The Canadian Guitar Forum banner
1 - 2 of 39 Posts

· Registered
2,650 Posts

I have a lot of friends in Pointe Claire who gave me their impression of terms like "Quebecois" and "pur laine". They never laugh at my high school french and it's surprising how a few beer always improved my francais...

That being said, they themselves had a problem with the term "Quebecois". They were mostly 3rd or 4th generation Italian, Irish or Portugese extraction. Even though french was their 1st language and also their parent's 1st language in some quarters that wasn't good enough. There's a streak in the Quebec separatist movement that seems to feel that the only true Quebecois is one whose family came here from France several centuries ago. They told me that they've been made to feel discriminated against many times as they were growing up.

Watching the Quebec premier on tv the night they lost the last referendum I heard him blame the loss on "money and ethnics". He obviously had had a bit too much to drink but "in vino veritas", as they say.

I'm not at all suggesting that anyone who considers himself Quebecois is some kind of racist but I am saying that there are some who are expressing a racist based view, perhaps without realising it. Anytime you start sorting people out by "tribes" you leave yourself open a bit to the "Dark Side". Today we often hear "our people", "our culture", "our country". Nothing wrong at all with patriotism but we must continually guard against those who pervert such feeling into "Ein Volk" or "Ein Faterland".

I'm just an old Trekker who gets uncomfortable with movements that may not always seem inclusive for everyone, I guess. My biggest fear is that if Quebec were to leave I would have a harder time finding "Chambly" bier...

· Registered
2,650 Posts
"It depends on who negotiates the separation."

2005fz1 said:
I can't see separation happening, Quebec has successfully played the "If you don't give me more - I won't play" card and we have all gone along. Based on the "Fraser Institute SIC List 1994" of the world's most severely indebted economies, an independent Quebec would be the 28th most severely indebted country in the world, with a government debt burden just behind Madagascar and just ahead of Jamaica. An independent Quebec would join the Third World in terms of its all-government indebtedness.... Furthermore, Newfoundland would cut the power off and Quebec would be in the Dark :tongue:

If only it were that simple! Separation for Quebec is an emotional issue far more than a logical one. Tribalism (or ethnic nationalism) appeals most to the heart and not the brain. Who was it who said "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."? Societies are perfectly capable of making a stupid or disasterous choice. When you see all those old movies of Hitler speeches where the crowds are cheering madly, do you really think that whole country was faking it? Hell, less than a century and a half ago the North and South of the USA fought a bloody war over stupid choices.

Could the Rock cut off the hydro to a separate Quebec? A lawyer's dream! The deal was struck with a Quebec that was part of Canada. Would all such agreements be null and void with an independent Quebec?

This is the point that the modern Liberals and the BQ/PQ never want to talk about. They just mouth vague mutterings that "we need each other too much to be unreasonable about a separation deal". Only Trudeau ever had the courage as a national prime minister to tell Quebec "If you're out, then you're ALL the way out!" No Canada pensions, no EI, no nothing. If Quebec were to become independent, what would make them different to the rest of Canada than Mexico or Borneo? A common border? We have a border with the USA. Should we share federal money with them?

Some suggest that if a referendum choose sovereignity for Quebec that the rest of Canada would sign a fair deal out of respect for all the years we've lived beside each other. For "niceness", if you will. How likely is that? All the "English" provinces would likely feel just as emotional about a split as those Quebecois who chose to leave, only negatively so. Does anyone think that whichever party is in Ottawa at such a time could stay in power if it appeared to be nice to a Quebec that is leaving? It would be asking that party to commit political suicide! Tempers would be flaring everywhere outside Quebec and reason would be in scare supply.

Any divorcees reading this thread? How many of you went through an easy and painless divorce? Why would an independent Quebec be any different?

No, it is far more likely that things would get REAL ugly! Anglos outside of Quebec would demand that there be no "alimony" at all. Their politicians would have no choice but to agree if they wanted to keep their seats. A Duceppe would likely feel the need to "talk tough" and threaten to close the Trans Canada and isolate the Maritimes if Ottawa won't be reasonable. Danny Williams would get a photo-op of him standing by the Churchill Falls hydro switch.

Separatists in Quebec have historically been just as ignorant about how the rest of Canada feels as how well the rest of Canada has understood the feelings of a "Quebecois". The classic bonehead misconception is that just because they feel Canada to be English and French that any deal with Ottawa should be 50/50. The people in the other provinces have NEVER felt this way! They are each as proud of their own province as anyone in Quebec. They feel that Quebec should have no special powers than any other province. 50/50 is as unsupported by reason or evidence as the idea of a painless separation. They regard Quebec as one of 10 provinces, the same as themselves. A "Blocquiste" may argue the point but it doesn't matter. That's the way they feel and it's never going to change.

The Liberals in particular have been afraid to take a strong stand about the aftermath of a separation because they would immediately lose a whole bunch of Quebec seats in Parliament! With their abysmal lack of support in western Canada it is doubtful if they would have any serious shot at getting back in power for a hundred years or more. Any BQ/PQ leader would be wise not to expect his negotiating opponent in Ottawa to cheerfully give him a good or even fair deal if it meant asking that opponent to kiss his political ass goodbye forever...

As I said, it could get real ugly, real fast. I'd like to think that we would pull a Rodney King and all "just get along" but that comes from my heart. My head says my heart is an idiot, that all the reason and evidence points to the contrary.

Let's hope we never have to deal with the issue at all! Separatism seems to be becoming a bit of an old man's issue in Quebec, anyways. Perhaps that's why the separatists are feeling antsy about waiting any longer for another referendum.
1 - 2 of 39 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.