Thursday, August 04, 2011

The interim leader of the NDP has ties to separatists? Shocker.....

I figured it was about time that I shared some background information about Quebec separatists with the rest of Canada now that everyone seems to be in a tizzy about the fact that the interim leader of the NDP party has ties to separatist parties in Quebec.

News flash: Practically EVERYBODY has separatist ties in Quebec! Let me lay it out for you.

Separation from Canada, while in and of itself a fringe ideology, became a point around which Quebecers could rally around who were in search of something better. I have always maintained that the strongest demographic groups in support of separation can be defined as follows. The rural Quebecer, who has no idea how critical globalization (the opposite stance from an isolationist point of view) is for the future well-being of their society. The Quebecois artist, who believes that maintaining ties with Canada is a recipe for cultural suicide (which is absolute B.S.). The French university student, who always wants to rally for a cause, and the biggest cause to rally for when you're a wet-behind-the-ears Francophone youth who has no idea how the world really works (yet), is separation. That's not to say that these are the only separatists, but if you removed these three groups from the movement, there would be little left but for empty poutine containers.

Now, the people I've just labelled are what I refer to as the staunch separatists. For them there is no other option. The end game is a sovereign Quebec, no matter how good the relationship is with the federal government of Canada. Then there are what I like to call the soft separatists. There are a lot of softies. This is because once you have a political party (provincial AND federal) whose original intent was to plan for and execute the separation of a province from a country - and it doesn't succeed - TWICE, the parties have to have a backup reason to exist. The backup reason is that they are the only political parties who seek to give Quebec citizens what they need without cow-towing to federalists.

What I find very amusing is that while the rest of the country is aghast that Quebec would dare make demands using even the hint of separation to get what it wants, the funny thing is that it works. Quebec more often than not gets what it wants. It's the cruellest of all political practical jokes. If Alberta had the stones to try a similar stunt - give us the bank or we'll turn the oil taps off, we'd probably be looking at a couple of cities akin to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in place of Calgary and Edmonton.

Sooner or later, every political wannabe, mover and shaker in Quebec is cozying up to the separatist crowd because, well, they're the ones holding the strings. Every time a federalist politician in Quebec says, "Don't worry, we can get our needs met without hinting at separation", most Quebecers roll their eyes, knowing that once you've played an ace, you don't offer to take it back, hoping nobody will notice. The reason the Bloc Quebecois fell apart is because Quebecers finally realized that you have significantly less power to achieve your goals if your federal representation doesn't extend beyond your borders. Right ex-Reform party members?

Quebecers are not alone in this game either. The current government, even though they're labelled Conservative, are in a large part nothing but re-branded Reform party loyalists and yet nobody goes around saying things like "Watch out for the Conservatives' secret Reform agenda!" Oh.... wait.... yes they do.

So to those that are excitedly going on about ties to separatists.... I say "Yawn." They just don't understand Quebec.

No comments: