Nationalists in Canada's "will they, won't they" breakaway province have launched a campaign for international representation in ice hockey – just as Scotland has in our national sport, football.
The Parti Québécois (PQ )last week formed its first administration in nine years, but with a minority which means it cannot hold what would be its third successive independence referendum.
Instead the PQ is expected to try to prise more powers from Canada's federal government in recognition of the province's official status as a "nation within a united Canada".
But party leaders have also signalled that they want to pursue a wider agenda of "nation-building", including in sport.
They dream of seeing their own international hockey side, wearing their national symbol, the fleur-de-lis, take on Canada – just as Scotland used to do regular battle with the auld enemy, England, at Hampden and Wembley. But they face opposition from an International Ice Hockey Federation (IIFA) that admits only sovereign nations.
Marc Dean, a PQ candidate in last week's election and self-proclaimed hockey nut, says this could be done even if Quebec is not independent.
He told the Sunday Herald: "My remarks about Quebec having its own national hockey team were inspired by Scotland's sporting representation, especially in international tournaments.
"We would like to negotiate the same kind of exception for Quebec in the IIFA."
Quebec-watcher Michael Keating, an Aberdeen University professor, has spent years studying the "national" movements of Scotland, Quebec and Spain's Catalonia.
Keating said: "The Scottish national football team is very important for the national identity – but you don't need to be a nationalist to follow the Tartan Army. But in Quebec a similar move would be really quite explosive because it would be splitting an existing entity."
He reckons the calls for a national team are part of a strategy by PQ leader – and Quebec's first female premier – Pauline Marois to push the boundaries of statehood.
Keating said: "If they can't have a referendum on independence, they have to try everything else to acquire all the trappings of independence short of independence itself. This is a nation-building exercise."
The PQ made no pledge to hold a referendum ahead of provincial elections. They did, however, get in to what the local press described as "hockey wars" – and not just about a national team. Quebec used to have two big National Hockey League (NHL) sides, a sort of ice hockey Old Firm.
The first, which still exists, was the Montreal Canadiens, supported by Anglophones and Francophones alike but historically associated with Montreal's English-speaking business elite.
The second, now defunct, was the Quebec Nordiques, fiercely Francophone, its strips covered in fleurs-de-lis. But there is a campaign to bring it back.
Pat Hickey – an American who writes for the Montreal Gazette – has been following Quebec hockey since 1968. He watched the infamous 1984 "Good Friday Massacre" between the Canadiens and Nordiques.
"That was a particularly ugly game," he said. "There was a great rivalry between the two. There was a beer war going on too, as they were each associated with different breweries."
Quebec province may not get a national side but it could get a proudly Francophone franchise, which would act, says Hickey, as a lightning rod for nationalist sentiment in the way Barca does in Catalunya.
ANALYSIS: nationalism united
FOR the enemies of Quebec's new ruling party it is the ultimate put-down.
The Parti Québécois, they mock, are not real nationalists: they are – and if you support Alex Salmond you should look away now – fake separatists like the SNP.
Péquistes – or PQ – came to power in the Canadian province last week. But they did so only as a minority administration and with little or no prospect of holding a referendum, never mind winning one, on what they call "sovereignty" rather than independence.
Losing Federalists, as unionists call themselves in Canada, compared the new PQ administration to governments in Scotland and Catalunya.
"On Tuesday night, Quebec became a member of an international political movement stretching from Edinburgh to Barcelona: The Plan-B Nationalists," wrote the Toronto-based Globe and Mail. "In Catalonia, Scotland and now Quebec, power is held by separatist parties that have little chance of winning a sovereignty referendum in the foreseeable future."
Péquistes have tried referenda in the past, twice. And lost. Their call for "sovereignty association" with Canada was last rejected in 1995.
Academics believe these are the only two independence plebiscites held where the "Yes" side didn't win.
But The Globe and Mail – which is fiercely federalist and has rallied against the SNP – reckons the PQ have learned their strategy from their friends in Scotland and Catalunya.The paper reported officials from the SNP, Catalunya's ruling CiU coalition of moderate nationalists and the PQ met to discuss tactics.
It said: "Newlyelected PQ Premier Pauline Marois has communicated with both movements about their strategies -"
Ironically, Canada's Anglophone newspapers have accused Salmond of adopting PQ tactics. The Vancouver Sun, claimed the SNP, like their Péquiste allies, were trying to find a "weasel words question" for the Scottish referendum.
Citing polls showing opposition to independence, while confusing the Latin names for Scotland and Ireland, the paper declared: "Salmond plans to offer voters a Hibernian version of 'sovereignty association' called Devo-Max."
Reporter David Leask has been monitoring foreign reporting of the Scottish independence referendum, including from Canada, for The Herald and Sunday Herald.
His blogs on the subject can be found at www.heraldscotland.com.
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