The long march in Quebec.

The PQ are back in power.  A terribly tragic victory rally  shadowed the victory.

Maybe another decade before the next vote but:

Another generation are taking up the fight.


  • No fight, just shadow boxing and chasing an impossible dream.

  • salgado

    Will they be going through with their plan to ban non-French speakers from standing for office?

  • Dewi

    errr salgado elaborate?

  • Was part of their election manifesto, Dewi. I believe they will now think twice.

  • salgado

    As Joe says, a rather controversial part of their manifesto. Particularly in the north of Quebec where a large native population exists.

    PQ aren’t exactly known for their tolerance of minority cultures in Quebec.

  • Congratulations to Parti Quebecois.
    Whats not to love about a nationalist party, largely influenced by teachers.

    As for the homicidal incident………sadly this is the way reactionaries react.
    In the spirit of De Gaulle, I wish PQ well.

  • Framer

    How many more states can we break up – leaving of course a new batch of national minorities?

  • andnowwhat

    Very true Framer.

    Eurovision seems to go on forever these days.

  • Mick Fealty


    Just so you know, that cheap shot about reactionaries is down on your account as a piece of trolling…

    Big student vote may have been one part of the PQ’s victory…

  • Thank you Mr Fealty

  • Jimmy Sands

    Why “Lullaby of Broadway” on the video? I don’t get it.

    Dan Ackroyd explains the language issue here:

    The currency reference is obviously a little dated.

  • Whats not to love about a nationalist party

    That depends if you’re a member of the correct nation, of course.

  • If you can trust the polls, support for an independent Quebec fell during this election to less than 30%. Lowest since the question was first polled. There won’t be a referendum any time soon, not even in 10 years as Dewi suggests.

  • salgado

    Joe: that might fit with the large student vote for PQ that Mick mentioned. There were student protests against an increase in tuition fees brought in by the Liberals – the increase in PQ’s vote could be partly due to a protest vote on cuts rather than a genuine increase in the desire for independence.

    Or the low independence polls could be the fault of “money and ethnic votes” again. They are a charming party.

  • lamhdearg2

    30%+ asian by 2040 (canada) this and the tundra oil, ought to keep the french speakers wishes of independence under wraps.

  • salgado

    lamhdearg – but they’ve considered that. According to the Charter of the French Language, everyone must be taught in french unless their parents are English speaking Canadian citizens. Native Americans are also exempt.

    No one else gets to choose (unless they want to go private).

    So it should stay mostly French speaking.

  • lamhdearg2

    “must be taught in french unless”
    only french? or french aswell as english.

  • salgado

    Mostly French, with English taught as a second language. And vice-versa for the English speaking schools.

    It just seems very strange to me that little choice is allowed in the matter for the majority of parents.

  • This was a huge opportunity for the PQ; a collapsed liberal government, the NDP too scared to play provincial politics seriously, and the CAQ looking a bit too like an ultimately disappointing ADQ to make the big breakthrough.

    They got a plurality on a pitiful 32% of the vote and barely beat a mortally wounded Liberal Party. Marois fought a nastly, Anglophobic, Muslim-bashing campaign aimed solely at pure laine voters. It looked like a Maurice Duplessis ultra-Catholic campaign from the 1950s with the references to the Virgin removed and a bit of gay marriage and Palestinian solidarity thrown in for spice. Some of what Marois said – e.g. Anglo parliamentarians should only be able to elected if they pass a French test – would have had the left in fits had a Republican politician in Arizona proposed it. The PQ are dependent on the whims of a CAQ that professes itself to be officially bored with the national question (is that an option for a political breakout movement in NI?) and which has radically different views on how to get out of the current public spending crisis in the Province.

    Could be a Pyrrhic Victory for the PQ.

  • There is nothing better than the idealism of youth, is there? Such a beautiful thing.
    Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
    Everyone contributes their fair share.
    Wait a minute!. We don’t want to carry things to the extreme, do we?
    What’s that you say? There’s a Party that promises to remove the tuition hike for students?
    Give me the bloody pencil. Where do I mark my ‘X’?

  • keano10

    Can safely say that Quebec City in the middle of winter is the most beautiful city that I have ever visited and it developed my long term interest in the politics of the region.

    Firstly Mister Joe, I sense that you are blustering a little on a subject which you know little about. The question of independance for Quevec is far from being some pie in the sky dream.The last referendum on independence came in October 1995 with the vote being 49.42% ‘yes’ to 50.58%’no’. It really does’nt get any closer than that…

    Pauline Marois has carefully and skilfully negotiated the reigns of power for Party Quebecois and whilst economic considerations are the short term focus, there is every chance that another referendum may be on the cards.

  • ayeYerMa

    Keano, usually such drastic changes require supermajority support and not a mere simple majority — they aren’t even close.

  • John Anderson

    ayeYerMa – Montenegro is doing just grand on a 55.5% vote for independence in 2006. Hardly ‘supermajority’ stuff?

  • michael-mcivor

    Not be long before those poor canadians need a Peace Process-

  • keano,

    I do know a little about it, being Canadian.
    Why do the polls say less than 30% support independence? How is Marois going to get a referendum motion through the Assembly where she is a minority FM and both opposition parties are against it?
    Yes, Quebec City is a wonderful place, summer and winter. Anyone who can should visit there.

  • It was a bizarre campaign where both the PQ and the upstart CAQ made campaign issues which were explicitly unconstitutional. The second of Canada’s two principal constitutional documents, the Charter, allows provinces to use a “notwithstanding clause” to suspend the operation of certain rights for five year periods. Trouble is, the right to stand for elected office (section 3) and the right to live anywhere in Canada (section 6 – the CAQ wanted to force university graduates from Quebec, notably medical grads, to remain in the province for a period) are not sections eligible to be so suspended. Basically it made both parties look like morons who couldn’t read a basic constitutional law primer (or Wikipedia).

    The PQ will have to reflect on how, having created a landscape where they are perceived as intent on tightening the screw on anglophones and anglophone institutions – particularly educational ones – and non-Catholic religious belief, the consequences are unfolding, such as a falling immigration rate as outsiders realise they are unwelcome and the steady migration of Quebec-born anglos to Toronto and the West, both of which will have serious demographic consequences. The irony is that Montreal boasts McGill, one of the best universities in Canada, but it’s full of those pesky anglos – even from Ontario!

    That Marois “reached out to the Anglos” during her election night speech was too little too late, not merely because you shouldn’t run an election campaign on smear and try and rehabilitate yourself afterward but because the damage had already been done – a deranged individual had taken her at her word that a PQ government would tighten the screw further and unfortunately his actions, prompted by hers, cost Denis Blanchette his life.

  • Taoiseach

    It’s only in Ireland you need supermajorities.

  • Jacques Stadacona

    Mark, what you’re positing vis-a-vis Pauline Marois is as unfounded as it is offensive. As numerous Anglophones have made clear through the Gazette and other publications, the idea that the Parti Québécois is somehow to blame for the deranged actions of a gun-toting madman is balderdash.
    This individual in question could have been Anglophone, Allophone or Francophone; to so snidely blame Pauline Marois for the death of an innocent man on election night, killed at the hands of an evidently mentally-ill nutjob is utterly reprehensible. Shame on you.

    Secondly, the PQ, as a secular, left-wing party, founded at the height the Quiet Revolution, would never, ever ”turn the screw’ on those of ”non-Catholic religious belief”, neither is there any question of removing funding from, or otherwise impacting on, educational instiutions like McGill and Concordia – clearly, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Have you ever lived in Quebec?

  • Jacques,

    Totally correct about the killer. There are crazies everywhere and, unfortunately, we have no way of predicting where they will pop up, nor what motivates most of them.

  • BTW, if I’m ever on a jury, I will never find any such person Not Guilty because of mental defect (insanity). They are just too dangerous to ever be free. I speak as someone whose sister-in-law was abducted, murdered and whose body was concealed for three months before being found by a sniffer dog 100 metres from the perp’s home. He had been released from prison just three months before he did that, for an identical offence apart from the murder.

  • Alias

    The seperatist argument is essentially that they’re Catholic and French-speaking and therefore should have a homeland. The fundamental problem with that dynamic is that they already have a homeland: it’s called France, and no nation is entitled to two homelands.

    The British nation in NI wouldn’t have any legitimate claim in international law to a second homeland, so they have a contingency option in place of an invented nation (Ulster Scots with its own ‘language’ and culture) should a poll ever go against them and they refuse to accept the outcome, petitioning instead for a homeland for the Ulster Scots ‘nation’.

    Canada’s problem has always been its lack of nationalism so it is prone to such fragmentation.

    Joe, I’m sorry that such horror entered your life. I don’t suppose that anyone in a family touched by such an awful event could ever really recover from it.

  • Thanks, Alias.
    It happened just a week before Christmas so that event no longer holds much celebration for our extended family.

  • The murder drew nationwide attention and resulted in a major change to the law. My brother was invited and attended final readings in the House of Commons and the Lords.

  • Politicians cannot aim their message at the most stable members of their society and neglect the possibility that it may incite the less so. In my view the PQ may or may not have shouted fire in a crowded theater per se but there is a worrying pattern in their continual proposals of measures to marginalise non Francophones in education, in commerce and now (albeit unachievable for now) in politics. Some anglos see that as cue to leave, others to stand their ground but only a fool would see it as immaterial.

    They haven’t come after McGill yet – big surprise. The alumni both within and without Quebec are too influential to take on directly. So undermine the Anglo CEGEPs like St Lawrence instead, their platform promised. In an independent QC the tuition for nonQCers will surely be at an even higher disparity than the existing one which in my view receipt of CHST by a province should preclude. How well will the smaller Anglo unis like Bishop’s do then?

    As for the religious thing, the proposal to bar displays of religious ornament but retain the big cross in the National Assembly is something that sends a message. How I interpret it is a matter for me.

    I do not live in Quebec by the way, although my wife went to university there. But don’t worry, we are here in Toronto working and paying fed taxes for QC’s $7/day daycare while we pay $70 and so forth. We’d still like QC to remain part of Canada but god it’s hard to remember why some days.

  • …the PQ may or may not have shouted fire in a crowded theater …

    Stop digging that hole, Mark.

  • Barnshee

    The sooner Business with offices in “french Canada “abandon the faux frogs and send them back to fur trapping the better (it did happen before)

  • Jacques Stadacona

    So, just to get that straight Mark, you’ve never lived in Quebec (oh quelle surprise bon Dieu), but your wife ”went to university there”.

    Let me guess, you’re a unilingual Anglophone too, right?

    Keep sitting in Ontario pontificating about things you know absolutely nothing about; your blaming our Prime Minister for someone’s death is beneath contempt; you’re harping on about the PQ’s ostensibly outrageous speeches and you cannot understand French for goodness sake!

    As for those saying French Canadians should ”go back to France”; we were the first to settle this land in 1608 (before most of the Ulster plantations and the English colonization of America), and were equally the first to be called ”Canadian”, so we’ll be going nowhere fast, merci bien.

    The irony of faux-Brits (including not a few whose ancestors were once rebels for Irish freedom from the tyrannical English crown) attacking Canada’s first settlers is amusing, to say the least.

  • Barnshee,

    Your ugly comment is beneath contempt.
    It is up to the citizens of Quebec and them alone, as with any Province, to decide whether or not they wish to remain a part of the Federation. What can be freely entered can be freely exited.

  • Framer


    With a bit of a heave we could get Catalonia detached from Spain – they’ve spent too much of Madrid’s money and won’t pay any back – not to mention Galicia, Castile and Aragon.

  • Barnshee

    “It is up to the citizens of Quebec and them alone, as with any Province, to decide whether or not they wish to remain a part of the Federation. What can be freely entered can be freely exited.”

    Agreed totally– however its also appropriate for business to go elsewhere if costs imposed annoy them sufficiently

    Montreal is a big, ugly and filthy city. With bags of garbage laying on streets and municipal cleaning services lacking. Most of France is better, and cleaner.

    Montreal, crowded city centre and the suburbs stuffed with pensioners

    And about being an English speaker in Montreal, good for tourism purposes. But let’s see once you get a job and, try to live on eastern side. Not to mention the chip on shoulder attitude of the French Canadians and the hilarity with which the occasional “French French” speakers regard the FC accent

  • Reader

    It looks like Dewi was somewhat taken aback by an example of where linguistic nationalism can lead a political party. After all, the separatists are always meant to be the good guys, aren’t they?
    Dewi – I assume PC isn’t going to follow the lead offered by PQ – could you confirm? Or would a direct comment on the matter undermine non-anglocentric solidarity?

  • sonofstrongbow

    “we were the first to settle this land in 1608”.

    Eh! Frenchie pas si vite! I think you’ll find that the local aboriginal peoples got there first.

  • Jimmy McGurk

    sonofstrongbow, ‘settler” as a term is often used to distinguish between aboriginal populations and the more recent European etc arrivals. So nothing wrong with Jacques comment as far as I can see.

    What interests me about the secession moves in Quebec is that the separatists seem to be turning their backs on all the other Canadian francophones in the neighbouring provinces and elsewhere. Perhaps a parallel to the situation unionists found themselves in the republic post partition?

  • looneygas

    My Acadian relatives in New Brunswick don’t feel a lot of kinship with Quebecers. Most of them went to university in Montreal and felt looked down upon as backwoods hicks.. My one aunt claims that Quebecers “think they put the legs on the fly.” Most Acadians feel stongly about their culture, language and identity, but have little desire to separate.

  • Seano

    For a very long time I have avoided even attempting to comment on this site. We have very divergent views and you do not respect or want these views on your site. But finally on this post I felt compelled to comment as I am a Canadian born and bred, my views are of some one who knows the real truth of Canada, not a recent immigrant but some one who’s family has resided here for decades/centuries. I have family from both sides, albeit all of them originating west of Ontario. I may or may not be unique among your readership but I know the truth of slugger and that is that it does not allow dissent and that it does not favour knowledge it does not control