vs. Quebec: The Legal Right to a Referendum on
By Professor John Ryan
March 12, 2014 "Information
Clearing House -
There has been a great hue and cry by the USA,
Ukraine and other countries about the supposed
illegality of the proposed referendum by Crimea on
its future political status. They indignantly
proclaim that this is a violation of international
Amazingly, have Obama and the leaders of these other
countries never heard of the situation in Canada
with regard to Quebec? Quebec, as a province of
Canada, has held two referenda (1980 and 1995) on
the matter of independence from Canada . . . and a
third referendum may be in the works in the near
never had to get permission from Canada’s federal
government to hold a referendum, and no one ever
questioned the legality of Quebec’s referendum.
an autonomous region within Ukraine and seems to
have the same rights as a Canadian province. So if
it is perfectly legal for a province such as Quebec
to hold a referendum on independence, why would it
not be legal for Crimea to do the same? At no time
did the USA object to Quebec holding a referendum on
independence, so why the big brouhaha over Crimea?
Moreover, what business would it be for the USA to
have such objections – for Quebec or Crimea?
charter gives people the right to self-determination
and by virtue of that right they are free to
determine their political status. Quebec in Canada
has exercised that right, and there should be no
reason why Crimea could not do the same.
Ph.D., Retired Professor of Geography and Senior
Scholar, University of Winnipeg, Canada.