Friday, August 31, 2012

"We want a country"

Who really thought the Quebec election would end up here? At a rally last night in Montreal, the separatists were unabashed and evidently feeling quite confident going into the weekend: "Not about changing government, about changing countries, says PQ leader Pauline Marois."
“I need a majority mandate to make Quebec a country,” she said, setting off a thunder of applause and heart-pounding chants of “We want a country" and “We are going to win!”
Naming two of her candidates, Maka Kotto, from Cameroon and Djemila Benhabib, who grew up in Algeria, Marois said when Quebec became an independent country, “we will all be part of the founding people of a sovereign Quebec.” “Together we will build a ‘tightly mixed’ country,” she said.
As a federalist, you might look at this optimistically. Marois is pushing it too far and there may be some recoil over the weekend.

Or you can look at it pessimistically, with the sense that Marois is smelling victory and taking advantage. The time for a change vote is splitting in a way that is advantageous to her. The change voters may not be intending to give her a mandate for separation and the numbers won't support it, but by her words, she's not showing she'll be restrained by such interpretations.

Best to hope for a minority government at this point and as Ibbitson suggests, maybe we will see yet another election in the near future.