Twenty years after Canadians awaited the results of the Quebec referendum, the sovereigntist movement is facing a crisis of faith.
An abysmal result for the Bloc Québécois in the federal election has spurred a new round of soul-searching.
Four out of five Quebecers who voted checked the ballot box beside the name of a federalist candidate. The Bloc garnered just 19.3 per cent of the popular vote in the province and elected only 10 MPs — two short of official party status.
Of course, it could have been worse. In 2011, the Bloc was reduced to two MPs from 47 in the wave that launched the New Democrats into official Opposition.
“Support for the independence movement has been steadily declining over the last several years,” Philippe Couillard, Quebec’s Liberal premier, declared following the federal vote.
In hindsight, maybe the writing was on the wall when the Bloc dusted off retired leader Gilles Duceppe to lead the party into the election.
A CROP survey of Quebecers aged 18 to 24 conducted