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Blog Takes Summer Break: Back July 20

June 29th, 2016 · 6 Comments

Time to enjoy some carefree time.  Of course, will no doubt still watch newscasts, read newspapers and listen to radio. And enjoy it all!

Happy Canada Day!  Bonne Fete Canada!

Back July 20…

h.o.

 

 

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Scotland Referendum Will Resurrect Quebec Separatism

June 27th, 2016 · 25 Comments

Too much of the discussions about the implications the Brexit vote could hold for Canada have centred on the economy.

Perhaps not surprising, given the effect it could have on some jobs, exports, any RRSPs, stocks, Euro bonds people hold in their retirement savings, the Canadian dollar, and the large corporate interests behind almost all of the Canadian media.

But it’s the political fallout and aftermath that should concern and could  impact Canada the most.

The Brexit vote itself does not fit the internal national separatism model: Britain as a country will officially serve notice of intent to withdraw from an international organization ..and will then negotiate the terms. (I know Scotland has threatened … as a “country” in its own right … to veto the move and/or seek an alternative relationship and link with the European Union.)

But essentially, it is a situation where a COUNTRY will leave an ORGANIZATION: not one part of a country breaking away from the rest.

No great political or existentialist issue for Canada.

Not yet.

However, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was very quick to resurrect the idea of another referendum vote to separate from United Kingdom.

I believe if held, this time it WILL pass.

Scots voted overwhelmingly to REMAIN with the EU; the Scottish people see themselves just as much European citizens as British … some even more so; the economy of Scotland has benefitted greatly from  EU contact/connections; and, the immigration problems plaguing England …especially related to illegal migrants, asylum seekers, refugees .. has not been very pronounced up north.

A successful Scotland separatist vote, however,  would be a much more serious event from a Canadian point of view than Brexit … raising internal critical debate/discussions  and discord.

Separatism is Quebec is not dead: it is resting; recovering from its wounds; and awaiting an issue to rise and fight again.

Make no mistake: a vote by Scotland to leave the UK would provide a blood transfusion to those who dream of Quebec as an independent country.

Would it succeed?

I don’t believe so.   The economy of Quebec s generally doing well; the population has no major political ax to wield against the federal government or other provinces; and, thankfully, younger people in Quebec are better educated, less xenophobic, even more Canada-orientated and more externally focussed than their parents and grandparents.

But there will always be those in Quebec who aspire and will always work towards independence.

And the separatists here will be closely watching and newly motivated …. if Scotland does to Britain what they would love to do to Canada.

Harv Oberfeld

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