Independence for Quebec


Aliksander
#1
Greetings friends,


I would like to discuss a small portion of the Independence movement for Quebec that I have found to be prominent today. I welcome any thoughts that any of you may have, and hope to build a constructive and intelligible argument so that we may all better understand this issue. If anyone has anything to say to me directly, please do not hesitate to email me, especially if there are any other public arenas that may also be suitable for me to use to broadcast my ideas.


Action vs Inaction:

There is a great deal of speculation as to how effective the acquisition of sovereignty will resolve the economic shortcomings of any political body, or, perhaps more importantly, if it will ensure the preservation of Quebec's beautiful culture any better than the previous governing body. Many have said that Quebec's independence would not directly address its own internal struggles, and furthermore, that separating itself from its parent country is more likely to cause additional harm to the already worsening state of Quebec.


Alternately, one cannot ignore Quebec's struggle. History would show that time and time again, the needs of Quebec have been neglected, almost as if to suggest the intent to unravel the cultural differential of Quebec to her sister provinces. Canada's government and constitutional format is designed to serve Canada's majority population, and as the people of Quebec know, they are not the majority population. Pressure from the government is evident in the form of subtle cultural suppression, trade restrictions, and the forced reliance of Canada's Provinces on the Federalist governing body in both a political and economic environment.


So here lies the problem. Confronted with the uncertainty of a future that being a part of Canada entails, what should the people of Quebec do if it is there intention to make a better future for herself, and for her people. From a realistic point of view, both arguments are sound and valid, but there is yet another thought that one must consider. Both arguments are based on speculation. Speculation, though often grounded with facts and statistic, is still only speculation. Any person who operates on the same presumptions that any "speculation" suggests is investing far too much value in humanity's ability to forecast the future. As far as I can see, there are only two realistic options that Quebec has made available to herself.

Option 1. Remain part of the Canadian nation and subscribe to its constitution, economic structure, and societal system. Most political and economic issues that present themselves in Quebec will be at the discretion of the Canadian government. It has already been determined that the societal and political needs of Quebec and Canada differ, which means there will perhaps always be a cultural barrier within Canada's borders so long as Quebec is in its governmental domain.

Option 2. Quebec peacefully but assertively separates itself from its parent nation and assumes control over its own internal struggles. Regardless of the outcome, Quebec will have absolute control over itself with authority invested in its own people, thereby limiting the possibility of economic and legislative blunder at the fault of cultural misunderstanding.


The people of Quebec need to ask themselves how hard they are willing to work at achieving their goals. On the surface, revolution takes the form of territorial dispute, governmental reform, and economic restructure, but at its core, true revolution is always about one thing. The people. If the people of Quebec do not feel that Canada can help them cultivate the greatness inside of them, then one must question which they treasure more: Their life as they know it, or the potential of what they can become.
 
El Barto
+1
#2  Top Rated Post
Saying 'people of Quebec ' is an exageration.
The politicians of Quebec would be more accurate.
 
wulfie68
No Party Affiliation
#3
Yet another thread on seperation. Well, I'll bite...

Quote: Originally Posted by AliksanderView Post

Alternately, one cannot ignore Quebec's struggle. History would show that time and time again, the needs of Quebec have been neglected, almost as if to suggest the intent to unravel the cultural differential of Quebec to her sister provinces. Canada's government and constitutional format is designed to serve Canada's majority population, and as the people of Quebec know, they are not the majority population. Pressure from the government is evident in the form of subtle cultural suppression, trade restrictions, and the forced reliance of Canada's Provinces on the Federalist governing body in both a political and economic environment.

I'm sorry but there is a lot of almost laughable falsehood in this statement. Quebec has NOT been ignored but rather has been pandered to, pretty much since Wolfe defeated Montcalm. Originally the British governors allowed the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and French civil law to remain, as a way to keep the citizenry content in the face of rising discontent in the southern colonies (i.e. the States). That has been something that has continued throughout Canada's history to a point where, especially in the last 40 years Quebec exerts far more influence than it should based on its population and economic value. Under our present constitution, the Quebec provincial gov't has the ability to invoke the "Not Withstanding" clause to uphold things like the provinces draconian and prejudicial language laws in the name of "protecting Quebec's culture".

Ultimately, if Quebec wants to seperate, it will, but I doubt that it will find itself in the francophone utopia most seperatists try to predict. It will be an island of French in North America, where the rest of Canada will have no reason to maintain the expensive policies of bilingualism. The pressures on Quebecers to speak and conduct business in English, so as to be able to mesh with their two largest neighbours and natural trading partners (the US and Canada) will increase, without the state mandated protection that the province now enjoys.

The economic woes of the province can likely be resolved, if there is sufficient will to do so (but this has not been evident in the last couple decades). This will, however be complicated by ther necessity of resolving the myriad of entanglements the existing relationship the province enjoys with the rest of Canada (things such as interprovincial trade agreements and federal governmental partnerships, not to mention the assumption of their share of the national debt). Another concern will be resolution of native land claims. Combine these elements with a withdrawal of support mechanisms (i.e. federal transfer payments) and Quebec could take a long time to emerge from the economic swamp it is mired in.
 
Slim Chance
#4
careful what you wish for Aliksander, you may just get it.

I do find it intensely interesting that your "needs" haven't been met and Quebec's "forced" reliance on other provinces. It would be an excellent experiment to see how these needs and self reliance will magically appear in an independent Quebec.

In the end, I'm certain that any such arrangement of independence will be mutually beneficial, but do remember this; Once the "independent" son leaves Mom and dad's house, there's no running back to raid the fridge or hit up the old-man for rent money... You'll be on your own.
 
s_lone
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by El BartoView Post

Saying 'people of Quebec ' is an exageration.
The politicians of Quebec would be more accurate.

Well... I doubt the nearly 50% who voted YES in 1995 are all politicians...
 
s_lone
#6
So many issues here but let me just start with this.

I believe there is an option 3: Quebec remains in Canada but unites with all other provinces to bring significant change to the way the country is run. I believe all provinces need to be more independent without Ottawa being some sort of parent to us all. One of Canada's big problems is that we send money to Ottawa for it to then be redistributed to the provinces. It makes no sense. Once money goes to Ottawa, it must stay there to be spent on exclusively national issues that are relevant to every single Canadian.

In other words, the provinces should always be collecting the bulk of the income tax because they will be the ones using most of the money anyway.
 
s_lone
#7
As long as Quebec has the tools to control its own destiny I believe it can very well function inside Canada. Controlling its destiny means doing something to protect the French language. So as long as Quebec can comfortably protect its language within Canada, I believe Quebec can stay in the federation.
 
Slim Chance
#8
Perhaps it's time to test this theory. Quebec has had difficulty living within their means for many years now.
 
Aliksander
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

So many issues here but let me just start with this.

I believe there is an option 3: Quebec remains in Canada but unites with all other provinces to bring significant change to the way the country is run. I believe all provinces need to be more independent without Ottawa being some sort of parent to us all. One of Canada's big problems is that we send money to Ottawa for it to then be redistributed to the provinces. It makes no sense. Once money goes to Ottawa, it must stay there to be spent on exclusively national issues that are relevant to every single Canadian.

In other words, the provinces should always be collecting the bulk of the income tax because they will be the ones using most of the money anyway.

This is just the sort of thing I was hoping to hear. YES, this makes every bit of sense in the world, but I still do not consider it to be a viable option. People have to have faith in their government in order for the government to function, and unfortunately, many people, those both in and out of Quebec are rapidly losing faith in the government's ability to correctly facilitate the priorities of every province effectively. I believe that unification of a people should always be the first option considered when political tension begins to have a noticeable effect on society, but I think that the time for that in this scenario may be past. At this point, we have to ask ourselves which is a more difficult task: Separating Quebec from Canada and producing a self-sufficient country with the capability of Independently operating its own government and economy -- or-- Convincing the people of Quebec that they would NOT be better off as a separate entity from Canada, and somehow granting them the belief that their government is working to rectify the problems that have gone not rectified for many years. I am not trying to argue that the Canadian Government does not have Quebec's best interest at heart. I believe that Canada is a beautiful country that is full of wonderful people, but the government does not serve our interest at this time. At this point, it is a matter of the people's natural right to chose which way they want to be governed, and it should be within the good nature of Canada to grant its people this right if they so desire it.
 
Aliksander
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

As long as Quebec has the tools to control its own destiny I believe it can very well function inside Canada. Controlling its destiny means doing something to protect the French language. So as long as Quebec can comfortably protect its language within Canada, I believe Quebec can stay in the federation.

This is about far more than a language. As far as I'm concerned, if the language differential was the only issue at hand, such extremes as Independence would not dare be mentioned. This is a cultural phenomenon that has occurred on numerous occasions all over the world, and they almost always end the same. It is the cultural differential that concerns the people of Quebec the most, and moreover, Canada's increasing inability to acknowledge this. Realistically, we cannot expect a nation the size of Canada (territorial and population) to effectively cater to minority populations when there is an overwhelming majority with similar needs amongst themselves. Independence would mean that Canada would no longer have the burden of this political landscape to carry, and Quebec, likewise, would not have to make any concessions for its former sister provinces.

Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68View Post

Yet another thread on seperation. Well, I'll bite...
I'm sorry but there is a lot of almost laughable falsehood in this statement. Quebec has NOT been ignored but rather has been pandered to, pretty much since Wolfe defeated Montcalm. Originally the British governors allowed the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and French civil law to remain, as a way to keep the citizenry content in the face of rising discontent in the southern colonies (i.e. the States). That has been something that has continued throughout Canada's history to a point where, especially in the last 40 years Quebec exerts far more influence than it should based on its population and economic value. Under our present constitution, the Quebec provincial gov't has the ability to invoke the "Not Withstanding" clause to uphold things like the provinces draconian and prejudicial language laws in the name of "protecting Quebec's culture".
Ultimately, if Quebec wants to seperate, it will, but I doubt that it will find itself in the francophone utopia most seperatists try to predict. It will be an island of French in North America, where the rest of Canada will have no reason to maintain the expensive policies of bilingualism. The pressures on Quebecers to speak and conduct business in English, so as to be able to mesh with their two largest neighbours and natural trading partners (the US and Canada) will increase, without the state mandated protection that the province...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
Your argument is very well-structured, orderly, and intellectually thought out. I agree with the face value of everything you said, but I will remind you, that this is, again, only speculation. You are making predictions based on your own knowledge of the present state of Quebec, and I do not think that is fair. Before the American Revolution, the "States" were just a handful of independent colonies that functioned under the rule of England. Arguably a far lesser candidate for independence than modern-day Quebec, alas, they became a mighty nation. One should never underestimate the will of any people. With the right LEADERSHIP, and a wisely contrived constitution, there is no reason why Quebec should not attain a mighty position in the global economy using nothing more than its own people and resources.
 
petros
#11
Don't let the door hit you in the *** on your way out BTW all border jumpers wanting to come back to reality will be shot on site.
 
Aliksander
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Don't let the door hit you in the *** on your way out BTW all border jumpers wanting to come back to reality will be shot on site.

That sounds like something an American would say. Who would ever want to be part of a country with people like you in it? And are you really even concerned about the door hitting my ***, or are you just trying to utilize a phrase straight out of 90's pop culture? Why don't you try offering up a real argument before going right for the insult.
 
Machjo
#13
What about a decentralized federation with more power going to local governments?
 
Aliksander
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

What about a decentralized federation with more power going to local governments?

Not viable. That would require a complete restructure of the Canadian government solely to accommodate the needs of one province. It is neither logical, nor prudent. It would be easier to allow 1 province to have its independence than it would be to restructure the entire constitutional body of the Canadian government.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by AliksanderView Post

Not viable. That would require a complete restructure of the Canadian government solely to accommodate the needs of one province. It is neither logical, nor prudent. It would be easier to allow 1 province to have its independence than it would be to restructure the entire constitutional body of the Canadian government.

Does independence include sovereignty association and shared currency?
 
Machjo
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by AliksanderView Post

Not viable. That would require a complete restructure of the Canadian government solely to accommodate the needs of one province. It is neither logical, nor prudent. It would be easier to allow 1 province to have its independence than it would be to restructure the entire constitutional body of the Canadian government.

You'd be surprised how many English Canadians would like to see a more decentralized system too. Quite often Quebecers and English Canadians speak right past each other without realizing that they're arguing about the same thing.

I'll take one example:

The Bloc Quebecois would like to see Bill 101 apply to all Federal institutions in the Province of Quebec. This would cover crown corporations like Canada Post for example, as well as government offices. The argument is that it would save money and protect the French language in Quebec.

Many English Canadians would love to have the Official Languages Act not apply to Federal institutions and crown corporations in their province as it would save them money too.

Yet though both sides would stand to benefit from it, many English Canadians refuse to submit to this request of Quebec's because they're afraid of agreeing with the Bloc Quebecois on anything. If they could look past the sovereignty rhetoric, you'll find that the Bloc actually does have good ideas that would be just as relevant outside of Quebec as they are in Quebec.
 
Aliksander
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

Does independence include sovereignty association and shared currency?

There is no reason why it could not include a shared currency. Quebec's proximity to America and the rest of Canada demands that there is some degree of compatibility between all three economies. We have seen models of shared currency among nations with varying levels of success, and it would be an issue that would have to be addressed in later stages of the movement. Personally, I believe that the entire world is going in the direction of a unified, inter-dependent economy. In many ways, we're already there, and a shared currency makes all of the sense in the world, but it is an issue that is ultimately up to the people.
 
s_lone
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by AliksanderView Post

This is about far more than a language. As far as I'm concerned, if the language differential was the only issue at hand, such extremes as Independence would not dare be mentioned. This is a cultural phenomenon that has occurred on numerous occasions all over the world, and they almost always end the same. It is the cultural differential that concerns the people of Quebec the most, and moreover, Canada's increasing inability to acknowledge this. Realistically, we cannot expect a nation the size of Canada (territorial and population) to effectively cater to minority populations when there is an overwhelming majority with similar needs amongst themselves. Independence would mean that Canada would no longer have the burden of this political landscape to carry, and Quebec, likewise, would not have to make any concessions for its former sister provinces.

Language is the backbone of culture. Give me any country with a significant separation movement in it, and good chances are they speak a different language than the majority. If not, it's probably a religious issue.

Of course language is not the only issue at hand, but I think it's one of the most fundamental. If Quebecers for some reason had lost the French language after the British Conquest, the cultural differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada would be much weaker.

So in my opinion, if Canada attempts to stop Quebec from protecting its language, than you have a very strong case for separation.
 
Aliksander
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

You'd be surprised how many English Canadians would like to see a more decentralized system too. Quite often Quebecers and English Canadians speak right past each other without realizing that they're arguing about the same thing.

I'll take one example:

The Bloc Quebecois would like to see Bill 101 apply to all Federal institutions in the Province of Quebec. This would cover crown corporations like Canada Post for example, as well as government offices. The argument is that it would save money and protect the French language in Quebec.

Many English Canadians would love to have the Official Languages Act not apply to Federal institutions and crown corporations in their province as it would save them money too.

Yet though both sides would stand to benefit from it, many English Canadians refuse to submit to this request of Quebec's because they're afraid of agreeing with the Bloc Quebecois on anything. If they could look past the sovereignty rhetoric, you'll find that the Bloc actually does have good ideas that would be just as relevant outside of Quebec as they are in Quebec.


Though there may be a cultural differential within Canada, we are all still human. Inevitably, we will always agree on a number of issues because of how they serve our human interests, but it is not only unpractical, but it is foolhardy for the people of Quebec to sit and wait for the appropriate bills to be proposed and pass in an operate amount of time. If Quebec's needs were as similar as the rest of the provinces, I would not attempt to argue against the efficiency of Canada's lawmaking process, but because of how great the societal differential is, we cannot expect timely, or even effective remedies from the government. Our solutions are going to have to come from within, and we are going to need to have the appropriate amount of power to enact them on our own terms.
 
Machjo
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

Language is the backbone of culture. Give me any country with a significant separation movement in it, and good chances are they speak a different language than the majority. If not, it's probably a religious issue.

Of course language is not the only issue at hand, but I think it's one of the most fundamental. If Quebecers for some reason had lost the French language after the British Conquest, the cultural differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada would be much weaker.

So in my opinion, if Canada attempts to stop Quebec from protecting its language, than you have a very strong case for separation.

Good point. Next only to religion, language is the strongest bond in a community, since after all that's the means via which its members can communicate with one another, and that's no small matter. It determines access to government, jobs, money, resources, justice, the courts, love, marriages, friendship, camaraderie, information, knowledge, data, etc. etc. etc.

A minority language community that fails to learn the majority language will be marginalized and its access to resources will be smaller than the majority's. That's a fact.
 
coldstream
#21
A recent poll showed that most Quebecers considered the issue of Sovereignty 'settled'. The movement has none of the passion for independence of the 60s, or even the type of hybrid nationalism that would have Quebec keep all of the advantages of Canadian citizenship with none of the responsibilities that pervaded the Referendum debates, and completely sabatoged the romantic notion of nationhood. I think its a dead issue. Quebec is now an partner, equal and nondistinctive as to privilege with other provinces, and Quebecers are, by their own choice, first and formost Canadians.
 
petros
#22


Just like our coat of arms expresses, the French unicorn will always be in chains by the crown and lion which would be fine by me if it didn't personally cost me thousands of dollars a year in taxes.
 
Aliksander
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

Language is the backbone of culture. Give me any country with a significant separation movement in it, and good chances are they speak a different language than the majority. If not, it's probably a religious issue.

Of course language is not the only issue at hand, but I think it's one of the most fundamental. If Quebecers for some reason had lost the French language after the British Conquest, the cultural differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada would be much weaker.

So in my opinion, if Canada attempts to stop Quebec from protecting its language, than you have a very strong case for separation.

Language is not the backbone of a culture. History is. Regardless of whatever language is preferred in any province of Canada, there must still be a strong, patriotic bond among all provinces. In America, Spanish is quickly becoming the second language, and yet, the Latinos and Mexicans living within America still consider themselves to be American, regardless of whatever language is there preference. Furthermore, the Spanish speaking populations of America are a lot less likely to identify with Spanish culture just because they share a language, just as Quebecers are not willing to be identified as being "French", per se. The development of Canada concurrent to the influence of other nations has yielded a unique people that are neither French, nor British, and one must remember that. In this case directly, I believe that the cultural evolution of Quebec has taken hold independent from that of the rest of Canada, thereby producing a new faction of people with their own lifestyles, needs, and culture.

Try telling any American that they are just British people with different accents. Even the slightest cultural divergence, developing over time, can warrant separation, and there is proof of this all over the globe.
 
Liberalman
#24
Leave the Quebecers as they are they will eventually be content because our great Conservative Prime Minister has welcomed them into Canada by declaring to all that Quebec is a nation within a nation.
 
Aliksander
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post

Leave the Quebecers as they are they will eventually be content because our great Conservative Prime Minister has welcomed them into Canada by declaring to all that Quebec is a nation within a nation.

I'm not sure if that even makes sense. Quebec is not a nation unless it has absolute rule over itself, which it does not.
 
Aliksander
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post


Just like our coat of arms expresses, the French unicorn will always be in chains by the crown and lion which would be fine by me if it didn't personally cost me thousands of dollars a year in taxes.

I would personally be happy to see a Quebec that is bound by neither of those two governments.
 
DurkaDurka
No Party Affiliation
#27
I wish Quebec would stop talking about it and just do it. Also, it's not English Canada that you have to worry about diluting your culture, immigration will do that.
 
Machjo
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by AliksanderView Post

There is no reason why it could not include a shared currency. Quebec's proximity to America and the rest of Canada demands that there is some degree of compatibility between all three economies. We have seen models of shared currency among nations with varying levels of success, and it would be an issue that would have to be addressed in later stages of the movement. Personally, I believe that the entire world is going in the direction of a unified, inter-dependent economy. In many ways, we're already there, and a shared currency makes all of the sense in the world, but it is an issue that is ultimately up to the people.

This presents another problem. On the one hand, Quebec wants to separate, yet on the other it recognizes its need to maintain healthy friendships around the world and especially North America if it wishes to grow and prosper.

I'll take the issue of languages in Europe for a moment to illustrate my point.

A 1993 decree of the Italian Ministry of Public Instruction argued that if the Italian school system did not reform its second-language instruction policy soon, that English-language hegemony would soon cause irreparable damage to the integrity of the Italian language, possibly within a few generations at most. This in spite of the fact that Italy is an independent sovereign state surrounded by countries speaking various languages.

In 2005, the Grin Report, presented to the French government, made a similar conclusion concerning France's second-language education policy.

And yet both of those countries have far less anglocentric a policy than Quebec's, which essentially makes English compulsory in all schools across the province.

I don't see how the threat of English will disappear from Quebec just because of independence when France and Italy are struggling with the same issue and they're independent already.

If we consider that it is in fact totally in Quebec's hands to decide whether to make English compulsory in its education system or not (in fact a few provinces give numerous language options already besides French, with French being but one among multiple languages to choose from), and conclude that has therefore chosen not to execize this freedom, we can only conclude that the obstacles to weakening the grip of the English language in Quebec are beyond just legal, but have to do rather with Quebec genuinely not being able to see the options before it and so turn to sovereignty as a supposed solution.

Yet, if Quebec is already not exercising all the legal means at its disposal to weaken the grip of the English language in its province, why should we believe things would be any different if Quebec were sovereign?
 
Liberalman
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by AliksanderView Post

I'm not sure if that even makes sense. Quebec is not a nation unless it has absolute rule over itself, which it does not.

Every province is a nation with in a nation because they all have certain powers the the national government has to negotiate
 
Machjo
#30
We should consider too that if Quebec separates, chances are the whole nations would collapse owing to unresolved Treaty issues yet unsettled in the courts. As soon as Quebec decides to leave, the First Nations will certainly be there to claim their rightful claims. But if Quebec grants them, then before you know it, that will simply increase the pressure across Canada. It's clearly in English Canada's and Quebec's best interests to keep the country united, since if Quebec separates, there will be neither a Quebec nor a Canada to talk about.

Welcome to Oddawa. Kwe.
 

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