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Old 11-29-2006, 11:12 PM   #31
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It would be interesting to have some "Quebecois" enter into the debate - I would like to hear their opinion on this.

I'm starting to feel like Diamond would in a thread celebrating a Democratic win
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:32 AM   #32
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Originally posted by ladywithspinninghead
It would be interesting to have some "Quebecois" enter into the debate - I would like to hear their opinion on this.
Well... I can't say I speak for all Québécois. I don't even know what that means anymore

I agree that this debate came out of nowhere. The general population didn't ask for this, some politicians in the Liberal party mentioned it and now it became this huge deal.

The first step is to point out the difference between the French and English definitions of "nation". They are mostly the same, yet in French we mostly feel it is meant as a sociological notion. I think the word "people" would have been more appropriate. A group of people sharing a common language, culture, history, etc. The word "nation" is awfully confusing when you think of related notions such as nationality. My nationality is Canadian, but my "nation" is Québec?

I think everybody agrees that Quebecers (or French Canadians, to leave out no one) and English Canadians are different in language, culture and mentality. In this sense, we are different "nations" in one country. And in a way, Quebecers want Canada to recognize that. Yet at the same time, people (myself included) know that we are different, we don't need anyone to tell us.

Harper tried to surprise the Bloc with this motion, probably to win more seats in Québec. I doubt this will happen.

I'm not a separatist. I define myself as a federalist and believe Québec should be in a united Canada. This is what makes Canada: so many cultures. The problem is: Québec is not in the Constitution. Now that's a problem, and I think it must be solved. But this is not the right way to do it.

Québec is and has always been a "nation" or a "people" or whatever.
I think the real question is: what is Canada?
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:29 AM   #33
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As long the premier of Québec won't sign the constitution..(it's been 24 years now) it won't go away.Last i checked,Jean Charest isn't a separatist,neither were Robert Bourassa or Daniel Johnson Jr.,and non of them have put their signature at the bottom of the fondamental law of Canada.

As for Stephen Harper motion,well it's very simple,the Tories are around 12% in the polls here in Québec.If he wants a majority goverment,he needs to be around 30-35% in the Province,which that could give him something like 20-25 seats.So this motion is purely a electoral move,period.Same for the liberals.After the sponsorship scandal, they want to give us a "Candy" with the nation status.

But again,until it's put in the constitution it has zero meaning.And since it won't be put in the constitution anytime soon,no Québec premiers will put their signature at the bottom of that important paper.And so the cloud will still hang over our head and so will a next referemdum.

The fact is, since the 95' referemdum,the rest of the country hasn't learn his lesson.They came here 3 days before the referemdum to tell us "We love you Québec,We love you Québec,please don't go!....but special status?..No f***ing way!

......And after that,they wonder why we always send 50 some Bloc Mps at the House of Commun and might elect The Partie Québecois for the next Provincial General election....
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:36 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by ladywithspinninghead
It would be interesting to have some "Quebecois" enter into the debate - I would like to hear their opinion on this.
Am I not Québécoise?
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:35 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Badyouken


I think everybody agrees that Quebecers (or French Canadians, to leave out no one) and English Canadians are different in language, culture and mentality. In this sense, we are different "nations" in one country. And in a way, Quebecers want Canada to recognize that. Yet at the same time, people (myself included) know that we are different, we don't need anyone to tell us.


Have you ever been to Newfoundland? I could easily insert it in the paragraph above, in place of Québec, and reach the same level of argument. In fact, ever since our province joined confederation in 1949, there's been a small, but growing, and very vocal group of people who have gone on tirades about "how we were better off alone," "how Canada doesn't understand us," and so on.

It's also worth noting that we initially rejected a union with Canada. And then, when the idea eventually came to a vote again in 1949, only 51 per cent of us said "yes." That's the very same percentage that voted to stay in Canada during the last Québec referendum in 1995.

You said it best when you mentioned how the current debate "came out of nowhere." It came from a vacuous place of stupidity--otherwise known as 'opportunistic politicians.'

This shouldn't be the biggest issue of the day. I'll take the environment on that one. How about declaring that a nation and protecting it?


Quote:
Originally posted by RavenBlue


Rick Mercer and 22 minutes had some fun with that last night.


He's great!

It's funny, he actually got his big start because of issues surrounding Quebec and Canada. When the Mulroney government in Ottawa tried to bring Quebec into the constitution through the Meech Lake Accord, the whole issue of a 'distinct society' drew fire from our Newfoundland premier. He rejected the notion, and claimed that all Canadians are distinct.

In the midst of it all, a national newspaper columnist wrote a story about how "if Canada had to choose between Québec and Newfoundland, Newfoundland should go." (The exact words were "it should be towed out to sea and sunk.")

Mercer went off on his first official rant because of the story. The rest is history. Canadian history.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:12 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by Badyouken

I think everybody agrees that Quebecers (or French Canadians, to leave out no one) and English Canadians are different in language, culture and mentality. In this sense, we are different "nations" in one country
Who are English Canadians?

A Pakistani immigrant who lives in Toronto and speaks English or a Ukrainian immigrant in the Prairies or a Chinese immigrant in Vancouver are suddenly the same as a WASP living in Windsor?

Quebec wants special status because they are different all the while the rest of English Canada is supposedly this homogeneous place. There is a huge paradox right there.
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:51 AM   #37
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Originally posted by angelordevil



Have you ever been to Newfoundland? I could easily insert it in the paragraph above, in place of Québec, and reach the same level of argument. In fact, ever since our province joined confederation in 1949, there's been a small, but growing, and very vocal group of people who have gone on tirades about "how we were better off alone," "how Canada doesn't understand us," and so on.
I totally agree. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Québec is the only "different" one here in Canada, hence my question: what is Canada exactly? United nations? A multicultural patchwork?

I think this whole issue is pointless and shouldn't have been brought up in the first place.

But this won't change the fact that (some) Quebecers want some sort of recognition...
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:04 AM   #38
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Originally posted by anitram


Who are English Canadians?

A Pakistani immigrant who lives in Toronto and speaks English or a Ukrainian immigrant in the Prairies or a Chinese immigrant in Vancouver are suddenly the same as a WASP living in Windsor?

Quebec wants special status because they are different all the while the rest of English Canada is supposedly this homogeneous place. There is a huge paradox right there.
English Canada is definitely not a homogeneous place. But you are all united by the same language, which many Quebecers don't understand perfectly or speak fluently. It creates this great rift between Québec and the ROC. A Newfoundlander and an Albertan will both watch Rick Mercer on CBC, understand and laugh. But in Québec, most people don't even know who the guy is. "Two solitudes".

I don't think this motion is relevant - we have much more important things to deal with.

There is a kind of tribalism that's still around in Québec unfortunately, and many people are left out of the tribe.

Even I, sometimes, feel out of place in there. I live in Québec but study in Ottawa. I speak English with no accent and have many "English Canadian" friends. For some reason, some people say I'm not a "real" Québécois (I don't have the French accent in English) or say that I sold out (how dare I hang out with both French and English Canadians?). It's only a small minority who feels this way, but it's still there.

I think Québec and the ROC are both out of touch with each other. And until we all have a common way of communicating (i.e. until you all learn French or we all learn English properly), then this whole thing will remain.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:53 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Badyouken


English Canada is definitely not a homogeneous place. But you are all united by the same language, which many Quebecers don't understand perfectly or speak fluently. It creates this great rift between Québec and the ROC. A Newfoundlander and an Albertan will both watch Rick Mercer on CBC, understand and laugh. But in Québec, most people don't even know who the guy is. "Two solitudes".

I don't think this motion is relevant - we have much more important things to deal with.

There is a kind of tribalism that's still around in Québec unfortunately, and many people are left out of the tribe.

Even I, sometimes, feel out of place in there. I live in Québec but study in Ottawa. I speak English with no accent and have many "English Canadian" friends. For some reason, some people say I'm not a "real" Québécois (I don't have the French accent in English) or say that I sold out (how dare I hang out with both French and English Canadians?). It's only a small minority who feels this way, but it's still there.

I think Québec and the ROC are both out of touch with each other. And until we all have a common way of communicating (i.e. until you all learn French or we all learn English properly), then this whole thing will remain.
I can definately relate to your situation, and I totally agree with everything you said. For the record I am a francophone Québécoise, fully raised in a 100% French environment until I wandered on the English side in my late teens and ended up studying at an anglophone university. I am personally tired of the independance debate and if there were a referendum to separate from Canada tomorrow I would vote 'no'. That being said in 1995 although I was too young to vote if I could have I would have voted 'yes' and I was really sad the next day when it didn't pass.

But in my mind Québec is a nation and there is no doubt about that, so it's about time that the rest of Canada recognise it and stop living in denial. The majority of Québécois, and more particularly the vast majority of francophone Québécois, do not consider themselves Canadian at all, and have completely different cultural references to the rest of the country, myself included.

Of course Canada is a country of great diversity, and you will find people in each province (more so in places like Newfoundland) that consider themselves different enough that they would maybe like to be their own country too. But it's on a completely different scale. I am sorry but we are far from a situation where, if there was a referendum to separate tomorrow in Newfoundland, no one could predict the result. Of course things were different in 1949 when they joined, but i am talking about today.

And THE fundamental difference is the language. Language is the most important element of culture and identity. The Rick Mercer example is perfect because it illustrates how much we have different cultural references. People in Québec watch TV that is about 95% created and produced in Québec. Francophones never watch The National at night and barely know of its existence. People read a totally different set of newspapers. Talk about Rick Mercer or ANY other popular TV character in Québec and people will have no idea what you are talking about. If I walk up to pretty much any franchone Québécois of my generation and I throw out references to Passe-Partout, it's almost garantee that the person will relate because we ALL grew up watching the same kid's show. We have our own 'star system' of actors, musicians, TV people, with TV programs and magazines entirely devoted to it. These people could walk in the streets of Toronto or Vancouver without anyone recognising them. We have a different set of jokes, songs, values, and so on.

Now because the crux of the difference is language, is makes defining what is a Québécois a very delicate task. I know for a fact that anglophone Québécois find themselves in a very unique position (I used to date one), where they generally have a greater attachment to Canada than their francophone counterparts, but they also have some level of Québécois identity. Same with Native people and immigrants. Still Québec is politically, culturally and demographically dominated by francophones, so it's bound to have a big influence on this whole constitutional and national debate.

I have travelled more in the "rest of Canada" than most Québécois, I am completely fluent in English, and my life is now separed almost 50-50 between English and French. I find most of my fellow Québécois to be quite close minded towards Canada, and that they like to focus more on the differences than on our many similarities. I totally agree with everyone who said that there are more important issues to deal with. But that doesn't change that fact that Québécois and Canadians are as different, if not more, than Canadians and Americans, or Québécois and French. You can't force a national identity on people, and it's something that is mostly based on intangible, subjective and emotional factors. Personally I feel more Québécoise than Canadian, there is absolutely no doubt about that, but that doesn't mean i think we should have our own separate country.

The rest of Canada can keep denying how most Québécois feel all they want, but it doesn't change the reality. There is indeed a great misunderstanding in this country.
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:33 AM   #40
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Very well said, oceane. I had no idea you were from Québec.

I have issues with the word "nation" itself.

I am currently completing an internship in Germany.. and people here are really surprised at this motion and keep asking me what I think of all this. They find the word "nation" to be very strong. In German, "Nation" has a similar meaning as the English or French words, but it brings back very bad memories... They understand that Québec is different, but they think another word should have been used. I agree.

That's why this motion is so confusing and irrelevant: nothing is defined.
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:00 AM   #41
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Yeah I also have huge issues with the concept of a nation, or anything related to nationalism, patriotism, etc. You will never see me putting a flag on my bag, whether it's a Québec one or a Canadian one. Some of it can be useful and positive, but it can lead to terrible things, and the Germans know this better than anyone else. That's why ultimately I reject the souverainistes' project for Québec. But at the same time you can't completely deny the importance for people to have a common identity. For some it can be tribal, ethnic, for other it's related to the idea of a nation, and for many it means you should have your own country. But where does it stop? I would much prefer if we left all of that behind us and moved on to things that are more important, like the environment, social justice, equality, etc. But in Québec we are FAR from that. I am not sure what this specific motion will change in the long run, but it would make me happy if the rest of Canada would finally come to terms with the fact that Québec IS fundamentally different, that whether or not people want to recognise it it is NOT just another province. It never has been and never will be. I still think we can all stay in the same federation though...
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:24 AM   #42
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Badyouken & oceane

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Old 12-01-2006, 12:22 PM   #43
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I'm not Canadian (although my dad's side of the family did emigrate to the US from Quebec back in the day and I have the last name to prove it), but I find this discussion very interesting. I grew up around a lot of anglophone Canadians (even dated guys from Alberta and Newfoundland), and in the last five years I learned French and now have some Quebecois friends as well. Visiting Ottawa and Montreal was fascinating to me because it really did feel different. I've been to B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, but Quebec seemed to have more of a distinct-ness apart from strictly a linguistic one. As an outsider, it's a little hard to put your finger on it, but it definitely was there.

I'm trying to figure out a way to say this without insulting anyone, so bear with me. I have friends from France as well, and the culture there is of course different than North America. Intitally, when I was getting to know people from Quebec, it was disconcerting because subconsciously (for me anyways) when I am speaking French I'm expecting to be dealing with someone who "acts" French. And I've not found that to be the case at all with Quebecois. They're not French, but they're not quite like Canadians (anglophone) either. Again, these are just my personal experiences and not at all objective or quantifiable. Any time you start making generalizations about people in a group, you're bound to use stereotypes and people by definition are individuals, so I hope I haven't offended anyone.

Anyways, I'll be curious to see how this all plays out. Btw, oceane, are you still in the Gambia? I lived in Mali for a few years and a lot of my friends visited Senegal and the Gambia. I never did get the chance, but I heard it was cool.
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:04 PM   #44
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Originally posted by oceane
Yeah I also have huge issues with the concept of a nation, or anything related to nationalism, patriotism, etc. You will never see me putting a flag on my bag, whether it's a Québec one or a Canadian one. Some of it can be useful and positive, but it can lead to terrible things, and the Germans know this better than anyone else.
These are my feelings exactly. Nationalism, patriotism , etc have always terrified me. I'm proud of who and what I am but I don't feel like letting everyone know about it.
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:50 PM   #45
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I was thinking about Québec separatism today, and I started wondering how much of it has to do with issues of self-determination.

In other words, no matter how many favors and benefits that English Canada can give Québec, there's still the "indignity" of having to get permission from "the Other" for much of what you want to do. In the end, it's like a grown child having to ask permission from their parents before doing anything.

Well, that's just an outside view. Perhaps our Québécois here can tell me if I'm right or wrong here.
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