The only reason for the re-integration of the anglos was the intolerable level of negative publicity.
After a couple of days of futilely defending the indefensible, organisers decided that it would be wiser to beat a tactical retreat...this time.
It is widely held by the nationalist media that the organisers were badly outplayed with some fuming that the movement continues to shoot itself in the foot. Look for novice Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste president, Mario Beaulieu, to learn from his mistake.
The vast majority sovereignists are sophisticated, liberal and dedicated to fairness. They will react, when their sense of fairness is assaulted and Mr. Bealiueu learned a cruel lesson that his version of Quebec nationalism is not shared by most in the sovereignty camp.
That being said, don't look for any changes to the Fete National program next year. What happened this year, vis-a-vis the anglo performers, was a one-off mistake that will not be repeated, not as long as the sovereignist St-Jean-Baptiste Society runs the show. You can be assured that they've learned their lesson and that a 'special' committee will surely be organised to vet the 'bona fides' of next year's performers.
In fact, this year's controversy may well serve as a cautionary tale for nationalists, one that reminds radicals that without vigilance English will make insidious advances. To the barricades!
Guy A. Lepage , the wildly popular television personality and ardent sovereignist, who will be hosting this year's annual St. Jean Baptiste Day holiday show in Maisonneuve park, re-launched the controversy as to what the holiday represents when he stated that the show wasn't just a celebration of Quebec culture, but rather a political holiday that clearly promotes sovereignty. Richard Martineau, in his blog complains that the sovereignty movement has hijacked the holiday which he posits is supposed to be an all-encompassing celebration of Quebec society.
For Anglophones, there never really was a question as to what the holiday represented. Thirty years ago it was a common sight for Canadian flags to be burned by drunken merry-makers. It was an opportunity to bash Canada and anglophones alike. The francophone artistic community, who are overwhelmingly sovereignist, use the stage to salute and promote the movement. The government and the organizing committee are quick to remind us each year that the holiday is inclusive, but the reality is different."Does this mean that the federalists are not welcome? There is already the Patriots' Day ... do we need another day to support the cause? Is it a good idea to "politicize"Saint-Jean Baptiste Day, a holiday that is supposed to be inclusive?"Est-ce à dire que les fédéralistes ... ne sont pas bienvenue?
Il y a déjà la Journée des patriotes... Faut-il une autre journée appuyant La Cause?
Est-ce une bonne idée de "politiser" la Saint-Jean, une fête qui est censée être rassembleuse"? "
As long as the government sub-contracts the organization of the celebrations to radical sovereignist groups instead of taking on the job itself, it will remain a holiday for separatists.
For Anglophones and Allophones, June 23-24, is a good time to get out of town, to the cottage or on vacation.