According to the CBC article, “Duceppe’s ‘resistance’ comments draw fire,”
Speaking to a large crowd of Bloc supporters Saturday, Duceppe described Quebec sovereignty as a “resistance” movement — a term associated with those who fought to free Europe from Nazi domination.
“For the moment, we are resisters. But yesterday’s resisters will be tomorrow’s winners. Long live a sovereign Quebec!” he told supporters, who were gathered for a weekend meeting marking the party’s 20 years of existence.
Now let me step back a moment, primarily for the benefit of the readers outside of Canada. Gilles Duceppe is the leader of the Bloc Québécois party in Canada. According to the Wikipedia entry about the party,
The Bloc Québécois (BQ) is a federal political party in Canada devoted to both the protection of Quebec’s interests on a federal level as well as the promotion of its sovereignty. As such, it campaigns only within the province during elections.
You read that right. Not only are they a federal party that represents only one province, but they ultimately want to remove Québec from Canada, entirely.
There’s no doubt that being a strictly regional party has its advantages. If you live in Québec and you want someone looking out for you, a vote for the Bloc is a vote for someone who has only your province in mind, without the added complication of compromise with voters in other provinces. But the Bloc will certainly never form the government as they don’t even bother fielding candidates outside of Québec. Why would they? The extra incentive for voters in Québec means excluding voters in every other province and territory. But that is not an issue because they want to take Québec out of confederation.
As a side-note, I went directly to the source, the Bloc Québécois web page to get a summary of the party’s goals. I wasn’t entirely surprised to find it entirely in French with no translation, so I went with the party’s Wikipedia entry over a machine translation of the site.
Duceppe didn’t say which resisters he meant when he likened today’s Québecers to “yesterday’s resisters.” He certainly can’t mean any of the resistance in Europe during WWII. That’s the first thing that will pop into people’s minds, but he didn’t say it. Still, people will be surprised. After some thought, it’s only surprising because it seems such a poor comparison. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon cut to the heart of it when he said,
There is no economic repression in Canada and there is no political repression in Canada — nothing of the sort
So what are Québecers resisting? More tax money enters the province than leaves it. No other provinces have anything like Québec’s language laws. Duceppe stands as the leader of an official opposition party…a party whose goal is to take his province out of Confederation. I would suggest that many from other countries would be astonished at the freedom Canadians enjoy.
If it’s a simple matter of the party’s wanting Québec to leave Canada, I understand the situation even less. There have been two separation referendums, in 1980 and 1995. Both failed so most Québecers do not share his party’s goal of separation. If anything, the separatists are resisting the will of the majority of Québecers. It seems that the will of the people is fine until the vote doesn’t go their way.
In Duceppe’s situation, what do you do? Sit tight or try to whip up a controversy. He seems to have decided on the latter. I question whether such a transparent ploy will serve his goal now that he is in the spotlight. My guess is most Québecers will see through his gambit, think he’s a nut, or see him moving toward the fringe. None of these conclusions will do him, or the Bloc, any good.