A new poll, just out, contains bad news for Quebec separatists.  According to CROP , 71 per cent of Quebeckers think the sovereignty debate is “outdated”‘ up from 58 per cent last year.  Only 25 per cent want to separate from Canada. Seventy per cent of Quebeckers think independence will not be acheived.

Can you believe that 76 per cent of Quebeckers are very or somewhat proud of being Canadian?

At the provincial level, the group led by Francois Legault, is leading the polls. He has promised not to talk about separation for 10 years.

These are ominous  figures  for the PQ.

Is separatism dying?

What do you think?


  1. 1

    Imagine, giving up Canadian ownership/citizenship in favour of a Quebec country.
    On any level, it does not compute. It never did make sense except to those elite who could convince their peasants, that they were hard done by, and promised a silver lining, and a chicken (oops, lobster) in every pot.
    Reality has outed Parizeau, & Levesque as the “Drunkerd’s Dream”, and Marois & Boisclair who contributed to the downfall of the PQ.
    I am interested to see what Francois Legault brings to the table.
    In the meantime, we are enjoying road work & building going on everywhere, for the 1st time in 35+ years! It’s inconvenient and hopeful.

  2. 2

    Separatism is alive and well.

    1/3rd of those polled a few months ago who voted for the NDP said they’d vote “yes” in a referendum. 1/3rd of 44% (the percentage of Quebecers who voted for the NDP) is 14%. Add that 14% to the 23% that voted for the Bloc (100% of whom would vote “yes”) and you’ve got 37% support for sovereignty….all in a time when separation is supposedly dead.

    Well, 37% is 75% of the way to 50% plus one, the threshold that the Official Opposition in Canada’s Parliament (the NDP) says is enough for Quebec to make a unilateral declaration of independence.

    Anyone who says separation is dead has their head in a hole in the ground. When Pierre Trudeau left office, support for separation according to polls was in the teens. A few short years and one humiliation later (ie, Meech Lake) and support was back in the 50-60% range.

    This has happened before: complacency on the part of federalists. Well, just ask yourself if you think Quebec would ever give up the best formula they have to get what they want: political blackmail. Threatening separation and breaking up Canada is, simply, good business. It is the winning formula for Quebec to get all sorts of goodies all the time.

    Just wait. You’ll see separation surge again soon. Now that Quebecers are a nation within Canada they will start demanding to be treated like the nation we claim they are. And nations aren’t satiated until they obtain real nationhood status. Indeed, once the “insult” of the label of “pretend nation” is realized (which is exactly what Harper’s motion is), this will not lower the numbers of those supporting separation.

    And this will only increase the demands for booty. And when they don’t get what they want, they’ll very quickly start the rumblings of separation again. But next time, the “yes” side very well may win.

  3. Separatism has been around since 1759 and will stay around as long as there will be Quebecers feeling that they are being short changed regardless of “goodies” received. It’s an idea, a concept, an emotion and those don’t die, they just ebb and flow.
    Now look west to the Wild Rose, the Sakatchewan Party, the Northern Ontario Coalition and east to some groups in the Maritimes and Newfoundland/Labrador. Quebecers are not the only one chafing under the collar.

  4. 4
    Neil McKenty Says:

    I agree with Paul that separatism is an idea, an emotion etc. In that sense it will never die.

    But in the p olitical sense, as Tony uses the word, separatism is a no hoper.

  5. 5

    Boo-hoo- Good point. I guess the debate isn’t dead, only in a coma.
    But the number I don’t agree with, is the 23% Bloc vote, attributed to Separatists.
    I think that many people who voted for the Bloc felt that they had no choice.

  6. 6

    littlepatti wrote:

    But the number I don’t agree with, is the 23% Bloc vote, attributed to Separatists.

    When I ran my “figures” past a friend, he said the exact same thing you did.

    Curious: what percentage of Bloc voters do you think would NOT vote “yes” on a sovereignty referendum?

  7. 7

    That’s a trick question…Neil says “Only 25 per cent want to separate”, according to a recent poll.
    If 14% of the NDP vote WOULD vote yes, that leaves 11% of the Bloc WOULD vote yes.

  8. 8

    littlepatti: I am fascinated by your math skills.

  9. 9

    ha ha ha

  10. 10
    jim Says:

    Tony – In the past, referenda ballot questions posed have never been to vote on “the unilateral declaration of independence” Therefore, when a poll is taken today, the question posed must be identical to the previous ballot questions, otherwise, the comparison is useless.
    BTW – We Quebecers are pretty good at squeezing money out of Ottawa. So if you hear rumours of a cutback, let me know, I’ll crank up all the Irish-Canadians here, to put on our “let’s leave Canada” act, tabarwet.

  11. 11

    jim — I essentially agree with you regarding the wording of questions. However, I think the bottom line is that if Quebec truly believes itself to be a nation, it’s gonna happen.

    But I’m not amused by the blackmail routine that Quebec engages in. It’s bad form to continually be negative towards a country from whom you obtain a significantly net positive financial benefit.

  12. 12

    Harper just delivered a huge check to Quebec and that should be the pacifier for awhile, along with the building of the new Champlain Bridge.
    No wonder the rest of Canada gets fed up with the Quebec antics, but we need to dig ourselves out of this “have not” status, and not with blackmail. I think that followers of the PQ are starting to get it, finally.
    On the subject of “math”. Statistics can be easily manipulated to reflect any scenario. Just one of the joys of numbers.
    It’s like our personal budget at home-it all looks so good on paper. How come it doesn’t work out? 🙂

  13. 13
    jim Says:

    Tony – My previous BTW was tongue in cheek. However, most Quebecers of any political leaning look at money coming from Ottawa as returned money previously collected thru overtaxation.
    As to the “separate nation” bit, a minority wanted it but another minority wanted it with the caviate that there was a tie of some sort (i.e. as a member nation of a confederation). Another minority said “we don’t really want it, we just want you to note we are here.” Tony, separation is passe. One of the things making it so is that with time the education level of the people will rise and further inquiry by the graduates will show that separation is a non-winner.
    I don’t think we will even see another referendum. The hard core separatists know that their losses were really much larger than indicated by the vote. For example fudging at the polls and the tricky ambigious question on the ballot. The people are now better informed. Legault knows that, and that is why his 10 year hiatus on the non-referendum (sic) is a vote-getter from all sides.
    Littlepatti – Re the “have not” status, I have always struggled with the thought that is it the people or is it the government thru subterfuge who have put us into this situation. I think Francois Legault, who is a stand-up man, may end the status. On the other hand, as we know, money talks, and that heavyweight may send him to where he does’nt want to go.

  14. 14


    Putting off a referendum for another 10 years is just sweeping the problem under the carpet.

    In the meantime, we are stuck with the hate law/race law Bill 101 which has no place in free and democratic countries. We as a country must decide whether we want laws like this within our border. I don’t. Particularly the language of education laws that segregate all Quebecers and determine rights according to classifications and who one’s parents are. But you’ve heard me go on ad infinitum on this for years.

    Let’s say to Quebec: repeal Bill 101 in its entirety and if you don’t like it, get out. Let’s see if that raises the separatism sentiment. I am saying, in effect: if you want to be part of Canada, the blackmail must stop.

    Hallmark Greeting Cards promoted a very famous and successful saying:

    If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.

    Here’s my paraphrase as it pertains to Canada’s relationship with Quebec:

    If Canada and Quebec really want to be together, Canada must give Quebec the opportunity to go. If they stay, they always were and will always be Canadian; if they leave, they never were.

  15. 15

    Jim says: “Re the “have not” status, I have always struggled with the thought that is it the people or is it the government thru subterfuge who have put us into this situation.”
    Hi Jim: I think we were a “have” province until the downward slide started in 1977 (?) with 400, 000 tax payers leaving, and taking their investments, & head offices, after the PQ government took power. The bleeding never stopped. I know that we have replaced that population with immigrants and returnees, but the damage was done in one fell swoop. (Replacing numbers with French speaking immigrants was not the answer either). Are followers of the PQ, finally coming to grips with that? With the constant threat of another referendum, Quebec was hard pressed to convince high profile investors to come back.
    So, if the government is really “of the people”…The people are responsible. Another case of a minority (separatists) rule.
    I agree that F. Legault may usher in a new day for Quebec.
    I think that Charest has done a good job. I like all the construction happening and I like the “Plan Nord” possibilities, but he is not a popular guy & he’s not about to become Quebec’s favourite son any time soon.
    Tony, I agree that Bill 101 is unconstitutional, but it has served a purpose. (Hold your nose). Government can not withdraw it because of that vocal minority, of Separationists.
    However, English is an International language and as soon as it dawns on those who would argue otherwise, Bill 101 will be replaced by something more positive.
    i.e: multilingualism.
    We may actually live long enough to see the day!

  16. 16
    jim Says:

    Tony – Your para 1 – There never should have been a referendum in the first instant.
    Para 2 – Speaking of education, some of the money sent to Quebec by Ottawa is used to lower the cost of education. Annual fees for a university, in Ontario, are twice as high as Quebec.
    Para 3 – You wrote “Let’s say to Quebec….” Who is to say that?
    Para 4 – Using a greeting card to make your point??? I’ve seen your ditty before in the far past. It wasn’t about a person it was about a bird. A great poem if someone is for the birds.
    Last para. If constitutionally, Canada cannot get rid of the Queen, how in hell can it get rid of Quebec?

  17. 17

    littlepatti writes:

    <iTony, I agree that Bill 101 is unconstitutional, but it has served a purpose. (Hold your nose). Government can not withdraw it because of that vocal minority, of Separationists.

    Actually, littlepatti, the sad thing is that Bill 101 has been deemed completely constitutional according to the Supreme Court of Canada. Yes, there were parts that were judged unconstitutional but Quebec either amended Bill 101 to conform to the Court’s rulings or used the “notwithstanding” clause to circumvent their ruling…but even the use of the “notwithstanding” clause was constitutional because the constitutional allows for its use.

    The Supreme Court, in my opinion, has made numerous political decisions when it came to Bill 101 and did not follow the rule of law as they were supposed to. But they are not a political body and should have put individual rights above political considerations. Perhaps the Court used the same reasoning as you yourself do, above, when you wrote “(Bill 101) has served a purpose”, the purpose being to appease Quebec in order to placate them and keep Quebec within Canada.

    littlepatti also writes:

    However, English is an International language and as soon as it dawns on those who would argue otherwise, Bill 101 will be replaced by something more positive. i.e: multilingualism.

    With all the goodies that Ottawa extends to Quebec in the form of equalization, transfer payments, and sweetheart deals in both the public and private sectors, there is no incentive for Quebec to change its ways. Bill 101 obviously results in a huge loss of jobs, revenue, and investment in the province. But Ottawa makes up for it with the net flow of those cash goodies.

    That is one of the reasons why I believe independence will be good for anglophone rights: all those payments will cease to flow to Quebec from Ottawa once independence occurs and Quebec will be put into the cold, harsh reality of realizing that in order to attract investment, entrepreneurs, and professionals into the province that they will have to do away with Bill 101. Quebec is surrounded by a sea of not only English but unilingual English speakers who are affluent, entrepreneurial, and will to invest in Quebec only if they can come to Quebec and live, educate, invest, and interact in unilingual English.

    Under the current scenario, this will never happen. Why change your ways when your bad policies that result in a bad economy are made up for by the central government. That is why people like Stephane Dion is correct when he states that “Bill 101 is a great Canadian law”. I don’t know about the “great” part but it is the #1 thing in my opinion for why Bill 101 is still law…and I think that is what you meant by your comment as well.

  18. 18

    jim writes:

    Para 3 – You wrote “Let’s say to Quebec….” Who is to say that?

    I want the Canadian people — via their elected government in Ottawa — to say that. Entirely wishful thinking on my part but that is the Canadian government that I would like to have.

    jim also writes:

    Last para. If constitutionally, Canada cannot get rid of the Queen, how in hell can it get rid of Quebec?

    I think the answer to that lies in the Supreme Court reference to this question. I am not as familiar with the judgement as I am with other ones but my layman’s understanding is that if a clear majority answers “yes” to a clear question, then Canada would be obligated to enter into negotiations with Quebec in order to reach an agreement for Quebec to exit. How the amending formula enters into that, I am not sure. But you are correct in comparing it to the requirement regarding constitutional changes to the Monarchy: unanimity would be required (ie, 10 provinces and the House of Commons agreeing to it).

  19. 19

    Thanks Tony, you make many really good points, but (isn’t there always a “but”)…
    TONY WRITES: “That is one of the reasons why I believe independence will be good for anglophone rights:”
    How many Anglos do you think will remain in Quebec in the event of independence? Not I! And not anyone I know. There would be no cooperation from the rest of Canada, in fact, I think that they would go out of their way to cut Quebec off. My family & friends would leave and we are all tax payers, and investors. I think that Quebec would be left with separatists and “have nots”.
    I would leave in a heartbeat. I don’t have any interest in living in the slag dump this would become in no time at all. I am a Canadian.
    I love Quebec, but it isn’t easy to live here. “but”…it’s never dull!

  20. 20
    jim Says:

    Over the years I’ve tried to look at the situation in Quebec by looking at it from a different angle. I pondered about alternave moves, and one was where I put myself and all my Irish brethern into the place that the french-canadians occupy. In other words I want our Irishmen to separate from the rest of Canada and rename the province New Ireland. Now this thinking is not too far off, as about 40% of the population have Irish blood in them. As we say in the bogs “how do you like them apples” (sic). Most of the people remaining in Canada would be a bunch of Brits who are Protestamt descendents of people who used to beat the shit out of us back home. The only reason why we’re here, is that they figured it was cheaper to pay the one way steerage fare once, vis-a-vis paying to feed us until we died.Yes, they were feeding us potatoes grown on our own land, which they had stolen from us. Come to think of it, why don’t we take over all of Canada. We could call it potato emancipation day. The same idea would apply to Greeks. Just pondering folks.

  21. 21

    Actually, jim, if I remember my history correctly, it was that there were no potatoes to be had that got so many Irish emigrating to the New World. British landlords had dictated that only one type of potato be planted across the land and when a disease particular to that one strand of potato took hold in Ireland, widespread famine resulted.

    An amusing response nevertheless.

  22. 22

    Jim, in 1837-38, during the so called “Rebellion”, the main military commanders of the “rebels” were named Nelson and O’Callaghan. In 1829, the Fenians tried an invasion of Québec from Vermont. Your idea is nothing new. I agree with Tony about the potato thing.
    As for Balkanizing Canada, despite appearances, I guess the process has already begun.

  23. 23
    jim Says:

    You’all – There were potatoes available in England which were verbotten for export to Ireland. The Irish managed to find some kindred soul working on the waterfront in New Orleans who organized a collection from the other longshoremen. (BTW the Irish controlled the waterfront. They had managed to muscle out the blacks) They bought some potato seed in the U.S. and smuggled it into Ireland. The seeds didn’t take due to the nature of the weather and the land. My people left Ireland in 1846 on the next “potato boat” .Did the Irish have to pay for the passage? Eventually, yes, they were indentured out to the elite in Quebec City. They were fed. They weren’t paid until the voyage cost was paid to the ship owners first. Thousands died in Quebec City from various diseases. Many coleens married local MEN. In those days the hewers (not a spelling error) paid the tab for all marital expenses. The Irish blood lines prevail to this day. Now about that Fenian raid, what happened? The last time I checked, they hadn’t arrived yet.

  24. 24
    sharonlee Says:

    This is native Lands here in Quebec , Canada. Lands not given to the French or English… This land does not belong to either culture. This is the first settlers lands. The First nations.. You may have tried the genocide and the raping, and the beating, and the genocide of our cultures, and what ever else here, but this land belongs to the First nations. Doesn’t belong to either the Church of England , not to the French Roman Catholic.s ..www. Follow this site.

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