Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia

Courtesy of Lysiane Gagnon , we get some revisionist history in yesterday’s Globe:

“In the years after the referendum, the sovereigntist forces were in disarray, and then Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard had turned his energy toward reducing the province’s deficit. He was actually so lukewarm toward the idea of renewing the fight for independence that the hard-liners in his party were beginning to see him as a traitor. If he had been foolish enough to call for a referendum, he would have lost it.

Where was Mr. Chrétien at the time? Didn’t he realize that when Mr. Bouchard said he would call a referendum if there were “winning conditions,” it was mere posturing? Didn’t he look at the polls, all of them bad for the separatist camp? There were no “winning conditions.” And this was not due to the host of federally sponsored activities. Simply put, most Quebeckers didn’t want to break with Canada, and the exceptional conditions that had led to an unexpected surge of nationalistic fervour in the last two weeks of the referendum campaign were now absent. Mr. Bouchard was no longer a hero embodying the nation; he had become a dutiful, often- criticized premier — a politician like so many others.”

Now, anyone who hasn’t gotten the latest press release from the Ministry of Truth knows this isn’t true. So, I did a quick google search of “quebec separatism 1996 poll” and come across this interesting Ekos poll:

“When the same question was asked in April, 1996, on the heels of the razor-thin 1995 referendum victory by federalist forces, 45 per cent felt separation was likely within five years and 62 felt it likely within 10 years.

Sounds like a real threat to me, eh? Luckily the threat was addressed with the Chretien government’s unity strategy. And unless Jean Charest calls a referendum in the next year, I’d say it’s a safe bet the 62% will have been proven wrong. As I’ve said before, the sponsorship program wasn’t the greatest idea in the world but it was part of a larger plan. And the results of that larger plan? Well, if you were paying attention to that last quote, you may have noticed it was talking about the past. Let’s take a look at the rest of this 2001 poll:

When Quebecers were asked about the likelihood that Quebec will separate from Canada within five years, only 13 per cent thought it likely. Only 20 per cent thought it likely within 10 years.

When Canadians outside Quebec were asked the same question last month, 10 per cent felt a separate Quebec likely within five years and 14 per cent within 10 years.

Now repeat after me: “Separatism was never an issue…separatism was never an issue…Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia…”

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