Referendum-talk has become the headline single on the provincial election soundtrack, and it's been way overplayed. One key note we haven't heard regarding Quebec independence, and the most important is:
How can Montreal benefit?
We decided to find out, and asked Vladimir De Thézier, an expert on the subject. A political blogger and board of director member of Les Intellectuals pour la souveraineté (IPSO), here are De Thézier thoughts and theories on the subject.
- First, De Thézier does not ascribe to the PQ's envisioned Republic of Quebec. In his view, the PQ's Charter of Values is merely a a "calculated electoral strategy" and the party's recent actions have only hurt the movement for Quebec independence.
- If a referendum did succeed, Montreal would quickly become the main metropolis of an independent Quebec. As the cosmopolitan center of a nation, Montreal would "regain its economic vitality and international prestige."
- De Thézier, and other intellectuals, imagine the Republic of Quebec existing as a regional state made up of largely self-governed subnational regions, with areas broken up depending on cultural and economic factors.
- As a metropolis governed by a single government (no longer a city in a province regulated by a federal government) Montreal would more easily gain autonomous powers, ideally ones controlling cultural and linguistic mandates.
One hitch in this seemingly beneficial plan is that certain fail-safes would need to be installed in order for Montreal to never become a "rogue city-state."