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January 15, 2001 at 12 AM

“Vive le Québec libre!” exclamed

"Vive le Québec libre!" exclamed General de Gaulle on July 24th, 1967 from the steps of Montreal City Hall to a boisterous throng below. So reminds us Le Monde in a Sunday editorial discussing Lucien Bouchard's recent resignation and the state of Quebec nationalism.

Ever since that famous utterance, Quebecers have oft looked to the "mother country" for political support and are particularly interested in the way French analysts perceive the separatist movement. It is thus interesting when an influential voice like Le Monde actually does say something (it doesn't happen so often). And all the more so when those words are illuminating and intelligent and essentially call for an end to separatism, especially that founded on ethnically-based ideology.

I am curious to see how the francophone Quebec press reacts to this. Le Monde has basically agreed with Bouchard that a contemporary Quebec has no place for ethnic nationalism. Bouchard may still claim support for a sovereign Quebec, unlike Le Monde, but his resignation makes that support suspicious (not to mention his federalist past). One wonders how seriously Quebecers themselves can take sovereignty when no one else seems to.

Comments

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Previously: From I Dream of Genomes:I

Subsequently: “Confessions of a Lonely Atheist,”

January 2001
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