The most loaded and devastating epithet that can be hurled at a francophone, federalist, Quebec politician. Literally, it means “sold” or “sell-out”. But its true meaning is more akin to “traitor to one’s race” or, in an African-American analogy, “Uncle Tom.”

During unity crises in Quebec, separatists deployed the expression against francophone federalists, notably Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien. The former’s half-Scottish heritage made him suspect in the eyes of separatists, while the latter’s self-avowed “pea-souper” shtick enraged their sense of dignity.

Quebec MP Stéphane Dion – Liberal Leader from December 2006 to December 2008 – took much abuse for his vigorous defence of Canada. He, too was viciously attacked as a “vendu”.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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