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Your thoughts on *the* referendum..10 years later.


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Every Canadian channel, from CTV to CBC to CPAC is falling over themselves to cover the 10th anniversary of the Quebec Seperation Referendum.

What is interesting is that there seems to be a movement that has sprung in Quebec to revisit that topic of seperation in light of the recent government scams. There is certainly thought that it is the perfect time in the forseeable future to start this movement again, after 10 years of seperation fatigue. I read on CBC.ca today that Gilles Duceppe won the confidence vote of his party by 96.8%..the highest in years and certainly the highest confidence measure of any of the federal parties.

CBC.ca~Gilles Duceppe

What is most alarming *if that is the word to use* is that there have been recent motions in the seperatist party that if seperation were to happen, that a) they agreed in principle to form their own army and B ) to secure the St. Laurence Seaway.

With nostaligia in the air, general dissatisfaction in federal politics on the rise, and increased regional disatisfaction...do you think that in our lifetime, the breakup of Canada will occur?

It seems to me that they would posture this time to completely seperate from Canada, as opposed to the motion last time to renegotiate their role with Canada..which was vague. Also, the pivotal leaders at the time have either moved on or died (such as Chretian, Parizeau, Bouchard, Trudeau and so on).

I also watched a news clip the other day ( i think ctv???) where they interviewed Ethnic minorities, and this time around, a great deal would support seperation, because they associate their freedom and opportunity with Quebec..not Canada.

So I have five questions...

1- Do you remember where you were when this referendum happened?

2-How did you feel at the time?

3- How have you felt since up to today?

4-Would a vote for succession have a better chance today than it did 10 years ago?

5- Does it matter to you today like it did 10 years ago (assuming it mattered 10 years ago)?

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1- Do you remember where you were when this referendum happened?

I was in Grade 12..in my final year of Highschool.

2-How did you feel at the time? I was very concerned, especially in the weeks leading up, that this might be a reality. I remember being mobilized at my school to sign "We love Quebec" type posters. At the the time, the internet was only just coming out in full force, so our movement really had a group purpose to it.

3- How have you felt since up to today? I have felt that as much as I love Canada, the Canada today is perhaps not the best it could be in dealing with regional issues in meaningful ways. If seperation happened, i would care in the smaller sense, but i am not convinced that my life as i know it would change. So its perhaps not as big as a deal as it could be. But of course, my feelings could change.

4-Would a vote for succession have a better chance today than it did 10 years ago?

I think so, but not because i think there is a desire to seperate. I think that it could happend because of the internet. Back when this first occured, internet usage was small, so you relied on biased media images and group discussion in schools, halls, on the news and so on. Now, we are far more tuned to the net and blogs, and therefore less influenced by biased media forces. I could form my own opinion..but i would not be mobilized as a Non voter as much as I would have been 10 years ago. In this age..would a rallylike that turn out? And would it make that much of a difference?

5- Does it matter to you today like it did 10 years ago (assuming it mattered 10 years ago)?

Yes, it matters. But like i said...if seperation were to occur, i don't think the sky would fall either. I just hope my apathy is not shared by everone, or seperation would be a real possibility. Again..my thoughts could change if this becomes more of an issue and maybe i will be more passionate. I don't live near Quebec..and I live in a province (Alberta) that maybe one day would follow in the path.

But if an election were to occur and they lose again..Quebec should be forced to sign the constitution. This should be a shit or get off the pot type vote. We cannot go throught this every 10-15 years.

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I was in Grade 12..in my final year of Highschool.

You were 17 or 18 in 1995, eh? That would make you about 27 today.

You were also, at least according to what you told us in the "Baby Boomers turn 60 .." thread, born "into the tail-end of the boom". That would make you at least 41 today.

Do you have an explanation for that other than finally finishing high school at 31?

It wasn't THAT damned tough!

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1- Do you remember where you were when this referendum happened?

Watching it on TV. I went to Montreal for the Canada rally. Don't know if it helped.

2-How did you feel at the time?

Relieved and extremely frustrated that Chretien came so close to blowing it. And that Canadians didn't seem to fault the federal government on their gross incompetence.

3- How have you felt since up to today?

I haven't.

4-Would a vote for succession have a better chance today than it did 10 years ago?

I have no idea. But Quebeckers must understand that if they are going to vote for separation, its independence. There is no sovereignty-association bullshit. And that the government sitting on the other side of the table isn't going to give a shit about Quebec. They're going to be looking out for Canada's interest. If that screws Quebec, too bad.

5- Does it matter to you today like it did 10 years ago (assuming it mattered 10 years ago)?

Yes. Maybe more. If Quebec separates, its more likely Alberta will separate. There is just no way that the west, or at least Alberta and BC (and maybe Saskatchewan) will live in a federation dominated by Ontario. I am also more likely to remain in the United States if it does happen.

This never-ending referendum is really getting tiresome. That's one of the benefits of living in the States. It never gets mentioned and you never hear about it.

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QUOTE(Semperfi_dani @ Oct 30 2005, 05:34 PM)

I was in Grade 12..in my final year of Highschool.

*

You were 17 or 18 in 1995, eh? That would make you about 27 today.

You were also, at least according to what you told us in the "Baby Boomers turn 60 .." thread, born "into the tail-end of the boom". That would make you at least 41 today.

Ummm..dude..i never even responded in the Baby Boomers thread. You must have me confused with another poster. I suggest you go back and read.

I am 28 now. I was 17 at the time of the referendum. Not really sure what your point is.

I have a feeling you think i am someone else. Greg can easily check my IP addrees and confirm otherwise.

Cheers. :)

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1- Do you remember where you were when this referendum happened?

Yup, that night i had 12 years old and was in my bed crying because the "yes" was winning (at the time i had to go to bed).

2-How did you feel at the time?

I was afraid to lose my favorite hockey team Canadien de Montreal (Habs) :/ i was a fan of chretien because i felt bad for his weird mouth...

3- How have you felt since up to today?

I feel both side screwed it up bad after 1995, the liberals did absolutly nothing to integrate the quebecker to canada and the sovreignist completly failed the transition and unlike in 80 with levesque, they did not try any "beau risque", a kind of 3rd way to fix the constitutional crisis.

4-Would a vote for succession have a better chance today than it did 10 years ago?

I think it does, one things we ca find out when we analyse polls is that the older ppl, the generation before the babyboomers massively vote against sovreignty (65-70%) while the boomers and their children vote with a slim majority majority for it (55-60%). As for the new generation that didn't vote in 1995, well that is what we don't know yet, The gomery effect and the impopularity of the liberal pushed them for sovreignty wich gived the "yes" 52-54% in the lastest polls but it is in no way a solid majority, i guess we could only find out in a referendum campain wich way that generation will opt for.

5- Does it matter to you today like it did 10 years ago (assuming it mattered 10 years ago)?

Well from 12 to 22years old, its clear things have changed, now im able to understand what are the arguments from both side, what are the good and bad of each option. I think ive reached a point where ive put aside sentimental thought and analysed the question back and forth and came to the conclusion that we can't take nothing for granted, that if quebec want to stay in canada, there are condition that must be fullfiled to accept compromise and this is for both sides.

Either there is no compromise and a separation wich deal its load of consequence for both side or there is an agreement with conditions and compromise wich could take the form of a constitutionnal agreement.

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Just think, had they voted to separate 10 years ago, we would have been rid of the likes of Chretien, and Martin as well since their riding were in Quebec and they would no longer have had a seat in Canada's Parliament. We would not now be saddled with the liberal and feeble-minded judiciary appointed by both Chretien and Martin over the last 10 years. Quebec would not have had the $ Billions of Canadian taxpayer's dollars thrown at them over that same time-frame, and they would by now reduced to third world status, likely begging to re-enter the Canadian federation.

That said I don't feel after the relavations of the various scandals this government has perpetrated on the Canadian people that Canada is even worth saving at this point. We really have nothing to patriotic about. We have a federal government that acts as if Canada ends at the Ontario/Manitoba border in the West, and at the Quebec/New Brunswick border of the East, and any areas outside those two province does not seem to matter to Ottawa. That said in the case of Alberta, Martin would love to find some way to suck the riches from that Western region so he can keep Quebec happy. It may well be time to look at this country and decide whether it is worth belonging to.

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So...

1- Do you remember where you were when this referendum happened?

Yes, I was at home and in bed (I was barely 10!!!)

2-How did you feel at the time?

Tired and not really following politics.

3- How have you felt since up to today?

Well I was always a federalist but at this point I just hope I don't ever hear anything about this sovereignty question again!!! (I know that is not likely to happen)

4-Would a vote for succession have a better chance today than it did 10 years ago?

Yes. The Liberals have shown they are willing to buy the hearts of Quebecers and Quebecers dont like it.

5- Does it matter to you today like it did 10 years ago (assuming it mattered 10 years ago)?

I just want the debate to be solved and the question ended. If that means the PQ and the Liberals both will f*ck off than that's that. At this point, we need to move on one way or the other.

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1- Do you remember where you were when this referendum happened?

I was driving from BC to Manitoba, returning from a funeral, listening to results on the radio. Reception was choppy, especially through Saskatchewan, and I was frustrated that I wasn't in front of a TV.

2-How did you feel at the time?

I was very much against seperation. I felt it would be unfair to the people of the Maritimes and the North, who would be cut off from the rest of the country, and I also felt that Quebec wanted to have its cake and eat it too, by retaining Canadian currency and federal services (I don't know how accurate that was, but it was certainly what was being said at the time).

3- How have you felt since up to today?

I have come to a clearer understanding of what "distinct society" means, and sometimes feel that the seperatists have some valid points. But I also believe that Canada has room to accommodate distinction, and we can live together better than live apart.

4-Would a vote for succession have a better chance today than it did 10 years ago?

The BQ seems to have a great deal of support, so maybe as long as their is a political voice for the concerns of Quebec the seperatists will be content. I don't know.

5- Does it matter to you today like it did 10 years ago (assuming it mattered 10 years ago)?

Yes, but in a different way. When you look at the global community, Canada is a pretty good place to live, and the arguments for seperation seem like they should be able to be resolved without splintering the country.

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I wonder do you have a clearer understanding of what distinct society means, Melanie. Do you, for instance, know that if the Clause is included in Sec. 25 of the Constitution as Quebec wants, it will no longer have to use the "Notwithstanding Clause" to enforce it breaches of Charter rights?

I really think that Canadians across the land have very little idea of what this is all about or what it means. That is because they have been fed the appeasement principle since 1960.

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Semperfi_dani

I never did place any importance on the 85 referendum and felt it was always Liberal Quebec Wing grandstanding in an effort to improve Liberal fortunes and feel the same way to-day.

I think it would be an impossibility initially for Quebec to separate unless it comes to some sort agreement with the ROC which I think again would be an impossibility.

I really don't know how Quebec can continual wave the threat of separation around when in reality it means very little as they need the ROC for their survival.

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1) At home, watching it on tv.

2) Amazed that pro-sovereigntists could not see the simple sense in the phrase "divided we fall".

3) Amazed that in a country with one of the highest lifestyles in the world, Quebec has invented a crisis where none exists.

4) That's tough to answer. It depends on how well each side spins.

5) Very much so.

In Canada we have very little to complain about. Great lifestyle. Great availability of pretty well anything we need.

A social safety-net. Everything that probably 90% of the world's countries aspire to.

And yet people find crises where there are none.

Canada is not perfect, but name a country that is.

Dividing the nation could only serve to weaken both resulting countries in the long term, no matter whether it's Quebec or Alberta who may decide to leave.

My 2c worth.

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1- Do you remember where you were when this referendum happened?

How could I forget?

I was counting votes in an east end riding of montreal with a friend of mine who was the son of a PQ MNA. I was 25 years old and very aware of the fact that I was part of history. People of my mother's generation will tell you in great detail where they were the night Kenedy was shot. I recall that evening in minute detail.

2-How did you feel at the time?

I was excited, nervous, sad, confused and knew that the vote would be close. I got on the metro and it was as if I had walked into Church. The mood was very solemn and noboby spoke. The decision we were all heading home to make weighed in the air.

The big bomb was when I got home and watched Parizeau make his infamous money and ethnic votes comment. I was disgusted and at the same time relieved that he actually had the guts (or the requisite number of glasses of red wine) to say out loud what many suspected he thought.

3- How have you felt since up to today?

I have bad hair days on occasion but since the Prozac I am feeling really good.

4-Would a vote for succession have a better chance today than it did 10 years ago?

Interesting question. I think the sponsorship scandal has been a major blow to the federalists because it reconfirms the impression that many québecois have that the federal governement is out to screw us.

I think that quebec federalists will come out fighting if there is another referendum rather than sitting back and keeping their mouths shut. In quebec, if you are not in favour of severeignty you tend to keep that to yourself. It is accepted to get up and wave the Fleur de Lisé on the 24th of june but being overtly pro-Canada is not common.

I wonder how the emergence of a very successful francophone business elite will change the politcial landscape. The Demarais of Power Corp are pro the No and I wonder how the growth of Couche Tard, Jean Coutu and others into large capitalization success stories will afect the outcome of potential third referendum. Business usually votes no and labour votes yes so it will be interesting if there is another referendum to see how the local francophone business world votes.

5- Does it matter to you today like it did 10 years ago (assuming it mattered 10 years ago)?

Yes. I just bought a very large new home and I would like it to be worth something when I retire.

What saddens me is all the rhetoric on both sides. Federalist propaganda outside of Quebec is truly sickening and nationalist propaganda in Quebec is just as bad although it gets less airtime in mainstream media.

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