1995 revisited

Flash back to the evening of October 30, 1995, Jacques Parizeau states: "True, we've been defeated... at the very heart of it, by what? By money... and ethnic votes... essentially."

That night, Parizeau made a monumental faux pas by alienating a significant portion of the province's population. He missed his rendezvous with History. Everything was within reach for him to make a memorable speech.
We came so close... we came so close!... It's mind boggling... it's heartbreaking...

Do I need to stress that we've been faithful to the democratic process? Well... the "No" side hasn't... it got round our laws and spent more than it should. Is this acceptable?... of course not!... Would the same be acceptable from us?... of course not! All along the way, we've been boasting the legitimacy of our proposal; let there be no misunderstanding on the righteous path we've chosen.

Do I need to emphasize that we're a vivid democracy?... that's one thing we can be proud of. Participation to the referendum exceeded 93%!... a record in our young democratic system. Even the rest of the country can't top that. Let it be remembered that the Québécois took this matter seriously, gave their input and accepted the verdict peacefully.

Our proposal's been defeated... true... at the very heart of it, by what? By money... Anglo and ethnic votes... essentially.

The sad truth is that tonight's results outline the gulf there is between Francophones and non-Francophones. Now... let it not go unnoticed that some constituents of our Anglophone and cultural communities have voted with us... and as I stare at you, I see some of them... let it not go unnoticed that these constituents recognize the value of a different and vibrant culture in our part of the world. I thank them... we thank them!

Still... an overwhelming majority of non-Francophones voted "No". And this needs to be addressed properly if we want our project to have full legitimacy. Québec was left out in 1982 when the constitution was patriated. Can we reasonably pretend to a sovereign Québec without some significant support from important communities? I think not!...

One single thing stands out... loud and clear. I don't expect non-Francophones to ever embrace Québec's sovereignty with the same enthusiasm Francophones do, but more can be done to reach out. Think about it... this project is too important to do it without more of each of us... we have to work together.

Until next time!...
Great politicians bring people together.

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