It was an idea floated by veteran politician Jean-François Lisée when he was considering a run last year for the Parti Québécois leadership: if elected leader, he would start an English wing of the sovereignist party to welcome anglophones and people from other minorities in Quebec to join in the march to independence.
I thought it was a great idea, even if there aren’t that many anglophones in the province who would join. I tweeted out my approval to Jean-François, and he tweeted back, saying I would be welcome.
I’ve always liked him as a politician, and I feel he would have been a good premier of Quebec, whether we ever have another sovereignty referendum or not. Alas, he dropped out of the campaign because, I believe, he felt Pierre Karl Péladeau has the leadership campaign wrapped up. C’est un fait accompli . . .
Of course, as a journalist, I am not allowed to join any political parties. I have to edit the news objectively, and cannot be perceived during the editing process to be bias. And that’s not a problem for me.
But I do think an English wing is a good idea because it would bring diversity to that party. The fact is, there are people from minority groups in Quebec who do support independence, who feel the province is under occupation, and that the French majority here are still an oppressed minority within the anglo North American/British framework. And that the French people were robbed and forced into a twisted hybrid form of integration, to the point now that many young Quebec francophones have lost their Québécois identity.
Some anglos and people from other minority groups here empathize with the sovereignty movement, and do not feel threatened by the thought of independence. Indeed, I suspect the PQ would make special effort to show that it accommodates everyone in an independent Quebec, and that minorities here would be better off than they are now.
Realistically speaking, will Quebec independence ever happen? It might, given the political scene in Ottawa and Quebec City these days. There is not a lot of love in this province for the Conservative government and the Senate in Ottawa. And there is not much love for the Liberal government in Quebec City as students and others plan all sorts of a anti-austerity marches this spring. There is revolution brewing in the streets of Quebec, as there was during the reign of the previous Liberal government here.
Quebecers will probably be so fed up with the Liberals by the time the next provincial election rolls around in a few years that the Parti Québécois may form a majority government. And if Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are still in power in Ottawa at the time, well, Quebec independence may finally be seen as the best option by the majority of people in this province.