The Morning After
The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was
Only the most fearless of political journalists would dare to open the old wounds of the 1995 Quebec referendum, a still-murky episode in Canadian history that continues to defy our understanding. The referendum brought one of the world's most successful democracies to the brink of the unknown, and yet Quebecers' attitudes toward sovereignty continue to baffle the country's political class. Interviewing seventeen key political leaders from the duelling referendum camps, Hébert and Lapierre begin with a simple premise: asking what were these political leaders' plans if the vote had gone the other way. Even two decades later, their answers may shock you. And in asking an unexpected question, these veteran political observers cleverly expose the fractures, tensions and fears that continue to shape Canada today.
Praise for The Morning After:
"Riveting." --Toronto Star
"In asking the question no one really wanted to ask two decades ago--what would have happened if the 'yes' side had won?--Chantal Hébert has not only sleuthed out the chaos that would have ensued following the 1995 referendum, she also trenchantly delineates an enduring warning to all politicians in Canada who might want to change the constitutional status quo without a coherent, principled strategy. In this clear-eyed, often gripping account of what was going on in the minds of the key players, and more ominously, what wasn't going on, Hébert and her collaborator Jean Lapierre have made a major contribution to our almighty national conundrum on what exactly constitutes Canada." --BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction jury citation