DIPLOMACY: The Specter of Separatism

A "worst case" for Canada

One of Washington's riskier specialties is considering the darkest possible consequences of potential crises. In offices at the State Department, the CIA and other agencies, reports TIME Diplomatic Correspondent Strobe Talbott, resident futurologists are already thinking the unthinkable—or at least the unspeakable—about what could eventually happen if Quebec Premier René Lévesque wins a referendum to be held in 1979 on separate status for his huge, French-speaking province. Talbott's report:

The year is 1990. French-Canadian separatists, under the banner of the Parti Québécois, have succeeded—and seceded. The former province of Quebec is now a republic. English-speaking Canada is...

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