The results of elections in the Canadian province of Quebec have revealed massive opposition to moves for the separation of the predominantly French-speaking province from the rest of Canada.
Rene Levesque speaks surrounded by pressmen
SCU Trudeau interviewed
TRANSCRIPTS OF PART OF A SPEECH BY RENE LEVESQUE AND AN INTERVIEW WITH PIERRE TRUDEAU FOLLOW:
SEQ. 1: MR. LEVESQUE: "What prevents us from rejoicing. Just the same. Just the same. The party has reached its minimum objective of becoming the only opposition party -- the only opposition party and the only recognised party besides the Liberals."
SEQ. 3: MR. TRUDEAU INTERVIEWED BY RON COLLISTER: "Well so far Mr. Prime Minister we've heard some discussion about whether or not this is the death knell for separatism in Quebec. Do you think it is?
TRUDEAU: "If this were referendum it would be the death knell for separatism because obviously there would have been a choice between voting for federalism as against separatism. But it's not a referendum, it's an election and there are other elections that will follow this one, And I cant predict what's going to happen in four years. There is obviously a solid core of compatriots who voted for separation. I don't know what the percentage is I mean I assume it's not the percentage of the P.Q. vote. But there is a solid core of people still wanting separatism.
The important thing is that overwhelmingly the people of Canada have voted for the one party, The Liberal party which is frankly, squarely on the side of federalism, on the side of Canada. Very significant is that Mr. Bourassa conducted an election in such a way that he went and got many of the votes of the Creditists and Union Nationals, and from many of these people who have voted that way all their lives it must have been a tough choice to leave their traditional party to go that party which was their very traditional enemy, the Liberals, in order to affirm their belief in Canada And I think this is a very significant result."
Initials AE/19.36 AE/19.53
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Background: The results of elections in the Canadian province of Quebec have revealed massive opposition to moves for the separation of the predominantly French-speaking province from the rest of Canada. Electors on Monday (October 29th) returned Premier Robert Bourassa's Liberal party to power with a huge majority, in an election regarded as a showdown between pro-separatists and pro-federalists.
The Liberals -- whose policy was for Quebec to remain part of the Canadian federation of ten provinces -- had won 101 of the 110 National Assembly Candidacy seats by Wednesday night (October 31st). Party officials said the results went beyond even their most optimistic predictions.
The Parti Quebecois, which was seeking an independent Quebec in economic association with Canada, won only six seats, and its leader Rene Levesque was defeated in his own constituency. But the party emerged as the official opposition with the erosion of two other parties, the Creditiste and the Union Nationals. The Union Nationals -- the official opposition in the last Assembly. failed to gain even a single seat, while the Creditiste was returned in only two seats.
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said "If I had to interpret this vote as a referendum, it would be a vote solidly for staying in Canada."