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Author Topic: The PQ is Breaking Apart. Party Founder says simple majority will cause Chaos!  (Read 685 times)

Sportsdude

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 [DIV id=headline] [H2]PQ urged to back off plan to hold referendum[/H2] [H3 id=deck]Top Quebec separatists sign manifesto arguing for a new type of federalism [/H3] Globe and Mail

 QUEBEC[!-- /dateline --] — Fearing defeat, prominent separatists are calling on the Parti Québécois to withdraw its plan to hold a referendum on sovereignty unless it is sure of winning a strong majority.

 In a manifesto published in Le Devoir yesterday, the group also sided with some federalists who claim that a simple majority of 50 per cent plus one in a referendum would not be enough to declare independence.

 The text, titled "Manifest for a Realistic Approach to Sovereignty" was quickly cast aside by PQ Leader André Boisclair who said he has no intentions of putting the referendum on the backburner.

 Quoting the PQ program, Mr. Boisclair said a win in the provincial election would give him the mandate to hold a referendum "as soon as possible in the first mandate."

 "Each word here has its importance. I will not wait for winning conditions. And the debate we will hold will not be about the referendum, it will be about sovereignty," Mr. Boisclair said in an interview yesterday. He added that if he wins the referendum with a simple majority it would give him the political legitimacy to achieve sovereignty.

 Among those in the group of intellectuals and activists who signed the manifesto were PQ founding member Marc Brière, senior adviser Jean-Rock Boivin who worked with former premiers René Lévesque and Lucien Bouchard, sociologist Jacques Beauchemin, writer Claude Jasmin and political scientists Guy Lachapelle and Henry Milner.

 The group expressed its fear of losing another referendum, saying the PQ has a duty to retreat on its commitment if it doesn't have the "moral assurance" of winning.

 "To announce that we will hold a referendum even if we don't have the moral assurance of winning it and then we lose, would be to abandon Quebeckers to their poor provincial fate — which is Liberal — a strategy that would be nothing less than suicidal," the authors said.

 They go on to argue that winning a referendum by the slightest of margins would only create chaos. "Quebec's position would be so fragile and the referendum result so open to challenges that the situation would become untenable for a majority of Quebeckers," the group said.

 In other words a 50-per-cent-plus-one vote would be legitimate but insufficient for Quebec to argue a clear-cut case before the international community. "A majority that would be too slim could make it difficult to manage either to achieve international recognition or to negotiate the terms of secession with Canada," they said. They gave no indication how much of a margin would be needed to claim victory.

 Rather than support outright independence, the authors argue for a new type of ambiguous federalism, one that could best be defined as a 'Quebec-Canada union.' It is a vague concept, once defended by the PQ where Quebec and Canada would become equal partners in a new political entity after a winning referendum was held. However if the rest of Canada refused to negotiate such a partnership, the authors argue that Quebec would not be authorized to unilaterally declare independence.

 "In order to do that, Quebec would need to win another referendum specifically on the issue of achieving sovereignty," they contend.

 Mr. Boisclair shrugged off the proposals, yet refused to condemn them outright. He did not exclude offering a new political partnership with the rest of Canada. "We still have the same principles. We want sovereignty to be achieved democratically through a referendum. After that, some types of associations would be desirable but they are not conditional to achieving sovereignty. We want things to be done in an orderly way," he said.

 Mr. Boisclair said that if he wins the referendum, Quebec would not immediately declare independence. He said that "a period of transition" would take place, but refused to determine how long that period would last.

 "Things will be done properly in order to avoid chaos," he said.



   
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Trollio

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Mr. Boisclair said ..... that if he wins the referendum with a simple majority it would give him the political legitimacy to achieve sovereignty.
 
 
Good lord, it's never that simple. Nations don't get made when 49.9% of the prospective citizens aren't into it. Forcing sovereignty down people's throats on a one point victory is the best way to assure it will never happen, because it will make the sovereignists look like power-mad opportunists. But people like Boisclair don't ever see the obvious nuanced consequences to their actions until well after they've acted.
 
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Sportsdude

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Does anybody know where I can get Boisclair's journal when he was a student at Harvard and his teacher was future Prime Minister Michael Ignatieff? The link from wikipedia has expired.
"We can't stop here. This is bat country."

 

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