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Monday, November 11, 2019

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The Quebec Question

It is almost impossible to say anything about the Quebec Question that doesn’t dissolve into instant cant, thanks to rednecks, sentimentalists, and a lot of truly mean-spirited people on both sides of the issue. Maybe the main point of the Quebec Question is that there is a serious question, and it deserves an answer. It isn’t enough to simply ask “What does Quebec want?” and then tie, bind, and gag the question with sloppy metaphors about marriage, divorce, sex and raising children. The true question reads more like “What would be a reasonable political arrangement for a hybrid-state historically shaped by trees, rivers, snow, and by francophone, anglophone and aboriginal immigrants, resulting in a diffuse national identity that has subsequently been diffused further by substantial further waves of human immigration from environments and cultures radically different those that founded it? Probably more important than asking ourselves stupidly obtuse questions is that we stop looking for simple answers to the questions under our noses. There aren’t any simple answers. Other countries have figured out how to live with autonomous regions, self-governing peoples and even patchwork solutions that are far sillier than anything we’re proposing. But almost anything would be an improvement on the present trajectory of the country, which seems intent on an absolute devolution of confederation into a loose association of shopping megamalls.

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