[LINK] "Separatist Quebec premier to meet with Scottish counterpart"
This news item seems to have gotten more attention in Canada than in the United Kingdom, perhaps because of Québec's longer history of active separatism, perhaps because of Québec's long history foreign entanglements and connections. Scottish and British readers?
Pauline Marois says she looks forward to chatting about independence next week — not to helping achieve it.
She will meet with Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, during a stop in Edinburgh on Jan. 29.
Marois says she knows his pro-independence Scottish National Party has observed her Parti Québécois with interest and she's ready to answer any questions Salmond might have.
"I will obviously not interfere in their politics or decisions," Marois told a news conference Tuesday.
"But you know they have observed Quebec quite a bit, and our experiences. Mr. Salmond will surely have some questions to ask me."
So what is the meeting's objective?
"My objective is not necessarily to make a contribution, to have an influence, but it's really an exchange between political people who have similar perspectives on certain subjects, such as achieving more powers and on the means for achieving powers or becoming independent," she said.
Unlike the Scottish nationalists, the PQ has already held two referendums in failed attempts at independence over the years but currently has no timetable for a third such vote.
The SNP, on the other hand, is now planning to hold its first such referendum after being elected with a majority government for the first time since the creation of the modern Scottish parliament.
Although the PQ and the SNP have forged ties over the years, it will be the first time their respective leaders meet while in power.
Their movements do share a familiar obstacle: less-than-favourable polls.
Surveys peg support for Scottish independence at levels that suggest it might be hard to achieve when the referendum takes place in the fall of 2014.
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