Divided We Fall

Posted on Saturday, November 05 at 11:40 by MapleLeafForever
No one knows how the federal government would have responded to such an apocalyptic event — or even whether Ottawa could have prevented Parizeau from carrying out his threat. Prime Minister Jean Chretien had sauntered through the referendum campaign with indifference. It was virtually the 11th hour when he and his cabinet realized this was not going to be like the 1980 referendum when the federalists won by a healthy 20% lead. By the time Chretien woke up to reality, the federalist campaign was in a shambles. Our nation held together by the skin of its teeth. The aftermath of those horrifying days lives on to this day. Scandal after scandal has unfolded through Justice John Gomery’s inquiry into the sponsorship program — a $250 million project designed by Chretien, deputy PM Sheila Copps and finance minister Paul Martin to make Quebecers feel prouder to be part of Canada. The disgraced program — in which some $100 million was illegally diverted into dubious projects, the bank accounts of public relations and advertising agency owners, and even Liberal party coffers — has infuriated many Quebecers and revived separatist fervour. Quebecers resent the shoddy attempt to buy them off. That’s why Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc Quebecois party won 54 of his province’s 75 seats in the 2004 federal election, up from 38 in the 2000 election, and why the Parti Quebecois is again on the move. Separatist fever is growing in Quebec rather than diminishing. Even in Alberta, separatism is starting to look like an option. http://www.calgarysun.com/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=110697&x=articles&s=comment

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