Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz (2011)

Attaboy

December 9, 2008 at 3 PM

Let’s immigrate to Canada and then break it apart

There were few things that frustrated me more when I lived in Quebec than the fact that nearly all left-leaning political discourse takes place in the confines of the Quebec sovereignty movement. There is no federalist left-wing to speak of — to be federalist (i.e. against Quebec separation) is to be essentially conservative.

What confounds me even more is when immigrants to Canada become fervent sovereigntists. Amir Khadir, a new assembly member elected in the volatile riding of Mercier, is a respected doctor and community activist. He has also lived in Canada since he was ten, so perhaps it’s naïve or even xenophobic to think of him as an “immigrant” — he’s been in Canada longer than I’ve been alive. Still, I can’t help but find the notion ridiculous when the very existence of the Quebec sovereignty movement depends on ethnic nationalism and xenophobia. Dr. Khadir is a Montreal sovereigntist — an intellectual — but the movement depends in large part on the masses of Quebec nationalists that live in the surrounding and rural areas of Quebec, where the population is nearly homogoneously ethnic French-Canadian. Of course, it’s not politically correct to use that term anymore, but since Quebec nationalists insist “Québécois” means all Quebeckers, not just the white, French-speaking ones, I’m not sure what other term to use to describe people who trace their roots to the original colony of New France.

I’m impressed that the upstart Québec Solidaire party has unseated an incumbent Parti Québécois member, especially when the PQ was not, and is still not, in power. On the other hand, the CBC says the party “has been trying to capture sovereignists disillusioned by the PQ’s recent lukewarm embrace of sovereignty.” If your agenda is really social change, why not start by using the vast powers already available to the Quebec government? Hint: provinces already have control over health, education and welfare. Why does a progressive agenda require an independent Quebec? I believe that the PQ’s credibility on social policy is thin, but why does the alternative need to be even more zealously sovereigntist? Am I the only one who has ever lived in Quebec and felt the sovereignty movement was a hindrance to social change, not a catalyst?

Previously: BHO

1 Comment

The sovereignists turned Montreal into an economic basketcase in a relatively short period. Maybe it's working, they appeal to the poor and the stupid, which makes for a lot of votes. Happy Holidays Luke.

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