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Old 2012-02-23, 16:13   Link #19784
Not Enough Sleep
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: R'lyeh
Age: 42
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Quebec is the only province with a substantial separatist movement. That's partly because its the only Francophone-majority province. The first settlers in Canada were French, then the British conquered them, so they see themselves as culturally distinct from English Canada. Given that I can't really see them joining the US, especially since their politics are pretty much social-democratic (far more than the rest of Canada).

Support for separatism in Quebec peaked around 1995, when there was a referendum and the federalists beat the sovereigntists by a margin of less than 1%. Because it was such a close call, the government then asked the Supreme Court for a ruling on whether Quebec could unilaterally separate from Canada. The Court basically told them "they cannot do it unilaterally, but if a substantial majority (ie. not 50%+1) want to, than you have to negotiate a separation with them". I tend to agree with one of my political science profs that such negotiations would end in limbo. It hasn't come up because separatism isn't that popular these days, the general consensus seems to be that federalism is okay as long as we find your policies agreeable (going to be interesting to see how this plays out with the current Conservative government since they don't share much ideology with most Quebecois and have very little support there).

One of the western provinces, Alberta, has a small separatist movement but it's politically irrelevant at the moment (especially since the Conservative government has a lot of support there). While Alberta is probably the most conservative Canadian province, the main driving force behind this movement is Alberta's huge oil reserves. They don't like having been subject to national energy policies and don't like the Canadian environmental lobby (quite a bit of Alberta's oil is in tar sands, and extracting this has a much larger environmental impact than conventional oil extraction). Their political culture is a lot more agreeable to joining the US than other provinces but I'm still not sure if they'd go for it.

There's people in my own province of British Columbia that would like to see British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon form a country independent of both the US and Canada, but it's never given rise to a political movement. Probably because there are things about it that make sense to British Columbians (many people, myself included, feel Vancouver has far closer ties with Seattle than any major Canadian city), most of us are happy enough in Canada and it would take a lot of work both to effect the separation and merge (fairly different) state institutions.
you don't want California?
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