"Vive le Québec libre !" With those provocative words, delivered in Montreal in 1967, French President Charles de Gaulle became persona non grata to the Canadian government in Ottawa, and emboldened Quebec's separatist movement. In the years since, the Bloc Quebecois -- a separatist party -- has kept the dream of a separate nation of Quebec alive.
The Bloc was absolutely crushed in the elections last night, losing between 44 and 47 of its 48 seats in Parliament. The Bloc's leader, Giles Duceppe, lost his own seat and has announced that he will quit as party leader.
The left-wing NDP, which held only one seat in Quebec before this week, flooded the region with its orange party color. The light blue of the Bloc has all but disappeared, as two the maps below, from the CBC, show. (The Conservatives are in dark blue.)
Among the winners -- an NDP candidate who doesn't live in her riding (district), spent most of the campaign vacationing in Vegas, and barely speaks a word of French. Not only did she win, but she won by ten points.
The Liberals' demise last night is truly historic (their leader, Michael Ignatieff, also lost). But they are at least replaced by another left-wing party. The Bloc, on the other hand, is the only party in the Canadian Parliament that doesn't believe in Canada, and they are no more. Federalism -- in other words, Canadian unity -- won a decisive victory in Quebec last night.