2010/02/24

Duceppe to discuss sovereignty in Europe

Even if sovereignty isn't currently the talk of the town, Duceppe considers that bonds need to be reinforced abroad. This coming fall, he will be heading to Europe to make speeches and demystify sovereignty. The aim is to be ready in the event of a positive referendum.

It's a first for the Bloc leader. These types of initiatives have exclusively been taken by the Parti Québécois. "We need to share our point of view to counterbalance the federalists" says Duceppe. A tour of English Canada is in the works and a tour of the USA is also being considered. Obviously, the PQ is delighted.

Click here [Google translation] for the full story.

7 comments:

adski said...

So he's going to the re-united Europe to endorse divisions in one of the most respected countries in the world.

This must be the consequence of Mr.Bouchard’s recent comments which seem to have put the separatists in a frantic mode that makes them bounce around the room with strange ideas. Like this particular idea, for example.

I think Mr.Sarkozy, the president of the most likely of Quebec's European allies, was clear enough when he said that a united Canada is the best and only solution and called Quebec's separatists "sectarians".

I also wouldn't recommend for Mr.Duceppe to approach anyone from Poland's EU delegation to plug his brilliant ideas. He would be laughed out of the room. See, in Poland (as probably in the rest of Europe) Canada has a reputation unparalleled by any other country in the world.

Some Le Devoir readers notice these things too. Some replies are to the article pretty good.

I will cite one comment:

"Gilles Duceppe va sans doute apprendre que bien des choses ont changé dans cette nouvelle Europe.
Si Gilles Duceppe, durant sa visite en Europe, mettai autant d'attention à comprendre ce qui s'y est passé qu'à expliquer les objectifs du Bloc, il reviendrait porteur d'une conviction que le Président Sarkosy a déjà clairement exprimé. Il faut comprendre qu'il n'est pas possible de convaincre le Président de la France, comme assurément le plus grand nombre des autres chefs d'État et de gouvernement de l'UE que "le monde a besoin de plus de division".

Et pourquoi celà? Parce que l'Europe n'est plus ce qu'elle était, et les pays membres non plus."

Michel Bolduc said...

Strange indeed... sovereign countries tied together by economic agreements. That sounds pretty much like Duceppe's proposal.

I remember Mr. Sarkozy calling Quebec's separatists "sectarians" quite well. I must admit I was a bit puzzled by his perspective on Québec's ethnocentric nationalism.

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michel Bolduc said...

Of course, all parties involved must agree for it to work... now, if there's one general sentiment that rallies sovereigntists and federalists in Québec, it's that the current federal status quo isn't acceptable. Obviously, the overwhelming majority of Canadians supporting this status quo makes it democratic to force it onto Québec... right?

adski said...

James: "Is it democratic to try to force that onto the overwhelming vast majority of this country?"

It’s like 2.5 million of people holding 34 million people hostage. 34 million people who either love, like, or are perfectly content with their country, looking at a barrel of a gun held by a couple of million perpetual malcontents.

Michel: “the overwhelming majority of Canadians supporting this status quo makes it democratic to force it onto Québec... right?”

Yes, if we start zooming in and applying this reductionist argument. But following the same logic, we can then go on to say that Quebec, using the votes from the regions, is trying to impose the separation on Montreal West, a very federalist entity after all. So Quebec is being undemocratic towards the entire western side of its only metropolis, as well as Outaouais, Eastern Townships, and even its Capital City (Quebec City is federalist too).

So how do we define what constitutes a viable majoritarian entity and what doesn’t? Quebec separatists like to reduce the argument to the province of Quebec and the province of Quebec ONLY. That goes for claiming the French majority too.

But that argument falls flat the minute you zoom out a bit (Canada, North America in general) or zoom in a bit (Montreal in general, but especially some Montreal boroughs like Ville St Laurent).

So in essence, I can throw your question back at you and ask: "is it democratic for the overwhelming majority of the Quebecois from the regions to force Quebec’s secession onto Montreal, the metropolis which has its unique reality that the people from the regions just do not understand?"

Michel Bolduc said...

Adski,

As I stated above, if there's one general sentiment that rallies sovereigntists and federalists in Québec, it's that the current federal status quo isn't acceptable. Sovereignty is the only alternative that's within the reach of the province. You obviously don't agree with it, nor does the majority of Québécois. You make valid points and I respect that, but there's more to the debate than Québec's sovereignty vs. the status quo.

A third alternative is feasible and it can only come from Ottawa, if Canadians allow it. In the meantime, support for sovereignty will most likely remain stable.

Antonio said...

adski said this:

"So how do we define what constitutes a viable majoritarian entity and what doesn’t?"

By having a clear boundary that lends itself to separation without complications. There is a clear boundary between Quebec and Canada that fits this description but not the Outaouais, Eastern Township, and Quebec City from the rest of Quebec. International Law recongnizes Quebec's right to auto-determination with its territory intact for this very argument. You are employing the typical federalist scare tactics.

You also said this:
"But that argument falls flat the minute you zoom out a bit (Canada, North America in general) "

Really? If you zoom out to North America, a poll of North Americans would probably say that Canada should join the United States. Should Canada then honour the democractic will of North Americans and join the United States?