what’s up with french canadians?

melykin says: “In Canada, Quebec seems to be much more corrupt than the rest of Canada. (This difference pre-dates mass immigration from non-European sources).”

sure enough, that seems to be true: Quebec: The most corrupt province.

i wondered where in france the québécois came from — one of the more inbred regions maybe? doesn’t look like it.

from (the first page of) The French Canadians in the Province of Quebec (’cause i don’t have access to the full article) [links added by me]:

“The ancestors of the French Canadians came from the northwest of France, chiefly from Normandy, Perche, Beauce, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, Poitou, Aunis, Angoumois, Saintonge, and part of Gascony. Nineteen twentieths of this population were derived from the above-mentioned provinces, and not from Brittany, as has often been stated.”

i drew a map. or, rather, i outlined these areas in orange on a map someone else drew (~_^):

if wikipedia is to be believed, most — or a lot — of the french immigrants to canada came from the area i outlined in red. (the ancestors of the acadians, many of whom wound up as cajuns in louisiana, came mostly from the area i outlined in green, which was also the homeland of the huguenots funnily enough.)

the orange areas had fairly low levels of consanguineous marriages in the twentieth century. and, i think, probably in the 1800s as well going by segalen’s reports on central france for that time period. what about cousin marriage rates for earlier periods in these orange areas? dunno. they probably weren’t much lower than the twentieth century figures, but were they much higher? my guess is probably not extraordinarily so, but i don’t know for sure.

which doesn’t really fit “the theory.” these very corrupt french canadians ought to have an inbred background according to me, right? well, maybe i’m wrong (“failure is always an option!” (~_^) ) — or maybe the french canadians will prove to be the exception that proves the rule. or maybe the past inbreeding rates were higher.

or maybe the corruption levels have to do with their subsequent inbreeding…?

only a few thousand (5,800?) french folks settled in canada in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and from that stock we got the 10M+ french canadians of today. Six thousand (6,000) french settlers would mean, roughly, 3,000 couples (if the numbers of men and women were equal, which they may not have been). (i’ve also seen a figure of ca. 8,000 french settlers, so that would mean 4,000 couples. edit: or 2,600 québécois!) that’s a rather narrow gene pool for founding a population. it’s a sort of inbreeding in itself.

and there was definitely plenty of cousin marriage amongst the french canadians down through the years. one study of the mating patterns in the 1800s in an area of quebec that had less inbreeding than other parts of the region found that the inbreeding coefficient of offspring there was 0.0111. that’s the equivalent of everyone in the region being second cousins-once-removed to third cousins. (and that was based on genealogical records from canada, so it doesn’t even take into account that the base population was already pretty closely related having started off so small.)

so, inbreeding in french canada happened. for a couple of hundred years — on top of starting off as a small-sized population. enough inbreeding to lead to the population having a rather corrupt nature? dunno.

of course, quebec isn’t only populated by french canadians. there are also irish and italians and people of english and scottish descent. but mostly it’s french canadians.

previously: french canadians still evolving and meanwhile, in france…

(note: comments do not require an email. yay french canada!)

33 Comments

  1. Founder effects might also simply result in an outlierish subsample of the motherland population – a French meta-clan, say – being disproportionately represented in the first 3000 couples to arrive and multiply in one particular region. Outbreeding simply results in clannishness reducing – but it would continue to exist in some subgroups, and such a subgroup would tend to migrate in a concentrated mass.

    Reply

  2. Apparently the corruption in Quebec filters down from politicians to ordinary citizens:

    I remember (Je Me Souviens) Quebec’s corruption!

    As a new young car driver, one of the first things I learned was how to fold a $5 bill and place it between the two halves of my paper driver’s licence. This was to possibly grease my way out of any driving violations if stopped in Montreal. (for highway violations, a $20 bill was recommended.).

    Now I was never stopped for a driving infraction in Quebec, so couldn’t test that out: but I was assured by others that it worked.

    However, after moving to Saskatchewan to take my first newspaper job, I WAS stopped by an RCMP officer on the highway, for a minor infraction. I had only recently arrived there and had forgotten to place $20 with my new licence when I handed it to him .. but, after a warning, he handed my licence back, let me go and walked back to his car. No ticket!

    I was so impressed I mentioned to a friend at The Leader Post that I hadn’t even had a chance to give the cop $20! What?, he responded … half amused and half alarmed! It was then explained to me that if I had handed the RCMP officer $20 to get out of the ticket, I’d have likely ended up in jail. Hmmm, I thought: apparently quite different from Quebec!

    http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/quebec-corruption-je-me-souviens/

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  3. The natural thing is to assume that inbreeding leads to a certain environment where clannishness would evolve, and that outbreeding leads to the opposite. Yet it seems to appear quickly and consistently every time inbreeding is tried. Perhaps we have evolved something more sophisticated: a system that makes you more altruistic around inbred relatives, or perhaps that make you more corrupt when you are inbred. Rather than re-evolving clannishness or non-clannishness perhaps we all have it latently, and different mating patterns bring out different aspects of it. Perhaps children instinctively measure the genetic distance between their parents and use that to calibrate.

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  4. I just stumbled across this description of present day small villages in France. It is from an article about a woman who was murdered after moving from te UK to rural France.
    —————
    Nor is it just a matter of the language barrier. Only too late do many British settlers realise that the social structure in a small hamlet such as Vabre-Tizac, home to just 441 people, is worlds away from that of a commuter village in the home counties.

    France’s professional classes do not commute from small villages; they live in towns. Rural areas are instead populated by inward-looking communities of inter-related farming families, with whom outsiders have little in common.

    The insular nature of some rural hamlets shocks even the French. Five years ago — around the time Wilson and Marcus moved to France — the novelist Pierre Jourde had a bestseller with Pays Perdu, an account of his time in the hamlet of Lussaud in the Auvergne. He likened the place to a “hamlet of bandits in the Pashtun tribal zone”. As if
    to prove his point, when he returned his car was ambushed and pelted with stones.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/article1116831.ece#comment-review

    My sister emailed me the complete article, which seems to be behind a pay wall. There were two comments at the end of the article saying small villages in France are fine and the article is bunk.

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  5. Melykin, reread those comments on the Times. One disagrees, the other says,
    ————–
    Peter Mayle should be sued and his book burned as the most misleading, superficial piece of tripe ever written on France and the French ever. France itself has been in a low-grade social war since the revolution, but La France profonde is littered with “characters” all right, characters who believe the antidote to bankruptcy is suicide, that love means “going to the end of things” and that betrayal calls for murder. Not to mention the four hundred year running feuds between landowners over property disputes. 

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  6. @françois – “Why the scandals all come from Montreal and it’s suburbs? Why not from the rest of the povince where almost everybody is French Canadian?”

    well, if what you’re saying is correct — that most of the corruption in quebec is in montreal and not in quebec in general — then that would fit better with “the theory.” (^_^) ’cause my guess is that the ancestors of french canadians came from the more outbred areas of france, not the inbred ones.

    montreal today is composed of just 23% french canadians. and there are a lot of italians (10% — and we know they like corruption — the southern ones anyway). i wonder what the ethnic breakdown of montreal was, say, 40-50 years ago. or even a hundred.

    definitely urban centers composed of multiple ethinic groups exacerbate “clannish” behaviors — particularly so if the groups are more “clannish” than not (southern italians, scots-irish, arabs, chinese), so it’s not surprising that multicultural montreal is a mess. interestingly, corruption at federal government levels — patronage, specifically — has a long history in canada [pg. 83+], going back to the days of british rule. and the brits were very much involved. i wonder if they were scots-irish sorts (who we’ve seen are given to patronage), or english folks?

    need to find some real numbers for corruption in canada today and/or historically, preferably broken down by regions. further research is required! (~_^)

    also, everything’s relative here. corruption in canada/montreal is maybe a problem, but it pales in comparison to how things operate in, say, china or the arab world!

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  7. @françois – “…the Rizzuto crime family. They rule Montreal construction industry.”

    of course they do! i watched the sopranos. (~_^)

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  8. @melykin – “…the novelist Pierre Jourde had a bestseller with Pays Perdu, an account of his time in the hamlet of Lussaud in the Auvergne. He likened the place to a ‘hamlet of bandits in the Pashtun tribal zone’.”

    fantastic! thanks for that. (^_^)

    the mountainous auvergne is where we saw some very close inbreeding in small villages (like lussaud). prolly very much like the pashtuns! (~_^)

    Reply

  9. @t – “Perhaps we have evolved something more sophisticated: a system that makes you more altruistic around inbred relatives, or perhaps that make you more corrupt when you are inbred. Rather than re-evolving clannishness or non-clannishness perhaps we all have it latently, and different mating patterns bring out different aspects of it.”

    perhaps! more thinking on this is required. (^_^)

    Reply

  10. france is starting to sound like a better case study for the inbreeding/outbreeding theory than albania. outbred lowlanders, inbred uplanders behaving like pashtun tribesmen. (^_^) hmmm….

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  11. Interestingly, I’m compiling population data for my next blog post about Quebec and Canada. What I’ve found is that the population there essentially explodes throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and just as dramatically, levels off around 1960. One could imagine that, considering the tiny founding population (which also fed the rest of Canada since there was a good degree of emigration from Quebec to points west), there had to have been more than a little inbreeding going on…

    But, I am curious about how much of this Quebecois corruption is Montreal and its suburbs and how much is the rest of the province?

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  12. @jayman – “But, I am curious about how much of this Quebecois corruption is Montreal and its suburbs and how much is the rest of the province?”

    yeah, i need to find some numbers. without them, i/we are just rambling nonsensically. (~_^)

    look forward to your post!

    Reply

  13. Maybe this is a matter of r/k selection. The areas they came from were very k-selective, but the environment of Quebec, which didn’t have the same resource constraints, favored r-selection. It doesn’t necessarily contradict the inbreeding theory in other cases. As with racial IQ gaps, differences in corruption between ethnicities do not necessarily lend themselves to unified theories, although some certainly explain more than others.

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  14. “It was then explained to me that if I had handed the RCMP officer $20 to get out of the ticket, I’d have likely ended up in jail.”

    Definitely. I used to think it was normal for people to get violently angry at *the idea* of being offered a bribe (let alone the reality) but then you learn in most of the world it’s not at all.

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  15. I think there’s two parts to this
    1) Do different forms of marriage or the patterns of relatedness created by different forms of marriage create different selective environments that generate or favor particular traits that lead to or hinder corruption?
    2) Do patterns of relatedness *on their own* effect a population’s morality in ways which effect corruption?

    If you take a homogenous population with a culture of repeated close cousin marriage within their extended family alliance then what they are effectively doing is digging a kind of deep genetic moat between themselves and the other extended family alliances within their population. They will have a high variance in the levels of relatedness of random individuals in the population – high with some, low with others. I think their concept of “us” and “them” would be effected by this and follow along the extendeded family boundary lines.

    On the other hand if you have a homogenous population that has been marrying exogamously within itself for a long time then their pattern of relatedness will be different. They will have been averaging out their relatedness and will have a much lower *variance* in the level of relatedness between random individuals. In this case i think the population’s sense of “us” and “them” would be both broader and shallower and it would make more sense to co-operate for the greater good – and that includes corruption.

    If so and morality is (at least partially) directly related to the pattern of relatedness in a population then cousin-marriage within a homogenous population would have the same effect as diversity – a western city with a diverse population of hundreds of different ethnic groups divided into hundreds of little enclaves is effectively the same as a homogenous population divided into hundreds of extanded family enclaves so i think we should expect to see the same result imo.

    The critical factor being the variance.

    So i’m thinking “montreal today is composed of just 23% french canadians” may be a bigger factor here.

    Reply

  16. @g.w. – “I used to think it was normal for people to get violently angry at *the idea* of being offered a bribe (let alone the reality) but then you learn in most of the world it’s not at all.”

    no, it’s definitely not, unfortunately. (i much prefer the places where it is that way.)

    spent some time in thailand once and with every official one dealt with it was always 300 baht (“saam raawy baht”). prices have prolly gone up since then. that’s about the only thai i learned, or remember. (~_^) (and thank you, of course: “khaawp khoon khrap.”)

    Reply

  17. @g.w. – “I think there’s two parts to this
    1) Do different forms of marriage or the patterns of relatedness created by different forms of marriage create different selective environments that generate or favor particular traits that lead to or hinder corruption?
    2) Do patterns of relatedness *on their own* effect a population’s morality in ways which effect corruption?”

    i’ve thought about point number 1 there quite a bit now and i’m pretty sure that must be right — over the long-term i think inbreeding (or outbreeding) may affect these social behaviors — and, in fact, i think that it has done a lot.

    i haven’t thought so much about point number 2, but i am partial to it. (^_^) other creatures definitely recognize relatives vs. non-relatives — and we do, too (lots of evidence to support rushton’s genetic similarity theory) — so it seems like it should make sense that we (and other creatures) ought to be able to pick up on degrees of relatedness (versus just learning that this is your sibling and this is your cousin) and act accordingly. no one’s really studied this much, though (of course).

    someone should do a study of altruism in plants again and check for degrees of relatedness. or what i really want for christmas is for the meerkat researchers, who have now collected a TON of relatedness and behavioral data on the little meerkitties, to check into this. come on meerkitty researchers! i know you can do it! (~_^)

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  18. “(i much prefer the places where it is that way.)”

    Yes me too – sadly disappearing as we speak.

    .
    “i’ve thought about point number 1 there quite a bit now and i’m pretty sure that must be right — over the long-term i think inbreeding (or outbreeding) may affect these social behaviors — and, in fact, i think that it has done a lot.”

    I think that’s true – going back to the cop-corruption thing there’s a certain type who gets angry at even the idea of being offerred a bribe but it’s not everyone, i wouldn’t even say it was the majority but (at least in the past) the minority was big enough to mostly enforce their code on everyone else, however once a tipping point is reached it goes the opposite way – so i think that certain type is wired up different i.e. genetics.

    I think i’m more inclined to see the selection process as more indirect maybe as i see it more as the inbreeding / outbreeding creating different environments which then apply different selection pressure and also more random i.e. the same traits being randomly generated in both a clannish and outbred environment but the clannish environment *selecting against* some of those traits much more strongly.

    The reason goes back to the corruption thing again. I have known people from extremely – including their police – corrupt countries who had the same (extremely violent) attitude to corruption as i have but they were much rarer than among people from my background. So i’m wondering how much of this is [God / Evolution] not only throwing dice but throwing *massive* piles of dice everywhere, all the time and the big difference with outbred populations is that more of those random dice rolls got through i.e. in their own country being an anti-corruption policeman was massively maladaptive whereas in certain parts of the west for roughly 200-300 years it either managed to survive better or was actually adaptive*.

    (*If i recall correctly some of the game theory type modelling showed that high trust type behaviors were more successful long-term but *only* if the high trust people could identify each other and group up in which case some kind of high trust signalling behavior might make sense.)

    It comes to the same thing in the end but i visualize the mechanism more as being the same set of random traits being constantly generated and thrown at the local gene-culture environment and in the clannish case a lot of those traits either being *strongly* selected for or against while the more outbred environment doesn’t select against those traits as strongly and *maybe* selects for them a bit as well. It comes to the same thing in the end but for some reason the mass of dice option appeals to me :)

    (maybe just memories of my bro playing warhammer 40k)

    .
    “i haven’t thought so much about point number 2, but i am partial to it.”

    I think it’s an “on average” thing. I don’t think people can identify relatedness 100% and even in cases where thay can it might not be accurate e.g. a man might have two brothers one by chance has 40% the same genes and the other one has 60% but also by chance it’s the 40% brother who shares the genes that give the identifying phenotype Wang family ears the first guy also has but *on average* it’s more likely to be the 60% brother who has the Wang family ears (i think). (Also if you have recurring cousin-marriage then you could see it as increasing the odds of everyone in the family having the Wang ears even if it never gets to 100%).

    Also i don’t think everyone neccessarily operates on the inclusive fitness model – doing so may be a trait in itself – but again *on average* if a population has a higher proportion of people operating on inclusive fitness programming then i think they’ll be liable to be more corrupt and i think clannish populations are more likely to select for people who operate on the basis of inclusive fitness – even if it never reachs 100%.

    Either way, even if kin recognition is only say 40% effective and the percentage of a population operating according to inclusive fitness wiring is only 40% then that population might still be more corrupt than one where it’s 30% and 20%.

    (Of course diversity makes kin recognition at an ethnic level a lot easier so if the base idea of this is correct then the pattern of nepotism in the case of ethnic diversity might be
    – ethnic level nepotism first
    – extended family nepotism second
    – universalist last
    while in a homogenous but clannish population it might be
    – family nepotism first
    – ethnic nepotism second
    – universalist last
    and in a homogenous-exogamous population
    – family / ethnic / universal
    would converge as the variance in relatedness was reduced.)

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  19. I though the post was informative! But what does DNA have to do with corruption? In the past Quebecers have always exposed social inequalities and it is for this reason the province is of leans more towards a socialist political structure . As for corruption. it is everywhere and it has nothing to do with ethnic background but with greed. As for the post about giving 20$ to a cop in Quebec that is plain dumb.

    Reply

    1. @Andyfischer:

      “But what does DNA have to do with corruption?”

      Yes, what does DNA have to do with corruption? See here (which links back to my own summary of the the situation and HBD Chick’s many inquiries into the matter):

      HBD Chick Vindicated?

      Reply

  20. They are the viking, basically. No, literally. That’s where they settled, in normandy, which didn’t have those clades til they came (or blonde hair). So I am not surprised they are corrupt. I doubt the inbreeding is anything to do with it here, or in the other cases. Inbreeding is basically an exclusionary strategy, like royals preserving their power.

    All the original tribes in europe were the opposite, heavy outbreeding and very matriarchal society. Patriarchy comes from the east, with the centralized civilization and inbreeding is a sign of people using society to get what they want instead of their own personal abilities.

    Meaning they inbreed because they are corrupt, not the other way around.

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  21. With all due respect to the genetic studies, this has to be the most stupid research idea I read in quite a while. The premisses of this whole reasoning are simply fallacious, plain and simple, and I can’t really confirm anything not knowing the author, but they seem to root from some form of racism towards French Canadians people.

    Since forever, the corruption in the province of Quebec has been largely operated by individuals that doesn’t speak French as their primary language, so linking such a complex and contextual phenomenon to the identity of a people (which actually represent in majority the victims of the corruption, not the offenders) based on their ancestors from 3-4 centuries is both culturally and scientifically ridiculous.

    This is racist in the sense that it completely overlook the real facts surrounding the ‘corruption’ that deserve to be thoroughly analyzed in order to, then, confirm any sense of plausibility in claiming that the corruption problem would simply be ‘in the blood’ of the French Canadian people. Such claim would indeed be racist, since it is based on unverifiable preconceived ideas of an ethnic group.

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  22. @What?

    “Since forever, the corruption in the province of Quebec has been largely operated by individuals that doesn’t speak French as their primary language”

    Source?

    Reply

  23. Hey you. I don’t know who you think you are, but this is scandalous. I am a French Canadian, and you’re basically treating us as inbred bastards. I will try to stay polite, since I’m respectful, unlike you, but blaming the corruption of SOME québecois politicians is just stupid. There were more french who came in Canada in the turn of the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and there was no more inbreeding in québécois families than in english families. We also bred with americans, natives and other nations. The québecois people are a mix of all the nations and I will not let you humiliate us like this. Please do more researches before you post something next time.

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  24. @Jayman

    “@What?

    “Since forever, the corruption in the province of Quebec has been largely operated by individuals that doesn’t speak French as their primary language”

    Source?”

    Well I can’t speak for “old times”, like the Duplessis era, but these recent stories of “endemic” corruption in Quebec have almost exclusively to do with a FEDERALIST party (the PLQ), with ties with the ITALIAN contractors in the construction industry, and presumably also with the italian MAFIA, in MONTREAL.
    Basically, as a nationalist and a proud sovereignist, I view affairs of corruption in Quebec simply as usual federalist politics.
    And historically, as the french-canadians have been an economically OPRESSED people, with little to no access to money and capital, the CORRUPTOR had to be coming from outside of the community… as with Charest, né JOHN JAMES.
    Now the corrupted would be those recruted amongst the locals with the lowest moral fortitude and highest penchant for GREED, which would consequently incline them to BETRAY their people and work against their national interest by cooperating with the BRITISH INVADER, thus engaging in federalist politics…

    Reply

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