That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Québec ain’t that dumb

Just a query here: I missed Jeffrey Simpson’s online Q&A about Québec separatism, but I read some of his thoughts. One of his key hypothetical ways for a federalist party to eat into Bloc support seems to be to adopt a Québécois/e as its leader. Because they like that.

[A] federalist party needs to have a Quebec leader, since throughout the province’s entire history, francophones have never failed to vote for one of their own as leader when confronted with a choice of that person and a leader from elsewhere.

What’s this about? Stephen Harper’s CPC only came within two points of Stéphane Dion’s Liberals in Québec in 2008. An Albertan leading the Cons to their best Québec result since the rise of the Bloc doesn’t read to me like “Québec-nepotism-trumping-all-logic.”

There’s a nationalist logic in Québec, but it is hardly embodied in every native son who steps on the federal stage. Both Dion and Chrétien had huge problems in the province due to the “sell-out” albatross that neither could effectively shake.

We don’t have to like or “forgive” Québec nationalism, but countering it is not as simple as francofying federal leadership contests. Quebecers, like the rest of us, can rage at their political progeny as well as the rest of us.

Filed under: Canada, Politics, , ,


April 2011
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