There was something frankly embarrassing to hear Lucien Bouchard said in an interview, this week: “it is me who brought the cause closest to success.”.
Whatever one may think of the work of Mr. Bouchard and his performance noticed during the 1995 campaign, this “me” is frankly creaking and, at least, inelegant.
It it is first for the millions of Quebecers who voted, who have pushed, who gave time and money to this cause, but it is also the head of the yes camp, Jacques Parizeau.
Remember just two things. First, it is documented and well known that Bouchard has much resisted the holding of the referendum of 1995. Everything indicates that would have been the willingness of Jacques Parizeau, the referendum would very likely have not occurred.
Second, polling expert Pierre Drouilly, now affiliated with the PQ has produced serious work in which he says that it is impossible to measure any effect either because of the arrival of Bouchard in the foreground in the 1995 campaign. The Edmonton University researchers arrived at the same conclusion. This does not mean that Mr. Bouchard was not a valuable asset to the yes camp. But this somewhat relativizes things and allows to deflate the argument of the pessimists that the outcome of 1995 had been artificially high because of the presence of Lucien Bouchard, so that should be constantly postponing any further attempt to achieve independence.
Moreover, we also note since the years following this episode, the former Chief of the Bloc and former Prime Minister, pronounced at regular intervals on various political issues, is exemplary and remarkable silence on sovereignty, except to say from time to time, when settled in a corner and twisting on his chair, he “assumes” that he made in 1995.
In proclaiming themselves now the champion of the “cause” for his role passed, Mr. Bouchard fits perfectly in the trend spread, that observed for a long time, to constantly store Jacques Parizeau in the closet of history. Beyond the ingratitude which it thus testifies to Mr. Parizeau, is the difficulty for pro-independence find their place in the Quebec political frame which is expressed here in all its splendour.
NIC Payne – Montreal, September 13, 2012