I’ve been pushing hard for people to understand that it’s possible to be a proud Canadian and still have a Quebec-first mentality. All that means is we’re pulling for our team to be the best in its league. Effectively, a strong Quebec means a stronger Canada because we are one of Canada’s charter member and we make up a big part of this great country’s identity and economy.
One of the reasons I despised previous incarnations of the separatist movement was that it was sneaky. The 1980 question was only superseded in smoke and daggers by the 1995 question – even the fact that the movement used the term “sovereignist” to take off some of the edge was sketchy to me. The movement is about separating from Canada, not some murky notion of sovereignty-association to make people who aren’t really committed to the turmoil it would cause or the pointlessness of the action itself feel better.
After the Bloc Québécois’ dismantling in the 2011 federal election and the mass rejection of the Parti Québécois in the 2014 Quebec election, in comes a new movement of ultra-hardliners, headlined by exaggerator and extremist extraordinaire, Mario Beaulieu.
Beaulieu, who was elected leader of the BQ this year, made headlines for years and by some embarrassing measure seemed to actually have some influence on policy as head of the Montreal section of the SSJB.
Now as leader of the Bloc, Beaulieu is said to be “pounding pavement to rekindle independantiste flame” (The Gazette). Beaulieu seems to believe there is a hidden groundswell of support for the separation movement and the major reason it has failed repeatedly is simply that it’s not talked about enough.
I would wager the only reason the movement has anything close to the support it somehow still has is that it’s not talked about much so it doesn’t scare people so much. By bringing it to the forefront, I believe Beaulieu is going to see just how much people dislike his position and give Quebec and the Rest of Canada even more proof that while a sentiment among some Quebecers to separate may never die completely, the idea has finally moved to its permanent location: the fringes of society.
Some of Beaulieu’s ramblings (From The Gazette article cited above):
“It may seem paradoxical, but to me the last election in April demonstrated that we have to speak about independence before, during and after elections,” Beaulieu said in the city’s Pointe-aux-Trembles district, an area he’s thinking about running in.
“We used the same wait-and-see approach for 20 years and it brought us to a very strong defeat of the Bloc Quebecois in 2011 and a defeat of the Parti Quebecois last April.
“I think we have to change strategies and bring back independence to the forefront.”
There’s no paradox, Mario. The people just don’t want what you’re selling.