Friday, September 17, 2010

Kosovo Independence-A Double-Edged Sword

Quebec Nationalists are all excited over a decision by the United Nations International Court of Justice which declared that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia is not illegal. LINK

The decision set off an avalanche of opinion pieces from hopeful sovereignists who saw the decision as an important precedent for Quebec. LINK

Two conclusions were advanced.

The first, spearheaded by the likes of Gérald Larose(French) and Louise Beaudoin(French) argued that the decision renders the Clarity Act moot. (the Clarity Act sets two conditions for Quebec Sovereignty- a clear and concise referendum question and a clear majority voting in favour of the option) 

The second and more fanciful conclusion is that a referendum is not even a necessary element to the secession of Quebec from Canada just a simple declaration of independence by Quebec's Parliament, is all that is required. LINK

But nationalists would be well advised to look this "gift horse" in the mouth, the 'Kosovo decision' may prove more trouble than it's worth.

The idea that the Quebec Parliament can declare sovereignty by virtue of a simple vote may be supported in the Kosovo decision, but would never fly.

After two failed referendums, the world would look on the unilateral declaration of independence as cheating and more importantly, a majority of Quebeckers, including many sovereignists would view the act as undemocratic.

For Quebec, secession without a referendum is not a realistic option, under any circumstances.

The other notion put forward, is that the Kosovo decision refutes the impact of the Clarity Act which demands that Quebec ask a clear referendum question and win a clear majority, before Ottawa would be required to undertake devolution negotiations.

Again this too, is academic.

There's little or no chance that a Separatist government would attempt to do what it did in the last referendums, that is, ask a confusing question like in 1995;
"Do you agree that Québec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Québec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?.
 Premier Jacques Parizeau at the time, described it as a 'lobster trap' and once Quebeckers voted YES, there could be but one irrevocable conclusion- sovereignty.

You know the old saying..."Fool me once, shame on you" fool me twice, shame on me"

Quebeckers wouldn't stand for such a dishonest question again, but even if they did, everyone now knows that a YES vote in a referendum means sovereignty and nothing else. No voter can claim to think anything else. So once again, the question is purely academic.

As for the last precept of the Clarity Act, the obligation to win a clear majority, the question has also been largely settled. The Quebec government's position that a 50% +1 vote is the threshold for passage of a referendum seems to be accepted as realistic, even by opponents.

Anything else violates the historical reality. Newfoundland entered confederation, barely squeaking out a 52% margin of victory and this on their second referendum attempt.

So all this talk of the Kosovo decision changing anything is hogwash, we've already set our own terms for any secession and those terms are widely accepted by those on both sides of the issue.

That being said, the Kosovo decision may have an important impact on Quebec, should it ever actually vote to leave Canada.

Remember, the essence of the Kosovo decision says that national borders are not inviolate and that it is not illegal for regional governments to declare sovereignty unilaterally.

That is in direct opposition to the separatist position that says that the provincial border of Quebec is inviolate.

If an independent Canada is subject to the Kosovo decision, so is an independent Quebec.

In the eventuality of Quebec independence, the Kosovo decision would give credence to the right of any region within Quebec to secede and remain in Canada. This would certainly apply to the entire northern part of Quebec, the island of Montreal, the Pontiac region and the Beauce.
A simple vote by Montreal, Cote Saint Luc, Hampstead, Dorval, Pierrefonds, etc. etc. would be enough to secede from Quebec and remain in Canada!

Separatists can't argue one way today and another way tomorrow, or to put it in the language of the street- You can't suck and blow at the same time!

In the event of a Quebec separation, you can bet that this issue will come up and that serious efforts would be undertaken in some regions to 'break away' from Quebec.

And so in rushing to embrace the Kosovo decision,  sovereignists would be wise to heed the the old adage that says "be careful what you wish for, lest it come true",


  1. My apologies to all who wished to comment on this post.
    Comments were turned off through no fault of my own.


    I was getting depressed as to the lack of repssonse....sigh!

  2. The Kosovo decision is not really applicable to Quebec. More pertinent is Montenegro where to achieve secession from Serbia the referendum had to be carried by a threshold of at least 55% of the vote.,_2006

  3. Que dire de plus ! On vote massivement et on l'aura notre pays ! Vive le Québec ! Vive Montréal ! Vive le premier pays français d'Amérique !

  4. @ anonymous 9pm
    Partition, un solution veritable. You can have everything north and east of Montreal. The rest stays in Canada. You didn't contribute one cent to it anyways. (we'll even throw in french places for you like Wildwood N.J., Cape May, Oqunquit, and Ol'Archar (read Old Orchard)
    God save the Queen...( I personally don't care for her, but I know how much she pisses you off! )

  5. Kosovo was only able to achieve its 'independence' because of America's illegal and criminal intervention in the Balkans. I don't see that happening with Quebec. Does the clarity act provide CLARITY? Does it actually say how large a majority is needed? The European Union said that Montenegro needed a 55% majority to be recognized as an independent country. The Toronto guy.

  6. The one true thing that genuinely terrifies separatists is the talk of partition because it highlights how Damocles' sword is precariously dangling above their heads. And if there's anything the separatist mindset won't have, it's the public acknowledgment that it is losing ground.

    I personally agree that the separatists are fighting a losing battle (the trolls whose trite comments Editor lets freely flow here clearly attest to this). A battle lost despite the false sense of accomplishment that some of them (separatists specifically, not francophones in general) derive from our overly restrictive language laws. Maybe one day they'll realize that sometimes you get more when you add than when you take away.

    The pretension that it is the bilingual-friendly non-separatists alone who are somehow colonists in this province is laughable and MUST be dismissed on this blog permanently and outright. Separatists themselves, in large part, descend from French "settlers" who decided this land was theirs, just as all the other European powers did, including the British. This land isn't theirs any more than it isn't any other white man's.

    Ce qui vous emmerde, par contre, c'est que notre mère patrie nous a abandonnés d'un revers de la main pour une colonie de canne à sucre. Pas besoin d'aller voir un psy pour comprendre qu'on est complexés par ça. But let's face it, the arrogant Anglo-British attempt to keep the Canadiens perpetually subservient wasn't the right administrative model either. Avouons que notre propre monde; nos propres curés, cette élite qui de jour nous pompait de propagande catholique et qui de nuit couchait avec l'envahisseur n'était guère plus ingénue que notre classe politique actuelle. Le succès subséquent et domination totale qu'a connue la civilsation anglo-saxonne à l'échelle mondiale par la suite peut bien avoir de quoi qui vous fait fulminer aussi.

    And now, because they've missed the boat (historically through English attempts at barring them but most recently through fault of their own self-limitations disguised as patriotism), the separatist demagogues have chosen to delete the events between 1763 and 1960 and recreate a parallel universe in the hopes that repeating a twisted and reformulated narrative to the "peuple" enough times will cause enough people to believe it that it's declared the new truth. C'est pas de même que ça marche, colons! Le fait même que vous vous livrez à ce nettoyage ethnique affiné dans le but de créer une nouvelle réalité sur le terrain, c'est le signe même que vous tentez de ré-écrire l'histoire. Peu importe le nom que vous y donne(re)z, EVERYBODY's onto your little game.

    I read earlier a comment on how "on s'en câlisse" regarding what a third party (in my example, an immigrant to Montreal) is likely to see and do once they understand the battlefield here is an all too eloquent example of the pathetic, worn-out, petty, small-minded, and jealous separatist spiel. Those immigrants are doubtless going to change the face of this city, of this province, and of this country, and they'll likely teach us a thing or two about ourselves in the process. They'll likely do it despite the persistence of the French and English languages here, and not because of them.

    My only hope is that the bigots and supremacists on both the anglo and franco sides of this debate won't besmirch the good names of Montreal, Quebec, and Canada, but rather that we'll be able to tend toward the middle ground and live up to the universally good values that we showcase to the world.

    Here's also hoping that we can remain united, strong, and free in the process.

    And if the trolls of the world are all here because they're not all there, I'd say that's actually a comforting sign.

  7. When we talk about partition of Quebec after secession from Canada, we talk for nothing. It's a pure waste of time.

  8. Dear John, (I couldn't help myself)
    Why can Quebec secede from Canada but Montreal can't secede from Quebec? I'm very much looking forward to the half baked logic to explain away this "I want my cake and eat it too" scenario.
    Do you believe the UN will tolerate a 50+1 majority for the province and then deny 70-80% of Montrealers their wish? I imagine that for you the UN is only relevant when they side with you.

  9. Amusez-vous bien mes amis.En passant 50+1 c'est ça la démocratie.

  10. To Dr Dave

    There is no half baked logic. The logic is quite clear. Indeed, the partition of a territory does not exist in international law. This practice is rejected by United Nations and international community.

    There is a legal opinion made by five international experts and the conclusion is unequivocal: the borders of a sovereign Quebec would be those current Quebec. This means that if Quebec declare independence the territory will remain the same. We can't do anything against it.

    And reminds you what is the origin of our presence in Quebec, it's a military conquest. So our presence in Quebec is not based on legitimacy.

    That said, we can continue to talk about partition to continue to dream and to scare separatists, but if one day Quebec is a country we'll have two choices: accept it or leave.

  11. "Steven Barker" is back as "John"...

    Thinking that a single decision made by a single committee of FIVE “experts” that convened ONCE and deliberated while on Quebec government’s payroll would be final and uncontested is an act of self-delusion. As is the belief that 49.9% of people (assuming that any referendum on the most twisted question will never yield more that 50.1% for the Yes) will just accept it and proceed the next day to build a new “nation of Quebec”, intact in its borders.

    @Dr. Dave

    Whenever the issue of Quebec secession comes up, everything is relative (examples from around the world are cited – former Yugoslavia, former USSR, Belgium, Czechoslovakia). When the issue of Quebec partition is raised, all of a sudden everything becomes absolute (“no way, no discussion, other precedents don’t count, we don’t care”)

    Here is an excellent article on the issue. It’s loaded with sarcasm, but try not to be sarcastic when dealing with hypocrites of Duceppe and Marois’ stature…

  12. That is interesting 'John' @12:22 PM.

    Presumably you are referring the British conquest and not the French conquest which preceded it because otherwise the presence of all Europeans and other non-native peoples in Quebec is 'not based on legitimacy'.

    My personal preference is for Montreal to become an independent city state a la Singapore. Imagine a free-trading nation with a significant port, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic population, free of nationalist dogma and socialist economics. Montreal would boom economically and culturally.

  13. @Richard,

    I share you views on Montreal becoming an independent city (like Singapore, Hong Kong until 1997, West Berlin until 1989). There is no future for us within Quebec. Montreal is at this point too distinct from the rest of Quebec, and has little in common with it. The only thing Quebec gives us are linguistic restrictions and socialism Quebec-style flowing down from the “national” assembly, a place which is 200 miles away from us geographically, and million miles away mentally.

    Independent Montreal would remain economically associated with Canada, the US, and Quebec if it were willing to play respectfully. We can keep Canadian passports with Montreal marked on it, just like the Northern Irish have Ulster marked on their British passports.

    The precedents are there. Let's get the UN to rule on it. In the least, let's hire 5 experts, pay them, and have them rule our way.

  14. @Richard

    "...Montreal would boom economically and culturally.

    Comme toronto? Non merci!

    Singa poor vous attend les bras ouverts.Bon voyage!Et surtout bons rêves...

  15. "And reminds you what is the origin of our presence in Quebec, it's a military conquest. So our presence in Quebec is not based on legitimacy."

    OBJECTION: in History, you win some, you lose some. Need I politely remind everyone that the origin of EACH of the French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese presence in the New World is rooted in military conquests? The Dutch then lost New Amsterdam; the French lost New France. Texas, indeed half of “original” Mexico was “lost” to the Americans. The Swedish even lost some stuff too. It’s useful to understand history IN CONTEXT, not out of it.
    Taking the quoted argument a step further, you need to ask how far back you can legitimately go before your statute of limitations runs out? The Palestinians might have an argument against the Israelis today, but don't confuse that conflict with the biblical one of the Philistines and Israelites. Or even that of the Normans invading England. Les étrusques ont-ils toujours un recours contre les romains, mon cher John?

    "Partition, un solution veritable."
    Err... une solution DIFFICILE, plutôt. As much as I wouldn't like to see Quebec split up any more than I'd want any part of Canada split up, there are two important particularities to mention here. Let's get a Modern International Law expert in on the debate; otherwise admit that we're purely speculating. De un, les municipalités sont des créatures d'ordre provincial dont l'autorité relève de la province. Mais les provinces elles aussi jouissent de compétences qui leur ont été attribuées par la loi constitutionnelle de ce pays de 1867 (réf surtout art. 91 et 92). Il s'ensuivrait, je spécule, un débat constitutionnel intéressant sur l'encadrement d'une telle indépendance, surtout que la moitié de la population du pays qu’on pondrait n’en voudrait pas. Un petit détail qui peut envenimer la situation. And that leads to my second point, especially on a strategic level for a hypothetical newly-independent Quebec.

    Sure, some people (presumably federalists) might leave following a OUI, but in what numbers? Historically, the anglos outmigrate, but subtract the roughly 5% of British Isles-descended Quebecers who are the most likely to leave and you're still at around 45% that aren't exactly thrilled or loyal about the country they live in. What does a newly minted country called Quebec do when about HALF its population is opposed (or at best, cool) to its own existence? A recipe for future political instability even worse than the (presumably) 3 million or so Quebecers out of about 35 million Canadians who aren't loyal to this country now. We've seen what happens in Canada where TEN percent (Quebec separatists) aren’t interested. What would happen when close to half of Quebec's population isn't? Can you imagine how a modern, newly-minted, Western, democratic state whose very twenty-first century creation, with our historical particularities, could cope? Could you imagine how the huge discontented minority might behave, and how that could wildly affect the gap between what separatist visionaries envision today and what would inevitably truly happen? Other than those who would willfully leave, massive deportations of undesirable demographics (Acadia-style, India-Pakistan style, or, Gulag-style, for the more Stalinesque) are not allowed. Massive extrajudicial killings (Nazi-style internment/death camps) are also obviously out of the question.


  16. What are we left with? Un pays où une forte pluralité de gens n’a pas vraiment l’intérêt d’y être, mais qui ne s’en iront pas pour autant. Avigdor Lieberman famously suggested that Arab citizens be specifically singled out to swear an oath of allegiance to the state of Israel or be stripped of their citizenship. Many separatists routinely reproach Israel for its human rights abuses, and that could be the subject of a debate elsewhere. But a troubling parallel remains here: aurait-on alors appris des maitres en la matière? Songerions-nous aussi la persécution de nos propres voisins et confrères qui ne partagent pas notre zèle? Romperions-nous avec l’approche juridique et constitutionnelle pour entamer une vraie chasse aux sorcières? A scary thought. I’m sure even many separatists don’t think it’s worth going to all the trouble because of all the complications and ugliness that would certainly result. And the result itself might be quite far from what they wanted in the first place. Et ça risque de ne pas faire leur affaire en plus.

    Federalists and separatists both know what some might call the devil of federalism. But the devil’s also in the details; and working out the exact details of how we’d accomplish a separate, fully sovereign Quebec might produce a result that neither Quebec separatists nor federalists imagined or like. So we’d be stuck once again with a tenuous situation in a new country whose existence and day-to-day reality pleases neither side nor ideology.

    Taking a step back, I can’t help but think, “how positively Canadian!”

    Plus ça change, on dirait…

    side note @John: as much as I passionately disagree with your pro-separatist undertones, I do sincerely applaud your attempts to use English on this blog. Just please don’t say you’re a native anglo but conveniently forget how to conjugate using the present continuous.

  17. "...The only thing Quebec gives us are linguistic restrictions and socialism Quebec-style flowing down from the “national”"

    Pour l'instant c'est suffisant.Profitez-en pendant que vous pouvez encore parlez votre langue dans les espaces publiques.

    Vous devriez louer un appart a Singa poor avec Richard.Genre 3 1/2 pour 1,700$/mois,cafards inclus.Pas sûr qui vont vous servir en anglais.

    BrAD SKIrt

  18. Mon cher BrAD SKIrt,

    Joignez-vous à nous dans l'appart à Singapour! Vous allez découvrir un pays qui est maintenant parmis les plus riches, en dépit du fait qu’il est sans ressources naturelles. Tout le monde parle l’anglais en sus du mandarin et autres langues et la ville est devenue un centre financier mondial ouvert sur le monde. En plus il fait 30 degrés à longueur d’année.

    Comme vous dites, 1 700,00$/mois ne suffira pas pour un logement à trois mais les loyers sont en fonction de la demande dans une ville prospère où les salaires sont élevés.

    Pour les cafards, rassurez-vous, la salubrité est une priorité à Singapour.

  19. "Profitez-en pendant que vous pouvez encore parlez votre langue dans les espaces publiques."

    J'ai lu qu'on veut étendre la charte de la langue pour qu'elle s'applique aux cégeps, mais je n'ai pas encore vu le projet de loi qui rendrait un anglo passible d'une amende pour s'être exprimé dans la langue de Jon Stewart, même devant le Monument National si ça lui tente.

    De quoi qui mijote dans le cercle rapproché du FLQ?

    "Amusez-vous bien mes amis.En passant 50+1 c'est ça la démocratie."

    On a dit NON deux fois de suite. Ou bien vous êtes sourds ou c'est vous qui souffrez d'insuffisance démocratique car vous semblez incapables d'accepter la volonté du peuple québécois. C'est vraiment triste de vous voir essayer d'aligner les astres pour capter votre OUI pendant les cinq minutes qu'il se manifeste alors que la tendance par défaut penche et a toujours penché décidémment du côté du NON. NON, c'est NON. Et comme le veut le vieux dicton, jamais deux sans trois. Nous vaincrons.

  20. Paris Guy dit:''Montreal becoming an independent city'' Oui dans un Québec indépendant !

  21. Chénier dit: Cher apparatchik, le non ne fut pas clair au sens de la Loi sur la clarté. En 1995, 50,58 % n'était significatif, que faites-vous des 49, 42 % ? Qu'ils aillent se faire voir ? Malgré ce que vous pensez, le référendum de 1995 a été manipulé et les indépendantistes auraient dû voir venir la mauvaise foi du côté du fédéral ! Scandale des commandites ! Love parade (le reste du Canada nous aimait bien cette journée-là ? Simple aventure d'un soir ?! Sans compter tous les votes illégaux de gens qui ne résidaient pas au Québec ! La prochaine fois c'est la bonne ! Il n'y a aucun peuple qui refuse de se gouverner lui-même à moins d'être complètement idiot ! J'ai foi en les Québécois !

  22. "the Clarity Act sets two conditions for Quebec Sovereignty- a clear and concise referendum question and a clear majority voting in favour of the option"

    The clarity act sets 2 conditions for any provinces to secede from Canada.

    Alberta should think twice about this one and maybe set it's own referendum to leave this socialist mess we call Canada ;). Unlike Quebec they have the financial MEANS to do it.

    Money talks.



  23. Bravo Chénier!

    100% Daccord avec toi.J'allais écrire a peu près le même commentaire mais a quoi bon car ils le savent très bien déja.Ces anglos sont vraiment tordus et savent très bien aussi qu'on ne lâchera jamais jusqu'a l'obtention de notre pays.

    @Tym Machin

    Je ne donne pas cher du canada si l'Alberta et le Québec quittent ce faux pays qui ne tient qu'a un fil.En passant,je ne crois pas que l'Alberta,pas plus que le Québec,soit divisible.

  24. « […] le non ne fut pas clair au sens de la Loi sur la clarté. En 1995, 50,58 % n'était significatif, que faites-vous des 49, 42 % ? Qu'ils aillent se faire voir ? […] »
    Si ça aurait été 50,58% pour le OUI, ça aurait été jugé assez significatif pour faire de nous un nouveau pays.

    « Malgré ce que vous pensez, le référendum de 1995 a été manipulé »
    Les théories du complot abondent des deux côtés du débat. Nous aussi, on vous accuse d’avoir frauduleusement rejeté bon nombre de nos NON, surtout dans des châteaux forts comme Chomedey.

    Ce que je trouve fort difficile à comprendre, c’est comment on voit des chiffres (hors cycle référendaire) avoisinant les 60% NON / 40% OUI et que ça ne fluctue guère de plus de 5% depuis 1980 sauf en périodes de crise politique émotive. S’il y a de la manipulation, je considère qu’elle se fait très souvent par le courant séparatiste qui joue sur nos craintes et émotions trop souvent faciles et mercuriales.

    « les indépendantistes auraient dû voir venir la mauvaise foi du côté du fédéral »
    Les agissements de certains dans nos propres rangs ont fini par se retourner contre nous tous. C’est d’ailleurs pour ça qu’on n’est pas actuellement au pouvoir. En passant, nous aussi on trouve de mauvaise foi la motivation officieuse d’assimiler les immigrants vers le français dans l’espoir que ceux-ci se pencheront un jour du côté du OUI. Vous avez beau vous plaindre du grand mal que sont des écoles passerelles alors qu’il y a moins d’un demi-siècle, on ne permettait pas d’immigrants dans nos écoles (francophones) pour peur que ceux-ci ne souillent notre race jusqu’alors « pure » et homogène…

    « La prochaine fois c'est la bonne ! »
    Je suis carrément ébahi par la façon dont vous pouvez dire et redire ça. Et si on aurait un troisième NON, disons à 55% cette fois, est-ce que ça justifierait un nombre infini de « prochaines fois », jusqu’à ce qu’on obtienne finalement un OUI ? Franchement, c’est notre équilibre économique, politique, et culturel, pas une démangeaison. Et c’est une stabilité qu’on met en jeu chaque fois. Sans même parler de notre réputation.

    «Ces anglos sont vraiment tordus et savent très bien aussi qu'on ne lâchera jamais jusqu'a l'obtention de notre pays.»
    Justement… d’après Einstein, ce qui serait vraiment tordu, c’est de faire et refaire la même expérience en s’y attendant un résultat différent à chaque fois. Mais bon, il y a aussi certains animaux qui n’apprennent pas au bout d’une ou deux tentatives que la clôture est électrifiée…


  25. «Il n'y a aucun peuple qui refuse de se gouverner lui-même à moins d'être complètement idiot ! »
    Il y a bon nombre de peuples qui abdiquent leur responsabilités de citoyen et cherchent plutôt le quick-fix pour chaque crise du jour. Pour ce qui est des québécois, on a une assemblée législative provinciale qui nous appartient à 100%, et malgré la crise récente de notre poids démographique aux Communes, nous occupons 24,3% des sièges (75 sur 308) alors que nous ne comptons que pour 23,1% de la population du pays. On nous garantit 3 juges sur 9 à la cour suprême. Il y a quelques années, le PM, le chef de l’armée et juge en chef de la cour suprême étaient tous des francophones. On a retenu notre droit civil. Malgré deux siècles d’oppression tant réelle qu’imaginée, jumelée à une récente paranoïa quant à nos effectifs dans les quartiers ouvriers de Montréal, on représente toujours plus de 4/5 de la population québécoise. On bénéficie d’un système fédéral qui nous remet actuellement plus d’argent qu’on y contribue pour financer nos programmes sociaux. Et si on le voulait vraiment, on pourrait facilement mettre fin à ces gouvernements fédéraux minoritaires en appuyant le parti qui nous ressemblait le plus, comme on l’a fait jusqu’à tout récemment et, ce faisant, décider quel parti gouvernerait décisivement TOUT le Canada. Je me demande souvent si on n’a pas finalement plus de pouvoir dans un Canada uni que dans un Québec séparé. Multilingue et fier de ce que je suis et d’où je vis, je sais par contre que j’aime mieux être seigneur à l’échelle d’un grand Canada qu’être roi absolu sur un Québec beaucoup moins étendu. On a toujours été l’épicentre et le vecteur du changement au pays et je sens qu’on le sera toujours.

    « J'ai foi en les Québécois ! »
    Moi aussi. Si on en avait vraiment besoin, on l’aurait déjà créé le pays du Québec. On n’a maintenant qu’à comprendre tous et chacun que le rôle qu’on mérite d’assumer au sein de ce pays est à portée de main. C’est nous qui avons toujours montré au reste du Canada ce que veut ça voulait dire être canadien. Il suffit de voir plus loin que la grosseur des caractères français sur des enseignes.

  26. To: Apparatchik

    Always a pleasure to read your comments!

  27. @Editor:
    Thanks very much; always a pleasure participating.

    Getting back on-topic, I couldn't help but do a double-take at the placard being held up by the girl(?) in your post's illustration above. The word "KOSOVO" is in red/blue/white striped lettering, while "QUÉBEC" is all in blue.

    Horizontal red/blue/white stripes are actually the pan-Slavic colors (found in flags of such countries as Serbia, Croatia, Russia, and (partially) Poland). Kosovar Albanians are ethnically not Slavs for the most part (some might even say this is one major reason why they wanted to secede). Kosovo's flag, like Quebec's, is mostly blue and and includes white, but also gold.

    Maybe Kosovo's flag hadn't yet been adopted/officialized when the photo was taken (pre-March 2008?), but her lack of judgment and forethought in creating something both as tangible and symbolic as a protest sign using the wrong symbols is an eloquent visual indication of her superficial commitment to both causes. Either that, or she's endorsing one thing verbally and the opposite symbolically.

    It would be the same as having written "QUÉBEC" in red and white or include a cute maple leaf.

    This got me thinking about how human struggle for identity (already questionable in theory) often degenerates to nothing more than a glorified marketing strategy in practice. Symbols, ethnicities, religions; all of these markers that are applied to us to clearly delineate and foster ideas of "US" and "THEM". Dividers (both metaphorical and tangible) are usually erected, often at great expense, to exclude or at least discriminate between individuals who "belong" to a group, and those who don't. The masses lose sight of the markers' original values and blindly (re)appropriate them to express their own "originality".

    Closer to home, I think of such examples as the maple leaf, the fleur-de-lis, the beaver, the national anthem, the colors red, white and blue, the words "Montreal", "Quebec", and "Canada", all with a gentle smirk.

    Smirking still, I scroll to the top of your post, chuckle as I stare at the pic, and congratulate you on an excellent choice.

  28. To continue Apparatchik, some French Quebecer hard-liners sometimes annoys me that they insist that the name of Montreal and Quebec are written Montréal and Québec, even in English since those are the "correct form" of the names.

    In that case, would the French language stop referring to Londres and Philadelphie?