The Parti Québécois: For or Against Independence?

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The Parti Québécois: For or Against Independence?
1996




This is an unofficial translation. Read the original French-language text here. Excerpt of Le Parti québécois : pour ou contre l'indépendance? by Andrée Ferretti



Presentation

Le Parti québécois : pour ou contre l'indépendance? by Andrée Ferretti
After 237 years of belonging to a people conquered and annexed, dispossessed, dominated and exploited, ridiculed and scorned, unceasingly besieged and unceasingly minorized, I no longer have the patience to quietly await the end of the genocide, inescapable, if we do not obtain our independence as soon as possible.

After 33 years of daily militancy for the national independence of the Quebec people, I no longer have the patience to quietly accept that politicians who are still alienated and/or in need of power delay its advent indefinitely.

I have had enough of the diversion of my militancy for politicking ends, whether it is disguised under the appearance of an objective of sovereignty-association or sovereignty with partnership.

I have had enough of winning elections with good tactics and lose referendums for lack of a true strategy, appropriate to an objective of national independence.

However, when one knows that the purpose of any strategy is to achieve the goals laid down by the policy, by effectively using the available means, one is hardly surprised by the absence, at the Parti Québécois, of a strategy for independence, since this party is not independentist and never has been, put aside the period when Mr. Jacques Parizeau directed it. Unfortunately, even under his leadership, the party did not know how to give itself an adequate strategy for its new objective. Entirely dominated by its elected and non-elected technocrats, by its non-elected political bureaucrats and other advisers and attachés, the Parti Québécois has been for at least 20 years subjected to the exclusive requirements of electoral battles. Stuck inside structures and methods of action of an inflexible rigidity, it chokes any spirit of initiative among its militants, which explains the restricted number of them compared to that of the contributors. It became so refractory to the discussion of the party's ideological objectives and governmental policies that the least of questioning, to be effective, must go through the media and, consequently, take the appearance of a conflict.

This situation is all the more serious considering that the Parti Québécois exerts an absolute hegemony on the whole of the independence movement, thus subjected to a global strategy which does not serve its ends. It is therefore time, after almost 40 years of existence, that it becomes aware of the gears which make it turn in round since at least the foundation of the Sovereignty-Association Movement, and that it puts the grain of sand likely to stop it.

For my part, I am 61 years old and I intend very well not to die before the accession of Québec to national independence, unless in dying for it.

Well beyond the squeaking of teeth, it is a crisis which I hope to cause by the writing and the publishing of this lampoon, since crises are the very means of necessary changes.

As the independence of Québec constitutes a paramount issue not only for the national liberation of the Quebec people but for the future of Canada, for it threatens its political, economic and strategic interests, the already major conflict between the forces involved can only worsen, unless, once again, we are crushed under the power of the enemy whose objective and strategy aims at no less than our disappearance. Which explains why, since the past October 30th [1995], it redoubled its merciless attacks against our vulnerabilities.

With the hope of demonstrating the need for it, I come here to call on to the conscience and the responsibility for all the independentists, whether they militate inside the Parti Québécois or work outside its ranks, so that we mobilize ourselves and work out a true independence strategy together, one which is likely to make us carry out a finally victorious fight.

[...]

Conclusion

Nothing older and more powerful in my imaginary than this nun, my schoolmistress, in my third year of primary school, who was still crying, after perhaps 20 years of teaching the same subject, when telling her pupils about the defeat of the Plains of Abraham. Nothing more durable in my memory than my own tears while listening to the account of this tragedy. Nothing more savage in me than the desire of the lost country, nothing more determined than my vocation to reconquer it.

Nothing more deeply rooted nor more active than my desire for freedom born of the teaching of my national history.

It is by learning my national history that I have learned that freedom is a responsibility which forces one to answer to what will come and is unforeseeable, to what the future holds, the bad like the good. It is by learning my national history that I have learned that there is individual and collective human dignity only in freedom which is always a combat in which we conquer ourselves by giving ourselves away. Any freedom, indeed, calls on the going beyond, requires of a people as of an individual that he/she expects from himself/herself more than he/she will ever be able to accomplish.

Hence my anger in front of the ineptitude of the Parti Québécois which, during three government mandates, did not impose the teaching of our national history in our primary schools. Is it possible that a party which claims to be dedicated to the national emancipation of Quebec people deliberately denies to this people the right, exercised by all the other peoples of the Earth, to root its present in its history to better direct its future? History is at the same time the real and symbolic order in which a people draws their bench marks to clear up and decipher the field and the direction of their destiny.

The knowledge of my national history has taught to me as well that life is a bet renewed at each minute. He who does not turn over the charts incarcerates himself in survival.

This pamphlet was born from my desire to share with all my compatriots my feeling of emergency to finally live in a free country where, rich of our recent evolutions, we will be able to open the world to ourselves and to open ourselves to the world, to finally think and create our specific humanity and thus inscribe it in the universal one.

Notes

You can buy the pamphlet on line at Renaud-Bray and other libraries. See here.


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