restricted access The Politics of Love: The 1995 Montreal Unity Rally and Canadian Affection

The politics of love has been the subject of much scrutiny of late, yet the concept of love itself as a political tool has been virtually ignored. This essay attempts to rectify this by analyzing the Montreal Unity Rally, staged on the eve of the 1995 Quebec referendum on sovereignty. Relying on news articles published from across Canada in the period surrounding the referendum campaign and the months following, on video documentaries, and on personal recollections, this article discusses the role that emotionality played in the movement. Ultimately, this study led to a reconsideration of the nature of the "love" that was declared at the rally, and the connection of such love to issues of power in Canadian politics.