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Une autre niaiserie de la Gauzette: Pearson prevails over de Gaulle


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    Pearson prevails over de Gaulle




    Jul 25, 2007 04:30 AM



    Forty years ago, Charles de Gaulle electrified many Quebecers, and infuriated many other Canadians, by proclaiming from a balcony at Montreal city hall the freighted phrase "Vive le Québec libre!"



    De Gaulle had been invited to help celebrate the centennial of Confederation (une vrai blague ça, il est venu pour l'expo 67, il voulait tellement rien savoir du canada, qu'il ne voulait pas passer par les douanes et est donc venu par bateau). Instead, he told the large and rapturous crowd that greeted his arrival in Montreal that his reception reminded him of the atmosphere at the liberation of Paris in 1944. His bombshell followed.


    Did de Gaulle know the Rassemblement pour l'independance nationale, a forerunner of the Parti Québécois, used "vive le Québec libre" as its slogan? He surely knew his mischief would infuriate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who called those four words "unacceptable to the Canadian people" and added: "Canadians do not need to be liberated." (Je suis sur que c'est déclaration à aidé les Canadiens à ce débarasser de se mot là et devenir des Québecois, merci Lester.)


    Today, 40 years later, what's notable about de Gaulle's remark is how little echo it arouses. Even Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois steered well clear of commenting on the anniversary. The bloom is well and truly off the rose of independantiste utopianism. (C'est parceque les indépendentiste n'existent que depuis et à cause de Gaule, avec tout le respect que j'ai pour lui, sa déclaration n'as faite qu'internationaliser la cause, rien de plus. Elle existait depuis longtemps.)


    It must be admitted, however, de Gaulle's declaration does now seem to have been prescient. Like a rain squall at a picnic, his meddlesome remark changed the tone of the summer of '67. Detroit was burning the day of de Gaulle's Montreal pronouncement, and Vietnam was bleeding, but Canada was exulting in the sunny summer of Expo. (hm c'est quoi le rapport de cette comparaison boiteuse)


    Despite the crowd's roars of approval for what de Gaulle said, few Canadians could have foreseen the tumult that the notion of "Québec libre" would sow here for decades.


    Nor are we foolish enough to argue the tempest is over. The independence genie will not be stuffed back into the bottle; it can be countered only by continued goodwill and common sense from the rest of Canada. (des mots sages, mais qui tomberont sur des oreilles de sourds)


    Ultimately, however, the real wisdom of the diplomatic incident of 1967 rested with Pearson. Quebecers truly did not need "liberation" then, and do not need it today. (who says so ?)


    The Canadian state, and Canadian society, have updated themselves mightily in matters of linguistic duality and biculturalism (and the independence movement has played a part in that). Today, we like to say, no one needs to choose between Quebec and Canada. Our system works admirably.



    Our success in managing tension and adjusting our institutions demonstrates that Canadians are free to work together and share the benefits of union while enjoying the flexibility of federalism. "Vive," we might even say, "le Canada libre!"


    (L'auteur ne dit toujours pas comment Pearson "prevails" sur De Gaule? Le mouvement independentiste n'avait que quelques pourcentages de support dans les années 60 (environ 5%), et là on est dans les 40% a 55% selon l'humeur de gens... Pearson prevails big time... ).

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    It has been the federal Liberals who have done the most damage to federalism. If it had been Tories in charge most of the last 50 years, I'm sure support for separation would be a bit lower.


    What makes you say that?


    My guess is that had the Tories been in power for most of the last 40 Years, things would probably be worse. My guess is that the Tories would've taken a tougher stance against separation,which in the long run would have caused the seperatist cause to be even higher than today. Maybe even Québec would have been separated by now??

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    Harper is willing to accept Quebec's status as a nation. The Liberals and Stephane Dion were against it, but then flip-flopped and supported it afterwards.


    In fact Conservatives believe in a more decentralized government, opposed to Liberals who favour increased centralization.


    Liberal examples:

    -Pearson's proclamation (Canadians don't need to be liberated)

    -Trudeau's constitution not being signed by Quebec


    -Sponsorship scandal


    Sure there are right-wing hicks who hate Quebec and could make things worse, but none of them are in positions of power. If anything, at the moment the Conservative Party of Canada is nearer to the center than the Liberals (who are too close to the NDP).

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