Monday, May 30, 2022

Histoire du nationalisme québécois, encore un fois

In La Presse, Yves Boisvert has an interesting examination as to whether Québec nationalism has taken a conservative ethno-cultural turn away from the progressive nationalism of the Parti Québécois of the late twentieth century.  He considers: 

un « réajustement », un retour à l’affirmation d’un « nous » canadien-français au centre du discours du Parti québécois – qui, pour lui, n’était pas hostile à « l’autre », mais qui n’avait plus peur de s’affirmer tel quel.

I'm inclined to think there was always a strong "pur-laine" strand in late twentieth-century nationalism. True, the PQ had a tremendously influential base among Montreal idea-makers who saw the Quebec state as essential to the building of a modern, progressive, open society in place of the old traditional one.  But the PQ really took off electorally when it captured the bas du fleuve and Saguenay-Lac St-Jean and all the most rural and traditional parts of the province, where a "nous autres" worldview and a "nous sommes opprimés" cry remained powerful. But Boisvert's interviewees -- also in a Francine Pelletier documentary on Radio-Canada -- argue that the more recent PQ and CAQ legislative campaigns to make visible minorities invisible, to reduce the sound of English (even in private conversations!), and to heighten language and identity tensions really are expressing a different culture from that of the previous nationalism. 

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