Cultural Revolutions

Sovreigntist Movement

Quebec's sovreigntist movement could learn a thing or two from Liberal Party leader Jean Charest.  His return to the premiership of the pro-vince should be a lesson to the sovereigntists that it is always darkest before dawn.

The sovereigntists’ night, however, will last a while longer, as the provincial Liberals have smashed them to pieces in the recent elections for the National Assembly.  Charest will now head a majority government of 76 seats compared to the deposed Parti Québecois’ (PQ) 45 and the Action Democratique du Quebec’s (ADQ) mere four seats.  Not only are the sovereigntists now in the minority, but, if a referendum for independence were held today, only 38 percent—the hardliners—would vote for it.

The decline of sovereigntist sentiment has been steep since the heady days of the mid-1990’s, when the PQ nearly led Quebec out of Canada.  Since then, the movement has been torn by internal divisions, a general lack of vision, and changing demographics and economics.  In 1996, when Lucien Bouchard, founder of the Bloc Québecois, returned to Quebec City to head up the PQ government, achieving independence seemed only a matter of time.  But Bouchard, a conservative by nature and political persuasion, was convinced by Quebec’s business elite to spend his time fixing the local economy and reforming the provincial government, for...

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