Federalist campaign brainstorming


So it looks like there’s going to be another referendum in a few years. And with the federalist forces in complete disarray, the result could be disastrous. Even if most Quebeckers don’t really want to separate, they may be persuaded to vote yes if the yes side runs a much better campaign. We all know that there will be no more federal government-funded sponsorship programs. And the provincial Liberals will need someone in opposition better equipped to fight than Jean Charest, that’s for sure.

But mostly, what is sorely lacking is vision. Though the vision of a sovereign Quebec is an unrealistic pipe dream, many Quebecers buy into it because people prefer vision to pessimism. The brightly-coloured posters advertising that a “yes” vote would “make it possible” didn’t really need to get into the details of what exactly would be possible; it was a vision. A sharp contrast to the the “no” campaign in 1995, which was a negative, fear-based campaign focused mainly on dispelling the “yes” campaign’s lies.

In that spirit, here are some things that the federalist side can do to campaign for Canadian unity:

  • “Federalists Come Home” campaign
  • Invite as many former Quebecers who have moved to the Rest of Canada to move back home for the minimum period required in order to be eligible to vote in the next referendum. Open the floodgates and welcome back our expats from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary just in time to give the federalist side the needed numbers at the polls to deliver a resounding defeat to the sovereignty forces.

  • “Birthright Canada” trips
  • Hey, it’s a big success for Israel. Send groups of Quebec college students on free 10-day trips to some of the most beautiful parts of Canada. Air Canada could provide free flights in exchange for their government subsidies. After 10 days of partying in Whistler or Banff, my bet is most young Quebecers will think twice before giving up being Canadian.

  • Colour War
  • So Gerald Larose wants a colour war? Fine, we’ll give him one. Let’s show our Canadian colours by celebrating the “anniversaries” of all dates relevant to Canada with “pro-Federalism signs on balconies, marches, conferences and cultural events” of our own – but more, bigger, and louder. Canada Day, Flag Day, Law Day, the anniversary of the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey summit… there’s no shortage of opportunities.

  • Switch the Question lifeline
  • “Yes” sounds so much nicer than “No”, doesn’t it? Since the question of the next referendum is sure to be just as confusing as the last one, let’s lobby to get a question written that would make “Yes” a vote for federalism. Not only do we get the nicer, more positive campaign term, but the 40% of Quebecers who don’t have a clue what the vote means might accidentally vote “Yes” thinking it’s a vote for sovereignty. Which would be OK, because most of them want to stay in Canada anyway. So really, we’d be doing them a favour.

  • Secret Weapons
  • How much money do you think it would take to bribe Gilles Duceppe into working as a secret agent for the Federalist side?

Feel free to tack on your own.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Palubiski 04.29.05 at 6:46 PM

Now that’s the spirit!

You,re right about the question, Sari. It IS always better to vote “yes” in favour of something.

What about the feds having a referendum question of their own?

If Larose goes all nostalgic, then why don’t we?

Let us jog the *collective* memory of francophones. Put together a little collage of life in Québec before the “quiet revolution” crowd stepped in to muck things up?

Since when is Larose the guardian of the province’s official memory? Young Québeckers no NOTHING of their past……as though the pre 1960 era was one of darkness and ignorance.

Take the young on a little trip down memory lane. Let’s highlight the present degradation now polluting every sphere of activity by elaborating on the corruption (liberals-Trudeau) and incompetance ( high-tax sovereignists- Lévesque)

Also, we should attempt, at every turn, to associate Trudeau WITH Lévesque and to portray them as twin peas in the quiet revolution pod.
This is critical. Let’s paruse media archives for any and all photos showing Trudeau and Lévesque together…..preferably smiling AND shaking hands.

One other thing, we need to highlight what are surely the spectacular failures of an entire generation. The way to kill separation is to attack the ageing generation that promoted it through caustic and sarcastic humour.

Finally, juxtapose the degeneracy of contemporaty Québec society with the failures of the province’s health-care systeme….the crown jewel of the 1960’s. Present it as a fitting metaphore for what COULD be the “future” of a seperate Québec?

Now should I be in advertising, or what?


2 Hanthala 04.29.05 at 8:41 PM

‘Quebec is an unrealistic pipe dream’

Please elaborate.

‘the 40% of Quebeckers who don’t have a clue… most of them want to stay in Canada anyway’


‘Young Québeckers no NOTHING of their past’

Especially when they are anglophone…I found they skipped right over the last part of the 20th century in my History of Quebec and Canada. As for the rest, our parents and grandparents taught us well.


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