Parizeau is at it again

The Toronto Star just published an editorial on Parizeau's most recent, and probably last, essay [Google translation]. As it is so often the case with English media, arguments against Québec's sovereignty are exclusively economic. Here it goes: "Quebec is burdened with a $150 billion debt, high by provincial standards, and would have to assume another $100 billion as its share of the national debt. It would also lose equalization payments worth close to $80 billion over the last 15 years."

Yep!... Québec is burdened with a $150B debt, which is less in gross domestic product (GDP) percentage than the USA's and the average of OECD countries. Québec would have to assume another $100B, which is less than Hydro-Québec's market value. Québec would also lose equalization payments worth close to $80B over the last 15 years, which is less than the amount it sent to Ottawa over the same period ($38.4B in 2006 alone).

What on Earth is wrong with these editors? Have they even read the damn book? Don't they get that Québec's sovereignty isn't about money? What's wrong with their readers? Don't they get that they're being fed one side of the coin only?

Yep!... Premier Jean Charest's Liberals and other federalists should challenge Parizeau's claims head on; I'll be listening carefully when they do.


CK said...

They (mainstream media) and most outside of Quebec (particularly west of Quebec) never did grasp Quebec or what it's all about. Hell, I find that most WASPs (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) from West Island or Westmount don't grasp Quebec neither.

Why should Parizeau's book be any different? For starters, as you and others have pointed out, at age 79, it is reasonable to assume that this would more than likely be his last book. Agree with him or disagree with him (in entirety or in part) or understand or not; why make a big deal? Let him have his swan song.

Anonymous said...

"Québec would also lose equalization payments worth close to $80B over the last 15 years, which is less than the amount it sent to Ottawa over the same period ($38.4B in 2006 alone)."

You are comparing apples to oranges here. The federal government's budget contains expenses other than equalization payments (ex. defense, customs, EI payments, interest on federal debt). So out of the $38.4b sent to the feds, if someone collects uneployments insurance in Quebec, that is also money "coming back" to the province, over and above equalization payments.

Michel Bolduc said...

Yes, of course... there are many other services and monies (like corporate subsidies) that Ottawa provides Québec. My point is simply that The Star's arguments are partial, something that too many Canadians don't even realize.

Anonymous said...

Yes, their arguments are partial. But so are the arguments of all other media outlets, whether "federalist" or "sovereignist". Just because someone is biased does though, it does not necessarily make their argument wrong (not that I am saying the Star is correct in this case).

But I am not sure about your "what's wrong with their readers" comment. What makes you say they don't know that they are getting a biased view? Just because they read the paper does not mean they share that particular columnist's views. I read Bill O'Reilly all the time even though my views differ significantly from his.

Michel Bolduc said...

Well... I haven't seen much variety of opinion (if any) regarding Québec's sovereignty in English mainstream media. It basically stops at the economic rational which I've rarely seen readers question. In contrast, French media cover both the sovereigntist and the federalist options to which readers react in proportion.

If you're ever aware of a mainstream media (CBC excluded) giving the sovereignty movement a positive outlook (even a fair coverage), please let me know.

Anonymous said...

English-language media's one sided coverage of sovereignty is a fair point. With respect to the economic rationale being questioned, you are aksing for a lot from people. A vast majority of people have no knowledge of provincial and government finances. It's hard to argue figures you don't know much about. For that matter, I think very few journalists have a good knowledge of the subject. They mostly just throw out figures on equalization payments and debt levels.

On the other hand, are there any French-language media outlets that give partition a positive outlook?

Also, in your post, you mention that sovereignty is not about money. Do you have an older post that talks about your reasons for sovereignty?

Michel Bolduc said...

Your first paragraph basically summarizes my point of view on the situation. The average Jean-Guy has a fairly good understanding of why sovereignty should be achieved, but isn't sure it's worth it. The average Doug doesn't understand why it should be achieved and basically relies on numbers to rationalize his point of view.

French-language media has a balanced outlook on the issue. La Presse's editorial line is federalist. Le Devoir's editorial line is more nuanced. Le Journal de Montréal's editorial line is generally associated with sovereignty. You'll find a proportionate variety of point of views among journalists and columnists of all media (see National media suffice).

Although I voted "Yes" in 1995 and would probably vote "Yes" today, I have mixed feelings about the issue. Above all, sovereignty is motivated by a desire to have full leverage on Québec's culture. I think the Québécois look at the state of popular culture in English Canada and get the jitters (see Canadian content, Part 2 and Part 3). And many believe that such leverage can't be achieved within the Canadian framework. You can also read Québec's ethnocentric nationalism for a more general take on it.

Anonymous said...

"Above all, sovereignty is motivated by a desire to have full leverage on Québec's culture."

If I am understanding your posts, it is control over culture and language that drives the sovereignty movement. For me, it seems that the provincial government has quite a bit of power over this already. On language, it can extend loi 101 to anywhere it chooses (if it wants, it can extend it to universities as well), can force all businesses -other than ones with federal charters- to provide a French-speaking work environment, can choose its own immigrant and could stop corresponding in English with residents.

From the posts on radio/tv/movies, it would seem then that Quebec culture seems to be doing a lot better than "Canadian" culture in the ROC. And it seems that it could always provide more funding to homegrown cultural productions (above what the feds provide).

It just seems that the provincial government does have quite a bit of control over cultural issues, but your posts demonstrate that even if it had additional powers now available to the federal government, it might not succeed (as evidenced by the high media consumption of non-Canadian content in the ROC). And, at the end of the day, there is only so much you can do to control people's viewing and listening habits.

Michel Bolduc said...

Yes, Québec's culture is doing fairly well. But the idea isn't to control people's viewing and listening habits (CanCon's aim); it's rather to preserve what's already been established (see Bill 101 is detrimental).

The Charter of the French language is obviously a very powerful (and justified) protective measure. The fact is that the Canadian framework (the Charter of rights) has been steadily eroding Bill 101's reach in the last 30 years. Of course, many will argue that the whole thing is an offense to individual rights. In reality, Bill 101 simply ensures minimal French exposure, it doesn't prevent the usage of English. If Canadians understood this, their wouldn't be much debate.

Many Québécois believe that an independent Québec would have more latitude on the issue. That's basically how I understand the thrust for sovereignty.

Snowbird said...

Québec sovereignty issue is obviously not about money . It is about identity and dignity . As a bilingual Anglo ,my take is that there are two basic issues that stand in the way of the Quebec problem being brought to rest (either way) once and for all , both of them related to the current ambiguity about Montréal :

- around one third of Anglo Montrealers are unilingual English. This is unsustainable and unhealthy . We are no longer a British colony , and all of us must speak the local language : French . English will of course remain the inernational language of business , just as (but no more than) in Paris , Madrid or Mexico City

- the boundaries are not clear , and good decisions can only be made with a clean slate . As long as English-only institutions are based in Montréal (McGill , Concordia ,CN and other national corporate headquarters,etc...), the illusion will be perpetuated that Montréal can remain an officially bilingual city forever.As long as this illusion endures , there will be no trusting dialogue betweel Quebec and ROC. In Belgium , the abrupt decision by the Flemish to expel the old French-speaking University of Louvain from Leuven to Louvain-la-Neuve in "French" territory eventually turned out to be a useful move (the only remaining problem is that Brussels is a French-speaking island in Flemish teritory , but Montreal is 100% within Quebec).

If we do that , then Quebec can either become a full-fledged member of a real Canadian confederation (just like Geneva , Vaud , Valais , Jura are full-fledged cantons in predominantly German-speaking Switzerland)or it can go its own separate way . The latter option I would deplore but respect . Let democracy prevail

Anonymous said...

"If you're ever aware of a mainstream media (CBC excluded) giving the sovereignty movement a positive outlook (even a fair coverage), please let me know."

But look at sovereignty from an ROC point of view. There is nothing positive for them. With an independent Quebec, the ROC is cut into two disconnected parts, not a good situation for any country. It would also be stuck with perhaps millions of its citizens (those who elect to retain their Canadian citizenship)who live in Quebec, pay taxes in Quebec, but might take advantage of Canadian social benefits, legally or fraudulently. In practical terms, sovereignty is not positive for Canada.

Michel Bolduc said...

You really believe that having the country physically split into two would be an ordeal? There are other countries that have disconnected parts, Alaska and Hawaii for example. Actually, Newfoundland and Prince-Edward-Island are, or were, a bit like that. You may be right, but it certainly isn't as obvious as you seem to think.

Many Canadians feel that a sovereign Québec would be a good thing for Canada, but for the wrong reasons. They're under the impression that the province is an economic burden to the country. I admit that the economic feasibility of independence has never been clearly made. But in all fairness, if it were so financially advantageous for Québec to remain within Canada, if the province was such the burden some people think it is, wouldn't have the demonstration been clearly made?

Still, I agree with you, Québec's sovereignty isn't positive for Canada. It would hamper the country's international outlook. It would take away the single largest chunk of specificity the country has to distinguish itself from the USA.

Now... what I'm insisting on with my post is that mainstream media, regardless if it's wrong or right, don't try to understand the sovereignty movement. The option has been supported by 40% of the province's population over the last 30 years. Is it so hard to believe that perhaps a significant proportion of those in favor of sovereignty are intelligent citizens? Yet, all I read in English media is how masterfully sovereigntist leaders have manipulated the population without genuinely trying to understand the phenomenon. In fact, it's very very easy to understand. Canada has the exact same concern, the perpetuation of a valid culture confronted with the overwhelming domination of another.

I'm not implying that such a goal can't be achieved within the Canadian framework. I'm saying that Canadians need to recognize the legitimacy of a sovereign Québec to address it properly and that's something national media aren't contributing to. Has anyone in English Canada read Parizeau's book? Has it been the topic of a level-headed article? Does anyone care?

Now... if you're ever aware of a mainstream media giving the sovereignty a fair coverage (never mind a positive outlook), genuinely trying to make the reader understand the doubts that many Québécois face about the future of the culture they've developed over the last three or four centuries, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious how sovereigntists react to the sovereignty movement of autochtones in Quebec? Is it something they respect? Or do they react negatively to what they perceive as an incorrect and reactionary suggested solution to the need to protect indigenous culture and language? I have never heard a mainstream separatist (sovereignty is a cute play on words, but even Parizeau acknowledged in his new book that the words really do mean the same thing) suggest it's acceptable to allow for the North of Quebec to separate on the basis of a need to protect language and culture, which autochtones feel is safer in Canada, and it's something that Péquistes had a conniption over when Jean Charest very correctly suggested that that could happen in the event of another referendum. Is it not blatantly hypocritical to demand the respect and understanding that your movement denies to people even in more need than you are?

English-Canadians don't respect separatism because they see it for the demagoguery it is. Don't confuse the lack of respect for one suggested solution to protecting Quebec's language and culture for a lack of respect for the underlying issue. Today, even federalists outside of Quebec laud law 101 and the role it's played in protecting the French language. English-Canadians are sympathetic to the need to protect the language and culture of Quebec but that doesn't mean they have to celebrate a proposal that would mean the destruction of their country that they hold dear. To suggest such is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

To put passion aside, though, there is the old English expression, "know thy enemy". If sovereignty is something Canadians want to end, the underlying issues that give rise to the movement must be addressed, and that's a fair point for you to have made.

Michel Bolduc said...

Yes, sovereignty and separatism are the same; the use of one or the other simply indicates how one values the impact of an independent Québec.

Is there such a thing as an organized sovereignty movement in northern Québec? If so, yes of course, it is hypocritical to demand something while denying it yourself to others. I'm not much of a specialist in Native Affairs, but I know René Lévesque has been progressive in recognizing 11 nations in the province while in office in 1985. I also know that Bernard Landry signed the Paix des braves with the Cris in 2002 and that it's considered an important breakthrough for that particular nation.

Natives feel their case for territorial claims is stronger with Canada, not that their language and culture are safer. Again, I'm not much of a specialist in Native Affairs, but the preamble of the Charter of the French language explicitly states that the National Assembly recognizes the right of the Amerinds and the Inuit of Québec, the first inhabitants of this land, to preserve and develop their original language and culture.

English-Canadians may be sympathetic to the need to protect the French language, but look at the state of French Canada outside the province. Yet, I'd be surprised to find a majority of Canadians supporting protective measures such as Bill 101. If separatism is simply demagoguery, the federal government should address it and provide stronger arguments on how the Canadian framework contributes to protect French Canada. I'm not implying it doesn't, but recent decades aren't glorious for French outside the province.

Would Québec's sovereignty really mean the destruction of Canada? Québec isn't the only thing holding this country together. I'm not suggesting English Canadians should celebrate the sovereignty movement. I'm simply stating that it's a very important part of our country's political landscape that Canadians shouldn't shove by the way side.

Snowbird said...

The courteous sparring between Anonymous and Michel Bolduc leaves me kind of scratching my balding head.

As I spent many years based in Europe (London , Paris , Munich), I can perhaps bring something to the party here on the subject of "nations" : you only know a nation when you see one (if you read "Paris 1919" by Toronto-based Ms MacMillan it is interesting to see how surprised Woodrow Wilson was at the number of "applicants" after he pronounced himself in favour of independence for all "nations" . I was incidentally shocked to read that France refused to have then German-speaking Alsace hold a referendum on whether they really wanted to join France , the reason being that they had been too much influenced by Germany for too long...).
While nations in Europe would take several thousand pages to just begin to broach the subject , it is clear to me that Scotland , even though it speaks English , is a nation within the UK . It is clear that Flanders is a nation and that a full divorce from Belgium would make a lot of sense were it not for the two communities having a common child : Brussels . Francophone Belgians are not a nation , as evidenced by the "rattachiste" movement . I don't know that Austria is a nation : Austrians are not considered "foreigners" in Munich and Bavarians and Tirolers are basically one cultural identity. While Norway ,Sweden and Denmark are different states ,there are strong arguments (mutually intelligible languages , same values , religion , etc) to say that they are one loose nation , of which Finland of course (different language) is not a member . In spite of Paris's and Madrid's efforts , to this day the Basques and the Catalans are probably each their own nation , regardless fo the Franco-Spanish border.Switzerland is one nation in spite of its four languages.I could take many other examples : Czechs/Slovaks , Cyprus/Greece/Turkey , Portugal/Spain , Flanders/Netherlands , etc...

Back home , it is obvious to me that Quebec is a distinct nation , for all the reasons you know and mention . My personal wish is for Quebec to be a nation within the Federation of Canada . We Anglos do have to do our home work on who we really are (especially vis-a-vis the US but also among ourselves from Vancouver in Upper California to Halifax in Upper New England). Regarding our relationshîp to Quebec , the only true obstacle to a peaceful Canadian marriage is the festering issue of language in Montréal .

As long as our city is not clearly a unilingual French speaking one , we will remain a perhaps lethal thorn in the side of the peaceful Canada I crave for . God knows I'm not pro-PQ , but for Canada's sake we must gently push unilingual Anglos out of town and give allophones a clear signal that if they want English to be their children's language that goal can only be attained in other provinces of the Federation . In other words , paradoxical though it may seem , I believe we owe it to our own future to transfer the English ghettos of all kinds (McGill , Concordia , Ottawa-funded corporate headquarters) out of Montreal to wherever else in Canada. If Québécois have guts , that's the only way to go . At the end of the day , they would end up respected Canadians (that's my hope) , or independent (I don't think so) . The worst thing would be to remain as is , where the one key uniting factor among many rough-hewn Anglo's is the bashing and contempt of Quebec . Canadian identity is very much a work-in-process , and uncertainty over Quebec must no longer remain as an excuse that obfuscastes the real problem of who and what English Canada is and wants to be . Compatriotes québécois , aidez-nous à construire ce pays et prenez d'abord votre place : c'est la plus facile à définir.That's the catalyst we all need.

Michel Bolduc said...


Thank you very much for your well illustrated examples. You might not be familiar with Loco Locass. If you are, you probably don't like them, but your point of view is in synch with a few verses form their song Engouement which is an ode to Québec's sovereignty:

"On peut être pour toutes les indépendances, j'ai tendance à penser que quand surgira la nôtre, même ceux qui se sentent pas des nôtres ne nous voyant plus à genoux seront plus que jamais chez eux, chez nous."

Snowbird said...

Michel Bolduc ,

I'm not familiar at all with Loco Locass (I'll look him up) but he sure writes superb French and the quotation is inspiring and generous . He appropriately takes the high road and reminds me of the best in both the American and the French Revolution.

Should the situation arise, I accept his invitation in advance. I was perhaps not clear enough in my previous posts : I don't think that Quebec has a problem (other than clearly marking its territory on the island of Montreal): Quebecois know who they are , and their manifest destiny is to better formalise their nationhood .

English Canada's identity is much more of a tough nut . Prince Charles' fans live in England's colonial past , but the Raj is no more , and there is no future there. At the polar opposite of quaint loyalty to the Queen is English Canada's cultural absorption by the US . Some of the posts I read in Globe and Mail forums are based on US TV programmes (e.g. Jim Kramer vs Jon Stuart on the Comedy Channel )and could just as well be written by people from Arkansas or Pennsylvania.

Outside of North America , a British Canadian like me has to get used to the pervasive perception that we are just entry-level Americans , just like Austrians are often perceived as entry-level Germans.Even the Brits tend to look down on us with benign amusement. The Cantonese from Hong Kong who came to get a non-Chinese passport in Vancouver will unabashedly tell you that they picked Canada only because it was much easier to get into than their first choice , the US.

Today ,English Canada stands together only because Ontario is strong and has so far decided to define itself as Canadian rather than Upper Mid-West . This may or may not last as the Western provinces grow , Ontario perhaps declines in relative weight , the political landscape in Ottawa changes , etc...

Bottom line is , I'm not at all sure that English Canada will ever get its act together . It's basically a toss-up at this stage. So, if it comes to a break-up of the country , I will obviously stay in my home town of Montréal,which I love, and I will gladly accept Laco Lass's invitation . I am one of the "Gens du Pays" Gilles Vigneault was singing about.

PS - One reason I am somewhat fixated about Montreal becoming a French-language city only is obviously not some form of cleansing against my own tribe. It is the " Fourons" issue in Belgium .

Fourons is a tiny valley stuck between Flanders , Wallonia and the Netherlands . It is sparsely populated but predominantly French-speaking and socialist-leaning. A few decades ago , a rightist government of the Wallon region decided to get rid of people who voted wrong and foisted them off to Flanders , which gladly accepted. The people of Fourons have been protesting noisily ever since , the local unilingual mayor has become a martyr at the hands of the Flemish and a hero on the French side ,etc...This stupid problem is one of the main converging reasons why many Flemish want out of Belgium.This is why I believe the slate must be very clean border-wise when it comes to discussing Quebec's place within or without Canada.

Comme to think of it , the Fourons problem is exactly , to the power 100 , the messy situation that prevailed between Greece and Turkey in the early 20th century before Atatürk. It unfortunately took a short war , but today Constantinople is Istanbul and clearly Turkish , same for the former Smyrna now Izmir .Rhodes, two miles from the Turkish mainland , is clearly Greek . On a more reassuring note ,when Slovakia seceded from the Czechs ten years ago it all took place smoothly because the borders were clean-cut.Incidentally , everybody at the time was predicting a dour future for heavy-industry Slovakia , and they are now one of the better faring countries in the EU.

Michel Bolduc said...

Thanks again for sharing your rich international perspective.

Anonymous said...

"You really believe that having the country physically split into two would be an ordeal? There are other countries that have disconnected parts, Alaska and Hawaii for example."

I am not saying this would necessarily happen, but that there is a risk of it happenning. And one difference I see with Alaska/Hawaii, is that Canada would need to go through another country's territory to move goods and people (a maritime route being impractical).

"I admit that the economic feasibility of independence has never been clearly made."

There is one report the PQ put out a few years ago -Les Finances Publiques d'un Quebec Souverain- but the analysis in there was very pie-in-the-sky. But this is for me a big issue with sovereignty; the PQ & BQ have never explained how a sovereign Quebec will be different in practical terms. The only concrete things I remember hearing was from Parizeau in 1995 that Anglos could still keep all their rights and institutions (ie. schools) and that Quebec-based federal employees would still keep their jobs.

"Now... if you're ever aware of a mainstream media giving the sovereignty a fair coverage (never mind a positive outlook)..."

I do agree with you on this. But I am also saying that I have never heard anything good being said about partition in an independent Quebec in French-language media.

Michel Bolduc said...

Québec's sovereignty has been plaguing Canadian politics for the last 30 years and the average Canadian doesn't have a clue why... think about it.

P.S.: may I suggest you use a moniker for future conversations?

Snowbird said...

To Anonymous :

I have been around the block quite a few times and one thing I know is that the resolve of a nation to go it alone always trumps its initial handicaps and it eventually becomes richer than the initial doomsayers themselves . The initial 13 US states are a case in point : they were in rather sorry shape when they wrested independence from us.

More to the point ,if I look at the richest countries in Europe started with independence that appeared to make no business sense at the time of secession . Tiny German-speaking Luxembourg is a case in point : it was foolish to secede from the German Zollverein , but their GNP per capita surpasses Germany's by some 50% . In your line of reasoning Norway should never have seceded from Denmark , nor Slovakia from Czechoslovakia , nor Singapore from Malaysia , etc...Yet all of these have been resounding successes against all initial odds . I'll bet you that if Scotland secedes from the UK , the Financial will predict a cratering Scottish economy and just the reverse will happen.

The funny thing is that the guy left with the big economic problem is the bigger guy who finds himself dumped . Russia , no longer the colonial master of the USSR , suddenly finds itself with no vibrant purpose , a population of drunks (says their own president) , and a chronic inability to do much more than export oil and gas . Austria never recovered from losing the Austria-Hungary empire , and Vienna today is way too big a city for its country. A French philosopher (I'll be darned if I ever knew his name)once said " Il n'est de richesse que d'hommes" and this is literally true : richesse = riches = money = wealth.

I am not in favour of Quebec sovereignty at this point .But , as a Montrealer , I believe they have it in them to be just as successful as say Norway or the Netherlands (once part of Germany) . We "English" Canadians (I'm Scottish), I'm afraid ,don't necessarily have the moxie to maintain a vibrant national economy after Quebec's departure.In the long term , identity and economy tend to be the same thing ,and we are darn short on identity.

Anonymous said...

"I have been around the block quite a few times and one thing I know is that the resolve of a nation to go it alone always trumps its initial handicaps and it eventually becomes richer than the initial doomsayers themselves."

I am not saying Quebec would be worse off alone. I am saying that the ROC risks being worse off without Quebec than with it (which might be a reason why sovereignty in the ROC is not looked upon positively). I actually think that not much would change in an independent Quebec.

That being said, I am not sure you can generalize that independence exceeds expecations. There are a number of examples of countries where independence did not help. I don't think you can call many African countries successes. Many of them are worse off than when they gained independence. And some of the "Stans" are even worse off than Russia is at this point.

Snowbird said...

Anonymous :

You're right , but you're talking oranges and I was talking apples , i.e. DEVELOPED NATIONS (not administrative entities) comparable to us.

As you know , all of sub-saharan Africa is poor and the warp and woof of society is the tribe . The tribe Country borders inherited from the colonial powers never match tribal reality. As borders are porous , the tribes (nations)basically carry on like their ancestors , the existence of country borders having sometimes only the effect of creating smuggling opportunities.

The only attempt I know of at creating a one tribe/one country situation was Biafra , but the Ibos were crushed for being Christians , envied industrious traders and , most of all having the nerve of sitting on much of Nigeria's oil fields (I've been to Nigeria : you don't want to go there) . Promising efforts are being made at developing multi-tribe nations ,e.g. in Ghana and South Africa (where the three largest tribes are the Zulus , the Afrikaners , the Brits).

The "stans" , as you certainly know , are not in the same category as Quebec either : they're poor , badly underdeveloped , ruled by ruthless dictators and riddled with egregious corruption everywhere . The only developed "stan" today would perhaps be Kudirstan if we western powers had not decided (Paris , 1919) to abort the plan the Brits and French had crafted in 1916.

Enough with history and exotic places . Fact is , if the Québécois nation wants to go independent and resolutely charges ahead with it , then economic viability , the debt , etc. won't be a problem . Where there is a will there is a way . The only question is : is there a will ?

Anonymous said...

"Where there is a will there is a way . The only question is : is there a will ?"

Well, there wasn't enough of a will in 1980 and 1995. And there does not seem to be enough appetite today either. But I think this ebbs and flows and we'll again see sovereignty polling above 40%.

I think there are two opposing demographic factors that will come into play in the long term though I am not really sure which will be more important. One is that as the weight of Quebec's population decreases within Canada, so should its relative weight in political terms. This could lead to stronger feelings of disenfranchisement in Quebec and could strengthen the sovereignty movement. On the other hand, given that the birth rate in Quebec is below replacement level, the immigrant population will grow relative to the total population. It is unlikely that new citizens will vote for sovereignty in the same proportion as francophones for quite some time.