AngryFrenchGuy

Why You Should Vote Bloc and Why I Will Not

with 151 comments

You’re all going to accuse me of being a bourgeois socialist so let’s just make one thing clear right away:

I am. Big time.

I’m from the very bourgeois NDG and given we are exactly the same age, I came just this close to being bourgeois pinup Justin Trudeau’s classmate at the very bourgeois Collège Brébeuf.  In my youth there’s been yacht clubs and brunches at the Hôtel Bonaventure.  I’ve owned plenty of penny loafers and polo shirts.

That said bourgeoisie doesn’t always rhyme with money and I’ve got more working class patches than most of you bitches.  I’ve got a taxi driver’s pocket number and I’ve hauled big rigs all the way down to MS and BC.  I’ve been union. I’ve even been a Teamster.

(Although looking back at my trucking days, cruising in New England in my Volvo, sipping allongés from my in-cab coffee machine and listening to René Homier-Roy on my satellite radio, I have to admit I was still pretty bourgeois…)

As we head into worldwide financial apocalypse, all indicates that on next Tuesday Canadians are going to re-elect a Conservative government determined to avenge the memory of Herbert Hoover, who was kicked out of the White House in 1933 just as his Great Depression action plan of doing absolutely nothing for four years and letting the markets sort themselves out was just about to show some results, or so he said.

Great Britain is about to nationalize British banks and George W. Bush nationalized AIG, Freddie Mac and Fanny May.  It doesn’t matter what your political ideology is or what Stephen Harper thinks about it, this is the new world order.

No other party than the Bloc has as many people who have first hand experience with the Québec tradition of using the state as an economic and financial agent with institutions like la Caisse de Placement et de Dépôt du Québec, Hydro-Québec, la Société Générale de Financement and the like.  No party has as much knowledge on how such institutions work and how they fail.  Conservatives are hostile to government intervention.  The Bloc has people that understand government intervention.

Québec’s Quiet Revolution was Canada’s most wide-ranging, most recent and most successful attempt to use the state to manage and reform an economy.  No other party can claim to represent the legacy of the Quiet Revolution better than the sovereigntists and the Bloc.  The Bloc can’t form the government but we need their knowledge and expertise in Parliament and in the committees.

By definition sovereigntists have not been afraid of overhauling institutions.  At the root of the sovereingtist movement there are people who spent their whole lives taking on corporations for the benefit of people who had no capital and limited power.

The Bloc’s left is not the old left.  More than any other party, even more than the NDP, the sovereingtist movement counts people who have been at the front lines of novel and progressive ways of thinking about the markets and capitalism. Think of Yves Michaud (goolge’s sad translation) and what he’s done for shareholder activism or of Parti québécois vice-president François Rebello and his work for socially responsible investing.

The Bloc can’t make Québec an independent country without another referendum.  You can support the Bloc without supporting sovereignty.  Don’t let your Canadian nationalism stand in the way.

That said, I ain’t voting for the Bloc.

I vote in the riding of Westmount Ville-Marie and in my riding the MP is not chosen by the voters.  It’s chosen by the members of The Party. Over here, as in the Soviet Union and in China, people don’t vote for ideas or candidates, they vote for the colour red. In 2006 the Liberals had an 11 000 vote majority.  In 2004 it was 16 000.

The Conservatives are not a threat here.  Our only hail mary hope for some change is for the riding’s sizable progressives (like myslef) and the handful or separatists (also like myslef) and the enviromentalists (that’s me) unite together like they did in neighboring Outremont and elect the NDP’s Anne Lagacé-Dowson.

In last Wednesday’s Gazette – Montreal’s Anglo newspaper – Lagacé-Dowson and Thomas Mulcair, the NDP MP from Outremont defended their support for a Bloc québécois bill that would’ve extended bill 101’s protection of the right to work in French to the federal service in Québec and to other federally chartered institutions.

“To give you the simplest possible example, a woman working at the Royal Bank doesn’t have the same linguistic rights as her colleague working across the street at the Caisse Populaire”, Mulcair told the Gazette.

He did qualify his support, saying he only wanted to extend the debate to committee, but you can’t deny it takes a serious set of mexican huevos for a pair of Anglos to defend the expansion of the Charter of the French Language in an English newspaper in the middle of an election campaign.

Armchair socialists of the world unite!

Written by angryfrenchguy

October 12, 2008 at 10:46 pm

151 Responses

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  1. Interesting tidbit: about a month ago, on Sept. 25 to be precise, the anniversary date of the Franco-Ontarian flag (yes! they have their own flag), the critic for francophone affairs for the Ontario Conservative Party rose in the provincial legislature to criticize the fact that Franco-Ontarians had their own flag, that it was divisive, that the Ontario provincial flag (with its Union Jack in one corner, he was careful to point out) should be good enough for Franco-Ontarians, who didn’t need their own flag. And BTW, happy birthday, les amis!

    You may not have heard about this because it was only covered in the Franco-Ontarian media, not even by the Quebec media. A Google News search for articles in English on the story, of course, yielded ZERO.

    Now, imagine if a member of the Quebec National Assembly had made a similar statement about Anglo-Quebecers (not about their flag, since they’ve never chosen to have one). But on some other issue related to them. Imagine the fallout! It would be in the news from coast-to-coast (and in some places abroad as well) in a millisecond. And it would be anecdotal fodder for blogs such as this one, forums and online radio shows for years and decades to come.

    Imagine that in every discussion on Ontario’s economy, or the fortunes of the Toronto Blue Jays, eventually someone would chime in with something like this: “Pffft… anyway you Ontarians are just a bunch of xenophobes. Remember that time in 2008 when that MLA dissed the Franco-Ontarian flag, and ragged on Franco-Ontarians were being divisive just for being themselves, and yadda yadda yadda. So much for the UN-sanctioned most diverse city in the world, eh? My eye! We’re diverse, except if you speak French! And was that guy kicked out of the party for saying that or stripped of his responsability for francophone affairs? No sir. I tell ya, Ontario’s just a N-…” And so on and so on…

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 9:44 am

  2. “I have touched on this before, but I suspect that a lot–probably most–of Québec anglos are functional in the French language, but that fewer of them are familiar with Québec’s French language culture. Learning a language and learning cultural references are two very different things.
    I think that part of the cause of this may lie in the way French is taught to us Anglos in northeastern North America. Most of the material used centers on France and European French rather than on Québec and Québec French, or at least that is how I was taught French, anyhow. I think that this is a mistake, especially in a Canada/Québec context. When we learn Spanish here, we are taught Latin American (usually Mexican) Spanish (and its culture), rather than the kind they speak in Madrid. It would make similar sense to teach us Québec French (and, say, Robert Charlebois songs) rather than Parisian French and “Sur le pont d’Avignon.”

    I agree 100% littlerob.

    Although note that kids in Quebec do sing “Sur le pont d’Avignon”. (I’d say about 90 or 95% of the nursery rhymes sung by kids in Quebec are the same as those sung by kids in France.)

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 9:54 am

  3. “As with most such self-justificative brainwaves, there are a few problems with its logic.”

    My brainwave? I was just trying to sum up what you, Raman and AFG have been saying on this thread. Am I far off?

    And am I far off in understanding from you 8:36am post that communities/groups/cultures that exist only in one particular area have the right to more “protection”? So that if someone is Russian in Estonia, because he can theoretically pack up and leave a land where his family might have lived for decades and can go “practice his culture” in a country he has never seen (Russia), his cultural “rights” are not as strong?

    AM

    October 20, 2008 at 10:01 am

  4. Acajack,

    With respect to the two options on anglophones you mention, here is an article on a study done at Bishop’s saying that Quebec Anglos resemble Quebec Francos more than they resemble ROC Anglos and Americans.

    http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=944871c7-aa9d-4a38-b870-23235ad3ccec

    AM

    October 20, 2008 at 10:16 am

  5. “And am I far off in understanding from you 8:36am post that communities/groups/cultures that exist only in one particular area have the right to more “protection”? So that if someone is Russian in Estonia, because he can theoretically pack up and leave a land where his family might have lived for decades and can go “practice his culture” in a country he has never seen (Russia), his cultural “rights” are not as strong?”

    But why the presumption that they cannot adapt? There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who are living in adopted homelands where the culture they were born and raised in is not the ambient one. In a certain way, I could be considered one of them. So why then if these people can do it is it so difficult for so-called “superior” peoples like Russians in the Baltics or a handful of others in other places around the world, to adapt even slightly to their surroundings?

    The situation in places like Estonia and Latvia is that Russians, Latvians and Estonians all pretty much feel they should be entitled to speak their language in all aspects of life. Obviously, these visions are on a collision course: someone is going to have to speak the other’s language more often.

    In my view, the purpose of having Latvian and/or Estonian preserved from oblivion trumps the theoretical right of the Russian speakers to speak Russian all the time in Riga or Tallinn, especially since the “right” of the Russian speakers involves, most of the time, forcing Latvians and Estonians to switch languages. (According to this logic, the Huron language would also trump French in the Quebec City suburb of Wendat, if ever that nation of people decided to embark on a language revival initiative.)

    Except for a few isolated incidents by zealots, I don’t believe anyone in the Baltics is officially forcing Russians there to speak a Baltic language between their friends or families or even just walking down the street. They are just being asked to know enough of the language to be able to function in society.

    If that is too much to ask, and if it is such a big deal for Russians to have to lower themselves to speaking Estonian or Latvian to run errands or take part in a local council meeting, then anyone for whom it is of critical importance to speak Russian only in their everyday life would be best advised to move to somewhere in the humongous Russian federation. Of course, they can’t be forced to do this and this is not what I am suggesting. But they would probably be happier if they voluntarily made that choice.

    As for the person who legitimately wants to live in Latvian or Estonian yet can’t do so in Latvia or Estonia, could you please advise as to what their options might be?

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 10:33 am

  6. Raman simply doesn’t get it. He signs out with ‘Peace’ an whatnot, and doubtless considers himself an enlightened and progressive individual (what student of sociology doesn’t?), but his assumptions are all very right-wing. To wit:

    “But that is just what happens when politicians, journalists or normal folks from the ROC (or from Montreal anglo ghettos…) deny that there is any specificity to Quebec, and label any assertion of it as fascism, or as ethnic tribalism.”

    Nice defensive crouch! Of all the Orwellian lines in the sovereignty movement, the one I love best is the one that says, “Don’t call us tribalists, you Outsider!!”

    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves:

    “Which doesn’t at all mean that you should devalue, mistrust or hate people who don’t share your culture, or that you shouldn’t feel just as much compassion for them.”

    This is the set-up for . . .

    “many Anglo-Quebecker of this generation are well integrated, are fluently bilingual, and feel quite at home among the French. And it is reciprocal.
    But every French person who evolves in Anglophone milieus also knows that a great many don’t.”

    WTF does “well-integrated” mean?!? Why is integration such a virtue that one can be “well-integrated” or “ill-integrated”?

    In case you hadn’t noticed, francophones like yourself and angryfrenchguy and Acajack are THE EXCEPTION (as is natural enough!) – you simply can’t condemn anglophones for being “ill-integrated” and non-bilingual when the vast majority of Quebecois are (as is natural enough!) “ill-integrated” (whatever that would mean) with anglo culture and not particularly bilingual.

    The point is that the anglo communities have a moral right to cultural independence. The fact that their independence strikes many intellectual Quebecois as somehow suspicious and irritating and sinister is a sign of just how Le Pen-ish the franco-nationalist instinct is.

    “What many of us perceive as problematic is that, at the end of the day, we share a city, we share a society. We live, work, shop and go out side by side. Yet, the French remain strangers to Anglos.”

    Problematic?!? For whom?!? Why!?! Why is this a problem, except from Fear of the Other? Why not live in peace side by side?

    As per above, you seem to imply that, even if his were actually a problem, this is the anglos’ fault! At least the anglos will talk to eager francophones in English! The same cannot be said for any class of Quebecker except the most working-class ones: as soon as a francophone Quebecker has watched five episodes of “Friends,” he refuses to speak French to any anglo.

    “Most of the French folks who often encounter Anglos endeavor to know their neighbors better, endeavor to acquire the means to better communicate with them, and they rejoice in the Anglo community’s cultural inputs.”

    By which you evidently mean, “I do that, therefore everybody with any resemblance to me must do that.”

    As to francophones en masse rejoicing in the anglo community’s cultural input, pardon me while I laugh all the way to the OLF.

    “First, there is the the mistrust, borne of knowing us very little, that is often expressed towards the French and our politics, by Anglos who see us as potential fascists and racists. How often have I heard Anglos denounce the Québécois identity as exclusive, “ethnic” (what a dirty word!), when in fact it is those individuals who themselves seem to carefully avoid any contact with our culture.”

    Ah, the beauty of paranoia! It’s like a perpetual motion machine. If we could plug Raman into a generator we’d never need gasoline again.

    Look, if you spend thirty years attacking the anglo community from a position of total political control, satirising them in the newspapers and (more recently) starting blogs that do nothing but make them feel unwelcome – surprise, surprise! you’re going to get a bit of mistrust. And it’s hard not to see how that isn’t entirely justified, given the assumption that anglos are somehow “out of line” and “a problem” by not watching Quebec TV.

    “What a loss for mainstream Quebec culture to see all this cultural input attracted solely to the English sphere ! By maintaining the Anglo ghettos, the English community in turn encloses us into one.”

    Oh, Orwell, you died 60 years too soon! You didn’t realise that a nation of 6 million people could be enclosed in a ghetto by a handful of anglos!

    May I suggest that the ghetto is entirely of French Quebeckers’ own making?

    Grow up and get rid of this BS paranoia that scapegoats the anglos for every perceived imperfection in the Quebecois soul. The skies will not part and Quebec will not be lifted up to God on the day the last anglo finally tunes in to TLMEP. The number one reason Quebec faces these ridiculous existential anxietieties is that francophone Quebec can’t decide if it’s a real nation or not. Well, you are, and real nations don’t blame their minorities for their problems.

    holy

    October 20, 2008 at 10:39 am

  7. That’s fine. So it all depends whether the culture in question is threatened with extinction.

    I for one, believe that the Quebecois culture, having survived for so long under very difficult conditions, can handle a bunch of English speaking non-conforming people centered around the Western part of Montreal. But that is just my opinion.

    If the threat of extinction is what is key though, then you are right, the Huron language and other Native languages would require more protection than French.

    AM

    October 20, 2008 at 10:47 am

  8. “With respect to the two options on anglophones you mention, here is an article on a study done at Bishop’s saying that Quebec Anglos resemble Quebec Francos more than they resemble ROC Anglos and Americans.”

    I must admit that my personal view is that the overall trend seems to be slightly going toward option two (that the article supports as well).

    Option 1 is very much the “old days”, although there is still a lot of kick left in this vision, and there’s still enough a tug-of-war taking place between them that it’s not 100% certain which one will win out.

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 10:48 am

  9. “As to the services that they enjoy to an even greater degree than anglo Montrealers (and they are quite limited) what I had in mind at the time were the network of health clinics that offer exclusive services to some minority groups, including francophones. The name of the program escapes me at the moment. This is different, in theory at least, to an english Quebec clinic/hospital, which is english (again, in theory) only in that it is administered in english. It doesn’t have any bearing on who is eligible to use the service.”

    Rory, I think this is what you were referring to:
    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/city/story.html?id=a23e725e-a7e8-4f3c-939e-2d20a5463f3a

    Classic case of a good idea that was badly applied. As far I know, this is and was the first and last such case of this kind.

    Francophone health institutions in Ontario operate the same way (as described by you) as English Quebec institutions do.

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 11:11 am

  10. ““With respect to the two options on anglophones you mention, here is an article on a study done at Bishop’s saying that Quebec Anglos resemble Quebec Francos more than they resemble ROC Anglos and Americans.”

    I must admit that my personal view is that the overall trend seems to be slightly going toward option two (that the article supports as well).

    Option 1 is very much the “old days”, although there is still a lot of kick left in this vision, and there’s still enough a tug-of-war taking place between them that it’s not 100% certain which one will win out.”

    This is why it is important in my opinion we get a unified schools system, or at least CEGEP, so that we can consolidate this Québec unity by having an institution where all québécois, at least for a year or two in heir lives, share the same institution. Not to wipe away differences. To put them in contact.

    angryfrenchguy

    October 20, 2008 at 11:18 am

  11. Acajack, concerning your 8:36 comment.

    You sum up very well the situation in regards to the particular (or maybe peculiar) sociological situation that Quebec Anglos are in, and how that situation differs from Quebec’s identity in Canada.

    But, when talking about possible independence, or possible special status for Quebec in Canada, there is one more aspect to be taken into account :
    -Quebec came into the confederation as a pre-existent state, a pre-existent «political community», complete with its government, its sociological makeup, its French majority and its English and other minorities. And Quebec joined under federative rules which were originally understood to recognize, and not violate, its integrity within the confederation.
    (That is the whole point Seymour makes in that piece, if you remember.)

    If we followed the claims that, «if Quebec gets special status in Canada then English communities get special status in Quebec», then just about every community, down to every individual, and down to my cat (who doesn’t feel either Canadian or Québécois) gets to have special status for themselves.
    At that point, we’ve completely fallen out of thinking in terms of political communities.

    The same problem applies to partitionists and their logic :
    Let’s say that if Quebec separates, then Hampstead gets to separate from Quebec. Then does Réal Tremblay’s house gets top separate from Hampstead ? And does Réal’s son, who prefers Canada, get to separate his bedroom from the house ?…

    ..
    In every democracy, majority and minorities, taken as a single political community, have their relations defined in the following terms : -Majority rules; minorities and individuals are protected. That statement is one of the founding principles of modern democracy.

    But members of the English minority in Quebec often ask to be treated with equal status to the majority, with privileges, special status and parallel institutions that shield it from majority’s rule. And indeed it traditionally has been granted all that, which is a lot more than normal minority protections.

    I am not saying that we should put an end to that. (Though I agree with AFG that we should favor a single school system for all, among other things.)
    But it is only in that context, and in the one of considering itself a “Canadian outpost”, that the English community perceives itself as distinct from Quebec, and feels legitimized to claim special recognition. -Claims which you won’t hear from the Chinese or the Bulgarian communities, for example : Except when they also claim Anglo rights for themselves.

    Raman

    October 20, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  12. “This is why it is important in my opinion we get a unified schools system, or at least CEGEP, so that we can consolidate this Québec unity by having an institution where all québécois, at least for a year or two in heir lives, share the same institution. Not to wipe away differences. To put them in contact.”

    But this cannot happen with Anglos having a right to their school system in the province. There is no way that right will be given up given that the “Anglo” community does not really have any leaders and would definitely react “viscerally” to any such suggestion. Even in an independent Quebec, Parizeau said that Anglos would retain all their rights, which presumably include the schools.

    That being said, the English speaking comunity is shooting itself in the foot by not teaching good enough French for graduates of the English school system to be able to work in French and hence, not have to leave Quebec. Although, this hurts the province as a whole also. Given the ageing work force and our not so rosy fiscal situation, the last thing you want is young people leaving…

    AM

    October 20, 2008 at 12:26 pm

  13. AM : «But this cannot happen with Anglos having a right to their school system in the province. There is no way that right will be given up given that the “Anglo” community does not really have any leaders and would definitely react “viscerally” to any such suggestion»

    Why could this never considered ?
    What makes the Anglo community so special that it should keep on having it’s segregated school system ?

    Why not a single school system with, say, 30% of the curriculum taught completely in English ?
    Then we’d probably become a lot more integrated together, and both the French and the English would get to learn in their respective languages, while learning the others’ and getting to know them.

    AFG sold me on this idea. I believe that it is a very interesting option if we’re to seriously look at easing tensions and fostering a common, “Quebecker identity”, that includes both English and French heritages.

    Raman

    October 20, 2008 at 12:37 pm

  14. “But, when talking about possible independence, or possible special status for Quebec in Canada, there is one more aspect to be taken into account :
    -Quebec came into the confederation as a pre-existent state, a pre-existent «political community», complete with its government, its sociological makeup, its French majority and its English and other minorities. And Quebec joined under federative rules which were originally understood to recognize, and not violate, its integrity within the confederation.
    (That is the whole point Seymour makes in that piece, if you remember.)
    If we followed the claims that, «if Quebec gets special status in Canada then English communities get special status in Quebec», then just about every community, down to every individual, and down to my cat (who doesn’t feel either Canadian or Québécois) gets to have special status for themselves.
    At that point, we’ve completely fallen out of thinking in terms of political communities.
    The same problem applies to partitionists and their logic :
    Let’s say that if Quebec separates, then Hampstead gets to separate from Quebec. Then does Réal Tremblay’s house gets top separate from Hampstead ? And does Réal’s son, who prefers Canada, get to separate his bedroom from the house ?…
    ..
    In every democracy, majority and minorities, taken as a single political community, have their relations defined in the following terms : -Majority rules; minorities and individuals are protected. That statement is one of the founding principles of modern democracy.
    But members of the English minority in Quebec often ask to be treated with equal status to the majority, with privileges, special status and parallel institutions that shield it from majority’s rule. And indeed it traditionally has been granted all that, which is a lot more than normal minority protections.
    I am not saying that we should put an end to that. (Though I agree with AFG that we should favor a single school system for all, among other things.)
    But it is only in that context, and in the one of considering itself a “Canadian outpost”, that the English community perceives itself as distinct from Quebec, and feels legitimized to claim special recognition. -Claims which you won’t hear from the Chinese or the Bulgarian communities, for example : Except when they also claim Anglo rights for themselves.”

    Yes. I’ve made that point so often myself that it’s become almost a truism that I tend to overlook. The four original provinces of Canada (QC, ON, NB, NS) were pre-established geopolitical entities that have full historical legitimacy. They are not, at least politically or legally, some banal territorial découpage that Canada has undertaken to subdivide its territory, as a province would establish municipal boundaries.

    Quebec is the equivalent of Jamaica, Costa Rica, New Hampshire, etc., not of Pointe-Claire and Orange County. Time has made some of these historical geopolitical entities independent countries today, while others are sub-national entities of larger states.

    One should also not overlook the fact that for most of the Confederation period, Quebec was effectively treated like a big bilingual “reserve” for French-Canadians, and that those francophones who dared venture outside its borders (many did anyway) were destined to be (often aggressively) assimilated to English. So after trying to historically confine the language, culture and customs of “natives” (I use the term in its colonial sense here) to a reserve, one shouldn’t be surprised that the natives have come to call the “reserve” home, and that they recoil when people try and tell them that, after all, it doesn’t belong to them.

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 12:40 pm

  15. Why could this never considered ?

    It cannot realistically be considered because it is in the Constitution. There is no political will to change it so you cannot legislate it.

    And if you approach the “Anglo” community to propose it to them, who are you going to speak to?

    AM

    October 20, 2008 at 12:55 pm

  16. Montreal has been a city for a lot longer than Quebec has been a province. Why shouldn’t Montreal be able to separate from Quebec?

    holy

    October 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm

  17. Put me down in favour of unified school system for Quebec as well. Of course, I am also in favour of world peace, ending hunger, social justice, etc.

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm

  18. “Montreal has been a city for a lot longer than Quebec has been a province. Why shouldn’t Montreal be able to separate from Quebec?”

    Sorry Holy.

    Though Montreal was founded in 1642, it was only incorporated as a city in 1832. So Quebec the province predates it.

    In any event, the point is rather moot because I doubt that most of the francophones (even most of those who are federalists) who make up the vast majority of the population of the city would consent to have it chopped off from Quebec. You wouldn’t be mistaking NDG for the entire city, now, would you?

    In any event, what’s with trying to exploit every single minor technicality? Have you totally given up hope that a majority of francophones in Quebec will ever consider Canada to be their country?

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm

  19. “Put me down in favour of unified school system for Quebec as well. Of course, I am also in favour of world peace, ending hunger, social justice, etc.”

    Well said.

    “In any event, the point is rather moot because I doubt that most of the francophones (even most of those who are federalists) who make up the vast majority of the population of the city would consent to have it chopped off from Quebec. You wouldn’t be mistaking NDG for the entire city, now, would you?”

    Totally correct, federalist francophones would most likely be against that and it would never happen. But aren’t “old stock” francophones now less than 50% of the population on the island of Montreal now?

    AM

    October 20, 2008 at 2:43 pm

  20. “Totally correct, federalist francophones would most likely be against that and it would never happen. But aren’t “old stock” francophones now less than 50% of the population on the island of Montreal now?”

    He was referring to the city proper, the Ville de Montréal. Francophones are still close to a 70% majority in that entity I’d say.

    You’re right about them being less than 50% (just barely though) on the island as whole. But they still are by far the largest single group, and are double the proportion of anglos for example.

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm

  21. “Have you totally given up hope that a majority of francophones in Quebec will ever consider Canada to be their country?”

    Uh, kinda. Cf. the last 6 federal elections.

    “You’re right about them [francophones] being less than 50% (just barely though) on the island as whole. But they still are by far the largest single group, and are double the proportion of anglos for example.”

    Ah, but it’s early days yet. Also, as there is no Clarity Act, I think the question could be framed something like, “Do you support Montreal freeing itself from the obligation to keep the regions afloat and permitting itself the God-given opportunity to become a beautiful free city after negotiating an agreement with the rest of the province?” I only hope hordes of hinterlanders don’t show up in buses to plead for Quebec’s unity, that would be totally unfair. Maybe the city could borrow millions and plaster the streets with pro-independence signs and parades to make up for that.

    holy

    October 20, 2008 at 3:08 pm

  22. “Though Montreal was founded in 1642, it was only incorporated as a city in 1832. So Quebec the province predates it.”

    While we’re mincing facts, Acajack, the United Province of Canada (Upper + Lower Canada) replaced Lower Canada in 1841; the province of Quebec dates to 1867. So Montreal has a good 35 years’ head start.

    holy

    October 20, 2008 at 3:10 pm

  23. “He was referring to the city proper, the Ville de Montréal. Francophones are still close to a 70% majority in that entity I’d say.”

    Made a mistake here. I was thinking of the pre-merger city. It’s actually more like 55% francophone in the Ville de Montréal. BTW, anglos are something like 12%.

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm

  24. Who’s talking about anglos? I’m saying there should be an appeal to Montrealers of all stripes. Majority rules, after all – and fourth time lucky!

    holy

    October 20, 2008 at 3:22 pm

  25. “I only hope hordes of hinterlanders don’t show up in buses to plead for Quebec’s unity, that would be totally unfair. Maybe the city could borrow millions and plaster the streets with pro-independence signs and parades to make up for that.”

    Your misinterpretation of the politics of francophones is astonishing.

    1.French Montrealers are the most pro-independence group in the province.

    2.French Montrealers are much more attached to Québec than the ‘hinterlands’ are attached to Montreal. They’re quite happy dealing with Ottawa and Québec directly.

    3. The Canadian federation as it stands works pretty well in the regions: a Federal government able to communicate with them in French and a provicial jurisdiction that they control.

    The system breaks down in Montreal where a small minority of Anglos demand to have all the rights and priviledges of the majority, leading French Montrealers often unable to work, shop or even receive health care in French.

    If you think French Montrealers wish to be part of a smaller entity where they would, once more, be a minority, you are on special brand of West End crack.

    4.For someone who likes to pontificate on the rights of minorities, Holy, you seem pretty determined to find a way, any way, to move borders around so not a single Anglo in North America should ever be a minority.

    angryfrenchguy

    October 20, 2008 at 3:33 pm

  26. “4.For someone who likes to pontificate on the rights of minorities, Holy, you seem pretty determined to find a way, any way, to move borders around so not a single Anglo in North America should ever be a minority.”

    Don’t you read your own blog? Acc. to Acajack, anglos are only 12% on the Island.

    Anyway, who cares what francophone Montrealers think? In a decade they’ll be a minority in Montreal and the allos will fight for freedom. Hope you’re still blogging then, angryfrenchguy.

    holy

    October 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm

  27. “1.French Montrealers are the most pro-independence group in the province.”

    What are you basing this on? The fact that in ’95 Montreal Francos voted for sovereignty in higher proportions than elsewhere? Do you have anything more recent on this?

    “3. The Canadian federation as it stands works pretty well in the regions: a Federal government able to communicate with them in French and a provicial jurisdiction that they control.”

    So why did the regions just vote overwhelmingly for the Bloc?

    AM

    October 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm

  28. “You’re right about them being less than 50% (just barely though) on the island as whole. But they still are by far the largest single group, and are double the proportion of anglos for example.”

    With just below 50%, they would have to be the single largest group. Given the large number of ethnic groups in the city, that is a mathematical must…

    AM

    October 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm

  29. “Don’t you read your own blog? Acc. to Acajack, anglos are only 12% on the Island.”

    12% in the Ville de Montréal. About 25% island-wide however, which includes the Ville de Montréal, plus Westmount, Kirkland, DDO, Pointe-Claire, etc.

    Acajack

    October 20, 2008 at 4:48 pm

  30. Acajack,

    You’ve gotta tell me . . .I read your comments very closely and I think they are brilliant. But you’ve gotta tell me, why aren’t you a sovereigntist?

    Sorry to all else for being off topic, but I don’t know how to get in touch with Acajack other than this forum. thomasdeannordlum@yahoo.ca

    Haven’t had much time to read the blog lately.

    Raman, love your comments as well.

    Holy, if the francophones in Montreal are going to die out anyway, why be such a connasse/connard (what gender you are) on this forum and defend the rights of the poor anglophones on the île de Montréal who will eventually “win” anyway and make Montreal that glorious bilingual/or publicly unilingual English city it once was in the 1940s as books “City Unique” suggest when Anglos had more power? I don’t know, you seem silly to me.

    Thomas Dean Nordlum

    October 20, 2008 at 4:57 pm


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