So I have a question for people - preferably for one of my handful of Quebec-based readers - if our current method of dealing with Quebec doesn't make the Quebecois feel any more as Canadians, how should we act to do so?
If accepting that Quebec voters will always vote for a provincial lobby party rather than one of the governing parties isn't going to work, what will?
If increasing the transfer payments to the province with the richest social program benefits - including $700 million that went straight to a tax cut during the last provincial election - isn't going to work, what will?
If letting them "do their own" thing on almost every national program - most recently, on a national regulator proposal - won't work, what will?
Basically, I'm asking if anyone reading this blog actually believes that there will be a time in our lives when Quebec will feel like they actually want to be a part of Canada and want to participate in the federation as a contributing partner? One that cares about the affairs of other provinces and regions beyond her borders?
Because here's where I'm coming from...
If they want no part of the rest of Canada now or at any point into the foreseeable future, what's the persuasive argument for the rest of Canada to keeping tip-toeing around them now and keep on extending special benefits and special privileges?
Anyhow, lots to chew on. I look forward to some responses.
In a response to Triple B, I also wrote this which I think ties into the question of this post:
Not looking for anything specific per se...Just a general comment on the state of things.
I've been kinda fixated on Quebec politics since the election and I keep being told two things:
1) Quebecois will never feel like they are a part of Canada and that's just how it is, so I might as well accept it - by extension, their continued voting for a regional party;
2) The Rest of Canada has to be careful they don't provoke the Quebecois, for fear of stirring up separatists.
Those two things don't sit well with me. I'm looking for something to hang a little hope on. I'm not seeing it.
Someone last night was saying about how this might affect the Quebec election on Monday. My response: "Unless there's a referendum taking place, it's impossible to notice a difference."
Shouldn't that be a problem? Especially when the Quebec Liberals are led by "the most federalist Premier in a generation" as Charest's often called?