The article on Quebec (THES, October 30) represented the pro-Canadian, federalist view.
The term "sovereignty" is not a "word change" of the past few years. The term was used in the first referendum of 1980. The desire at that time was to obtain, not "separation" but "sovereignty-association".
The graph showed support "for" independence gaining supremacy in 1990. There is no mention that this "fluctuating public mood" was motivated by the failure of the Meech Lake Accord wherein "Canadians turned their backs on Quebecers". This was the first of many failed attempts by the federalists to bring Quebec into the constitutional fold.
The graph did not show the results of the 1995 referendum. More than 49 per cent of Quebecers voted for sovereignty.
Your source from McGill University justifies these results by saying a quarter of the people voting "yes" believed Quebec would remain a province of Canada if the "yes" side were victorious. It might be suggested that a quarter of the people who voted "no" believed that if Quebec became independent it would become a state of the United States. But for this information you would need to go outside of McGill to any one of the less federalist universities in Quebec.
Derrick Farnham University of Ottawa