He can’t be serious. The leader of the federal political party that many Canadians feel shouldn’t be allowed to exist is going to cross the country to see what people think about independence for Quebec.
However many points there are for flogging a dead horse, you at least have to give Gilles Duceppe credit for not giving up.
The Bloc Quebecois leader said he wants to take the pulse of Canadians on the issue of Quebec sovereignty in a cross-country tour in the next two weeks. Whatever. But he won’t get a lot of sympathy.
Duceppe claims it’s not a dead issue – when the smart money says it is. He says that independence is inevitable and that support for the cause always hovers at least around 40 per cent.
It has been higher. But of course as the proportion of “pure wool” Quebecers slowly shrinks with the arrival of newcomers, the support will keep heading down. Those people aren’t interested in an independent Quebec.
The province has also avoided answering the question of what would happen with its northern regions. They are largely inhabited by native populations that have stated clearly they want to remain part of Canada.
Duceppe’s sentiments – from an interview with The Canadian Press – include references to the “distinct society” status offered in 1990 in the failed Meech Lake Accord. The leader says his province wouldn’t be satisfied being recognized as a distinct society now because it’s a distinct nation.
Certainly, Quebec is distinct, but as has been noted many times before, the same case could be made for other provinces.
In the ongoing push and pull between the provincial and federal levels of government, we would expect Quebec to strive for its due – and then some.
The province will typically want to have greater control over immigration, for example, and language instruction available in schools. That’s expected. But those are issues a province can work toward within Confederation.