The Anniversary

On this date forty years ago the Parti Quebecois were elected as the Government of Quebec. I doubt there will be many celebrations today.

The PQ are a sovereigntist political party. Their goal was (and is) to democratically take the province out of the Canadian nation to become and independent state. So far they have been unsuccessful. For 40 years they have been in and out of government, wining some elections and losing others. Twice (1980 and 1995) they have held referendums asking the people of Quebec to vote on independence (more or less). Twice they have lost.

These days support for Quebec sovereignty is low. If the PQ wins the next election they are unlikely to hold another referendum. Just promising one cost them the last provincial campaign. People want good government. Ideological excesses are less popular.

On November 15, 1976, many people thought it was the end of Canada, that the country was on the verge of breaking up. Time has shown that those fears were exaggerated, but as the ballots were counted no-one knew what the future held.

Last Tuesday Americans elected Donald Trump to be their next president. There has been a lot of fear and soul searching. The country is divided.

I wonder how things will appear when people look back 40 years from now. Time may show that today’s American fears are exaggerated.

The future scares us. We don’t handle the unknown well. But we really don’t have other options. The past is just that. No point obsessing on “might have been.” Time to move onward.

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