Ottawa and the Two Question Referendum
In 1998 a reference by the federal government to the
Supreme Court was made asking it to lay out the ground rules for the possible
secession of Quebec from Canada, resulting in the federal government passing the
Clarity Act. How does the Two Question Referendum fit in with the Clarity Act?
The primary requirement of the Clarity Act is…clarity: Any referendum
question that the Quebec government formulates must be clear and unambiguous. It
must be a hard question.
By its clear and unambiguous language, the Two Question Referendum satisfies
What will the federal government’s reaction be to the Two Question
Quebec’s non-Francophone community is currently in a "no-win" situation. Within
Confederation, no government -- federal or provincial -- will stick up for their
rights. If an independent Quebec comes about without any co-operation or support
from the non-Francophone community, they’ll be up the creek without a paddle. If
they have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to independence then they will
be in a very difficult position to bargain for anything.
Everyone has always assumed that the English will automatically opt for Canada
and the provincial party that supports federalism, namely the Quebec Liberal
party. However, through the structure of the Two Question Referendum, the non-Francophones
will, for the first time, be put in a position in which they will, in effect, be
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