Apparently Diene is busy drawing up a report where official languages should be determined on the size of a minority population. Ilves' response was predictable:
“If Diene recommended that several official languages should be adopted in Estonia, I will recall that there are 4 million Turks living in Germany. Why doesn’t that country have several official languages?”Ilves is right to point out that the rest of Europe currently does not follow similar norms. But I think that the comparison to Turkish immigrants in Germany is misleading. If Estonia really wants to point out why Diene and others are wrong they should look farther west, to the Canadian Province of Québec.
Québec only has one official language, French, even though 8 percent of its residents are native English speakers (and it was 14 percent in 1951). English speakers have been living on the territory of Québec for a long time, even longer than the Old Believers have had their villages on the shores of Lake Peipsi. So why does Québec only have one official language?
Because if Québec was forced to adopt English as an official language, thousands of guys with fleurdelisé flags would go apeshit and proceed to start blowing things up, let alone tearing down bilingual traffic signs. In another words it would be a politically and socially destabilizing event that would have severe repercussions for, say, Québec's status in Canada.
It would be a bad political decision that would do more harm than good and perhaps make gentlemen like Doudou Diene look bad for giving out such foolish advice. I know he means well, and solutions like these look great on paper, but they fail to factor in such important things as history amongst other things. And if the Quebecois had reasons to have one official language, the Estonians do too.