Matthews: Do separatist movements around the world have anything to learn from the PQ?

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6 September, 2012
By: Kyle Matthews
Executive director, Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

Separatist movements across the globe can learn a thing or two from the PQ. The first lesson is how to successfully go about monopolizing the political discourse in a society and working to establish a new national identity, irrespective of the population’s desires and aspirations. The second, which is truly remarkable, is the success the PQ has had in instilling the idea among citizens that society’s values and common language are constantly under threat, despite empirical evidence suggesting otherwise. However, other separatist movements should be wary of the PQ’s overall strategy because it demonstrates such social re-engineering processes can consume public policy discussions for generations, to the detriment of economic growth, job creation, health care, and social inclusion.

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