. We either figure out a way to get Quebec inside the Constitution or we let it go its merry way.  Those Quebeckers who want to stay in Canada should be accommodated in whatever way possible and those that want to go, go.

10 thoughts on “On Quebec Sovereignty

  1. David, the fact of the matter is that there is no way that 70-80% of the rest of Canada would say good riddance to Quebec.
    Separatist movements exist everywhere; even in the USA. Look at the state of Texas. They’ve definitely pondered it and there are people who would want to pull it off. There are also multiple instances in Western European democracies that would want that as well. The sovereignist movement will never really go away no matter what. There will always be a “market” and in turn political parties associated with the movement.

    In terms of integrating Quebec into the Constitution – the issue is a combination of many things that at least include cultural, political, and ideological and many more that we don’t all understand. Do you think people are Sovereignists all for the same reasons? No. The province of Quebec is massive, with many regional differences. Take a close look.
    That is why we need a national leader that will attempt to understand these differences and make a commitment. This solution will have to be crafted with input from all of the provinces and First Nations – coordinated by that national leader. We won’t necessarily need the strongest leader but one who listens and willing to compromise.
    We can’t just try to buy Quebec off, or try to pit Quebec against Ontario or heaven forbid – make cuts to the cultural budget.
    There is no “let’s get it over once and for all vote” solution. This is not a band-aid that you just tear off your arm and see what happens.
    Seriously, how do you think you could send soverignists on their merry way?
    And accommodate as you say “Those” Quebeckers who want to stay in Canada…hmm. Be careful not to categorize here.
    During the last referendum, do you think people who voted Yes are our friends and people who voted No are our enemies? Think again. It’s not that simple.
    You might be a self-proclaimed economic development expert and adviser of many governments but you are far from being a constitutional expert. Perhaps you should start reading more constitutional articles rather than boasting of reading all of the American titans’ books you finish every other day.

  2. A couple of rejoinders to Gary. One, I’ll have to look up ‘boast’ in the dictionary but I don’t believe stating something in the context of a blog boast is necessarily boasting. Two, I don’t believe I have called myself an advisor of many governments and I don’t believe I call myself an economic development expert. It seems to me there are very few ‘experts’ in economic development. We are all muddling through trying to figure it out.

    But to your main point. I am not a constitutional expert. Haven’t even read it all. I am just saying two things: 1) If the sovereigntists want to turn Quebeckers that could be turned towards sovereignty, it seems to me the best approach would be for them to see massive resentment in the ROC. It also seems to me that sovereigntists haven’t tried this strategy and in fact have done the opposite; 2) I want Quebec to stay in Canada. Many countries accommodate various linguistic and ethnic groups so there is no reason why we can’t. But I think in the long term this Sword of Damocles is not a good thing for the country and it should be a main priority of the national government.

    By the way, Gary, come to Moncton sometime and I’ll show you my library. There are easily just as many books about Canadian personalities – MacDonald, Trudeau, Beaverbrook, the Acadian deportation, several Donald Savoie books.

  3. Don’t waste your time on gary and his typical French trick of massively trying to confuse and complicate simple things , making them appear too large to tango with, while circling in for the kill from behind. Things have precedence and no where will you find prosperous progressive happy countries with the French.

    As I said before , read the findings of N.E.S Griffiths in “from Migrant to Acadian” to see the constant conniving of the Monsignors and their followers under the orders of France. And the complete failure of compassion and appeasement from the British. Also note how the French were going to handle the Acadians who were refusing to join back with the French, by expelling them or shooting them.
    Hence how we have the Acadians with their own distinct culture, although still with the French traits. Yes we still have the opportunity to expel Quebec, unlike the Acadians. But its all a waste of breath as no one still has the fortitude to do what needs to be done, except The United States!

  4. David, my apologies for coming down a little hard. I enjoy your blog and appreciate that you care about NB. I was reading post #1060 at the same time and it got me a little fired up.
    There are many areas in Canada that have provincial ideals. I’m thinking of parties like Wildrose, ADQ, PQ, Saskatchewan Party and several Freedom parties. It just so happens that the Quebec parties have had charismatic leaders that have been successful in wooing the province in times of incredible movement.

    We are a civil society and there is no need to move people around based on how they think. Your query is: Maybe people from Quebec should ask the rest of Canada about the massive resentment. People in Quebec are fully aware of that. But that factor alone will not change the behaviour.
    There needs to be more dialogue. There is too much power in Ottawa and that is another barrier. All of the premiers need to meet more often. There are many issues to resolve. (It’s always such a big deal when Graham meets Charest but they are neighbours and should discuss trade issues more frequently.)

    There are more federalists in Quebec than sovereignists; that’s been proven more than once. But you can’t change a whole population of people’s thinking with one stroke of a pen.

  5. “seems to me that sovereigntists haven’t tried this strategy”

    I think this has been tried, both by the separatists and by those in the ROC who want them to go. Separation would be too huge an undertaking to contemplate; that’s one reason why nothing will really change on this issue. Canadians inside and outside QC are too practical to spend a lot of time on something like this. We are stuck with the sword, I’m afraid.

  6. “There are more federalists in Quebec than sovereignists; that’s been proven more than once.”

    So go ahead and make your thoughts irrelevant with inaccurate statements!
    For 40 years the British couldn’t get a solid answer out of the Acadians in the 1700’s and I will assure you no one will now, out of the French.
    And as far as coming down “hard”. Only a === tries to come down “hard” on someone with superior knowledge and thinking.

  7. To your point David: “Many countries accommodate various linguistic and ethnic groups so there is no reason why we can’t.” That’s exactly true. It is a matter of making it a priority and I truly think this will happen – once a great national leader/listener comes along and doesn’t try to steamroll an agenda on all provinces. It’s too bad, since Quebec has a great premier right now that could make things happen in that realm.

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