Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quebecois Idol

In politics, words matter. And in Québec politics, words matter a lot. What was once called "separation" is today referred to as "sovereignty-association" and now even the word "referendum" has been replaced with the phrase "popular consultation." If Parti Québécois leader André Boisclair can’t soon get some traction in the polls, look for these possible new additions to his party’s political glossary:

trial separation
Let’s not split up just yet. Instead we’ll just take a short break and see how things go. Nobody’s saying it’s over, at least not for now. Hey, what can it hurt?

friends with privileges
It’s what all the kids are doing these days. This will be the new relationship between Québec and the Rest of Canada. We’ll get all the benefits of marriage with none of the responsibilities. How can you say no?

50-50 equitable split
Just like in a divorce, all we want is half of everything. But you can keep the TV set and the national debt. Fair enough?

national vote
It’s not a referendum; it’s just a national vote. You know, it’s just another of those Québec national things like the National Assembly, the National Archives of Québec and la Fête Nationale. No big deal really.

recreational inhalant
The new term to describe M. Boisclair’s previous substance of choice, cocaine. Not so much a drug as an innocent pastime.

win-win proposition
This is the new euphemism for separation that should appeal to all Québecers. Québec independence includes a Canadian passport, transfer payments and employment anywhere in Canada. What’s not to like?

living together
It’s just like marriage but without the license. We’ll still be friends and spend lots of time together but we’ll own our own things (and some of yours, too, n’est-ce pas?). Hey, maybe we can also have sex sometimes. Either way you’ll still be getting screwed.

Constitutional chat
We just want to talk about what might happen. Nobody’s saying "separation" or "independence" or anything crazy like that. We just want to experiment, that’s all. Kind of like trying a recreational inhalant. Nothing wrong with that.

phone-in vote
It’ll be a kind of political "Québécois Idol" on Radio-Canada (except we’ll call it Radio-Québec). Every week we’ll sing a different "chanson indépendentiste" and Québecers can vote for their favorite. Trust us; it’ll be fun.

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