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Separation Anxiety

Who's making up and breaking up in the game of states.

By Angus Reid 19 Apr 2007 | TheTyee.ca

This Tyee series shares with you the research conducted by the Angus Reid Global Monitor, the Vancouver-based leaders in public opinion analysis. TrendWatch columns offer quick, concise context for developing stories in B.C. and beyond.

The Parti Quebecois fell to historic lows in last month's provincial election. But does that mean the campaign for an autonomous Quebec in on the wane?

Recent polls say more than half of Canadians think so. But a look at worldwide public opinion shows that settled borders and satisfied factions might be the exception, not the rule, in multi-ethnic states. So enjoy the peace, Canadians. It may not last.

From Abkhazia to the Basque and Cyprus, here are the ABC's of global opinion on sovereignty, separation and independence.

Canada -- Quebec

In Canada, 56 per cent of respondents think Quebec is less likely to separate from Canada after the recent provincial election.

United Kingdom -- Scotland

The Scottish National Party looks headed for a win in next month's parliamentary elections and has promised a referendum on independence if they succeed. But the Scottish public remains divided on the issue.

United Kingdom -- Bermuda

In Bermuda, a self-governing overseas territory, less than one in five want full independence from Britain.

China -- Taiwan

Already de-facto independent, Taiwan has pondered a formal split with mainland China for decades. But while support for independence goes up and down, almost four-in-five respondents to a recent poll agree that the final decision should be made by the Taiwanese, with no interference from the People's Republic.

Russia -- Abkhazia

Some in Abkhazia, a strategically important breakaway province in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, want to join the Russian Federation. Thirty nine per cent of Russians would welcome them.

Russia -- Japan

Also in Russia, 73 per cent of respondents flatly reject handing back the South Kuril Islands to Japan. The long simmering dispute has meant the two countries never signed a peace treaty after World War II.

Israel -- Palestine

In the Palestinian territories, almost half of all residents believe the two-state solution is the best way to reach peace with Israel.

Greece -- Cyprus

In Greek Cyprus, the view is decidedly gloomier. After the failure of a UN sponsored referendum in 2004, only 10 per cent think an answer to the "Cyprus Question" will be found soon.

Spain -- Basque

In 2005, residents of Spain's Basque Country found no consensus on independence.  [Tyee]

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