Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Canada won't have Lucien Bouchard to kick around anymore. He was a Quebec separatist whose politics was grounded in a feeling of perpetual insult, that English Canada didn't give proper respect to him and other French Canadians. His politics was personal, and he differed from a large portion of the most rabid separatists, whose politics is based on xenophobia and racism (they really hate having the racist history of Quebecois nationalism pointed out). Bouchard could never accept this nationalism as his politics was based in an aversion to racism partly due to feeling himself a victim of racism. Support for separatism is made up of the racist minority of nationalist true believers and the majority of the population whose support for separation waxes and wanes depending on how accepted they feel in Canada. Thus, separatists prospered in the wake of Meech Lake and Charlottetown, when Quebecers felt rejected by Canada. Conversely, and contrary to the expressed opinions of many journalists, support for separatism has fallen after the Guy Bertrand Supreme Court reference and the Clarity Act, as a majority of the Quebecois population saw these as assertions by English Canada that it actually cared about Quebec and didn't want to lose it. So Bouchard leaves at least in part because he couldn't put up with the anti-semitism of the rabid nationalists, and thus goes out a statesman. Who knows what devils will take power now.