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Whining Conditions

by Stephen Lautens

October 1, 1999

I hesitate to comment on what goes on in Quebec, but every once in a while it just gets to be too much. And as soon as I point out something, I get a stack of mail from separatists about how what goes on in that part of my country is none of my business.

I even got a rather rude letter in French saying that I was another reason why Quebec should separate.

Cripes - I can't even get those door to door natural gas salesmen to go away. I didn't think I could send a whole province packing. So I'm going to have to watch what I say.

But when I read that Citizen Bouchard is still going on about creating "winning conditions" for a referendum, it's time to call a spade a freaking shovel. You'd think he already had enough on his hands running Quebec's economy into the ground and honking off the nursing profession and various unions.

Of course it's the old "Hey, look over there!" school of political survival. You keep afloat as long as you can distract people from what a crummy job you are doing as a government. So Bouchard keeps talking about creating winning conditions for another referendum. He has already said he'll keep having them until he wins.

Coincidentally, I just got back from Las Vegas. Of course there they let me keep rolling the dice until I won. I told them I was playing by Canadian separatist rules. Losing never counts, and the game's over when I win.

Forget the fact that almost 70% of Quebecers oppose another referendum on separation. Like all of us, they're sick of it. But Bouchard, the Great Democrat, has decided that those 70% of Quebecers do not know what is best for them, although I doubt there is a single person in Quebec who hasn't heard his message ­ paid for with your tax dollars.

So to create "winning conditions" the PQ wants to educate the people of Quebec, and tell them what a bad deal they get from the rest of Canada. You know, how you and I and the rest of English Canada spend every waking hour thinking up new ways to humiliate them.

Like making Quebec accept billions of dollars more in tax revenue than we collect from them. Or by having French Canadians repeatedly serve as Prime Ministers, Supreme Court Justices and Cabinet Ministers.

Quebec was apparently "embarrassed" at a recent visit to the Spanish region of Catalonia. You see, Catalonia has a state song, but Quebec doesn't. I suppose Bouchard had to walk down the red carpet to Celine Dion singing that Titanic song.

Any way you look at it, it was just another slap in the face, and that's not just whistling Dixie, if you'll pardon the expression. How can they hold their heads up among those other bastions of Francophonie, superpowers like Rwanda and Algeria?

Of course, the National Anthem for all Canada was originally written for Quebec's St. Jean Baptiste Day by Calixa Lavallee and Adolphe Basile-Routhier. But when we adopted it for all of Canada, we didn't do it to show our love and appreciation for Quebec. According to a PQ official, we "stole" it from French Canadians.

This is the kind of thing Bouchard hopes to twist into "winning conditions" for a referendum as unwelcome as Marilyn Manson at a church picnic. He wants to tie himself to Confederation's railway tracks and plead for Quebecers to save him.

The problem with the PQ is they wouldn't know the truth if it was served to them covered in poutine.

Or worse ­ they know the truth, but couldn't care less, because they know in their heart of hearts that speaking the truth will not lead to "winning conditions".

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