07.12.2013 09:01 AM

Quebec sovereignty: a tale of two slides

There’d be winning conditions for a new referendum, this suggests:

If this wasn’t also happening:

More here. Harper, I have long felt, is the best argument for the Part Quebecois’ never-ending drive for separation. Fortunately, Marois has been a useful counter-argument.

For now, that is. She has been adept and adroit in Lac-Megantic. It’ll be interesting to see how Quebecois see her in the coming months.


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    John says:

    Never-ending drive for separation?
    I got news for you: The PQ have given up separation in all but name. That’s what the whole ‘dame de beton’ battle was about 2 years ago that saw half a dozen MNAs leave the party, and Marois the non-sovereignist won.

    The ‘separation commission’ going around the province in the next few months is a bone thrown to pathetic few still carrying the torch and everyone, including them, knows it.

    Marois’s personal approval rating will go up after Lac Megantic, but only because it’s been at rock bottom since March — in other words, from six months after being elected until now, her approval rating has been among the lowest in history.

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    robin says:

    The 1995 referendum result jolted a majority of Quebecers, including unilingual “pure laine” Francophones, into sober reality when they came within a percentage point of entering the “lobster trap” set by Jacques Perizeau and his hidden agenda of declaring unilateral independence which he declared was thwarted by “money and ethnic votes”. That’s why a majority of Quebecers, including a majority of Francophones, supported the Clarity Act. Winning conditions = staying in Canada. Anything else is pure folly; therefore, the threat of separation is more rewarding than actual independence, Quebecers understand this but won’t subject themselves to another referendum out of fear of actually “winning” next time. Not since Aislin’s “OK, Everybody take a valium!” in November 1976 have Quebecers been more anxious about the actual prospect of independence. To turn a Churchillian phrase: “Canadian federalism is the worst form of government except for all the alternatives.”

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    Rene says:

    A majority of francophone Quebecers supporting the Clarity Act. If I recall, back in 1995 the Bloc was the Official Opposition, carried the majority of seats in Quebec and continued that pattern throughout the Chretien years and beyond, only to be recently replaced by the NDP in the last elections. Who do you think was sending all those Bloc MPs to Ottawa, hardly supporters of the Clarity Act?

    This does not suggest separation is on the agenda again, but Harper is doing his best to apparently deliberately alienate Quebecers, including his infatuation with the trappings of British colonialism…

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      robin says:

      After passing the Clarity Act, in the federal election in 2000, Chretien increased his popular vote to a majority among Francophones and winning another majority government with more seats, shortly afterwards in 2001, Premier Lucien Bouchard resigned since he realized it would be impossible to achieve “winning conditions” under the terms of the Clarity Act which required a clear question, something the sovereigntists abhor.

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      robin says:

      The Bloc Quebecois lost 6 seats to the Liberals in 2000, from 44 to 38 as a result of the loss of votes among Francophones, Chretien won the province wide popular vote among Francophones, although, you are correct, in terms of seats, the BQ still retained a slim majority in Quebec.

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      robin says:

      Between 1968 and 1984 Quebecers voted and often elected Rene Levesque as Premier and Pierre Trudeau as Prime Minister. It is not inconsistent for Bloc Quebecois voters to support the Clarity Act. Remember, Rene Levesque was if anything a democrat. He was committed to the principle of democracy. He should be much admired for this. Therefore, Bloc Quebecois voters also respect the principles of democracy and the Clarity Act ensures a clear question and other criteria to ensure whatever result from a future referendum is absolutely clear. It makes us Canadian – fairness for everyone.

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    Alex says:

    Marois appears in two PQ videos promoting ‘independence’ and explains the benefits of sovereignty on pq.org/souverainete/ . It’s a convincing soft sell.

    Add to that the sustained demonization campaign against Harper and the Conservative government and you have this unintended result; the potential destruction of Canada.

    How can you promote Canadian unity to Quebecers when they are continually assaulted with hatred of French and hatred of Harper?

    Perhaps we can only save Canada with the election of a Liberal or NDP government with a PM from Quebec.

    If in the next election, Canadians in the rest of Canada again re-elect the Harper Conservatives to a majority government, that will be tantamount to a rejection of Quebec leaders and Quebec as part of Canada.

    Which way will Canadians ‘slide’?!

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    Tiger says:

    Quebeckers disagree with Harper on a political spectrum, not a national spectrum.

    They make that distinction, and try to vote for the party most likely to replace him at the federal level.

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