Thursday, April 14, 2011


April 14, 2011
William Phelps  Phyllis, since you're from Quebec, perhaps you can shed some light on a question that I have pondered for quite some time. Do the people of Quebec really want to separate from Canada, or is it just the politicians trying to convince everyone that they need to separate?
William asks -  - Do the people of Quebec really want to separate from Canada, or is it just the politicians trying to convince everyone that they need to separate?

Based on my personal observations for decades, it is my belief that most people just want to live in peace. They don't want complications in their lives. But there are always extremists who are the ones who make themselves heard and who influence thinking. They are usually public personalities - the intellectuals - writers, poets, union leaders, artists, professors - and pseudo-intellectuals who like to see themselves in the glow of those leaders. This group likes publicity, likes to feel important, likes power and also likes to pick at sore spots - such as ancient grievances and antagonisms. They keep pressing for more  protection for the French language but no amount of protection will ever satisfy them because what they really want is power.
They attract the media and they work in the media and they use the media to keep their cause and their actions in the forefront of public attention, thereby initiating new converts - particularly students and malcontents - to their cause.
Such people will never be satisfied. Under the guise of their love for the French culture, there is a running theme of hatred for those who are different. Many separatists are overtly or covertly anti-Semitic. They accept Haitian immigrants because the Haitian people speak French, but I do not believe that separatists truly love their Black confreres. That is my opinion based on years of observation and experience. I know it is not something that will be accepted as politically correct. It is simply what I believe based on everything I have seen and heard for fifty years.
But I stress this: Most Quebecers would like to live in peace with their neighbours and I believe that most Quebecers enjoy being Canadian.
So many non-franco Quebecers are bilingual, even tri-lingual, and intelligent people are usually proud to be able to use more than one language. But the voices that are always heard are the ones of extremists and, because the media have so much influence over what people outside of Quebec hear, you are hearing the voices of extremists and not of the people of Quebec. Those loud and persistent whining  and menacing voices influence voters.
We who lived through the October Crisis remember how destructive hatred can be.  That makes people fearful and submissive. It also makes people outside of Quebec believe that the extremists represent Quebec. They do not.

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