In response to:
Aimez-vous Canada? from the July 17, 1980 issue
To the Editors:
Professor J.M. Cameron [NYR, July 17] asserts that the Francophone voters in the Quebec referendum voted 52 percent in the affirmative and 48 percent negative. Since the referendum was conducted by secret ballot there is absolutely no way of determining accurately the ethnic division of the vote. That this is so is one of the continuing guarantees of democracy in Quebec. …It is clear that slightly less than 60 percent of Quebeckers voted No, while slightly more than 40 percent voted Yes. No other figures are of any value.
J.M Cameron replies:
Professor Ramsay Cook is quite right in the principle he asserts, that there is no way of determining with absolute accuracy the way the Francophone vote divided. But he has misread what I wrote. I wrote that 52 percent of the Francophones voted No and 48 percent Yes—not the other way around. I ought to have said that this was an estimate based upon sampling by the polls. Had the estimate been implausible, and had there been no evident Francophone majority for No, I think we should have heard from Mr. Levesque.
I must apologize, by the way, for attributing in my review La République des Camarades to Daniel Halévy. It is by Robert de Jouvenel and was first published in 1914.