The bill would set out that a referendum on secession would be deemed to be a valid catalyst for provincial separation at a simple majority (i.e., 50% + 1). This new language would replace the requirement of the Clarity Act that a referendum succeed by a "clear majority," which was not defined in the Act, and the meaning of which was never clearly defined by legislators.
To make matters more interesting, recent polling data indicates that most Canadians do not think that a simple majority is an adequate threshold to initiate negotiations on the secession of a province. According to a telephone poll conducted by The Canadian Press, it seems that 73% of Canadians think that the threshold should be higher than the simple majority proposed by the Official Opposition. In fact, 29% of Canadians in the poll wanted to see a threshold of 70% or more before a referendum could initiate secession discussions. Even in Québec, a majority of citizens would want to see the threshold at 60% or more.
The bill would also require that Her Majesty's Government for Québec consult with Her Majesty's Government for Canada when determining whether a draft referendum question is clear enough to be binding on both Canada and Québec. The bill would also give the Government of Canada the authority to refer a referendum question, if it does not believe it to be clear enough, to the Court of Appeal for Québec for its opinion. (Presumably, if the Québec Court of Appeal deemed the referendum question to be unclear, it would have no force or effect.)
What do you think? What constitutes an appropriate majority to initiate the negotiation of Québec's secession? What constitutes a "clear majority?"