How to Achieve Quebec Independence

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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 this criteria.

What will the federal government’s reaction be to the Two Question Referendum?

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 able to