Letter: Voters confuses by complicated referendum question

In both 1980 and 1995, the question asked of Quebec’s population was so convoluted that many anti-separatist voters voted “Yes”…

To the editor:

I had to chuckle reading Jorgen Hansen’s letter in the September 24th edition. His reference to the 1980 and 1995 Quebec referendums on sovereignty stating that Quebec “held referendums with simple questions: ‘Do you want to separate[?]’” could not be further from the truth.

Indeed, if one does a cursory bit of research one finds that the referendum question in 1980 would nearly exceed the allowable word count for this publication’s letters to the editor section.

In both 1980 and 1995, the question asked of Quebec’s population was so convoluted that many anti-separatist voters voted “Yes” thinking that the question asked was merely to negotiate a better deal for Quebec within the framework of a unified Canada, not for outright separation.

While I do agree that a clear question is necessary to any future referendum votes on separation (hopefully none of which will be seen in our lifetimes in Canada), such a thing would be a first in Canada based on an examination of the questions asked in the two failed attempted by Quebec’s separatists to divide our great country.

Richard McAdam, Kelowna

Kelowna Capital News

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