Saturday, December 17, 2011

It Ain't Over

It ain't over until when?  Well, until the headline writer gives an article a headline that the author does not want?  This article, entitled Sovereignty on Its Death Bed in Quebec, presents much evidence that the sovereignty movement is in a definite down-cycle.  But one of the authors remarked on twitter last night about that not being the meaning of the piece.

Of course, sovereignty as an issue will never go away.  There are too many folks who have interests in perpetuated it and many who fear being seen as too accommodating.  Legault, the most popular politician in Quebec (largely because he is shiny and new in the sense that his party has not had to do anything yet), is ducking and covering--that his party wants not to talk about sovereignty.  Yet, when he talked to Anglophone entrepreneurs, he could not assure them that his party might not seek independence a decade down the line.  Waffle, waffle.

So, yes, I was a moron when I moved to Quebec, thinking that secession was a thing of the past just because a referendum "settled" things about six years earlier.  My understanding of ethnic politics was overwhelmed by wishful thinking since I so wanted out of my previous position and residence.  Nationalist politics will continue in Quebec, if not by the Bloc Quebecois and the Parti Quebecois, then by someone else. 

But the future of successful sovereignty politics is pretty bleak.  The youth, as the article depicts, are currently focused on other stuff.  They live in an era where the Francophones have won all the major battles--French is the language of politics and of much of the economy, the Anglophone population has shrunk, the immigrants are learning French, the education system is effectively empowering French despite the forces of globalization, Quebec has its own immigration policy, and so on.  So, why be independent?  How would that reduce the corruption? The poor public service?  Until the separatists can come up with better arguments than "the past really sucked (Je me souviens)," they will have a hard time doing very well. 

The federalists have learned not to have constitutional discussions anymore that might provoke the Quebeckers.  We have a glimmer of that when the NDP asks to get rid of the Senate, when others want to get rid of the Governor-General and all of that, but really, nobody is currently stupid enough to provide the separatists with much fodder.  So, instead, we get to watch them savage each other.

And for a federalist, that is heaps of fun.

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