18 November 2009

"The Pied Piper of Quebec"


... [Jacques Parizeau] lures Quebeckers with a Pied Piper's melody. But his spin on reality shows when he quotes selectively the report of five eminent experts in international law consulted in 1991 by the Quebec government. “The unanimous conclusion of their legal opinion is quite clear: The frontiers of a sovereign Quebec would be those of current Quebec.”

But Mr. Parizeau seems to forget that he published a letter in which he accused the Supreme Court of favouring the partition of a seceding Quebec. And he omits more pertinent quotations from the five experts: “The right to secession does not exist in international law.” And this: “The Quebec people exercises effectively its right to self-determination within the framework of the Canadian whole and is not legally authorized to invoke it to justify its future accession to independence.”

On May 19, 1994, Mr. Parizeau told the National Assembly: “There is the law. We are a law-abiding state. Canada and Quebec are not banana republics. There is the Constitution. There is international law. And we have been elected to defend the law.” After that beginning, he argued that Canada was divisible but Quebec was not. The law be damned.

Mr. Parizeau's flights of mythology would be amusing but for the ascendancy he holds as Quebec's most influential separatist. The crowds at his book launch Monday proved that. As such, he is more dangerous than ridiculous.

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