In abroad — in other words, sovereignty —

In 1979 Rene Levesque, the Premier of Quebec, posed an important question. “The Government of Quebec has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad — in other words, sovereignty — and at the same time to maintain with Canada an economic association including a common currency; any change in political status resulting from these negotiations will only be implemented with popular approval through another referendum; on these terms, do you give the Raposo 2Government of Quebec the mandate to negotiate the proposed agreement between Quebec and Canada?”  Some people were confused by the entire question over all.  They wanted to be alone but also still keep some aspects of Canada?  An entire country being confused about the question that was posed in the first place makes it harder for them to vote.  The Parti Quebecois wanted to pose a simple question that everyone would understand, making it easier for them to understand the “consequences” of saying either “oui” or “non.”  They obviously did not achieve this, being everyone questioning the question itself.  Not a wonderful start to attempting sovereignty.  Levesque knew who is top competitor was going to be.  He knew he was going to have to win over Pierre Trudeau before anyone else in Canada.  After Trudeau was defeated by Joe Clark in the 1979 election, Levesque decided that it was the perfect time to call on a referendum.  So he did so, feeling fairly confident until a re-election a couple months later when Trudeau beat Clark instead.  Trudeau wanted absolutely nothing to do with the referendum.  He did not think it was a good idea at all so he decided to stay quiet about it, until he wasn’t.  Trudeau said in a speech that Levesque “did not have the courage to ask a simple question, so you want to separate from Canada, yes or no?” Trudeau wanted Quebec to stay within Canadian Federation.  There was so much tension between Canada and Quebec, the whole situation tearing the country apart.  In the end Quebec took a loss.  The ending vote being 1 485 852 (40.44%) votes for yes and 2 187 991 (59.56%) for no.  Each person extremely passionate about which side they had chosen.  Canada, completely split, torn by sides, “oui” and “non.”  This made Quebec quite angry, a lot of them wanted to separate.  This outcome further led to The Charter of Rights that every province has signed accept for Quebec to this day.  Quebec wanted their own, so all of the provinces agreed to sign the Meech Lake Accord in 1987.  This outlined that Quebec was to be a “distinct society”.  This did not last long, the Accord dying in 1990.    Overall the Referendum and the attempt of sovereignty had failed completely.  Quebec not learning from this, they further decided to hold another referendum.  This failed once again, majority voting “non.”      Guess some people can say that Quebec won, in the end the whole referendum did split Canada apart.  “Quebec referendum, 1980.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Jan. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_referendum,_1980.CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, www.cbc.ca/history/EPISCONTENTSE1EP17CH1PA1LE.html.

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