Which is why Marc Garneau's comments are not likely to endear him even to the staunchest federalists:
Liberal candidate and former astronaut Marc Garneau is defending what he calls his strong feelings of patriotism.
He told Montreal's La Presse he could not live in an independent Quebec and would leave if the province were to separate.
Garneau defends his comments, saying most sovereigntists do not understand the consequences of separation.
"It's a little bit like the United States going into Baghdad. It happened very quickly. But what after that?" he said Wednesday in Montreal. "If you say you are a sovereigntist, you have to think it through. I don't think a lot of Quebecers have thought it through."
Garneau is quoted as saying he has "the maple leaf tattooed on his heart."
While we're glad for such a heartfelt expression of loyalty, it will forever mark him in Quebec as a vendu. And it also shows a remarkable ignorance about Quebecois understanding of separatism.
Independence is not a difficult concept for people to grasp; it doesn't take an education in international law to know what the separatist movement is aiming at, beneath promises of "sovereignty-association" and "economic union."
Quebec voters have had 40 years of debate to think it through, and it's insulting to claim that they don't know what sovereignty and independence mean after all this time.
If Marc Garneau is indicative of the Liberal Party towards Quebec, no wonder that it's collapsing there.