View Poll Results: What are your thoughts on the Quebec question?

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  • I believe Quebec should be a separate nation from the rest of Canada.

    75 51.72%
  • I believe Quebec should remain a part of Canada, but there should be more effort to preserve French-Canadian heritage.

    38 26.21%
  • I believe the situation should remain as it is.

    16 11.03%
  • I am undecided.

    6 4.14%
  • Other.

    10 6.90%
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Thread: The Quebec Question

  1. #1
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    The Quebec Question

    Since I have noticed more Canadians posting lately, I am curious about what are your thoughts on the Quebec question. I would like to see how the English and French Canadian opinions differ, if at all. I believe the question is pertinent and relevant to both sides.

    Do you believe Qebec should separate from the rest of Canada and become independent? Should it be governed by its own, separate laws? Or should Canada remain an Anglo-French country?

    An interesting blog entry:

    The Quebec Question: Something Old, Something New

    When Stephen Harper announced that he intended to introduce a motion in the House of Commons declaring that Quebec constituted a nation within Canada, this seemingly profound gesture was more about political tactics that about setting right historic wrongs. Harper deftly inserted himself between the Bloc Quebecois and a divided Liberal party on the eve on its leadership convention with his sudden initiative.

    What set the dominoes falling in the first place was the position adopted by Michael Ignatieff that the way to resolve the Quebec question was with the formula: “Quebec is my nation; Canada is my country.” To this the Bloc responded with its own initiative---a Commons resolution to declare that Quebec was a nation tout court. Ignatieff’s maladroitly handled foray on the Quebec question led to an effective riposte from leadership rival Bob Rae. When Ignatieff, who has an unerring eye for the maladroit, warned that Canada could face civil war unless the Quebec question was resolved, Rae had him. Only someone who was not around for the Meech Lake and Charlottetown melodramas would reopen this can of worms, said Rae, who presents himself as the man of experience and reasoned calm.

    Now Harper has landed the Liberals in a quagmire, or has he? He has forced the Liberals (with a few possible dissenters), as well as the Bloc and the NDP to support his motion. When the Liberals vote for the resolution recognizing Quebec as a nation on Monday, they will concede a tactical victory to Harper. If they had refused, they would have offended the large majority of Quebecers---with their National Assembly and national capital region (around Quebec City)---who have long thought of themselves as constituting a nation.

    And what are the Liberals to do when they get to Montreal with the resolution advanced by the Ignatieff camp that would embed the recognition of Quebec as a nation in the constitution, when the conditions for this permit, something the Harper resolution decidedly does not do?

    Before assessing the significance of all this, we need to take a brief journey through history to review the evolution of this thorny question.

    The idea that French Canadians or Quebecers (both notions were advanced) constitute a nation has a very long pedigree. It had been around for decades by the time the Quiet Revolution got underway in Quebec in the 1960s. The question was transformed during the sixties, a time when nations in Africa and elsewhere were throwing off the chains of colonialism and establishing sovereign states---so that, in theory at least, they would no longer be ruled by the old imperial powers. With the Union Nationale regime out of the way, young Quebec nationalists were proclaiming that Quebec was just as much a nation---with its shared history, common culture, religion and large territory---as the newly independent states that were making their debut.

    Many were inspired by the recent Cuban Revolution. I remember student leaders, at the time, who displayed maps of Cuba on the walls of their offices. “If Cuba can do it, why not Quebec with its higher level of development, vaster resources and ample territory?” they asked rhetorically.

    From this point, federal political parties tried placing a toe in these frigid waters.

    The first federal party to state that Canada was a country made up of “two founding nations” was the NDP at its inaugural convention in Ottawa in 1961. The term “nation” it was carefully explained, was used in a sociological sense, in accordance with the meaning of the French word nation to convey the idea that French speakers in Canada constituted a people. The NDP took this step in the early days of the Quiet Revolution. The gesture was somewhat costly politically. A few distinguished social democrats, long time members of the CCF, such as Eugene Forsey, were so annoyed that they refused to join the fledgling NDP.

    After Robert Stanfield became federal Conservative leader in 1967, his party took tentative steps, as well, to declare that Canada was composed of two nations.

    What was significant was that both these attempts to recognize the national character of the French fact in Canada---unclear though they were about whether these propositions referred to French Canada as a whole or to Quebec---came from political parties overwhelmingly based in English Canada. These well meaning attempts to reach an understanding with Quebec nationalists were stopped dead in their tracks by the rise of the personality who dominated the era---Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

    When Trudeau entered federal politics, he brought with him his deep-seated disdain for nationalism. His interpretation of modern history was that the idea that as a consequence of their unique personalities (cultures), nations have the right to self-determination was the root of much of the world’s misery.

    What Quebec needed, he insisted, was the development of the capacities of individual Quebecers. Through education, enterprise and a mastery of technology, Quebecers would make themselves a force to be reckoned with across Canada. Their achievements would win them power in Ottawa in addition to the power they already had in Quebec City and would assure the survival of their language and culture. Quebec had no need of special recognition as the homeland of a nation, he argued. He held solidly to this position in power and out. After leaving office, he railed against the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords, deploring any arrangement that would bestow “distinct society” status on Quebec.

    While Trudeau’s position never won over more than a few politicians in provincial politics in Quebec, it had a decisive impact in English Canada. His insistence that all provinces must be treated alike and that none had more importance than any other in its role in guaranteeing the linguistic and cultural rights of Francophones won easy ascendancy in English Canada. After all, here was a Quebecer who was keeping Quebec in its place. Trudeau’s new constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms took deeper root in English Canada than in Quebec and when he died he was mourned more deeply in Ontario than in Quebec.

    Great though his influence was, Trudeau could not will the Quebec national question away. The insistence that Quebec must be accorded recognition for its collective character, its national character, has remained. A few Francophones like Stephane Dion, the author of the Clarity Act, clung to the Trudeau mantra, notwithstanding Dion’s decision to vote for Harper’s motion. For the rest, federalists or sovereignists, recognition of Quebec as a nation is desired, for the former to win soft nationalists to the federal cause, for the latter as a stepping stone to sovereignty.

    Michael Ignatieff must be credited with having revisited a question that endures, while being reproached for having done it badly. For his part, the emptiness of Stephen Harper’s gesture is revealed in the fact that his resolution is like the Cheshire Cat, Quebec gets nothing from it but the smile. The moment Harper offered something substantial to Quebec, his political base in Alberta would rise in condemnation.

    The worst thing about the historical legacy of Pierre Trudeau was to convince English Canadians that they need not trouble themselves with the Quebec question. For that reason, at least, the resolution with a smile is worth passing. With genuine recognition of Quebec as a nation, which must come one day, Canada can and will survive, but as a country made up not only of individuals, but also of collectivities, of which Quebec is one. Canadians have nothing to fear from embracing the deep diversity that has always characterized their country.

    http://www.jameslaxer.com/2006/11/qu...thing-old.html


    Die Sonne scheint noch.

  2. #2
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    This is of course a complex issue; people advocating separation from Canada in Québec are pretty vocal about it, especially considering the size of the Bloc in parliament, but I am not quite sure if the majority of Québeckers want to be separate from Canada, especially if they held a referendum right now. My friends from the province sort of romanticise the idea of separation, and they of course feel strongly about their language and culture (and how it is threatened being a small population compared to the three hundred million English speakers surrounding them on the continent), but they themselves can see practically that it might not be the best economic idea, and they also themselves admit that the majority of the people in the province probably would not vote for sovereignty.

    Of course, it would be hypocritical for a person of my views to suggest that Québec be denied the right to leave the country and form its own sovereign government if the people there wanted it. Its admirable that they want to protect their culture, and from my experience it already feels to be a different country when one is there, learning about their history and experiencing their music, film, ideas, etc.

    As for Canada being an Anglo-French country now, clearly the majority of the French speaking population resides in Québec (and slightly in the surrounding areas of Ontario and New Brunswick). The French population of other regions are pretty marginal, losing Québec would probably not affect our culture and ways very much at all, besides maybe altering business and economic affairs. I suppose I don't consider myself much of a federalist at all, although ironically I do not consider myself a republican (as in, leaving the commonwealth).

    I think that separtists want the same things, which many people here want: to preserve their culture, language, and ways of life, all of which are threatened by the overwhelming anglo-centric culture of the rest of North America. So, in saying that, I believe if the majority of them want to secede, then they ought to be allowed to, I suppose. They are sufficiently different that I think they merit some level of autonomy. That said, they do have a pretty high level of autonomy being a province, and being in Canada is economically beneficial to them.

    Let their people decide. I don't know if I fit into the common opinion of Canadians here. I think most people in Canada don't really care about Québec, except for their visits to Montréal.

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    The French don't want to leave Canada at all, they are Canadian and they feel more Canadian than anything else. The Bloc represents a much smaller proportion of people and most don't want to separate. I lived in Montreal, arguably one of the most important economic centres for Quebec and Canada, with a very sizaeble population. You have people in the East end who don't like to speak English and many of them won't, but they still consider themselves Canadians. So forget ever going to the East end if you don't speak French because you'll have a very difficult time but it's the local language so you just have to cope. But Montreal is one example of how English and French Canadians can work together to make a society flourish.

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    The fact that Germanic peoples aren't able to coexist in the same state shows what direction our community of peoples are headed.

    In this world of demographic change there is no room for petty nationalist views if we are to survive. We need to think pan Germanic and ensure our right as one European community of cultures!

    If not, well then it's just a matter of time until we no longer exist. When that happens the Quebec problem will have found a solution anyway...

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    Quote Originally Posted by snublefot View Post
    The fact that Germanic peoples aren't able to coexist in the same state shows what direction our community of peoples are headed.

    In this world of demographic change there is no room for petty nationalist views if we are to survive. We need to think pan Germanic and ensure our right as one European community of cultures!

    If not, well then it's just a matter of time until we no longer exist. When that happens the Quebec problem will have found a solution anyway...
    Well I don't think anyone would call the French 'Germanic', especially not themselves, even if some of them might be genetically decended from Franks or some other Germanic tribe somewhat. Like it's already been said, there isn't an extremely strong sovereignty movement there right now anyway, but still I think the French are quite different than the rest of us Canadians. That's my personal view anyway. Also, Canada is about as pan-European as you can get, well maybe besides the US.

    Also: I don't think there will ever be a European group founded on the commonness between all of the Germanic Lands (including say England, the German speaking countries, Scandinavia, and the Dutch (and all the other smaller groups)) anytime in the near future, but it's not to say I would hate some sort of co-operation between them. I don't think making bigger and higher levels of government is the way to go ever though.

    Anyway, Québeckers seem light years ahead in protecting their culture than any other group I can think of, I wonder where they get their stubbornness.

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    Quebec has been a thorn in Anglo Canada's side ever since they were conquered. The British gov't treatment of them had an effect on the American colonies' decision to rebel. They have been an economic drain on the rest of Canada for years as federal politicians attempt to buy their votes with our tax money. They are at the forefront of efforts to distance Canada from Great Britain and they do their damndest to diminish Canada's British heritage.
    Give them their independence and wish them luck getting the Americans to speak French to them.
    Don't let Europe Rule Britannia!

    "If we reunited, then we would be an economic and military powerhouse without peer for centuries to come."-Leofric

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    First of all the Frenchies are not a Germanic people. I don't know how many times I have heard this on skadi, but for all those questioning whether or not they are Germanic, the answer is no. I have a half french cousin who is actually from quebec, his mom was a french woman, his dad was my german uncle, and his hair is as black as coal, he looks like a frenchman, and not like a German. So unless the French in question are Franks, or some other Germanic tribe, then get that idea of Frenchies beings Germanic out of your heads, because they are not. Just because they have a drop of Frankish blood doesn't mean they are Germanic.

    As for the question about the Quebecois wanting independance, personally I think they are making a stupid decision for even wanting such a thing, they would be better off as a Canadian province. But if they want to go, let them go. I am tired of frogs whining and really don't care if they leave or not.

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    The Quebec question is in a way similar to the Swiss situation. United but separate. Their identity must be cultivated and they should be preserving their culture and language. They should decide. If they want to stay with Canada, so should be it. If they want to be independent, they should be left alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngloTeutonic View Post
    First of all the Frenchies are not a Germanic people. I don't know how many times I have heard this on skadi, but for all those questioning whether or not they are Germanic, the answer is no. I have a half french cousin who is actually from quebec, his mom was a french woman, his dad was my german uncle, and his hair is as black as coal, he looks like a frenchman, and not like a German. So unless the French in question are Franks, or some other Germanic tribe, then get that idea of Frenchies beings Germanic out of your heads, because they are not. Just because they have a drop of Frankish blood doesn't mean they are Germanic.
    Most French-Canadians I have met claim Norman descent. The Normans were a Germanic tribe. They also follow the old faith of Germanics. What are your thoughts on that?


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    Racially the French are southern european with a touch of Norman blood. If they want to keep their genepool and culture the way it is(and they should want to) separating from Canada is the best course of action to take.
    "What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." Friedrich Nietzche

    "Virtue - all virtue - is knowledge."
    Socrates

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