Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Nation Within a Nation...Uh Wha?

"Quebec is a nation within a united Canada" is just the latest description (or semantic game) that Harper spewed for how the 'distinct culture' fits into greater Canada. Unlike the Meech Lake Accord, which sought to include Quebec and repatriate the Canadian constitution thereby severing ties with mother Britain, this definition of Quebec is more to stir up the pot than it is to actually change any laws. Harper is meddling.

And apparently it's working. The squirrels are scurrying. Ken Dryden was against the whole thing, saying it will do more to hurt Canada than it will to help it and Conservative MP and intergovernmental affairs minister Micheal Chong even resigned because of it, saying that it didn't fit with his belief "in this great country of ours and" the "belie[f] in one nation undivided called Canada." The debate about Quebec's place is seemingly about the vision of Canada and where it is going in the future. It's something that scares Canadians. Even though Quebec separatism is almost impossible, it's always a threat and the whole reason there's an entire party, the Bloc, committed to achieving the nation inside the nation's goals over the first. "This is a fundamental principle for me," Chong continued, "not something on which I can or will compromise - not now, not ever. While I'm loyal to my party and to my leader, my first loyalty is to my country.."

Others argue that by acknowledging the distinctness of Quebec as it's own nation within a nation is simply admiting to reality -something we need to work towards to unify Canada more.

But what about the natives? They are, afterall, called "first nations". Are we just going to keep adding more and more "nations" based on ethnicity and language -the Irish, the German, the Indian, the Sri Lankan etc. so that everyone, quarter breed, royal blood, Scot and M├ętis can feel included?

My suspicion is that this is simply a strategic move by Harper to throw the Liberals into a scramble so that they trip over each other's feet and leave him standing as the most solid looking leader.

The irony in this is that by Gilles Duceppe accepting Harper's description of Quebec as "a nation within a united Canada" he is essentially admiting that Quebec is an inherent part of the greater nation and not seperate from it. Perhaps by acknowledging Quebec as a nation albeit a dependent one, it will finally drive the nail in the coffin of the whole Quebec separatist issue.



Blogger madamerouge said...

Meech would've been our best hope.

I'm still thinking about this latest development. Reading your post, one thing popped into my head: Federalism is all about recognizing multiple "nations" (or "provinces" or "states") within a larger one, so maybe it won't be the beginning of the end. Quebec will be like Texas: "it's like a whole other country."

Get ready for gay marriage debate next week! Harper's shenanigans continue!

8:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Nicole said...

Can you say political trade-off?

10:51 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Quebec,

Please leave, we in Western Canada are sick of paying for you.

8:21 a.m.  

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