Postscript: Seeking sovereignty support in Scotland
By Barry Wilson, CTV Montreal Executive Producer
Published Friday, January 25, 2013 12:14PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 25, 2013 1:09PM EST
Cue the bagpipes.
What on earth will Pauline Marois be doing in Scotland next week?
Certainly she isn’t going for the weather, the haggis, or the single malt.
No, Bonnie Pauline is off to seek guidance and comfort from Scottish separatists.
The Parti Quebecois will soon begin a pro-sovereignty campaign here at home. (Details coming soon.)
So Marois will be meeting with her Scottish counterpart to perhaps draw some inspiration and hope from the Scottish experience.
Scotland is going through its own round of separation anxiety.
In the fall of 2014, a referendum will be held on whether Scotland will withdraw from the U.K.
In her quest Marois should start with the question being proposed: "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country: Yes or No?"
Quebec has a history of tricky, deliberately-confusing questions.
If Quebecers were asked the same question as in Scotland, the yes side would just fold up its tent.
What Marois may also learn is that support for Scottish independence has fallen by 9 percent in the past year, settling in at about 23 percent.
It’s looking more and more like a lost cause.
The opposition says what most Scots are really concerned about are jobs and a strong economy.
Now where have you heard that before?
I am certain that since the Scots were key in building this city and this country, they would hate to see it torn apart.
The thing that’s the most galling about this sideshow is that Marois is going to Edinburgh on our dime. You and I are paying for this exercise in silliness.
My guess is that in times of economic uncertainly, higher taxes, and an increasing inability to pay for social programs, a reckless sovereignty adventure is the last trip most want to take, either here or in the land of Macbeth.
Liberal leadership campaign
Back home the Quebec Liberals are trying to figure out who is best to lead Quebec out of the perils of Pauline.
The Liberals don’t fight too much amongst themselves. In fact they agree on most things.
To their credit they will actually be holding a debate entirely in English. (Sometimes we do matter.)
The acknowledged front runner is Philippe Couillard, the former Teflon health minister.
One of the less-considered comments he made is about constitutional reform. He thinks it's important for Quebec to finally sign on to the 1982 deal.
We tried that with Meech Lake and got the Bloc Quebecois and a referendum in 1995, a federal sponsorship scandal and years of angst.
Going down that road is fraught with danger and uncertainty.
Can you just imagine the consequences of another failed attempt?
Dr Phil clearly needs a better prescription for what ails Quebec. The stakes are too high.