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Ah, that myth! According to Jean-Martin Aussant (master's degree in Economic Analysis, leader of Option Nationale provincial party), the savings we would make by not being in Canada, such as not doing 2 income tax reports, duplication of government, etc, would result in a net surplus of 2 billion $ (source in French, Google translation - text is not by Aussant, but it's the same arguments), including the "loss" of the equalization payments.
Québec's independence makes
And it's not solely a question of language, but rather of very different thinking. The 2011 federal elections result points that out clearly.
Assuming that you're talking about full independence, does M. Aussant factor for the increased funding they'd have to pony up for such things as defence and the like? Not to mention the fact that what was once internal trade can now be taxed. And there's the very good question of just what the natives up north in your more valuable terrain would make of breaking away from Canada. Independence might be very popular in the cities, but last I checked the First Nations are markedly uninterested.
Defense: sure, with our part of the military. People will often say that we'd be stuck with our part of the Canadian debt, but they forget that it comes with our part of assets, including the military.
Trade: an independent Québec would have the ability to negotiate its own trade agreements, rather than being imposed whatever Ottawa decides - and Ottawa's interests are not the same as Québec's.
Natives: like so many others, they need to be shown the arguments. They can benefit enormously, for example if we nationalize natural resources (rather than giving them away to private interests).
My opinion: I'm in favor of independence as of last federal election (2011). Strangely enough, the proponents of independence failed to convince me, because all I could understand was that it was a language issue. Those who convinced me were: the rest of Canada. They massively voted for a party that goes totally against our values.
As for my predictions of the future of Québec, I don't expect to see its independence in my lifetime, simply because of the massive disinformation that federalists use. It's all false, but fear has a strong hold. One of those is the myth that Québec would somehow outlaw English. Making the promotion of French is hardly banning English. Even Bill 101 allows English - it just makes French the main language.
Around 34% of the nation voted for the Conservatives, factoring for actual voter turnout. And if it hadn't been for the whole 'unite the right' malarky, we wouldn't be looking at this sort of thing. Or if we didn't insist on our stupid First-Past-the-Post electoral system. You should be more angry at the electoral landscape that lead to the Cons getting their government, not the whole rest of Canada for electing the morons. The NDP and Libs sort of had the deck stacked against them this time around.
And Bill 101 doesn't outlaw English, but it does mandate French. It's a subtle distinction, but it's an important one. Even under Harper and the Cons, we still have a legal obligation to accommodate the 7.7% of non-Quebec francophones in the nation. As near as I can tell, Bill 101's position of the 7.8% anglophone minority is 'put up or shut up'. Though, if I'm wrong do correct me.
Quite right about the flawed electoral system. It still outlined a important divide between Québec and the Prairies. Ontario is much closer value-wise. The late shift in favor of the NDP in Ontario caused many ridings to go to the Conservatives.
Originally Posted by Savayan
As near as I can tell, Bill 101's position of the 7.8% anglophone minority is 'put up or shut up'. Though, if I'm wrong do correct me.
You're wrong, mostly. There are still English schools (McGill university, for example). The sign in front of a business can be in any languages, but French must be dominant. Businesses should be able to serve French-speaking customers and employees. But I admit I don't know the full details of the bill.
Honestly, I have no real opinion on the matter. I think if the Québecquois, however, even consider it in the first place, they must clearly feel like a completely separate culture, with completely separate sets of values/beliefs. If that's truly the case, there shouldn't be anything wrong with them becoming autonomous.
Now whether they'll ever be allowed to do so, that's a different story entirely.
Most of the Canadians I talked to (who were not from Quebec) *wanted* Quebec to declare independence. It has been a long-running theme in politics both inside Quebec and in the rest of Canada, and if it were not for the issue of natural resources (which is the one reason why the Canadians I know who opposed independence did so), I think it would be accepted with a sigh of relief on both sides.
Personally, I have no particular opinion either way.