An action plan for the immediate future

“As long as independence is not achieved, it remains to be achieved”, proclaimed our late national poet Gaston Miron. And the late filmmaker Pierre Falardeau goes further, paraphrasing Hô Chi Minh: “Nothing is more precious than freedom and independence”

A quotation from the same Falardeau, in the epigraph, announces the colors of this work by the former PQ minister and I find it important to reproduce it: “As if the national liberation struggle was not, in itself, a social project. The boat sinks and passengers want to discuss the interior layout of the boat. Let’s row, honey! We will then discuss the color of the captain’s cap or the shape of the oars. Independence is not heaven. It is not the solution to all our problems. But it is a question of finally choosing. Or the status of an annexed nation forever, or freedom. »

Nicolas Marceau, who defines himself as a man of the center left with progressive ideas, is not one of those who lulled himself into fine speeches while waiting for the Big Night, and he immediately admits to wanting to change the course of history.

As the independence of Quebec is intrinsically a beautiful story and a necessary, even urgent outcome, it is said that if a majority of Quebecers have not yet joined it, it is surely that we have taken a wrong way. We must therefore be ready to change our ways of doing things. However, it is, above all, a question of positioning, he affirms. It does not matter whether the leader of the Parti Québécois is charismatic or not, the party must take sides on all the major issues of society “not relating to the national question”: “fight against inequalities, prosperity of Quebec, fight against climate change, protection and development of French, fight against discrimination, secularism of the State”, etc.

Combine forces

This may seem contradictory with Falardeau’s motto quoted above, but it is not in reality, because these positions must also be matched with a sine qua non condition, that of achieving independence first in order to to be able to better defend our priorities. And to achieve this, he proposed the creation of a vast grouping of separatist forces “with the sole objective of achieving the sovereignty of Quebec”. It is not an organization that would replace the Parti Québécois, which would still have its raison d’être – initially at least – but rather a sort of pressure group “whose operation and positioning are chosen in a such that the vast majority of Quebecers and sovereigntists can accommodate them without any problem, regardless of their political vision on various issues – except on the national question, of course”.

But in the long run, this gathering of sovereignists from diverse backgrounds will have to turn into a political party, specifies the former PQ minister. Existing political parties could merge with it or join it. A kind of “wide front” as we have seen in Chile, Uruguay, France or elsewhere.

If sovereignty is the main reason for this gathering, we must not neglect other important issues that interest Quebecers and show them how only sovereignty will make it possible to have a greener, fairer and richer Quebec. This gathering should avoid exclusion, that is to say too clear-cut positions that lead to rejection rather than support. It will be necessary to allow all tendencies to be able to express themselves there, it being understood that once sovereignty is achieved, Quebeckers will be able to vote for the party of their choice, left, center or right, as is done everywhere else.

Discussions and negotiations

This grouping of sovereigntists will necessarily have to consider the mechanisms for gaining independence, because going from the status of a province to that of a sovereign country will require discussions and negotiations. But for Marceau, “Quebec will be essentially identical the day after its sovereignty, but with greatly improved governance and, of course, all-Quebec institutions replacing federal institutions”.

These lyrics disappoint me. Why “exchange four thirty sous for a piastre?” I would like a different Quebec, finally freed from its shackles, with artists proud to be the spearheads of a French-speaking culture, unique in America. This is my only reservation. Otherwise, this book is an action plan for the immediate future.

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Interesting comparative study between two small nations, Quebec and Scotland, which both practice a salutary economic nationalism in a context of globalization where making one’s place requires the assistance of the State. In these two countries, the state intervenes openly in the various economic sectors, including entrepreneurial finance and venture capital, contrary to what is happening in Canada and Great Britain. “This minority nationalism induces institutional imperatives that explain the high levels of Scottish and Quebec public investment as well as the uniqueness of the economic models of these two nations. »

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