25 years ago, Quebec hesitated just enough so that the shenanigans – known – of the federal government allow a narrow victory of the NO. A gap of barely 54,000 votes separated the two camps. It would only have taken 27,000 votes to change that. We then went from 40% support in 1980 to 49.9% in 1995.
• Read also – Referendum of 1995: 25 years later, where is Quebec?
In my mind, this was not the end of the idea, but a moment of extraordinary progress. Our duty now, as Quebeckers and sovereignists, is to continue to move forward and to understand what could have been done otherwise so that the next time is good.
From now until this natural encounter with history, the simple fact of evoking our past together is likely to nourish a reflection which, I dare to believe, will allow us to progress again.
Demonstrate the viability of a sovereign Quebec
The Léger survey produced in October is very revealing of the feelings that animate Quebeckers. I first saw in it the clear affirmation of a very living project, of its legitimacy, of the law and of the early return of a conversation on the advisability of appropriating all the attributes of sovereignty.
I then read the doubt there. Uncertainty about Quebec’s ability to realize itself as a sovereign country. After all these years, after all these successes, the fear and uncertainty skillfully distilled by our adversaries still have an effect.
We must tackle it again and demonstrate the viability, even the vitality of a Quebec that would like to be prosperous and ecological, which would focus on the creation of wealth in our regions, on our innovation and our SMEs and which would develop from of our natural resources and our clean energy.
I also understood that in this vagueness where preference and analysis merge, we are told repeatedly that national independence has no hold on young people. I refute. 25 years after the last campaign, nearly a third of all young people in Quebec support the idea, while 40% of those who lived through the referendum do. This gap gives the measure of the challenge that we must meet.
Likewise, if for several generations sovereignty was the natural conclusion of the Quiet Revolution, it must find anchorage in a different way among young people. However, Canada is an oil country – the one which, per capita, finances the most gas and oil – and Quebec will be the one where the ecological model of wealth creation can best offer itself as a model in the world. Here is an argument to challenge the youth.
Better talk about independence
Whatever may be said, there is still talk of independence in Quebec. We could do more, but it’s not so much about doing more as it is about doing better. An idea does not become more popular because it is repeated like an incantation, but rather if it is explained and molded to the reality of the people to whom it is proposed.
On the other hand, we must recognize that in the short term, the movement does not have all the tools to relaunch the debate on sovereignty to its true value, and even less to carry out a consultation that would precede the very definition of what we want. to offer. But we have a duty to explain what sovereignty would change in the daily lives of Quebeckers.
When Quebec becomes a country, it will give itself good and less good governments. It will then be up to history to judge. In the meantime, the energetic youth of the new leader of the Parti Québécois, the asserted nationalism of the CAQ government and the strong presence of the Bloc Québécois in Ottawa – as well as the repeated attacks by the federal government against Quebec – set a scene in which Quebec will once again be able to stage its march towards sovereignty.
In conclusion, we do not achieve independence because the opponent has cheated. We do it because the people we love, the culture and values that shape us and the language that defines and cradles us deserve to flourish in complete freedom.
It won’t take another 25 years.
Leader of the Bloc Québécois