The Quebec Rebate
Carl Jung, one of the founding fathers of psychology, once stated, “People cannot stand too much reality.” Perhaps the reality of Quebec separating from what is the rest of Canada (ROC) would be a positive thing. The partition of Quebec from the ROC might be just the right amount of reality to rejuvenate many of the political faint of heart.
First off, I must advise I am from the US and a retired military officer so, I admit I am suspect when it comes to meddling in Canadian politics. We refer to Canadians as our cousins to the north. Well, you are not. It is much closer than that, you are our brothers and sisters to the north. Our two country’s politics, our economy, our culture, our language and our northern European English centered way of life bind us together unlike any other two nations on earth. We need each other desperately, but it goes beyond that; we truly want each other.
We also take each other for granted. The average American could not name five cities, let alone five Provinces, in Canada. I have heard it explained that the US border is considered a speed bump for Canadians on their way south to shop and spend the winter in Florida. Both sides of our very close, yet dysfunctional family assume each will always be there for the other. So far, we always have been there, but the drums of secession are beating again and the non-English speaking Quebec culture is raising its less than attractive head once more.
Maybe it is time they go, but they should go with only what they can carry on their backs. I use to tell my father when I got mad that I was leaving. He said, “that door leads to all parts of the world, but you leave with what you came in with: nothing.” He called my bluff and perhaps it is time to extend that option to the people of Quebec.
One of the reasons the US has such a strong relation with Canada is because we really don’t get along with Mexico. Oh, we tolerate them and they tolerate us, but that Anglo-Spanish struggle between the US and Mexico goes way back to the never ending conflicts of old Europe. You know, sort of like the never ending English-French struggles of old Europe.
It all comes down to money. If Quebec goes, I suggest not letting them take the money. The current ROC is taxed billions of dollars every year, money that goes directly to the pet projects propping up Quebec. If they go, Quebec will be this small landlocked (on three sides) island surrounded by ROC citizens who will strongly resent how the Quebeckers forced an irreversible change. The ROC navy would control the St. Lawrence River. Do not be fooled, it will not be a Velvet Revolution.
Quebec, do not look south for support, we in the US already have our own history of dealing with secession, our Civil War was the result. As an English speaking nation, who do you think the US will support? Don’t think that certain European or African nations will be allowed to station troops inside the re-defined borders of Quebec, that's not going to happen.
I say "redefined borders," because you will not get to keep the northern part of modern Quebec, it is part of the old Ungava District and will belong to the ROC, not the new, identity confused Quebec. What about the pockets of hard line ROC supporting Quebeckers who will not secede? I envision a new four-lane super highway connecting east and west ROC and the hydro power coming out of the Maritimes into Quebec stopping.
Think of all the millions of dollars saved not printing anything bilingually. However, the best thing will be the Quebec Rebate. All the billions of dollars that will no longer be sent to Quebec can be distributed as a rebate for every ROC citizen. 25 million ROC citizens, after you removed the 8 million New Quebec citizens, divided into the billions of tax dollars that will no longer be given under duress to Quebec, should be used for a ROC rebate.
We are talking about thousands of dollars for every citizen of the ROC. Quebec, try to build a new, separate economy and a new army to defend it. Have fun dealing with your unhappy, formerly pampered citizens. How do you say, "reality is a bitch" in French? Oh yes: realite est une chienne.
Copyright 2009 by Major Van Harl, USAF Ret. All rights reserved.