Definitions

cesser

Money and the ethnic vote

In the concession speech given by Parti Québécois Premier Jacques Parizeau after narrowly losing 50.58% to 49.42% in the 1995 Quebec referendum on sovereignty, he blamed the defeat on "money and the ethnic vote" (l'argent puis des votes ethniques) and called on Quebec sovereignists to adopt a strategy of gearing their efforts only towards white French-speaking Quebecers in future referendum campaigns. Parizeau practically "committed political suicide" and would resign as premier the next day. The former premier never apologized for his statement, which caused some to accuse the separatist movement of being racist.

The quotation

Original

(Crowd singing: Gens du pays, c'est votre tour / De vous laisser parler d'amour)

"Mes amis,"

"C'est raté, mais pas de beaucoup. Puis c'est réussi, c'est réussi sur un plan. Si vous voulez, on va cesser de parler des francophones du Québec, voulez-vous ? On va parler de nous à 60%. On a voté pour. On s'est bien battu, et nous, on a quand même réussi à indiquer clairement ce qu'on voulait. Puis on a raté par une petite marge, quelques dizaines de milliers de voix. Bon ben, dans un cas comme ça, qu'est-ce qu'on fait ? On se crache dans les mains et on recommence. "

"J'aurais bien voulu que ça passe. J'aurais tellement voulu, comme vous tous, que ça passe. On était si proches du pays. Bon ben, c'est retardé un peu... Pas longtemps, pas longtemps! On n'attendra pas 15 ans cette fois-là. Non, non. "

"C'est vrai, c'est vrai qu'on a été battus, au fond, par quoi? Par l'argent puis des votes ethniques, essentiellement. Alors ça veut dire que la prochaine fois, au lieu d'être 60 ou 61% à voter OUI on sera 63 ou 64% et ça suffira. C'est tout. Mais là, mes amis, dans les mois qui viennent, on va... Écoutez : Il y a des gens qui ont eu tellement peur que la tentation de se venger ça va être quelque chose! Et là, jamais il ne sera aussi important d'avoir à Québec ce gouvernement du Parti Québécois pour nous protéger jusqu'à la prochaine!

Translation

(Crowd singing: People of the land, it's your turn / To let yourself speak of love)

"My friends"

"It's lost, but not by much. But it's a success, it's a success in a way. If you could, let's stop talking about the francophones of Quebec. Let's talk about us. We'll talk about 60% of us. We voted for. We fought well, and we ... we even showed clearly what we wanted. And we missed by a small margin, by several ten thousand votes. Well, in a case like this, what do we do? We spit in our hands and start all over again.

"I really wanted this to go through. I wanted it so badly, like all of you, that it would get through. We were so close to a country. Well, it's been delayed a little ... not for long, not for long ... we won't wait 15 years this time ... no, no ..."

"It's true, it's true that we have been defeated, but basically by what? By money and some ethnic votes, essentially. So all it means is that, in the next round, instead of being 60 or 61 per cent to vote YES, we will be 63 or 64 per cent and it will suffice. That's all. But now my friends, in the months that will come, we are going to... Listen: Some people got so afraid that the temptation to take revenge is going to be something! And never again will it be more important to have a Parti Québécois government to protect us until the next time!

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