Monday, September 8, 2014

"The Morning After".... the story of Quebec's failed attempt to come into its own

The upcoming referendum in Scotland is making many in Canada think of the time Quebec wanted to separate from Canada.

Nick Bryant writing at BBC:
Quebec has voted twice against independence,  but the question has never been settled or gone away.

On a recent summer's evening, along streets lined with onlookers waving the blue and white Fleur-de-lis flag rather than the Canadian maple leaf, a parade was staged in Quebec City retelling the story of the settlement of New France........

.........However, although the province has the feel of a nation within a nation, voters here have twice decided against independence. In English-speaking North America, it thus remains an anomaly but not a country.

The first referendum in 1980 produced a lopsided result, with 59% voting to remain part of Canada and 40% voting to follow a secessionist path.

A second referendum in 1995 produced a photo-finish, 50%-49%, but the federalists still edged out the "sovereignists", as they are called here. The closeness of the result intensified the anguish of their defeat........

.......Sociological and demographic trends are also working against the separatists. For younger Quebecers, independence, it seems, is not a front-tier issue. A recent poll suggested 69% of 18-to-24-year-olds would vote "No".

More outward-looking as a generation than their parents and grandparents, many young Quebecers look upon themselves as global citizens, as well as Canadians and Quebecers. Their primary concerns are more everyday - getting decent jobs and buying their own homes..........

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