The View From Your Window


Quebec, Canada, 10.46 am. A different reader writes:

I covered the referendum in Quebec in 1995 for Harper’s (pdf), and particularly the aftermath. It’s difficult to convey the intensity of the passions that were stirred up in the final days before the vote – and the deflated and bewildered sense of disappointment separatists felt in the days after their narrow loss (50,000 votes out of 5 million cast). The slogan for the Oui/Yes side was AND IT ALL BECOMES POSSIBLE – which described both the promise and the menace that was lurking just beneath the surface. The ugly slurs about the the No side winning because of “money and the ethnic vote” that the Oui leader made on the night of the loss perfectly match the ugliness that is emerging in Scotland.

There is no easy way to break up a country, even one as civilized and seemingly docile as Canada. Quebec dodged a bullet in 1995. I hope Scotland is as lucky.