Here are some basic questions all Québécois (Anglos and Allos included) need to ask themselves prior to voting in this year’s provincial election:
1. Why does Québec need to become an independent country?
2. Is there any actual empirical evidence either the French language or French culture of our province and/or country is in any way threatened?
3. Given that there is no official effort to assimilate Francophones in this country, why are separatist parties so concerned with the spectre of assimilation?
4. How would ten million ethnic French Canadians, almost all of whom speak and work in French on a daily basis, lose their language and/or cultural identity anyways? (without some kind of external compelling force)
5. Are Québécois specifically and French Canadians in general incapable of preserving and promoting the use of French on an individual basis? Why does the state need to be involved?
6. If we’re to have yet another referendum, what will it be on? Independence? Sovereignty? Sovereignty-Association? Another round of constitutional negotiations? Why isn’t this clear?
7. Is it right to destroy one country in order to build another?
8. When was the last time an ethno-nationalist movement created an ideal society anyways?
9. Is Québec a colony of the British Empire? Are we a colony of Canada? And if we’re not a colony, why do we need to be ‘free’? If we are held in bondage, who holds us down? And can any of this be verified, proven?
10. Are we not already free, given the protections, rights and responsibilities afforded by our national constitution and charter?
11. René Lévesque did not sign the constitution document; does this mean he spoke for all Québécois at the time? Does he continue to speak for us today? Have we, alone, been administered by the British North America Act since 1982? Are we not protected by both it and the charter regardless?
12. How can we continue to justify spending $25 million per year on the OQLF when the only good thing to come out of the organization was a report that stated, unequivocally, that French is not threatened and that Bill 101 doesn’t need beefing up?
13. If Québec were to become an independent country, how would it justify its actions to the international community? What is the basis for our desire to become independent? Is it based on 2014 conditions, or based on a laundry list of real and imagined aggressions dating back to the mid-18th century?
14. How can a political movement designed to protect minority rights (the PQ, as it was originally conceived) turn around and infringe upon minority rights (the PQ, today) and claim any kind of political legitimacy? Bill 60 is institutionalized racism: it specifically singles-out religious minorities working in the public sector and demands they choose between their jobs or wearing religious garments or symbols.
15. We speak often of perceived Francophobia and Québec-bashing on the part of the Anglophone media, yet the single largest source of anti-Québec sentiment in Canadian English-language media is arguably the Sun News Network and the associated Sun newspaper chain, both of which are owned by Pierre-Karl Péladeau, a PQ ‘all-star’ candidate who also happens to own Quebecor, the largest media conglomerate in the province. Given this concentration of power, money and media in the hands of a single political party, should we be so readily accepting of their negative portrayal of competing media? Is this not an immense conflict of public interest?