Liberty, security, prosperity.
Why the United States rather than Canada?
The american model has several political advantages, for example : equal representation in an elected Senate, separate branches of governement, separation of Church and State and a system based on the ideal that all humans are equals, without confering any special rights for religious, ethnic or any other particular group. The U.S. Constitution was conceived by the people and for the people.
The economic advantages are also undeniable, for example : a stronger dollar, a greater market, greater commerce, more affordable prices, taxation economies, less taxes, less bureaucracy, better access to financing and workforce, being safe from protectionnist measures, reduced transporation costs, etc.
The advantages for security, defense and mobility are also important, for example : abolition of customs, stronger army, more efficient security and intelligence services, to be able to travel everywhere in the country without passport and at lower costs, better protection of our land and ressources, etc.
Finally, quebeckers could take part in world shaping decisions. Indeed, as 51st state, Quebec could dispose of approximately 13 electoral votes, which in practically all recent presidential elections could have changed the result.
Wouldn’t we need a new flag, a new name for the country?
Not at all. In the beginning, the United States had only 13 states. Today they have 50 and they are still called the United States, which makes it a perfect model. The american flag is also generic and evolutive, in the very image of the United States. The 13 white and red stripes represent the 13 founding colonies and the 50 stars represent the actual states. The number of stars has changed regularily with time and still can.
How to protect the french language in such a big english speaking community?
Contrary to popular belief, the United States have no official language. English, french, spanish and german have all been used at the governemental level in the United States.
Not only that no federal law prevents a State from operating in the language of its choosing, but the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids that governement service be refused to someone who doesn’t speak english.
Furthermore, a State member of the union is sovereign and therefore is endowed with a constitution. Section 2 of the Quebec Constitution makes french the official language of the State, insuring governement service, laws and legal acts in french.
Quebec already evolves on a continent that has been speaking english in large majority for centuries and it preserved its culture and language by its pride and resilience. Culture can’t be imposed, it must be passed on. It is first and foremost the responsibility of each quebecker to insure the preservation of his language and culture. With constitutionnal proctection, quebeckers have the best legal protection to do so.
Furthermore, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would likely apply to someone who doesn’t speak french and allow him reasonnable access to state services.
Won’t we lose our healthcare system?
No, it’s a provincial program and nothing prevents keeping it as an american state. As a matter of fact, contrary to Canada, the american federal system would allow quebeckers to choose the health system of their choosing and would therefore enjoy more freedom on that matter (has for many others) as americans rather than canadians.
Won’t we have to bring back the death penalty?
Not at all. Once again, quebeckers would enjoy more freedom on the matter as americans rather than canadians. In Canada, all criminal laws, including sentences are set by the federal government.
As an american state, Quebec would not only decide what is criminal or not, but could also set sentences as harsh or lenient as they see fit. While a State could impose the death penalty, many forbid it.
Won’t there be more guns?
Yet again, quebeckers would have more control over that question that they do in Canada. As we have witnessed with the question of the long gun registry, in Canada, the fedral government decides.
In the United States, the 2nd amendement guarantees the right to own a firearm, however it doesn’t set the conditions of such right. These are determined by the states. Many southern states have very permissive gun laws while many northern states have considerable restrictions : permits, gun registers, licensing, etc.
Nothing would prevent Quebec as an american state to adopt laws responding to its needs and priorities on the matter.
How would we protect Quebec’s environment and ressources?
While there are applicable federal envirnomental standards, each state can adopt its own. California, for example, is a world leader in environmental standards.
Natural ressources belong to the states, Quebec, as an american state, could therefore manage and protect its ressources according to its needs and priorities.
What will happen to people proud of their canadian heritage?
Canadian culture, local expressions and customs, folklore and canadian and Quebec’s history would not magically vanish overnight after the union. Cultures and identities are not assimilated by the United States, much to the contrary. Indeed, it is one of the places where diversity is most outstanding. The phrase figuring on the seal of the United States is : « e pluribus unum » which means « one out of many ».
Texas has been a member of the union for a little over 150 years and still retains its own culture and identity, just as do Massachusetts and California. No one could confuse them. It is just as such for regions like Southern U.S. or New England that didn’t not disappear after the union.
Evidently, ties to the british Crown would be cut by this union, but the attachement to monarchy have never been this low in Canada, even moreso in Quebec.
I don’t agree with US policies, why should I support this idea?
Because you can’t do anything about it as a canadian, whereas an american citizen you would hold real power over local, regional and world issues. When the United States invaded Irak, Georges W. Bush was President after being elected in 2000 by a majority of 5 electoral votes. Quebec as an american state would hold approximately 13 electoral votes, more than enough to make a difference.
This idea will never be popular in Quebec, why even try?
Actually, a Léger-Marketing survey held in 2001 was giving a 33,9% approval rate to the idea, when George W. Bush was President and at a time when the option wasn’t even present on the political scene.
Abolition of the border and adoption of a common currency each respectivily received an approval rate of 49,7% and 53,5% in Quebec.
Furthermore, far from new or eccentric, the idea presented itself 6 times in the Nation’s history :
1775-1776 : While the 13 colonies were disscussing the formation of the United States, they sent no other than Benjamin Franklin to Montreal to convince the french canadians to adhere to the United States. He speaks french and is greeted warmly, however protestants from Massachussets were very intelorants towards catholics which is what likely caused the attempt to fail. The Americans then attacked the british forces in Quebec but were struck by smallpox and were forced to retreat with the arrival of british reinforcements.
1812 : Once again at war with the British, the Americans were more intent on intergrating Ontario but no one came out as the victor of this war.
1837-1838 : Most of the Patriots preferred an independant republic like Texas, but many, like their leader Louis-Joseph Papineau believe in joining the United States.
1842 : During the negotiations with the British, the Americans were asking for the lower Saint-Laurence region while they are asking for half of actual Maine. They will finally agree on today’s borders.
1849 : For the first time, a unionist movement is on the Quebec side. About 2000 notables from Montreal sign a Manifest, among them Louis-Joseph Papineau and the Molson brothers. They are ignored by the american government, tired of armed conflicts with the British Empire which was very powerful at the time.
1989-1990 : In 1989, Parti 51 presents 11 candidates offering an alternative to independence by a sovereignty-association under the form of an annexation to the United States. However, the sovereignist movement is in full bloom and will have the better of this option with very limited visibility in this effervescent context, especially following the failure of the Lake Meech Accord in 1990.
2016 : Parti 51 is reborn in a globalization context where the priorities of Quebeckers surpasses borders : environment, economy, justice, transparency, liberty and democracy. No longer is it sufficient to protect Quebec’s language and culture, it must open itself to the world, to make it bloom and shine in a universe where the planet is accessible from the tip of our fingers.
Will the Americans accept us?
Actually, they already invited us to do so unconditionnaly. Indeed, Section XI of the Articles of Confederation provided for unconditionnal admission of Canada to the Union. While according to some jurists, this text might still be in force, we clearly prefer entry following a firm majority submitted to the American Congress in conformity with the actual Constitution.
Indeed, the U.S. Constitution specifically provides the addition of new states under a simple vote from Congress, which explains how 37 new states joined the union of the 13 colonies.
Of course, in the modern context, it is highly likely that they will show care or even outright denial of what will be consider a canadian internal matter. But the strategic, economic, political and cultural value of intergrating Quebec to the United States is undeniable. It could even pave the way for other canadian provinces tempted by the option.
Will we have to abandon the metric system?
No. The use of the metric system has been legal in the United States since 1866, even tough the american population never adopted it. Quebec could continue to use the metric system without problems.
What about the rest of Canada?
The other provinces would go on as canadians still. It is difficult to evaluate the social impact on them that the loss of one of the « two solitudes » on a country that would now only be theoratically bilingual. They could be tempted to join the union since they would enjoy similar advantages. However Parti 51 doesn’t work on the federal scene and the destiny of other provinces is fully theirs.
Wouldn’t that be too complicated, long and/or costly?
The reunification of Germany took only a year and yet totalitarian and communist East Germany was radically different from capitalist and free West Germany.
The United States were created to inegrate divergent states and we have far more in common with them on the legal and administrative aspects. We are already bound by numerous treaties and they are our foremost commercial partners. Quebec could actually keep its civil code and laws.
As it is clear and unambiguous that a vote for the party is a vote for the option, the latter existing for that sole purpose, Parti 51, should it receive a sufficient majority, would immediately begin negotiations with Canada and the United States on the modalities of transition. It will ensure respect of the will of the Quebec’s people according to recognized principles of international law. Others states did it before us and we firmly believe in the capability of Quebeckers to fully assume their destiny.
As for the costs of such transition, we refer again to the German case where the benefits greatly surpassed the costs. It is proof that efficient and determined people can do so without difficulty in a much more complex case.
Will I lose my federal benefits (pension, employment insurance, etc.)?
No, most of these programs have equivalents in the United States and those who are already beneficiaries would maintain their benefits either as a non-resident, or as a result of negotiation during transition or by adoption of an equivalent program.
Indeed, Quebec would have full latitude to adopt equivalent legislation if necessary. It would also benefit from american federal transfers and programs as a fully integrated state.
What will happen to my canadian bank account/RRSP/investments?
They will not magically disappear, they will only be converted in american dollars(USD). Actually, most investements are already held in american dollars by the broker firms.
Considering the importance of the change on the currency markets, a conversion rate would undoubtedly be the object of transition negotiations.
What about existing contracts?
Quebec would maintain its civil law system as an american state. Furthermore, the full faith and credit clause from the U.S. Constitution insure that they would be recognized in the other states.
Also of note is the existence of grand-father clauses in common law, as well as the concept of acquired rights, insuring that the rights of citizens are maintained, while still being able to enjoy the advantages of the new legal system.
What will happen to same sex unions?
Their legality is a state matter, not a federal one. They should also be recognized under the full faith and credit constitutionnal clause.
What about my passport, my citizenship?
Obviously, all citizens of Quebec would be naturalized american citizens by the union. Maintaining canadian citizenship is possible. Indeed, many people already have double citizenship, the whole would most likely be the object of transition negotiations.
What about the national debts?
Of course, Quebec would remain responsible for its national debt, even after the union. As to our part of federal debt, it would have to be negotiated during transition and will most likely be in correlation with the federal assets that we would want to keep. In the case of federal buildings, they could be bought back by Quebec or by the United States which will obviously need fedral infrasturcture in Quebec as 51st state.
The debt to GDP ratio are comparable between Canada and the United States. As for every developped countries, debt is problematic and the synergy of a Union including Quebec would help face the economical challenges of the 21st century.
What about income and sales taxes?
States have the power to perceive taxes and Quebec could therefore maintain the QST and finance its programs by a state tax.
Evidently, there would be no more canadian income tax (except on income from activities in other canadian provinces as out of country taxation) and GST. However, federal taxes would have to be paid to the american authorities. That said, there is no federal general sales tax in the United States (some specific federal sales taxes do exist though).
A tax transition team would be created during the transition negotiations, considering the Quebec tax system is complex and made to tie itself to the canadian federal regime.
What happens if we want to leave the United States in the future?
The U.S. Constitution doesn’t provide the modalities of such a scenario, however Texas and California have recently been the object of a separatist movement and the illegitimity of such a scenario wasn’t brought up.
It is clear that we couldn’t be held prisoner in a union of sovereign States which exist for purposes of common defense and economy. While a case similar to « Brexit » is certainly conceivable, we are proposing this union with the United States because we have the firm conviction it is the best option for Quebec’s cultural, economical and social blossoming.
What about alcool and tobacco laws?
Federal tobacco laws are very similar between Canada and the United States.
For alcool however, the minimal drinking age as been set by a federal law in 1984. It concerns only the purchase and drinking in bars and restaurants and not consumption in general. This could however be the object of transition negotiations as it isn’t in the usual field of competence of the american federal government.
Help us achieve
«Our motto at all times: Freedom, security, prosperity. »
– Party 51