What is autonomism?
Let me quote the beginning of the article Autonomisme au Québec in Wikipedia:
“Autonomism differs from Quebec sovereignism, since it advocates maintaining a link between Quebec and Canada. It also differs from Quebec federalism, since it calls for a substantial decentralization of powers to Quebec.”
Federalism has sought to centralize power in Ottawa even though the provinces, in 1864, wished to create a confederation—hence the term “Fathers of Confederation,” something that politicians of that time soon diverted to suit their personal interests. Remember, a confederation places power in the provinces, which pool together whichever powers they wish to have shared.
So Équipe autonomiste advocates autonomism, and to this end we have a trump card that could be played. As long as the Canadian constitution has not been signed by Quebec, it tacitly has force of law only because nothing else does. Since Meech Lake, Quebec has been waiting for proposals that are supposed to come from the other provinces to accommodate Quebec. Équipe autonomiste is well aware that these proposals will never come, since the Canadian federation sees no need for them. In addition, Équipe autonomiste knows there are no longer enough “independantists.” Support for sovereignty has since 1995 remained at around 40% and according to the latest polls is now between 30 and 32%, i.e., “in free fall.” The sovereignist vote is also being weakened by the rising proportion of non-French-speakers, who today represent 20% of the population (8% English-speakers and 12% speakers of other languages). This electorate is 80-90% against sovereignty. Backed by figures, a Université de Montréal sociologist has shown that, since 1976, whenever the Parti Québécois returns to power, support for sovereignty usually drops (see http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2012/09/04/les-quebecois-sont-il...). So Équipe autonomiste is ready for concrete action to settle the Quebec constitutional question. What Quebec would like, in my opinion, is a confederation instead of a federation. The other provinces would then come together when convinced it’s in their self-interest. How can we go about this? I have an answer, and I’ll let you know if you show me you’re interested.