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My Personal Plan B

by Stephen Lautens

February 20, 1998

My wife and I have decided to separate.

No, don't call in the lawyers. We're not separating from each other.

We've decided to separate from the rest of Canada.

We've been listening to Quebec heckle from the sidelines of the Supreme Court of Canada case, and figure the same rules should apply to us.

Why not? We don't like our neighbours. They leave their garbage out back until it attracts wildlife, and their kid screams all day like he's in the process of donating an organ.

I'm pretty sure we pay more taxes than them too. My wife has this unfortunate honest streak in her that is expensive at tax time.

So we're declaring the Sovereign Republic of Lautens. And like Quebec, we expect all of our problems will magically disappear the moment we become maitres chez nous.

Within a week of independence I expect to grow to at least six foot two. Plus my chin will become firmer and my sideburns will finally fill in. My wife looks forward to claiming her historic right to have Demi Moore's figure, which she feels the rest of Confederation has deprived her of.

The only problem is, unlike Quebec, we don't have a minority within our newly sovereign house. What's the fun of having your own cultural uniqueness unless you can deprive others of it? We might have to take in a boarder, just so we can deny him the right to put up signs in the basement in his own language.

The best part about asserting our right to a personal Unilateral Declaration of Independence is not having to be logical about it. Like the Quebec politicians, we won't let the facts get in the way of our unreasonable demands.

Like claiming we're an oppressed minority within Canada, the way Quebec's government does. Forget the fact that Quebec has been home to most of our Prime Ministers. Ignore that the Senate, House of Commons and Cabinet is filled with Quebecers. Don't acknowledge that if you want to be a senior military officer or federal civil servant, you have to be French-speaking.

You see, apparently you can have all these things and still be oppressed and humiliated. It's especially humiliating to accept a big salary and all the fancy government perks that come with being a separatist MP.

At a lunch not long ago I once asked the editor of La Presse how Quebec could be oppressed even though they've been running things since WWII. He said that it was a matter of pride, and as an Anglo I just couldn't understand.

When confronted with inconvenient facts, switch arguments.

Like when Quebec uses the courts to fight English language rights, but then turns around and says the Supreme Court of Canada can't tell them what to do.

Bouchard, worried what he plans is illegal, says he doesn't have to respect the law. He is only accountable to a higher power. He says democracy is more important than the law that makes it possible. He answers only to the will of the people - as manipulated and interpreted by him, of course.

He hears a little voice in his head. It tells him to ignore a country based on a respect for the law - laws that have given Quebec more freedom than any other province in Canada and most countries in the world.

And we all know what it means when people hear voices in their heads, don't we?

By the way, you're all welcome to visit my new country anytime. Just apply to my wife, my Minister of Immigration, for a visa.


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