Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mad Rant: Getting Fed Up with Quebec

(I had planned to post this when it would have been more 'timely' but obviously other issues came up)
TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have, fortunately, met with a very warm and friendly welcome from the people of Canada who, probably thanks to British football fans, probably have more of a reputation for politeness than even the English these days. However, the media will pounce on any discontent and will never pass up the chance to make any royals look bad or unpopular -even the “it” couple of the year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Quebec separatists have, it seems, been worked into a French-Canadian frenzy over the presence of the Cambridge newlyweds. The media had to admit that they were outnumbered 10-to-1 (and I would suggest much more than that) by the throngs of cheering well-wishers but they still spoke to the vocal minority, pointing out their rude slogans, obscene gestures and their name calling directed at the couple, the Prince of Wales and even the Queen that ranged from the crude to the positively degenerate. These scenes have been boiling up in me ever since I first saw them and I’m about to blow my lid. I have just one thing to say to the separatists of Quebec: SHUT UP ALREADY!

Now, keep in mind, this is coming from someone who sympathized with the French in the French & Indian War, someone who likes the French and who liked the culture of Quebec back in the days when they actually had one. But, I am fed to the teeth with this constant, childish, whining and name-calling. Listen up Quebeckers! *You are not mistreated!* You are certainly not suffering from any political oppression. You live in a monarchy and can openly call for a republic and can actually become a republic if a majority so desires it. That means you already have more freedom than the citizens of the French Republic whose constitution forbids any change in favor of a monarchy. You have every bit as much freedom as any people in any modern, western country. In fact, you have a better deal than many since the rest of Canada has bent over backwards in their slavish effort to placate you. And don’t talk to me about fighting to preserve the Quebec culture and heritage; you pretty much destroyed that all on your own with no help from the rest of Canada. The conservative, Catholic, old French culture and traditions of Quebec have been all but wiped out by the modern secularist, socialist, republican crowd who have absolutely nothing in common with the past generations of Quebec.

One of the things I have always admired about the British Empire was their ability to learn from their own mistakes. Quebec is a good example of this. In the beginning, British rule was rather harsh but they realized that this was a recipe for disaster and so they began to take a different course, particularly under General Sir Guy Carleton (who not many people know was the last commander-in-chief of the British forces in the Revolutionary War). The French language was protected, French law allowed and used, French land claims were upheld and the Roman Catholic Church was given complete freedom. This so won over the upper echelons of society in Quebec (both the aristocrats and the clerics) that when the American Revolutionary War broke out the leadership in Quebec was explicit in denouncing it. We also know that Bishop Jean-Olivier Briand threatened to cut off from the sacraments anyone who supported the republican rebels and even excommunicated the famous Father John Carroll of Baltimore, Maryland for his support of the revolution. Yes, believe it or not, originally, Quebec was not only loyal to the British Crown but VERY loyal.

Those who raised this flag wouldn't recognize Quebec now
However, once there was no longer a threat from an army of invading Yanks old grudges and problems started to pop up again. It still did not take on the very hateful tone of the modern separatists until after the “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960’s when the province decided to ditch the Catholic Church and embrace socialism and, to a degree, separatism. Since then the shouting for independence has reached the point that it became necessary to put it to a vote. Quebec voted to stick with Canada. That is the final point. All of you Quebec nationalists who think you are being “oppressed” by the Queen and the rest of Canada, perhaps you should be directing your anger at your fellow Quebecois who did not vote your way. The rest of Canada did not decide to keep you, the Queen certainly did not decide on her own that Quebec would stay in Canada, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did not decide the issue -YOU did. What is worse, the sort of “independence” most in the Quebec separatist community talk about would not be independence at all but sort of a political equivalent of “friends with benefits”.

That is what really irritates me the most about all of this. There is absolutely no justification for voicing anger or disrespect at the Queen or Royal Family. Quebec is not being oppressed, it is not being held hostage. Quebec was given the choice and the majority chose to stay with Canada. I wonder how they would feel if the British Empire they so claim to despise had not defended them in the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812? Coming from where I do, I can tell you Quebec, if you did vote to secede you would not get a nice parting gift from the President wishing you the best of luck. Leaving the United States is not an option -ask any southern state (we tried it and things didn’t work out so well for us). Yet, when your own people do not agree with you, you resort to juvenile attacks on the representatives of the very system that gives you the right to leave if you desire to! It positively infuriates me and makes me a very, very … Mad Monarchist.


  1. Hey MM,

    Don't you know that as long as you're living under a monarchy you're not really free because the will of the majority isn't done, even if the will of the majority is to have a monarchy? :)

    But seriously, now, you're absolutely right, and republicans all over the Debritished Uncrowned Commonpoor are equally ridiculous.

    God Save The Queen!

  2. Bravissimo.

    As a Western Canadian, I'd be quite happy to see Quebec go for real independence. It would, at the least, deprive that province's uniquely terrible taker class of my tax dollars.

    At the same time, they might have to face reality and give up some of their welfare socialism once they realize the math doesn't add up without extortion money from the Rest of Canada.

    The worst model is the current one of "profitable federalism" where they wail and cry and threaten to secede until all their demands are met.

    Vive le Quebec libre! Vive la Reine!

  3. Perhaps an independent Quebec could recognize the French crown and provide them with a new nation to rule over in Quebec by inviting them to rule. — too bad this is the 21st century....

  4. With all due respect, sir, why do you insist on using the abbreviated French article even when the following word is not a singular word starting with a vowel sound?

  5. Perhaps because French is not my first or even second language? I do not "insist" on it but if my efforts at it are such a bother that it seems I inist on doing things incorrectly I have tried to remove any such offending attempts and will refrain in the future.

    My Spanish is not much better and if my incorrect English bothers anyone -well, we're just slap outta luck.

  6. Well, sir, it did not offend me. Perhaps I should have used another wording. Perhaps I even should have given you a notice through e-mail, but then again your e-mail address is not announced.

    I am all for my fellow monarchist writing a best language possible, but we of course all make mistakes, and if my note causes my fellow monarchist to shy away from all foreign languages, I find it sad.

  7. I simply do not wish to be incorrect, and I really should not allow myself to slip into languages I have not mastered (though I've mastered none) nor are there any fluent French speakers around here for me to enlist as an editor. I used to speak really bad German, but the only person nearbye I could converse with died some years ago and now I don't even speak it badly, so I try not to use it at all.

    Besides, if you noticed it more than once many others must have and I do not wish to offend those who speak one of my favorite languages. I think it's funny. My attempts at French are bad enough that I'm being corrected by a Norwegian. Surely not a good sign!

  8. As for Quebec, I am, in all honesty, indifferent. While they should be loyal to their Queen, they are also not exactly part of the Anglosphere, if I may call it that, which comprises most of the Commonwealth. So I wouldn't be against, say, re-attachment to France (though they practically speak another language entirely) or even autonomy. It leaves me indifferent.

  9. They should be loyal because she is the lawful sovereign of their country. Were it not for their bad behavior they would not bother me at all. If they want to leave -leave! If not, stay and behave yourself. Also, based on my experience, most of these trouble-maker types in Quebec detest France only slightly less than England (which surprised me when I first began to notice it). They blame the French for 'selling them out'. They are typical socialist malcontents who are only happy when they are miserable.

  10. This seems to be a recurring problem with Commonwealth realms. Self-determination is supposed to be something that all democratic countries are committed to respect, but whenever the results displease the new militant left, all of a sudden democracy isn't good enough for them.

    Canada has Quebec, the United Kingdom has Northern Ireland, and New Zealand has Tokelau.

    In all cases, the local population has demonstrated time and again that it is overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the status quo, yet in each case the left continues to agitate for separation, attempting to impose their will on the population, while at the same time accusing the central government of being undemocratic.

  11. Well, in Ireland it's a bit more complicated than that. IRA is definitely leftist but not Catholic. On that grounds, I wouldn't call Catholic, pro-united Ireland (horribile dictu: Republican) Irish people leftist. As a Roman Catholic Monarchist it's hard for me to fathom that Catholic Republicans are up against Protestant Monarchist. On which side would I fight?

  12. From what I can tell, that's a non-issue since Dublin doesn't really want Northern Ireland anyway. They used to talk a good game but don't even bother with that anymore. The bottom line is that the majority want to remain in the UK and the Republic of Ireland doesn't care enough to make a fuss over it. Most are burnt out I think.

  13. I think Rob is right on the mark. No one really believes in Democracy, because its untenable. People prefer Democracy because it gives in to what the Revolutionaries wanted all along, the ability to radically reshape a nation based on Ideology.

    The entire basis of modern Democracy is wrongheaded. We don’t have rational independent people coming together in a big room to talk over the issue until there is a consensus, we have a divisive electoral process which is lead by Ideologues. The Ideologues can never really live in peace after an election fails to go their way, because the entire purpose for their lives is to impose a specific agenda onto society, so they agitate till the popularity contest has them victorious then proceed to safeguard the Agenda by making it illegal to vote against it. EG, like in France where no ones allowed to support a Royal Restoration.

    Quitbequis don’t even really want Independence, not even the Radical Separatists. They just want to dominate Quebec howsoever they see fit, force their own agenda, but still have freedom to cross into other Canadian provinces, and take Canadian Money. They essentially are spoiled brats who think they should set their own rules for everything and everyone else needs to pay for it.

    Its all rather a joke, but it sums up Liberalism over all. Its all about forcing others to do things you way.

  14. Yes, it's an old story; "I support democracy so long as the majority agrees with me..."

  15. So what does our gracious host or any of you think of Stephen Harper in the context of Quebec? Is he a good prime minister?

  16. He is what he is. he's still too Democratic for my taste and still a Politician. he's better than his predessessor, though.

  17. They detest France? How odd. That's where they get their uniqueness in Canada. But so be it.

  18. It struck me as odd as well. I thought it only natural they would have an attachment to France but surprisingly, those I encountered anyway, had none. Even in World War I and World War II they were most opposed to Canada going to war even when the cause was defending France. It is a common revolutionary mentality though, they detest everyone and anyone who does not think exactly as they do.

  19. The roots of this could be traced to the "Quiet Revolution" of the 60s and Quebec's secularisation. Which basically means the values of the French Revolution infected Quebec society.

    You get two distinct nationalist traditions in places like the Basque Country and Catalonia, also relevant for Ireland and Quebec. One is more conservative and Catholic, the other is revolutionary and Jacobin. The Quebec separatists and Irish Republicans form the latter tradition. In Quebec, nobody has had the guts to combine Quebec identity with traditionalist perspectives, not for 50 years.

  20. Speaking as an Irish-French Canadian who was born in Quebec, I appreciate your rant! Well done!

  21. Thank you. I hope none take this as being anti-Quebec, it is anti-the radical republican element which has (sadly) come to dominate the province. And speaking of Ireland, it is true that the Irish once said that they would be perfectly happy within the British Empire if only they were treated as well as Quebec! And this was before the repatriation of the constitution as well.

    1. My experiences are somewhat dated, I'm afraid.
      Living in a small Northern Ontario mining community back in the 1960's...the real divide between Anglophones and Francophones seemed to revolve around two most important issues, whether the Toronto Maples Leafs were able to win over the Montreal Canadians and whether LaBatts Beer was more flavourful than Molsons. Serious issues? Maybe !
      ....and then Charles DeGaule came upon the scene, as cheerleader for Separation....

      Viva La Quebec....Viva Canada, all


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