Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Canadian divorce?

The possibility of Quebec's leaving Canada has again been raised after publication of the results of a recent poll. The CROP/La Presse poll gave the separatist Parti Quebecois 35 percent, the most of any party in Quebec. Parti Quebecois has made separating French-speaking Quebec from the rest of English-speaking Canada their goal. They have twice sponsored referendums on leaving Canada, both have been defeated though the most recent one (in 1995) lost by only one point. Quebecois make up about one-quarter of Canada's population. Despite Canada's official policy of being a bilingual nation, some Quebecois have felt that they are an oppressed minority within Canada.

A third referendum is still a long way off. The Parti Quebecois would first need to win the largest share of seats in the next provincial election, and would then still likely need the support of another party to even put a referendum in front of the voters.
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