Quebec Independence

Scott Marshall Scott at
Fri Oct 20 18:33:00 MDT 1995

At 06:59 PM 10/20/95 AST4ADT, you wrote:
>We are only two weeks away from the Quebec independence referendum
>which could have a larger political impact on North American society than
> the cold war, and nobody is debating the subject ?

  :                    : PEOPLE'S VOICE NEWSPAPER :                      :
  : Proletaire De      HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM< Workers Of All Lands :
  : Tous Les Pays                                         Unite!         :
  : Unissez-Vous!      Otatoskewan Ota Kitaskinahk                       :
  :                            Mamawentotan!                             :

  The following article appeared in the October 1995  issue of the
  People's Voice Newspaper:

On the October 30 referendum

Convene a Constituent Assembly for a New Deal!

(Statement by the Central Committee, CPC, Sept. 17/95)

       Canada's future is at stake today. Quebec is about to vote on
sovereignty - in fact,
independence. But while the Chretiens, Bouchards, Parizeaus and Mannings
are fighting it out,
working people are frozen out of the debate. At the same time, demands are
growing for a just
settlement of native land claims, the sovereignty of Canada as a whole is
being wiped out under
the "free trade" deals, and governments and the big corporations are
trashing our jobs and social
gains.        It's time to take the future into our own hands, to fight for
democratic solutions to our problems, including the constitutional dilemma!

       The people of Quebec have the right to decide their future, within
their present boundaries, through a democratic vote. Quebec is much more
than "just one province." It is a nation, with a common language and
territory, and a unique history and culture. Their choice must be respected
- there must be no threats or violence directed against Quebec!

       But in our view, the referendum will not resolve the crisis in the
interests of working people. Heading the "Yes" side are pro-business PQ and
BQ leaders hoping to cut their own deal with the U.S. They have no concern
for the working people of Quebec. A "Yes" vote, leading to
separation, would make it much more difficult to achieve a truly democratic
solution. It would feed the forces tearing Canada apart, opening the way
for U.S. imperialism to absorb Canada - including Quebec. Such a breakup of
Canada would be a disaster for working people.        On the other hand, it
isn't enough just to say "No." That leaves the status quo, which we reject.
Outside Quebec, the "No" camp is led by bitter opponents of Quebec's right
of self-determination and of aboriginal rights. These same big business
forces and right-wing parties sold out Canada's sovereignty under the NAFTA
deal. The constitutional reform they want is the transfer of federal powers
to the provinces, fragmenting Canada and destroying our social programs in
the process. Without movement towards genuine, democratic constitutional
change, a "No" vote can only delay and deepen the crisis. This is no choice
at all!

       But there is another alternative. Many Canadians are looking for a
democratic way forward. In our view, that option is a new equal and
voluntary partnership between Quebec and English-speaking Canada. Working
people and our organizations have to take the lead in this critical debate.
For example, the Canadian Labour Congress and the National Action Committee
on the Status of Women recognize Quebec's right of self-determination,
though regrettably they have yet to speak up strongly.

       That's why our Party renews our urgent appeal for a "people's
option" - a democratically-elected Constituent Assembly. Composed of equal
representation from Quebec and the Rest of Canada, and the full
participation of the First Nations, such an Assembly could hammer out a
new draft constitution for consideration by all Canadians, based on the
real equality of Quebec and the rest of Canada, and guarantees of full
aboriginal rights. Such a process could win back for working people some of
the power now held by the big corporations.

       There's too much at stake to leave the stage to the status-quo
federalists and the "independantistes." Everything possible should be done
now to build support for a Constituent Assembly and a new, democratic


Permission is given to reproduce articles if credit is given.

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