Canada Bill Would Ease Quebec's Secession

But don't expect opposition measure to pass

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 29, 2013 8:55 AM CST

(Newser) – Under a new bill, Quebec could theoretically secede from Canada with a simple majority vote—but the bill isn't going to become law anytime soon, Reuters notes. The opposition New Democratic Party bill would revise standards set by the country's Clarity Act, which says secession would require a "clear majority" vote. The Clarity Act, despite its name, isn't all that clear: It doesn't say what a "clear majority" is—only that it's more than a simple majority.

The new legislation says a simple majority, just one vote more than half, would be sufficient for secession, given a clear question. With Conservatives the majority in the House of Commons, the NDP bill won't pass—but it does hint at party policy should it win the election in 2015, Reuters notes. Quebec last year elected a separatist government, though polls show significantly less than half the province backs independence.

New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair, center, receives applause at a party caucus meeting in Toronto on Sunday, March 25, 2012.
New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair, center, receives applause at a party caucus meeting in Toronto on Sunday, March 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
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