Who wants it more?

When Quebec separatists complained about a proposed re-enactment of the battle of the Plains of Abraham, the organizers folded. When federalists complained about the FLQ terrorist manifesto being read at an event commemorating the 250th anniversary of the battle, the organizers stood their ground:

The T-shirt favoured by some dyed-in-the-wool separatists this weekend read, “They won the Battle of the Plains, but we will win the war.” And when it came to the war of words that erupted over the historic battle’s 250th anniversary, the sovereigntists won in a rout as lopsided as the one that saw Quebec City fall to the British.
The 24-hour marathon of historical readings — which became the main commemoration after a battle re-enactment was cancelled following threats — turned into the “sovereigntist show” that some critics had predicted. From former Parti Quebecois leader Bernard Landry intoning, “Long live freedom,” as he read a letter from a rebel facing execution in 1839 to the enthusiastic applause that greeted a reading of the FLQ manifesto, the federalists were chased from the Plains of Abraham.
[…]
…the controversy over the manifesto had no apparent sobering effect on the hundreds of spectators present when singer Luck Mervil took the stage to a loud ovation in the early hours of yesterday morning. Mr. Mervil delivered an impassioned reading of the manifesto, first broadcast in October 1970 as the FLQ held British trade commissioner James Cross hostage and two days before Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte would be kidnapped.
There was more applause as Mr. Mervil read a passage denouncing “the big bosses” who exploited Quebec’s “cheap labour.” Cheers followed other passages, including when the late Pierre Trudeau was called a pansy. The loudest applause came as Mr. Mervil ended with his fist raised: “Long live a free Quebec! Long live our imprisoned comrades. Long live the Quebec revolution! Long live the Front de Liberation du Quebec!” Chants of “We will win” could be heard.

One side is ashamed of its history, and bends over backwards to avoid giving offence. The other side just doesn’t give a damn. In the long run, who do you think has the advantage?

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6 thoughts on “Who wants it more?

  1. But that side has always had the advantage and we still keep on truckin’. For the last hundred years the nationalists/separatists have marched loudly and the federalists have voted quietly. Works for me.
    It seems the loyalty of Quebecers to Canada is in inverse proportion to the expectation of Anglos that they publically proclaim it.

  2. The FLQ were a nationalist, neo-marxist,terrorist group.Trudeau did a good thing nipping that left wing organization in the bud.The Bloc quebecois should be ashamed for cheering this group on.then again the Bloc are left over marxists anyways.Dont be stupid Canada.Know your history.

  3. From past comments here and elsewhere, there would appear to be a not insignificant number of non-Franco Canadians who’d consider this a win-win situation. Quebecois are delusional; perhaps they haven’t noticed that the US, their hoped for economic savior, is in deep doo-doo. Not a lot of sympathy for our whiny brat brethren from that quarter, I’m guessing.

  4. Two points to be made – first the much repeated Quebec humiliation at being a “conquered” people. Quebecois were an abandoned people – abandoned by the French according to the treaty ending the French and Indian wars in favour of keeping Martinique and Guadeloupe on the grounds that nobody wants several acres of snow anyway.
    Second all the external business of Quebec apart from France and a few places of lesser importance is conducted in English. Furthermore virtually all post secondary education in Quebec apart from the social sciences and so-called
    literature uses English language textbooks. Worldwide francophonie numbers about seventy million while the anglosphere kicks in at almost half a billion.
    In other words francophonie is a big yawn.

  5. Anyone actually *read* that Manifesto? A piece of history indeed–like Robbie Burns’ more obscure religious verse-polemics.
    You need to have Google on hand to trace all the references. It rambles. Homophobia was obviously not a taboo at the time. The Lapalme references are worth chasing up, and many of the grievances (including the grip that Household Finance had on poor families at the time and so on) were real. But the FLQ scared the bejeezus out of those ordinary Quebecers.
    That being said, the War Emergency Measures Act was obvious overkill. It was effectively martial law, applied to the entire country, and police were not slow to abuse the powers they had been granted. The mayor of Vancouver tried to use it to round up hippies.
    Trudeau was being seriously uber-macho here. I guess he didn’t like being called a “tapette.”

  6. “Cheap labour”? With the highest income tax in the country and who knows how much else in business taxes? Ain’t exactly cheap anymore.
    And, if someone suggests even a modest change to the social welfare state, there’s a hundred thousand people in the streets. That includes reaction to raising the lowest tuition in the country.
    Even Bouchard acknowledged there’s a problem here, suppose that makes him a stooge/lackey of the cigar chomping, ruling industrial elite.

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