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NDP proposes to replace Clarity Act

OTTAWA - Tom Mulcair says the NDP wants to replace the Clarity Act with legislation specifying that a bare majority Yes vote would be sufficient to trigger negotiations on Quebec secession.

The Clarity Act spells out that a clear majority of Quebecers would have to vote Yes on a clear referendum question before the federal government would negotiate terms of a divorce.

The act — introduced by former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien after Quebecers came within a hair of voting to secede in 1995 — does not specify what would constitute a clear majority.

The NDP has tabled a private member's bill which Mulcair says would bring more certainty to the issue.

It specifies that the question would have to be clear and that the vote would have to be conducted fairly, without any illegal spending or other dirty tricks.

Provided those conditions were met, then a vote of 50 per cent plus one would enough to trigger negotiations.

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