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The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec…

The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was

by Chantal Hébert

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What if the sovereigntists had won the 1995 referendum? This is the question put to 17 leaders involved in either the Yes or the No campaigns. The author has largely allowed former leaders (prime minister, premiers, other federal and provincial ministers) to speak for themselves. In this way, the book is missing some background and analysis. We are reading about perceptions, with the inevitable lapses in memory and personal biases. But it is good reading...fascinating to learn the motivation behind certain strategies (or lack thereof) and to allow readers to contemplate their own "what if" scenarios. ( )
  LynnB | Dec 13, 2014 |
This book is divided into chapters with each chapter depicting a Canadian political figure who was involved in the Quebec referendum of 1995. The first three chapters deal with the Yes side: Parizeau, Bouchard, DuPont. The next with the No side and so on. It is a very interesting story but in some ways I found it to be a little light on analysis and detail. The biggest surprise for me was that had the Yes side prevailed, the federal government was totally unprepared with a plan to address the issues the next day. The Prime Minister at the time, Jean Chrétien seemed to be oblivious to the possibility of a Yes victory and kept many of his closest advisors, such as the finance minister Paul Martin, out of the his thoughts. Raymond Chretien the PM's nephew and ambassador to the USA was better informed and prepared than his uncle. Some characters had very well thought out contingency plans for the aftermath such as Roy Romanow and Frank McKenna.
The biggest concern for all was the size of the majority required to deal with a separate Quebec. It seemed that 50% + 1 was enough for ardent nationalists while for federalists it had to be at least 60%. Good book but you would need to be really interested in Canadian politics to appreciate it. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Oct 3, 2014 |
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On October 30, 1995, the Canadian federation came within 54,288 votes of having to grapple with the issue of its continued existence.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345807626, Hardcover)

A sly, insightful and wonderfully original book from one of Canada's most popular political analysts, Chantal Hébert, and one of Quebec's top political broadcasters, Jean Lapierre.
          Only the most fearless of political journalists would dare to open the old wounds of the 1995 Quebec referendum, a still-murky episode in Canadian history that continues to defy our understanding. The referendum brought one of the world's most successful democracies to the brink of the unknown, and yet Quebecers' attitudes toward sovereignty continue to baffle the country's political class. Interviewing 17 key political leaders from the duelling referendum camps, Hébert and Lapierre begin with a simple premise: asking what were these political leaders' plans if the vote had gone the other way. Even 2 decades later, their answers may shock you. And in asking an unexpected question, these veteran political observers cleverly expose the fractures, tensions and fears that continue to shape Canada today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:06 -0400)

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