Even Freaking Montenegro Is Independent- Why Not Quebec?

Dear Quebecois:

 I've been hearing you TALKING about independence from Canada since I was a little kid. And yet, 40 plus years later, you're no closer to independence than you were in 1961, when I was born.

Now, in that same time, do you have any idea how many countries HAVE gained independence? Dozens. Some had to fight tooth and nail for their independence. Some had to break free of the iron grip of communism. Others just went their owns separate ways peacefully. I mean, the Czechs and the Slovaks didn't spend decades trying to piece together their federation, did they? When they decided to split up, they just DID it!

As of today, even Montenegro is independent!

Which just makes me wonder… do you guys in Quebec REALLY want independence? You CAN’T want it all that badly, now, can you? If you really wanted to declare independence, you could have done it a long time ago. Ottawa wasn’t going to send troops to force you back into union. Truth is, if you REALLY wanted independence, you’d have had it by now.

So, why the pretenses? Is it just a way of extorting perks and concessions from the English-speaking provinces? If so, are you as astonished as I am that theyt haven't caught on to the scam yet?

Scotland and Skåne, my own homeland, have also been talking about independence since forever. I’m sure there are plenty more examples.

Perhaps, because Canada is a federation that works well, and Yugoslavia . . . wasn’t.

Does Quebec have the internal economy necessary to maintain the standard of living its people expect? What would happen to Labrador and Newfoundland if they were cut off from the rest of Canadia? Do they petition for Statehood? Would that prompt Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to do the same? After all, they have the same interests and concerns as Montana and the Plains states? Assuming, of course, that Bush and the Right haven’t reduced the US to Third-World status by then.

Besides, both Serbia and Montenegro can reasonably expect to be admitted to the European Union eventually. Within that larger federation, they will have a free and open mutual border, common currency, and voices in the European Parliament – combining the advantages of union with those of independence. But what can the Quebecois hope for if they secede?

It seems like some people–politicans–in Quebec like to hang the idea of seperating in order to get some goodies from Ottawa. It’s used as a bargaining chip more than a goal.

Quebec isn’t independent because Canada is a prosperous democratic country.

It’s the same reason that Scotland hasn’t separated from England, or Wallonia from Flanders, or the Basque country or Catalonia from Spain, despite the rhetoric.

Separatism only wins out when 1) the combined country has failed economically, 2) the central authority has no will to hold the country together by force.

And Quebec would lose billions of dollars of annual federal transfer payments. And be at the mercy of trade and passage agreements with the rest of Canada. That’s why they wanted ‘Sovereignity-association’, which was complete self-determination while still sharing a common currency, travel and shipping rights, and almost complete economic union with the rest of Canada.

Hard to see how this would fly once the countries started to diverge in policy and interests.

I wasn’t suggesting that Quebec SHOULD leave Canada. I can think of a host of good reasons that she shouldn’t. Whatever its flaws, Canada is a beautiful, prosperous country where citizens enjoy as much political freedom as anyone in the world.

I merely point out that secession is NOT all that difficult. The Czechs and Slovaks parted ways without difficulty. And now, Montenegro has split from Yugoslavia. It just ain’t that hard. And as a modern, prosperous province, Quebec would be much BETTER able than most countries to make the transition to independence, if she truly wanted it.

So, if Quebec HASN’T ever gone through with her pledges/threats to break away… I have to wonder, is she really serious about secession, and was she EVER really serious about it? I mean, if my wife had been threatening to leave me every day for 40 years, but was still with me, I’d have a hard time taking her seriously.

Why am I thinking of the Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin announces that he is seceding from the household, and asks his Mom to make him some sandwiches for the road. When she asks why she should do so if he’s seceding, he exclaims, “I haven’t seceded yet!”

Note that within living memory, Montenegro was a soviergn nation. Quebec never has been. Montenegro regained independence.

Montenegro was a sovereign nation alone among the Balkan slavic states, while all the others were taken over by the Austrian and Ottoman Empires. It was only after WWI that it was absorbed into Yugoslavia, and since the Serbian King who took over Yugoslavia was a grandson of the now-dethroned Montenegrin King, it wasn’t really too much of a takeover.

But of course, Quebec, whilst never having been a sovereign nation in its own right, is certainly territory conquered and annexed by a foreign power, albeit over 200 years ago. As for why Quebec isn’t independent, the answer is extremely simple. A (small) majority of Quebecers, when polled in two provincial referendums, voted against pursuing independence.

True, but that foreign power has long since ceased to have any sovereignty over Quebec. Instead, the people of Quebec have helped to build a new sovereign counrty, in partnership with people in other provinces.

Meh. Scottish independence is a non-issue, even more so since devolution in 1998. Only a tiny fringe of Scots, or even SNP supporters, actually campaign for independence, or say that that they want it in opinion polls. Besides, Scotland regularly spends far more in government spending than it gains in tax revenue- the shortfall coming from the more affluent England. If Scotland became independent tomorrow, they’d be calling for a second Act of Union within the year.

In about twenty or thirty years there will no longer be a need for Quebec to separate as such because of decentralization. Power is being transferred from the federal government to the provinces, and unless this is curtailed at some point, Canada will likely end up as a loose union of provinces that operate more or less independently.

Then somebody pointed out it’s been 88 years and if they don’t get a move on, this would no longer be true.

Point well taken! :cool:

Tell it to Prince Michael! :smiley:

Or even, to the the Duke of Bavaria.