Old Problems and New Realities

1581 Words4 Pages

Modern Canada has been subject to several different issues that have raised a number of troublesome and difficult circumstances, though one of the most notable being the 1980 and 1995 Referendums in Quebec. The province has provided its residence, and the larger national population, with a great source of conversation and controversy. The Parti Quécécois introduced both referendums, although the party was under different leadership: Réne Lévesque in 1980 and Jaques Parizeau in 1995. Both were strongly in favor of the provinces secession from Canada. For the citizens and politicians of Quebec during both Referendums, the results speak volumes about voter turnout and the true support for the potential movement – which looked to achieve provincial sovereignty. This paper will explore the strategic wording of each question and the sentiments that surrounded the goings-on around each individual referendum.
There has been a disjuncture between English and French speaking people in Canada since before the country was even established. It has been most notably seen within the federal and provincial relationship in Quebec. The interest Quebec has had to get out of their link to the rest of Canada has been most noted in modern day through the first referendum in 1980. It brought the question of political sovereignty to the forefront of national conversation – “it would decide Quebec’s, [and Canada’s] ¬– future.” The question for the people of Quebec was as follows:
The Government of Quebec has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad — in ...

... middle of paper ...

... and understood. This paper looked at the strategic wording of each question and the sentiments that surrounded the goings-on around each individual referendum. The questions themselves were outlined and coated with deep-rooted sentiments of separation on behalf of the PQ. The referendum results illuminate the realities inside the provinces boarder in a very basic way, as it was evident that a solidified division existed. If the results of the 1980 vote were note example enough, the second made the division evident. There were two very different pictures of Quebec in the minds of its citizens, and likely this division still exists today. Although the possibility of a third referendum can not be known for certain, if the last two have been any indication of the future, there is a mix of both Quebec Nationalists and French Federalists living together in the province.

Open Document