Sunday, August 29, 2004

The US does not have a monopoly on crazy politicians.

Delegates from the Parti Quebecoi, aka the Quebec Separatist Party, are in Quebec City this weekend working on the new party platofrm:
The [Parti Quebecois'] strategy also calls for a three-party coalition to be formed to oversee transition when the sovereigntists win the referendum vote.
Okay, Landry et al, let's get this straight once and for all:

  • Yes, Quebec suffered gross indignities at the hands of English Canada--GENERATIONS ago. The separatists at this point are either political fossils completely out of touch with the electorate, or else a younger generation of opportunists who believe they can gain person power by hitching their wagons to the PQ political machine. Take away PQ-generated hysteria and contemporary Quebecois, and most especially the allophones (aka recent immigrants), do NOT want to separate from Canada. You may not have noticed, but after umpteen referenda on separation, no matter how much you rigged the working of the question, people are still voting NO. This is not about the will people of Quebec, and hasn't been for decades.

  • The traditional separatist roadmap has been to "leave" Canada--but retain Canadian passports, currency, military, international alliances and trade partnerships, and federal infrastructure investments. That's like threatening to run away from home and asking your mom to pack you a peanutbutter sandwich. It's all or nothing folks: if you separate, you are on your own. Quebec's economy has been atrophying due to the multi-decade anglophone exodus (not so much the exit of individuals, but more importantly the relocation of corporate head offices), and is based on dying industries like furniture manufacturing. Quebec can not survive without Canada, while Canada can survive without Quebec.

  • Which brings us to the next point: Canada lives next door to a rogue state, currently (and let's be honest: for the foreseeable future) piloted by a warmongering fundamentalist madman. One day the US is going to realize that we have oil, power (not that California pays its power bill as it is) fresh water, and other primary resources (water will be a big issue sooner than later if hydrogen fuel cells are pursued as part of an alternative fuel economy--of course a Bush White House would buy us 4 more years of grace, there). And if the US wants our resources, there is an increasing chance that they may pre-emptively liberate us, too. At which point, Quebec may be happy to be part of a slightly larger country. Just maybe.

  • In any other part of the world, ANY part, you would all be shot at dawn as traitors.

  • While one has to admire, in a way, the unfettered-by-reality optimism of the PQ...I will be glad when the generation of PQ fossils die out and we can finally get on with things.

    And I have a question for any Canadian constitutional lawyers who may be passing through: why does a NO vote on a referendum only last until the next PQ government decides to hold a vote again, but a YES vote is binding for all eternity? Isn't there some way we can get a decisive NO and put an end to this?