Friday, June 29, 2012
I am still want a united Canada, but apparently many others just don't care. Quebecers have long used the knife at the throat strategy towards Canada, so I am not surprised. Quebec is too easily "humiliated. I must also say that Quebec's culture of entitlement and rent seeking is hardly good for Canada. The funny thing is most in Quebec now understand that Quebec is too dependant to become an independent country. The first thing that an "independent" Quebec would do is demand federal representation, a say in Canadian monetary policy and of course foreign aid. Back in 1969, when six members of a young comedy troupe were mulling names for their new show on the BBC, the title Whither Canada? was suggested by one of the group. Wisely, the name was ditched it in favour of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (while retaining it as the title of the first episode of the first series). The initial attraction was, presumably, its absurdity – what could be of less interest than domestic Canadian politics and the constant French-English bickering? René Levesque had just been elected first leader of the newly formed Parti Québécois and Quebec was convulsed by disputes over language laws that culminated in Mr. Leveseque’s Bill 101 in 1977. The internecine squabbles may have seemed absurd to those beyond Canada’s shores but they were treated with deadly seriousness within the country. The threat of separation has long resulted in more than reasonable accommodation for Quebec. Even before Confederation, George Brown complained: “What has French Canadianism been denied? Nothing. It bars all it dislikes – it extorts all its demands and it grows insolent over its victories.” With an economically ascendant Quebec, there was a sense that the country needed the province to prosper. During the 1995 referendum campaign, there was strong support for keeping Quebec in Confederation, culminating in unity rallies funded by corporate Canada. But that was then. Has there ever been a time when Canadians outside Quebec have ever been more ambivalent about the possibility of the province separating? Unlikely, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll released Thursday, which suggests almost half (49%) of Canadians living outside Quebec agree they “don’t really care if Quebec separates.” The same number agreed “it’s not really a big deal” if the province leaves Canada. The Ipsos poll suggests Quebec support for sovereignty is higher than it was in 1999 (38% against 30%) but is lower than its high of 47% in 1990.