The "Neverendum" campaign.
Quebec Premier Bernard Landry says another referendum on sovereignty will be held within 1,000 days--IF. The qualifier is that Mr. Landry wants to see a majority of Quebeckers in favour of sovereignty before calling another vote. That might be a tall order.
Opinion polls carried out recently by Leger Marketing show Quebeckers are not even interested in debating separation. Among decided voters, 65% oppose sovereignty and only 35% support it; this is according to a poll conducted for The Globe and Mail, Le Devoir, and TVA just last week.
Even worse news for the Parti Quebecois is that it faces an election within one year. Current polls show the Action Democratique du Quebec Party (ADQ) will form the next government. The latest polls show if an election were held today, 40% of voters would pick the ADQ, 29% would vote Liberal, and 25% would choose the Parti Quebecois. But, as has been said many times, a week is a long time in politics, and the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day.
Pollster Jean-Marc Leger says: "Quebeckers have been split between federalists and sovereigntists since the 1960s, and now the ADQ is offering something different."
In softening his approach to a referendum, Mr. Landry has bowed to pressure from conservatives in his party. Others, such as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Charbonneau want a firm commitment to a referendum no matter what the opinion polls say. Mr. Charbonneau wants Quebec to take its seat as a sovereign, independent nation at the next meeting of the Summit of the Americas set for 2005 in Buenos Aries, Argentina.
MONTREAL--26 August 2002
Raymond Villeneuve has a long history of radical activities in the cause of Quebec separatism. In 1965, he pled guilty to manslaughter in the bombing death of a 65-year-old night watchman. The death occurred as part of a wave of bombings in the 1960s carried out by the terrorist group the Front de Liberation du Quebec. Now, Mr. Villeneuve has been convicted of urging violence against "enemies of the Quebec people." In a newsletter he publishes he urged supporters to hunt down English-rights activists with shotguns. Quebec Court Judge Claude Millette gave Mr. Villeneuve a three-month sentence, which he will serve in the community. Leading English-rights activist Brent Tyler described the sentence as "Grossly, grossly inadequate."
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms--http://www.uni.ca/charter.html
Canadian Constitutional Documents--http://www.solon.org/Constitutions/Canada/English/
Lessons From Meech Lake--http://www.nucleus.com/~rjmedia/pdfdocuments/barrie.pdf
Prince Edward Island and the Canadian Constitution--http://www.upei.ca/~iis/constitution.html
Saskatchewan Indian (Meech Lake)--http://www.sicc.sk.ca/saskindian/a87sum02.htm
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|Title Annotation:||sovereignty referendum|
|Publication:||Canada and the World Backgrounder|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2002|
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