The smallest number, ever, at just under sixty percent of Canadian electors who were eligible to vote, have spoken. The final tally has surprised few, as the House of Commons count was quite predictable from most of the available polling statistics that were widely published in the media.
Regretfully, it is the unintended consequences of the results which are so much more menacing for Canada and Canadians than almost anyone might have considered.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has now had three swings at electoral bat, but still has failed to elect a majority government. His latest calculated roll of the dice figured that a strong pitch to Quebec nationalists and separatists would win him the required number of seats to eke out the all-important prize of a majority government for Canada.
Notwithstanding the conferring by Harper and his Conservative Government on Quebec of ‘Quebecois nation’ status, a seat at the Unesco table, and federal grants to address the professed fiscal imbalance, which are all part of the continuing appeasement of Quebec’s carefully silenced separatist aspirations, it was the unconsidered cancellation of 45 million dollars of culture grants to Quebec and the spurning of Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe in the ‘Quebecois Nation’ affair, that caused the rapid undoing of the wily and designing Harper, as the October 14th election day approached.
Harper still remains Canadian Prime Minister with an increased number of Conservative sitting members, but who now faces a considerably more formidable Quebec nationalist province, whose interests and values are firmly represented by the difficult and deeply sovereignist Gilles Duceppe, and a further estranged from Harper, Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who recently has been professing an even more nationalist tone for Quebec.
AffiliationQuebec’s drive, as a Quebec political party, to introduce the issue of abrogated language, sign, and education rights for more than one million Anglophones and other minorities in Quebec essentially fell on deaf federal ears, and failed to become a significant campaign topic, except for its dismissal as an important topic..
The major national parties have been complicit in their shameful, disrespectful, and irresponsible abandonment of the ‘inherent Canadian rights’ of Anglophones, Allophones, and other minorities in Quebec. These serious issues are at the core of Canada’s national interest, and are flagrantly overlooked in the appeasement of the nationalist-separatist agenda, which has clearly driven Canada’s political life for far too long.
Just whom are we kidding here, anyway? Harper got royally snookered by Quebec, not that a quick reading of Brian Mulroney’s history might not have been just a little bit instructive for him; remember where the Bloc Quebecois came from in the first place…
Harper is certainly not the first political leader to be hoisted on the petard of pandering to the special needs of Quebec nationalism, but he may turn out to be the last.
Why is the ‘Quebecois Nation’ more special than the Polish, Hispanic or aboriginal nations in Canada, and why does the particular recognition of Quebecois status imply territorial rights in the minds of Quebec nationalists?
So, here is the situation as we see it: since the dynamic and revived empowerment of the Quebec nationalist movement in the 1960’s & 70’s, and the subsequent departure of the six hundred thousand who have left Quebec because of oppressive government, it is the one million Anglophones, Allophones, and other Quebec minorities who still live under the Quebec’s undeclared, but state-sanctioned discrimination through Quebec’s language, sign, and education laws, who are left holding one of the main keys to Canada’s future as a united country.
The whole 2008 election campaign was a recipe for the impending balkanization of Canada, apparently a justifiable cost of continued appeasement of Quebec, and the abandonment of Quebec’s Anglophones and other minorities as the acceptable victims of so-called Canadian unity, a program to which the Conservatives, Liberals, and the NDP obviously subscribe to, in one form or another.
Frighteningly, recent polls indicate that about 40 % of the Quebecois Nation continues to support the concept of Quebec independence. With the Bloc now firmly established as the voice of Quebec’s interests and values in Canada’s Parliament, we can only shudder to think what might grow out of a possible Parti Quebecois victory in the impending Quebec provincial election, which could be called at any moment, depending on the bravado and tolerance of risk of Premier Jean Charest.
Charest’s growing nationalism and continued harrassement of minority communities is reason enough for political concern.
In effect, it is the one million abandoned Quebecers of non-French origin and the 35 odd percent of French Canadians who remain unquestioningly loyal to Canada who are all that remain to fight off the eventual, although considered illegal by most Canadians, quest for a separate and independent Quebec.
Bloc leader Duceppe was emphatic in his late night, post election victory speech in which he stated that the election was a story of culture, and a story of language. Quebec, he said, is French!
What and who gave then Liberal Premier, Robert Bourassa, the right in 1974 to stage a coup on Quebec and Canada with the Legislature’s enactment of Bill 22, the original Official Language Act of Quebec, and just how did he get away with it, anyway?
French Quebecers live under one set of majority rights while Anglo and Allopphone Quebecers live under a regime of discriminatory, abrogated rights, which they are required to accept without complaint, upon pain of further threatened restrictions.
Are Quebec’s discriminated-against minorities, as full citizens of Canada, not entitled to live in Quebec with all the complete and inherent rights of being Canadian? Is it not disingenuous that the federal government promotes national bilingualism and affirmative hiring programs for French Canadians across Canada, while Quebec is officially unilingual, French; and employs few anglophones, allophones, and visible minorities?
Now that Stephen Harper has reopened Pandora’s box with no predisposed consideration as how to control the unintended consequences he has set in motion, the overriding question now to be resolved is how to instil a strong feeling of proud Canadian identity in all citizens of our great country, and bring nationalist Quebecers to abandon their revisionist history in favour of recognition that they are valued and respected partners of a magnificent Canadian enterprise.
We all recognize that this task may be virtually impossible to achieve. But in the meantime, we have embattled Liberal leader Stephane Dion to thank for his 1996 endorsement, as Federal minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, of ‘Plan B’, Partition of Quebec in the event of attempted separation, by stating, “If Canada is divisible, so is Quebec.”
Additionally, Dion is the author of the The Clarity Act, legislation of Canada’s federal parliament that established the conditions under which the Government of Canada would enter into negotiations that might lead to secession following such a vote by one of the provinces. It stipulated that in order to lead to separation negotiations, a referendum on independence in a given province would have to have “clearly” (according to the judgment of the Canadian House of Commons) framed its question to voters in terms of independence, and that the result would have to be a “clear majority” in favour, rather than merely, for instance, a 50%+1 majority.
Thankfully, the Clarity Act is still a valid Canadian law.
These are heavy questions, indeed, newly called into focus by Harper’s failed gambit to to earn a majority government by blatantly courting nationalist Quebecers, while all of Canada helplessly looked on as he gambelled with the country at stake. Surely, nobody watched this passion play without recognizing that there must be consequences to pay.
And so, it is now up to Anglo and other minority Quebecers carrying the banner of AffiliationQuebec to prepare for the next Quebec election, and perhaps the next Quebec referendum on sovereignty, in order to help save Canada by establishing the principle that Canadian rights extend fully in this country, including in Quebec.
Should we fail, Canadians worst fears will have been realized!