The Federalists’ fear campaign

We had buried the national question. And more particularly the idea of ​​independence. Quebecers had apparently gone elsewhere.

There was a bit of truth in this story, insofar as the two lost referendums hurt the people of Quebec, they even disoriented them for a time. Many Quebecers have preferred to take refuge in what the young intellectual Alexis Tétreault calls in his remarkable book The nation that was not self-evident the “myth of normality”. Quebec would be a normal society whose identity would never be threatened.


But no matter how much we bury the real, it always ends up resurfacing. And the reality is simple: there is an insurmountable contradiction between Canadian federalism and the Quebec identity.

The more the first unfolds, the more the second unravels.

The more the second asserts itself, the more the first is weakened.

And as soon as we become aware of it, the national question resurfaces. Here we are.

More than a quarter of a century after the 1995 referendum, Quebecers are rediscovering that their identity and their language have been weakened, and that Canadian federalism is hampering their legitimate desire for affirmation, in particular that of defining the framework for integration themselves. immigrants.

But federalism in Quebec is not just an idea. It is a system of power, to which are added a ruling class, lobbies, interests.

And this system has always compensated for Quebecers’ lack of attachment to it through a policy of fear.

Thus, he always explained to Quebecers that, left to themselves, they would be condemned to poverty, perhaps even to misery.

Independence would lead them to ruin.

This is how the federal system – and those who serve it – have held on since Quebecers first considered the possibility of independence: by a constant campaign of intimidation.

And insofar as the national question is being reborn, he is renewing with the same strategy.

The federalists are afraid, and for that, they seek to instill fear.

Their discourse is changing, however. Their argument is renewed a little.

From now on, they claim that Quebec nationalism is closed, intolerant, hostile to “difference”, xenophobic, and even racist.

He would be guilty of an ethnic, ethnocentric and conservative drift.

It would be crossed by the temptation to persecute the communities resulting from immigration. In other words, it would be dangerous.

The simple fact of affirming that the people of Quebec could disappear and risk their survival now passes for a scandalous statement.

This absolutely stupid fear talk has three functions.


First, to convince Quebecers that deep down, they need Canada to protect themselves.

Then, mobilize populations of immigrant origin and convince them that French-speaking Quebecers are threatening them.

Finally, discredit Quebec nationalists on a global scale, by making them look like dangerous far-right cranks.

This anti-nationalist fear campaign will be symbolically very violent. You will have to know how to resist it.

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