Last night's articles in the French press were uniformly complimentary and the whole extravaganza was declared an overwhelming success.
I read over sixty articles and could not find one reference as to the number of people who attended. I became curiouser and curiouser.
On Saturday, the Montreal Gazette listed the attendance at somewhere around 1,200, but it was little hard to accept. All this hoopla and publicity and a paltry 1,200 people showed up?
Perhaps it was just wishful Anglo thinking on the part the newspaper, the number couldn't possibly be that low. Or could it?
Crowds are awfully hard to estimate and a lot has to do with the eye of the beholder.
Finally I found a story in Le Devoir, a Montreal French newspaper, known for it's nationalist bent, so if there was to be any fudging, it was going to lean towards inflating the number of participants.
"A quiet crowd, at times exceeding a thousand people who listened religiously to the 156 texts selected for the occasion"Whaaaaat!!!!
One thousand people!!! --- That's it!
If you subtract the family members who were forced to show up just to support the 140 readers (like a ballet recital), you might cut the actual attendance in half!
I get the feeling that the whole thing was a complete con, a manufactured story. That nobody is willing to point out that fact is sad and dishonest.
By the way, on the same afternoon as the 'wildly successful' separatist happening on the Plains of Abraham, a minor league exhibition baseball game played between Quebec City and New Jersey at the city's Stade Municipal, attracted close to 5,000 people.
I don't think the newspapers are going write 500 articles about that event.
Here's a little more context. Sunday was the 7th annual open house at over 100 Quebec farms in an event organised by the farm trade association (l'Union des producteurs agricoles). Over 135,000 people across Quebec took the opportunity to visit.