Thursday, August 02, 2012

Olympic Politics of Québec

Roselin Filion and Meaghan Benfeito, bronze medalists in the synchronized 10M platform. 
Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois was quick to point out that the first four Canadian Olympic medals were from...Québec, pointing out how it could shine on the world stage. I've been reading and wondering about how separatism would fare post Orange Crush of last year's election and given that there was 15 years between the first two separatist referendi, the last being in 1995. I think Québec feels Ottawa is out of touch with the province and the nervous voting and policy détente between the federal Conservatives the Bloc Québécois, in my opinion, resulted in the backlash of May 2011 with the NDP/NPD reaping the benefits–an anti-Harper mandate.

I think it's too early to see how this develops, but what interested me was the comments in the Toronto Star on the issue. Here's a wordcloud from the comments::


Rather than being dismissive of Marois or the PQ, the sentiments are more along the line with "get the hell out you deadbeats and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out".

This article from this June shows that recent polls show that a large number of Canadians aren't that vested in a unified Canada. 
"The poll found that 49 per cent of Canadians living outside of Quebec agree (26 per cent strongly and 23 per cent somewhat) that they "don't really care if Quebec separates from Canada.
Similarly, half (49 per cent) of Canadians outside of Quebec agree that if Quebec separates, "it's not really a big deal" to them personally."
I don't think the people of Québec or the politicians at the provincial or federal level really want a referendum soon, as I think there are more pressing issues at hand. Nevertheless, it makes for good political fodder. Marois is using the Olympics to create a sense of nationalistic pride and link it to her party and her main opponent, Jean Charest of the Liberals can't really do anything about it.

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