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  1. Introduction.
  2. The separatist movement.
  3. Nationalism as a reason for the power of the separatist movement in Quebec.
  4. The most striking proof for the power of the separatist movement in Quebec.
  5. A larger economic argument.
  6. Attempt to preserve Canadian unity.
  7. Bibliography.

One of the main concerns since the creation of the Canadian Confederation in 1867 has been the Quebec question. Nowadays, it is still a big issue in Canadian politics. Quebec has always appeared as a 'distinct society' within the country. It is the core of the main cleavage in Canada: the linguistic cleavage between French and English. Quebec also claims cultural and ethnic specificity. For the Quebec separatists, these particularities justify the independence of the province. They consider that Quebec is like a colony and they do not want to be ruled by the English majority anymore. Two referendum had already taken place in order to know if it was the will of the majority of the Quebeckers. The first occurred in 1980 and the Quebeckers refused the proposed 'sovereignty-association' (40% were in favour of the proposition). But in 1995, the result of the second referendum was not that clear (49.9% of 'yes'), even though the 'no' side won again. More than ten years later, we wonder what the current aspirations concerning the Quebec independence movement are and how the separatist movement dealt with those two defeats.

[...] Quebec debates its future. (Oolichan Books and the Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1991). Page 1. FIDLER, Richard. Canada, Adieu ? Quebec debates its future. (Oolichan Books and the Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1991). Page 23. YOUNG, Robert. The Struggle for Quebec. (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999). Page 127. DORAN, Charles. Why Canadian Unity Matters and why American Care. Democratic Pluralism at Risk. (University of Toronto Press, 2001). Page 67. www.cbc.ca Stats Can FIDLER, Richard. Canada, Adieu ? [...]


[...] If this essay aims at checking the potential threat that the Quebec separatism represent for the Canadian unity, it means that we consider that this movement is powerful. So we will first have a look on the elements which allow us to affirm that the Quebec separatism remains powerful. We could assert that the two previous referenda and their failure weakened the movement in favour of an independent Quebec. But in fact, history is what makes the strength of separatism. [...]


[...] As a conclusion, after analysing many factors, we can affirm that Quebec separatism remains powerful. It takes its strength in several sources such as history, geography and the economy. It seems that Quebec separatists will keep on fighting for independence as long as Quebec will still be part of Canada. And according to the importance given by the federal government to the Quebec issue, separatism is an effective threat to the Canadian unity. This threat has different aspects: the only wish of a province to secession already weakens the country. [...]

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