The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was

By Chantal Hebert, Jean Lapierre

Author note: Jean Lapierre (with)
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A sly, insightful and fantastically unique ebook from certainly one of Canada's most well liked political analysts, Chantal Hébert, and one in every of Quebec's most sensible political broadcasters, Jean Lapierre.

Only the main fearless of political newshounds could dare to open the outdated wounds of the 1995 Quebec referendum, a still-murky episode in Canadian background that maintains to defy our figuring out. The referendum introduced one of many world's such a lot winning democracies to the edge of the unknown, and but Quebecers' attitudes towards sovereignty proceed to baffle the country's political category. Interviewing 17 key political leaders from the duelling referendum camps, Hébert and Lapierre commence with an easy premise: asking what have been those political leaders' plans if the vote had long gone the opposite direction. Even 2 a long time later, their solutions could surprise you. And in asking an unforeseen query, those veteran political observers cleverly disclose the fractures, tensions and fears that proceed to form Canada today.

Literary Awards
Finalist – QWF Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction (2014)

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As Quebecers went to the polls to forged their poll, the 2 major figures of the convinced camp have been already headed for what stood to turn into a struggle to a knockout end. Their shadowboxing on referendum day used to be simply the warm-up act. bankruptcy 2 THE RELUCTANT SOVEREIGNIST: MARIO DUMONT Had Quebecers voted definite, neither Jacques Parizeau—the lifelong sovereignist warrior—nor Lucien Bouchard—the charismatic destiny negotiator-in-chief—would were the 1st chief of the successful coalition taking to the rostrum to map out the line forward. That honour might have fallen to the twenty-something chief of a celebration so eco-friendly that he used to be its one and in simple terms MNA. at the day of the referendum, Mario Dumont had slightly celebrated the 1st anniversary of his access into the nationwide meeting. His get together, the motion Démocratique du Québec, were at the Quebec map for only years. Of the 3 leaders who made up the sovereignist coalition, the younger Dumont used to be the one person who might have been flawed for a prototype of a more youthful iteration of revolutionary pro-sovereignty Quebecers. in reality, he was once something yet that. A economic conservative whose average method of nationalism had first and foremost leaned towards a reform of federalism instead of outright independence, Dumont used to be commonplace of the delicate nationalists whose help was once so necessary to the convinced camp. It used to be with that constituency in brain that the supply of partnership among a sovereign Quebec and Canada was once tagged onto the referendum query. On a night of such ancient value, to be first in line to the rostrum is to occupy a strategic place. within the occasion of a convinced win, and with the realm looking at, Dumont, Bouchard and Parizeau have been in position to instantly set the tone for the sovereignist offensive. Dumont might handle an overheated crowd mostly made from sovereignist believers who have been ready many years for this kind of evening. they'd desire no warm-up act. yet his goal was once strikingly assorted. He used to be on a project to chill heads. The ADQ chief was firm to use—in mild of his party’s modest illustration within the nationwide Assembly—what stood to be his final fifteen mins within the highlight for it slow to decelerate the momentum of a sovereignist victory. “If the end result were a slim certain, my speech may were a prudent one. i might have spoken of a victory, yet i might even have left myself a few doorways open to avoid Parizeau from racing off with the outcome like a wild horse. ” That purpose positioned Dumont on a directly collision path with the most excellent and the Parti Québécois mind belief. Parizeau’s referendum evening method known as for doing up to he might to provide the outcome an charisma of irreversibility. That objective were most sensible of brain whilst he had pre-taped a tv tackle past within the afternoon, simply as all of the first post-referendum strikes his executive had in shop have been designed to accomplish that impact. regardless of his many arrangements, Parizeau spent strangely little time making sure that no mild may perhaps shine among his victory-speech spin and that of his ADQ best friend.

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