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So Near and Yet So Far: The 1995 Quebec Referendum in Perspective

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London Journal of Canadian Studies

UCL Press

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      Abstract

      Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney failed to reconcile Quebec with the rest of Canada. The Parti Québécois (PQ) government under Jacques Parizeau called a referendum in October 1995 to decide if the province would secede. While the federal government under Jean Chrétien barely intervened, the fiery rhetoric of Lucien Bouchard brought the separatists close to victory. Quebecers voted to stay in Canada by only 1 per cent. A massive late rally of non-Quebec Canadians pleading with Quebecers to remain probably tipped the balance. Bouchard, who succeeded Parizeau, never felt confident of winning another referendum. Later the PQ lost ground as separatism ceased to appeal. In the EU referendum of 2016 the British government failed to learn from Canada’s experience. The Remain side campaigned negatively rather than positively, and did not mobilize its supporters as well as the Leave camp did. Canadian comparisons also remain relevant for Scotland.

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        Author and article information

        Affiliations
        [1 ] London School of Economics, UK
        [* ] Correspondence: nicholas.bayne@ 123456tiscali.co.uk
        Journal
        LJCS
        London Journal of Canadian Studies
        UCL Press
        2397-0928
        15 December 2017
        : 32
        : 1
        : 25-41
        10.14324/111.444.ljcs.2017v32.004
        Copyright © 2017, Nicholas Bayne

        This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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