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Quebec destined to stay Canadian: poll

Only one-third of Quebec residents believe province will become a country

 

RANDY BOSWELL, Canwest News Service

Published: 4 hours ago

 

A new nationwide poll suggests that a strong majority of Canadians - including most of the country's French-speaking population - believes Quebec is "destined" to remain part of Canada.

 

The survey, commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies, also revealed that barely one-third of Quebec residents believe the province is "destined to become a country" of its own.

 

Conducted in May by Léger Marketing, the survey of 1,500 Canadians probed their "gut feelings" about Quebec's ultimate fate as a political entity, says ACS executive director Jack Jedwab.

 

He also says the results suggest the limited appeal of the historical narrative long promoted by Quebec separatists - that "accidents of history," such as the British victory in the Seven Years' War, have merely delayed Quebec's inevitable emergence as an independent state.

 

Instead, Jedwab says, most Canadians, including Quebecers, appear to find the classic federalist storyline - which emphasizes inexorable progress toward reconciliation of the French-English conflict at the heart of Canadian history - more compelling.

 

A persuasive narrative that predicts a nation's destiny can exert a powerful influence on people's perceptions of history, contemporary politics and the future direction of a country, Jedwab says. He points to the influence of the "Manifest Destiny" doctrine in shaping the 19th-century expansion of the United States and certain strongly held views about its place in the world.

 

Similarly, he says, views in Canada about whether Quebec's future is "pre-determined" by history play a significant role in the long-running debate about its place in the federation, with separatists and federalists alike claiming that "history is on their side."

 

Jedwab notes that in the latest poll, the percentage of Quebec residents who envision a separate Quebec in the near or distant future "closely corresponds" to the proportion of the population that supports Quebec's separation.

 

The findings, he says, may therefore represent "what people are wishing for" as much as what they expect to happen to Quebec one day.

 

The poll was conducted from May 21 to 25. Just over 1,500 Canadians 18 years of age and over were surveyed, with a margin of error of 2.9 per cent 19 times out of 20.

 

Those questioned were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statements "Quebec is destined to remain part of Canada" and "Quebec is destined to become a country."

 

Seventy-one per cent of English-speaking respondents and 78 per cent of allophones - those whose first language is neither French nor English - agreed that Quebec will remain part of Confederation.

 

Fifty-four per cent of French-Canadian respondents agreed.

 

Regionally, respondents from Ontario (79 per cent) and Alberta (76 per cent) were most likely to agree that Quebec's destiny is within a united Canada. Majorities from the Maritimes (65 per cent), B.C. (64 per cent), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (62 per cent) and Quebec itself (54 per cent) also agreed.

 

Asked more directly if Quebec is "destined to become a country," just 38 per cent of French Canadians, 12 per cent of English-Canadian respondents and three per cent of allophones agreed that it would.

 

Regionally, a minority of respondents from Quebec (35 per cent), the Maritimes (17 per cent), B.C. (13 per cent), Ontario (8 per cent), Alberta (7 per cent) and Manitoba/Saskatchewan (4 per cent) agreed that Quebec is destined to become a country.

 

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=5395da71-1e74-4242-ba29-a647cc45a477

 

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Souveraineté - Le Québec est toujours aussi divisé

 

Alexandre Shields

Édition du lundi 23 juin 2008

 

Mots clés : Confédération, Souveraineté, Sondage, Canada (Pays), Québec (province)

 

À la veille de la Fête nationale des Québécois, un coup de sonde réalisé pour le compte de l'Association des études canadiennes vient confirmer qu'ils sont toujours aussi divisés sur la question de la souveraineté. En effet, si le tiers d'entre eux estiment que leur province deviendra un jour un pays, à peine plus de la moitié croient que le Québec restera au sein de la Confédération, selon le document obtenu par Le Devoir.

 

Les résultats de ce sondage effectué dans tout le pays montrent que 38 % des francophones sont convaincus que «le Québec est destiné à devenir un pays», dont 35 % de Québécois. Chez les anglophones, ce chiffre chute à 12 %, puis à 3 % chez les allophones. À l'inverse, 69 % des Canadiens sont d'avis que «le Québec est destiné à demeurer au sein du Canada», dont 54 % des francophones.

 

Les répondants de toutes les catégories d'âges jugent que le Québec est «destiné» à demeurer au sein de la Confédération, exception faite des 18-24 ans, qui adhèrent à cette idée dans une proportion de 46 %. Malgré cela, à peine 19 % de ces derniers croient que la province accédera un jour à l'indépendance. Il faut toutefois souligner qu'il s'agit là de l'opinion des jeunes de l'ensemble du pays, et non seulement de celle des Québécois. Plus on avance en âge, plus les citoyens sont d'avis que la seule région francophone demeurera partie prenante de l'État canadien.

 

Par ailleurs, la moitié des répondants québécois ont jugé que «sans le Québec, il n'y aurait pas de Canada», ce qui représente la plus forte proportion au pays. Albertains et Ontariens suivent, adhérant à cette idée respectivement à 45 % et 41 %. La moyenne nationale se situe à 42 %. Les jeunes semblent plus fortement préoccupés par cet aspect de la question de la souveraineté, puisque que 53 % des répondants de 25 à 34 ans croient que le Canada ne pourrait continuer d'exister sans le Québec.

 

«Les réponses sont particulièrement intéressantes à la lumière de l'argument avancé par les souverainistes voulant que le Canada continuerait d'exister si le Québec le quittait, une idée défendue par les autres Canadiens, mais non par les Québécois», souligne d'ailleurs le directeur exécutif de l'Association des études canadiennes, Jack Jedwab, dans le document qui sera rendu public aujourd'hui.

 

Le coup de sonde a été mené par la firme Léger Marketing auprès de 1507 Canadiens de 18 ans et plus, entre le 21 et le 25 mai 2008. La marge d'erreur est de 2,9 %, 19 fois sur 20.

 

http://www.ledevoir.com/2008/06/23/195107.html

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