Why are so many young Quebecers still sovereigntists?

English speaking Canadians who believe national media suffice to have a thorough understanding of the political dynamics of our country rarely get the chance to read articulate points of view when it comes to the federalism vs. sovereignty debate. Articles in favor of federalism are usually shallow; there's no need to go very far on the topic when addressing a crowd that already accepts the option. Articles in favor of sovereignty basically don't exist. Authors of articles trying to explain the rationale for sovereignty often lack the background to go beyond the usual economic arguments.

André Pratte is both a staunch federalist and a Québec nationalist. He's also the Editor-in-chief at Montréal's La Presse. Here's an excerpt of an opinion piece he published in The Globe and Mail yesterday:
"For the past 30 years, support for independence has been remarkably stable at 40 per cent. That stability has frustrated separatists, whose constant efforts to convince Quebecers to follow them has fallen on a majority of deaf ears. It also confuses Canadians outside the province, who wonder why on Earth so many Quebecers still believe that separation would be good for Quebec.

Younger separatists [...] are full of confidence in themselves and therefore do not fear separation. They travel all over the world to study, work and visit but have never found a reason to go to Toronto or Vancouver, let alone St. John's or Regina. To them, the rest of Canada is a foreign country, with a different culture and different values. They see the election of a majority Harper government and Quebecers' massive vote for the NDP as the latest demonstration of the unbridgeable canyon between Quebec and English Canada. They believe the federal system is inefficient and that Quebec could better tackle the challenges it faces if it had all the tools of government in its possession.

Younger Quebecers are rarely exposed to passionate, intelligent arguments in favour of federalism and the Canadian experience. Most of what they hear from English Canada transmits, at best, indifference toward Quebec and the French language (witness the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Games). Having not lived through two referendums and endless constitutional debates, they don't understand English Canadians' hostility toward changes that would be advantageous to Quebec."
Click here to read the whole story.

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