Pauline Marois spoke yesterday, strategically removing her red badge identifying her support for the striking students, to a crowd of folks interested in foreign policy. The big news was that she imagined that an independent Quebec would have an army to do only peacekeeping. Ah, the idealism of nationalists. Makes them seem so .... silly?
What Marois seems not to have learned is that contemporary peacekeeping does often involve violence, so the ideal of just helping out folks is nifty but unrealistic. But forget that. No, the real fun is imagining how a province that cannot build bridges that last, that has a corruption fiasco on a regular basis, that has a huge deficit can possibly build and sustain an army. Because I am pretty sure the Canadian Forces will not simply turnover its troops and material to the new Quebec army. Armies are expensive, even if they just hang out at home. Oh, and who will pick up this Quebec army to go to Haiti-like places? Oh, you would need a navy and air force. So, who would pay for that?
Independence would be costly, so I am glad that Marois has done her share to remind us of some of the costs that we were not even imagining.