Friday, December 11, 2009

Quebec Wants ....?

This is a short entry to complain about a specific way of looking at Quebec and Canada. I frequently hear/read people writing about "Quebec wanted to separate." It did not. This is a fact. There are Quebecers who support the independence option; Quebecers who support federalism. This is very important to note because to think otherwise is to be: (a) factually inaccurate, and (b) accepting a collectivist logic that is problematic. Quebec is different from Canada. I have no doubt that that is the case and a decade's worth of students at Mount Allison have heard me talk about that. Quebecois difference is not a new discovery to me. However, one should avoid personalizing nation and talking about Quebec in the singular. Quebec does not want anything. The views of Quebecers are divided on a broad range of subject. And, most importantly, English-speaking Canadians need to remember that Quebec has voted twice for federalism. Yes, that is correct. When asked, two referenda were not examples of Quebec wanting to separate but affirmations of Quebecois commitment to federalism. If we want to undertand Canada; if we want to understand Quebec, we need to get this empirical point of history correct.
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