Polemics & Exchanges

On Rediscovering Identity

Sean Scallon’s “Letter From Quebec: Talking About Culture” (Correspondence, July) is an excellent report on the recent provincial elections in Quebec.  As explained by Mr. Scallon, the ADQ has attempted to reintroduce the question of Quebec culture into the political arena.  This emphasis on cultural identity by M. Dumount and the ADQ raises a generally ignored but highly important fact about politics in Quebec.

The Québécois can never reestablish true cultural identity without countering the Quiet Revolution of the 50’s and 60’s.  This social revolution in essence destroyed the underlying threads of the identity of the Québécois (and their French Acadian cousins in the Maritimes).  This goose that laid the cultural golden egg was, first and foremost, Catholicism and, second, the rural base of the Catholic population in Quebec.

M. Dumont, too young to have known Catholic Quebec, has inherited a Quebec that has killed this goose and, like the rest of deracinated North America, is reaping the results of cultural disintegration.  His attempt to reinstate a Quebec culture is much like the blind leading the blind.  M. Dumont is only able to offer the old liberal-socialist soft nationalism of René Lévesque of the 70’s, with a little free-market...

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