Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Vote PQ To End Separatism

All federalists should want the Parti Quebecois to win Quebec's election this Monday. Why? Because support for separation is so low that holding a referendum would end the issue for a generation, if not for good.

If the PQ loses however, which is looking likely, separatism will continue to simmer until the PQ returns to government, and who knows how popular the issue will be by then.

Federalists must recognize that in defeating the PQ they are merely exchanging a safe referendum outcome today for an uncertain one tomorrow.

Federalists think they are making Canada stronger with a Quebec Liberal election victory next week, but such a win will be a far bigger loss. In defeating the separatist party, federalists are actually saving the separatist cause.

By winning the election Philippe Couillard's Liberals are saving the separatists from an assured referendum defeat and providing them a future opportunity to face a more hospitable electorate.

The cause of separatism, like all causes, can only be truly defeated when it is given its chance to fail. The war between federalists and separatists cannot end without a referendum battle being fought and a clear winner declared. Not only does a Liberal election prevent such a battle from occurring, it does so at a time when the conditions favour the federalist side.

Some may point to the previous referendums and how those votes did not end the division, but that's because those close votes gave separatists hope, it is only a large defeat that will take it away completely.

Certainly polling showing low support for separatism today is no guarantee that a Quebec exit won't become more popular if the PQ were re-elected, but considering the fundamental nature of the unity issue, the opinions of Quebeckers aren't likely to change that much at least in the next few years. So if the PQ were to hold a referendum the side of separatism would certainly lose and be significantly wounded, if not fatally so.

A Parti Quebecois defeat on Monday however does not defeat separatism, it only postpones a referendum till the pendulum of politics swings back into the PQ's favour. And upon forming government in five or ten years the PQ could hold a referendum at a time when opinions against separation might be radically different

Making matters worse is that if the federal Conservatives were returned to power in 2015, a party noticeably absent of representation from Quebec, the argument for separation would only strengthen as national policies would continue to be unrepresentative of La Belle Province.

Ironically it is sad for federalists that their side is likely to win on Monday; because a Liberal election victory in Quebec will not save Canada, it will, however, save separatism.


The Mound of Sound said...

Scott, when did the PQ ever hold a referendum they knew they were certain to lose? Despite your curious logic, a PQ win would not trigger a referendum. You would do well to revisit the history of the Levesque and Parizeau years. said...

Mound, considering the PQ has suffered two referendum loses by its own hand I would think it is your confidence in PQ pragmatism that is flawed. Clearly the PQ's dedication to separation when the issue is so unpopular illustrates victory is not their sole concern. They do have a political base to satisfy.