I suspect this may be the year -- the fiscal one, I suppose -- when we lost Canada.
The first, and most damaging, mistake was the Harper government's decision to recognize Quebec as a nation. Now that Parliament has done so, most of the work of Quebec nationalists is complete. It is only a matter of ironing out the details.
Last night's election started the process.
The vast majority of seats were won by statist and neo-Marxist nationalists (the Parti Quebecois) and corporatist nationalists (the ADQ). The latter party represents a return to pre-1960 Duplessis-era fascism. I chose that word very carefully, and by it I mean the Salazar, deGaulle, Franco and Peron-style of fascism. It's a movement based around a charismatic leader that uses triumphalist historic references, xenophobia, race fears and nationalism as major tools of public persuasion, and has very little regard for the liberty of minorities and individuals. It appeals to the most narrow-minded, frightened and angry individuals and to, in this case, the Francophone business elite that has profited so well from the decisions of the Quebec and federal governments since the mid-1960s.
Quebec's choice of direction is now completely and obviously at odds with that of the rest of the country. The narrative of Toronto and Vancouver of a rights-respecting, pluralist and capitalist society that looks to the future has very little in common with Quebec City and Montreal's domination by a mindset that looks backwards, inwards and is afraid of the future.
Contrast Quebec City with Calgary, and the gap is even wider. They are in the same country only in name.
There probably is no way to bridge the gap.
So, I think, it really is all just a matter of details.