Don’t you guys ever give up?  Sean Scallon (“Letter From Canada: A Pocket Full of Sovereigns,” Correspondence, November 2002) writes that, “From reading [the Macleans] account, you might guess that the sovereignty question in Quebec has been solved . . . that is what Canada’s establishment, from Macleans on down, would like to believe.”

What the Macleans article said, however, was “So, is Canada saved?  Of course.  No doubt about it.  And can I get you interested in a swath of fine, pristine, just seasonally flooded piece of real estate in southern Louisiana?”  The sarcasm may be about as subtle as a speech by Andrei Vyshinsky, but even the most pointy-headed reader could not miss it.

To describe Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s maneuvers as “Lincolnesque” is bizarre.  Imagine Lincoln handing out millions in grants to save bankrupt Southern plantations, insisting that all federal facilities in the South hire only whites, and directing the U.S. Postal Service to refer to Southern states as being in the “CSA,” even while they remain part of the United States.

        —Lionel Albert
Knowlton, PQ

Mr. Scallon Replies:

The point of my article was to ask: What kind of sovereignty do Quebecers really want?  What kind of society do they really want?  And how can these desires be realized?  Those questions must be the focus of the PQ or the new L’Action Democratique du Quebec (ADQ) party.  Whether Macleans believes the sovereignty debate has been settled does not matter.  The Clear Question Act and Chrétien’s determination to keep his home province within the fold make full-blown independence a remote option.  The Québécois who desire greater independence should seek out a leader with a vision of how a sovereign Quebec fits into the broader Canadian framework.  Such a vision may provide inspiration for other Canadian regions, especially the West, to aspire to the same thing.