Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Separatists Hit the Low


The Parti Québécois (PQ) hit a low by winning 36 seats (out of 125) in the National Assembly and got 28.34% of the votes in Quebec. All kinds of arguments have been brought by the PQ's supporters themselves to explain this humiliating defeat. Was it because of André Boisclair's leadership style? Not necessarily. That's only one of the causes among others.

For some of you, the PQ is about to die. This is not necessarily true. While looking at things within the PQ's frame of mind, the separatists' problem is more rooted into the way they handle their option and their despicable disconnection from reality. All in all, the inconvenient truth must be said: Quebecker separatism is on its way to hit the low, but not to die.

What some members of the PQ don't really understand is that many people in Quebec are not that interested to separate from Canada. Besides, don't you think that the PQ arrogantly looks at Quebeckers by attempting to present a "pedagogy about sovereignty"? For more than 30 years, that must have been probably hard to understand what René Lévesque, Jacques Parizeau, Lucien Bouchard and Bernard Landry, for instance, were talking about!

If the PQ certainly had a little bit of respect for people's critical thinking, why did they use vague questions at the referendums of 1980 and 1995? If the two questions were about separating from Canada to become an independent country, be sure that the PQ would only reach its grassroots, which means at least 40% of Quebeckers. Playing with the soft nationalists' feelings always helped the separatist option to fly high from 1976 to 2003.

Obviously, many Quebeckers see the party of André Boisclair - at least for the moment - as being unable to defend this province's interests within Canada. As time was flying, the PQ was extremely too concentrated on its dream of secession. Moreover, some Quebeckers are starting to see that the PQ's radical option of separatism will never get enough advocates and that the struggle itself is gradually becoming trivial.

Needless to say that separatists actually have no spinning argument to show how Quebeckers are supposedly despised by Canada (the failed Meech Lake Accord, the sponsorship scandals). If most people put Quebec first, that doesn't mean that they're looking forward to separate. In fact, they just feel proud to be Quebeckers without looking for secession.

Moreover, Quebec's interests are well protected within Canada. For instance, if you analyze the situation from a soft nationalist's point of view, Canada has a Prime Minister who recognizes the distinct cultural pattern of Quebec by practicing a flexible federalism, granting a seat to Quebec next to Canada at the UNESCO's meetings and recognizing - albeit in a very quirky way - the "Québécois [as] a nation within an united Canada".

Evidently, the PQ, just like Québec Solidaire after all, is just running out of arguments to tout separatism. Many Quebeckers are seeing that they're not as despised as they think within Canada given Stephen Harper's - let's say it for fun - reasonnable federalist accommodations. Believing that "sovereignty" is gaining grounds is just as plausible as believing that there's only one way to interpret any given religion.

With the display of a new brand of nationalism in Quebec, the separatists, in general, are just looking like lions who loudly roars. These lions in question don't have claws at all. Nonetheless, as long as separatism, as a sentiment, remains in our political arena, the PQ is certainly not going to die, but rather be a player, albeit a weak one, at the National Assembly because of people from its grassroots who really wish to support it...

The PQ never showed us that it can hit the low in a so elegant way. Now, will they show us how much they got high with their belief that separatism is gaining grounds?

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