Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kennedy Stands Up For Canada

What do I want in the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada?

I want someone who takes principled stands and sticks to his convictions, even when the risks are huge for doing so. I want someone who speaks on behalf of all Canadians and refuses to say that some ethnic groups or provinces are more equal than others. I want a Liberal Party leader who doesn't follow Stephen Harper's lead on federalism.

Like Warren said, this took guts, character and leadership. He could have meekly gone along with the Harper/Ignatieff motion, like most have chosen to do. Instead, he's chosen to do the difficult thing because it's the right thing to do.

The Liberal Party has never been successful when it caved to separatist demands. Just look at the last four party leaders and see which ones had success in Quebec and which ones failed there. In a year's time, the Prime Minister of Canada could be facing increased demands from Premiers Boisclair and Morton and I know who I want in charge when that happens.

Grit leadership hopeful Kennedy bucks tide, opposes Quebec nation resolution

OTTAWA (CP) - Liberal leadership hopeful Gerard Kennedy has decided to buck the tide of political opinion, coming out against a parliamentary motion recognizing Quebecers as a nation within a united Canada.

The Canadian Press has learned that Kennedy will issue a statement Monday opposing the motion, just as the House of Commons prepares to debate the surprise resolution introduced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week.

In so doing, Kennedy will become the only Liberal leadership contender to reject the motion, which has been embraced with varying degrees of unease by his seven rival candidates, Harper's Conservatives, most Liberal MPs and the New Democrats. Even the separatist Bloc Quebecois has come on side.

A senior Kennedy source said the third-place contender believes the motion is irresponsible and wrong for Canada.

Kennedy believes the motion raises expectations of eventual constitutional entrenchment of Quebec nationhood without defining what is meant by the word nation. Moreover, he is worried that the motion will deepen divisions in the country, the source said.

Kennedy, a former Ontario education minister, does not have a seat in the Commons but is issuing his statement in advance of the vote on Harper's motion, expected late Monday.

Kennedy's decision could give him a boost at this week's leadership convention among Liberals who are adamantly opposed to recognizing Quebec nationhood but have no other outlet for their concern.

Leadership front-runner Michael Ignatieff has enthusiastically endorsed Harper's motion, claiming that the push to recognize Quebec's nationhood began with his campaign. His principal rival, Bob Rae, and the lone Quebec contender, Stephane Dion, have grudgingly supported the motion despite reservations.

Kennedy has only two per cent support among Quebec delegates to the leadership convention in Montreal and, therefore, little to lose by distinguishing himself from his rivals.

He could also be hailed as a hero by the so-called Trudeau federalists in the party, who agree with the late Liberal icon Pierre Trudeau's adamant rejection of anything that smacks of special status for Quebec. The former prime minister's sons, Justin and Alexandre Trudeau, have spoken out against the motion. Justin last week endorsed Kennedy.

Ignatieff started the debate over Quebec's identity by coming out early in the campaign in favour of recognizing the province as a nation and eventually enshrining that status in the Constitution. The Quebec wing of the party subsequently proposed a resolution, to be considered at this week's convention, recognizing Quebec as a nation within Canada and calling for creation of a task force to advise the next leader on the best way to "officialize" that status.

That resolution sparked a ferocious debate within the party. Ignatieff supported it but his rivals, particularly Rae, Dion and Kennedy, opposed it, fearing it would lead the country into another bout of corrosive constitutional wrangling.

Last week, the Bloc tried to drive the wedge deeper by introducing a motion calling on the Commons to recognize Quebecers as a nation - with no mention of Canada. Harper pre-empted the Bloc by introducing his own counter-motion.

Harper's carefully chosen wording - specifying that the Quebecois, not the province, form a nation "within a united Canada" - won over Dion, Rae and most Liberal MPs.

The fate of the more controversially worded Liberal resolution remains to be settled and the issue could yet rupture the party's leadership convention.


  • Well this motion had to be awkward for at least one now it will be interesting to how the party votes tomorrow

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 10:30 p.m.  

  • All right then, Quebec gains status as a Nation!
    I sure that they will do want any self-respecting nation would do. Find the required resources from within in order to sustain it’s self? So get on with it now Quebec….Show us if you’re a self-respecting nation.

    By Blogger Albertaviews, at 10:35 p.m.  

  • I don't even agree with Kennedy, but somehow I respect him more, given the bandwagon effect. Kennedy distinguishes himself yet again, while others twist with the current.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 10:40 p.m.  

  • Thank you Kennedy for taking a stand. You've defiantely got me on board.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:51 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Trogdor, at 10:58 p.m.  

  • Are people getting it yet? Gerard is the only candidate that truly means renewal. He is not going to pussy foot around and give in to back room dealings.

    Both Dion and Rae should have come out against this one, and both failed not only the Liberal Party but the entire country as well.

    6 Days from now, the Liberal Party will truly be renewed with Gerard at the helm.

    By Blogger Trogdor, at 10:59 p.m.  

  • This is definitely big for Kennedy.

    If he had done this a month ago instead of saying he thought Quebec was a nation, he would have eclipsed Rae and Dion by now. The question is now whether there is enough time to capitalize on this.

    (And watch for Rae to change his mind again if support grows suddenly for Kennedy.)

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 11:12 p.m.  

  • Kennedy est un imbécile, il aurait été mieux de se taire. Il vient de se mettre les militants à dos plus que Stéphane Dion, en prenant cette position. Si par miracle, il deviendrait chef du parti Libéral. Préparez-vous à passer un bout de temps dans l'opposition ou au mieux très minoritaire.

    By Blogger ..., at 11:15 p.m.  

  • "And watch for Rae to change his mind again if support grows suddenly for Kennedy."


    By Blogger Steve V, at 11:15 p.m.  

  • "Jack"

    The spin you are putting on in support of your boy Dion is laughable. Dion kicked everyone of his supporters square in the nuts by backing this up. Even if it Dion though "it wasn't a big deal" he should have come out against it.

    One of Dion's biggest fans (Kinsella) has now come out in favour of Kennedy because of his flip-flop... I am sure there will be plenty more that will now follow.

    By Blogger Trogdor, at 11:16 p.m.  

  • "quebecistanais"

    So you are calling a man with solid convictions and unwavering morals and "imbicile", that's fine you are entitled to your opinion.

    If Dion was my candidate, I would be f***ing outraged at his turnabout position. Dion has become the spineless imbicile by caving in to not only the Tories, but the Seperatists.

    By Blogger Trogdor, at 11:20 p.m.  

  • Um. Dion will fight Separatists and Nationalists, much like Trudeau, to his dying breath.

    What did you think Gerard was going to say. Every poll in the country shows 83% of the population surveyed outside of Quebec is opposed to this motion.

    Can he go wrong with those percentages. What is his solution to Quebec? What is it? Have you asked him? I HAVE!

    Why not 5 weeks ago after the LPCQ resolution? Why not say it's bad for Canada then?

    The What Do I Know Grit

    By Blogger James Curran, at 11:30 p.m.  

  • A very costly way to get to third on the first ballot. I think it worked; and I think it gives me at least one Liberal candidate I would vote against at the next federal election.

    If this party denies the existence of a Quebecois nation - which I don't believe it will - then it would deserve the oblivion it would find in a matter of 2 or 3 elections. Hopefully without taking the country down with it.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 11:30 p.m.  

  • "Jack Angry"

    Not trying to alienate you, just hoping you can open your eyes.


    Being a little dramatic aren't we? Believe me, most Canadians don't want this, period. If anything Kennedy's stand will bring more western votes to the Liberals.

    By Blogger Trogdor, at 11:38 p.m.  

  • This move could cost Kennedy the next leadership race,at a time where it's very possible that the Quebec nation notion will be largely accepted by everyone.

    That's what they said when Chretien opposed Meech...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:40 p.m.  

  • Trogdor: Perhaps you have a scenario in mind for Liberal regeneration that doesn't involve francophone Quebec. We certainly wouldn't lose all of our Quebec seats (a friend of mine predicts 6) but losing so much francophone support would, in my view, be one of the few ways the party's 'perfect storm' of the last few years could end in disaster. Another 1984, except this time the party would be in much rougher shape.

    A candidate with already existing Quebec-issues winning the leadership of the LPC by running against the Quebec wing of the party? Do the math.

    To a 25% minority in a multinational country, "1 nation" means assimilation - 1 nation, 75% English. Sell that to some francophone Quebecers and get back to me.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 11:47 p.m.  

  • Dion and Rae have said that Ignatieff was a troublemaker on this issue, and that the Party should steer clear of constitutional changes and empty, symbolic gestures.

    Then Harper walked into the Bloc trap, and Graham lead the charge to find some counter to the Bloc.

    There are three losers in this issue: the country, the Liberal Party and Michael Ignatieff.

    Never let a man with a lighted match walk through a room filled with gunpowder.

    Kennedy deserves credit for saying No.

    Hopefully the delegates will say No to the whole mess by rejecting the instigator, Ignatieff.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:48 p.m.  

  • Remind me, is Quebec dominated by Liberal seats? A small handful if I recall.

    You and I both live in Mississauga, which is Liberal dominated and believe me if we have a leader that backs the motion, kiss all these seats goodbye. People here hesitantly voted Liberal because they didn't trust Harper, support the Quebec motion and that thin line of trust with the party is gone.

    I would rather loose a couple of Quebec seats over this bullshit motion, then the 30 or 40 we have in the 416/905 area.

    By Blogger Trogdor, at 11:53 p.m.  

  • If only he had a vote to cast tomorrow...

    By Blogger Mark, at 11:57 p.m.  

  • "Townsend"

    Why do francophone Ontarians have no issues regarding the 1 nation of Canada concept, but Quebec francophones do?

    Within the next few years, the Chinese speaking population is going to eclipse the French speaking population. Do we then create yet another nation for them as well?

    This is a pandoras box of epic porportions, hope you enjoy opening it.

    By Blogger Trogdor, at 12:01 a.m.  

  • If Franco-ontarien decided that their cultural grouping - which exists - was appropriately a nation and it became a political issue for them (or the Cree) to have it recognized and respected then I'd have no problem extending that respect and recognition. I'm no devolutionist, but I'm an advocate of respect and understanding.

    The position of Franco-onterien, Acadians and Chinese-Canadians is towards cultural and social nationhood for themselves is their own matter and I respect it.

    Suggesting Canada is one nation, in the sense that this motion requires, is farcical. Our common language and culture? I try to keep abreast of matters in Quebec but I can't pretend I get up in the morning and read the francophone press, or that I listen to Quebecois music and participate in Quebecois cultural life. I am not, in the sociological sense, part of the same nation as a francophone Quebecker. I am a fellow-citizen to that same Quebecker, with a great deal in common politically, and that's very important.

    But pretending we're members of a monolithic sociological nation raises questions: is it a 75% me, 25% him nation that's mostly English and a little French all over? Or quite French, in parts? If it's a curate's egg nation that's quite French in parts, then you're effectively just calling it multiple nations.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 12:16 a.m.  

  • "Jack Angry"

    I don't find it absurd at all, people here are sick of the Liberal flip-flopping we have seen over the last few years, and this would be the biggest one yet.

    You don't get it do you "Jack", Ontario remembers when they are fucked with, just ask Kim Campbell.

    By Blogger Trogdor, at 12:21 a.m.  

  • "We'll have both the Conservatives and the BQ exploiting it - they'll be out there telling francophone Quebeckers that the Liberals don't respect them."

    And then we can tell Quebec that Boss Harp and Gilles think they're stupid enough to buy that.

    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 12:28 a.m.  

  • Chantal Hebert, as usual, has the right of it. A triumph, if only we don't cheat ourselves out of it.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 12:57 a.m.  

  • Of course, you do realize Jason that Ms. Hebert is a Nationalist? And always has been.

    The What Do I KNow Grit

    By Blogger James Curran, at 1:26 a.m.  

  • If this is true, then Gerard Kennedy has just gained my support. I'll take the Dion sticker off my blog and put a Kennedy one tomorrow when and if this is confirmed. Anyone who misunderstands or underestimates the damage that will result from inaccurately recognising Quebeckers as a nation (and thus effectively recognising Quebec as a nation) rather than, correctly, French Canadians, should read the posts on my site. In all the French media, La Presse, Le Devoir, etc., the recurring theme has been rejoicing by separatists and firewall autonomist PLQ types. In La Presse on Saturday, the top front page article quotes the Bloc leadership as saying federalists don't understand the implications of what they're doing ("L'état-major du Bloc pense que les fédéralistes ne réalisent pas ce qu'ils sont en train de faire.")

    I still greatly admire Stéphane Dion, but he's always agreed with this proposition and I always knew that. Had it been up to him, he would never ever have messed with this, but Pyro-Iggy & Cynic Harper forced him to confront it. He was immensely brave, as always, in Quebec City, voting against the even worse Liberal resolution. But with this motion phrased as it is, Dion, as he has always nobly been, had to be honest with himself and everyone else and support the motion. I don't hold it against him, but this is THE fundamental issue of Canadian politics and I can't support him any longer as a result. I'm not a single issue voter except so far as the single issue is the continued existence and "épanouissement" of my nation, Canada. That's how fundamental this is. I'll always defend Stéphane and fight for his ideas (economy, environment & social justice) but hes wrong on this, and unfortunately, unlike him, I judge this an existential question.

    Next steps: get as many of Liberal MPs to vote against as possible. Vote down resolution at convention. And elect anti-stupid nation motion candidate, Gerard Kennedy, leader and then PM. Vive la nation canadienne!

    By Blogger Eugene Forsey Liberal, at 1:29 a.m.  

  • How the heck is Kennedy "taking a stand". The headlines on this one should be "UNILINGUAL LEADERSHIP CONTENDER RISKS 1% SUPPORT IN QUEBEC"

    Ask yourself given his existing (lack of) qualities, whether Gerard Kennedy could win a referendum campaign? Then ask yourself whether he could win one NOW?

    It would be one thing for Dion to oppose this motion - for him to do so would be intellectually consistent, and further, he understands Quebec. This is an utterly cynical and desperate move from the leader of a moribund campaign.

    It is bad for the Liberal Party, and frankly bad for the country - because of the off chance Kennedy might one day become Prime Minister.

    Oh and I am now on record as hating Kennedy before it was cool. Actually I've despised the man since he visited my school in 1998 (he was my MPP).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 1:42 a.m.  

  • What did you think Gerard was going to say. Every poll in the country shows 83% of the population surveyed outside of Quebec is opposed to this motion.

    Which polls would those be?

    Remind me, is Quebec dominated by Liberal seats? A small handful if I recall.

    12-13, IIRC, which is more than the Liberals have in any other individual province aside from Ontario.

    You and I both live in Mississauga, which is Liberal dominated and believe me if we have a leader that backs the motion, kiss all these seats goodbye. People here hesitantly voted Liberal because they didn't trust Harper, support the Quebec motion and that thin line of trust with the party is gone.

    So... those Liberal Missassauga seats would be lost to... Harper's Conservatives? Harper, who introduced the modified motion? I really don't see this as an issue - it is, after all, nothing more than a symbolic gesture.

    I would rather loose a couple of Quebec seats over this bullshit motion, then the 30 or 40 we have in the 416/905 area.

    Again, who will be *gaining* these seats? The Conservatives? The NDP? I suppose you could look at reviving Reform, but it seems a bit too short notice.

    Of course, you do realize Jason that Ms. Hebert is a Nationalist? And always has been.

    Eh? She's Franco-Ontarian.

    Anyway, people need to relax. RELAX! The motion is nothing more than a non-binding symbolic gesture with all the legislative significance of, well, Chretien's distinct society motion from just after the 1995 referendum.

    By Blogger JG, at 2:12 a.m.  

  • horse;

    It would be one thing for Dion to oppose this motion - for him to do so would be intellectually consistent, and further, he understands Quebec.

    So is Dion being intelectually inconsistent? And I think it's incredibly arrogant for you to say that Kennedy doesn't understand Quebec.

    And, yes, there is big risk for Kennedy in this. He needs 50% of the delegates to win the convention. Quebec has a quarter of the delegates. He's going to have to hope that there are some strong federalists left in that province if he wants to come out on top next weekend given the stand he's taken.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:37 a.m.  

  • I'm thrilled as a Kennedy supporter, a Liberal and Canadian. Certainly not in that order.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 3:13 a.m.  

  • I have no difficulty recognizing sociological nations within Canada, when it relates to our founding people, whether they be French, Aboriginal or English.

    It’s about acknowledgement and respect.

    I don’t support recognition of civic nations because that weakens Canada.

    The petition will be irrelevant. So far, a few hundred have signed in. In a few hours, Parliament will pass the Nation motion. Tomorrow, the petition will be yesterday’s news and forgotten.

    The Bloc have taken a loaded gun and shot backwards at themselves.

    They will be voting for a motion that states that “Quebec is a nation within a strong and united Canada.”

    That motion has no constitutional commitments but huge political ones.

    The Bloc originated this motion. The Conservatives amended it and all parties support it.

    The Bloc can not claim they were pressured into this, having initiated the process. They have had lots of time to contemplate this.

    The optics will be that the Bloc has acknowledged

    1. Quebec’s place within Canada and
    2. That the rest of Canada has a say in the future of Quebec

    I would drop the petition. It has the potential to be a political loser if only a few hundred sign before the motion passes.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 8:02 a.m.  

  • Has Kennedy turned his back on the Quebecois people?
    This represents renewal and Party unity?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:31 a.m.  

  • Down & Out:

    "The optics will be that the Bloc has acknowledged

    1. Quebec’s place within Canada and
    2. That the rest of Canada has a say in the future of Quebec"

    Brilliant. That should be the message we all carry out of this because it is true.

    Today the Bloc will vote in favour of a motion recognizing the Quebecois have a place in a united Canada.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 10:01 a.m.  

  • Calgary Grit,

    I would love it for Kennedy to win:

    Hey, remember the guy who was moving to Quebec to get to know us? He never really bothered and now, after declaring that Quebecois are a nation in the summer, he decides they ain't.

    All we need know is for him to propose some sort of program to sell Canada in Quebec. You know, the Liberals could sponsor some events, splash the maple leaf around and poof! there goes separatism...

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 10:26 a.m.  

  • Province, Nation, State, whatever floats your boat.

    As if we need a piece of paper to keep us together or weasel words like the Bloc’s.

    Come now, get a grip.

    Just so you know Canada is a corporation not a Country, remember the Queen?

    The only real Nation on this continent is the one the King set up by decree.

    Now that’s power. Snap your fingers a nation is born. The Aboriginal nation. Nobody complained, they were thankful for the free land.

    Canada, as a foreign corporate nation to theirs has never been formally adopted, but we could be if we behaved and started respecting Mother Earth, the water and the air.

    Nation building in its purest form. Open Federalism, clearly defined.

    Ever read the Great Law of Peace or heard of the Tree of the Long Leaves?

    We could be under it.

    By Blogger Mark-Alan Whittle, at 10:58 a.m.  

  • I think a case could be made that Alberta is a socialogical nation too, especially if Ted Morton wins.

    Personally, I've always believed that Calgarians were proof that our First Nations people made love to buffalo.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 11:03 a.m.  

  • Another factor here is that Kennedy probably just guaranteed that Ken Dryden will support him on the second or third ballot.

    Not that Dryden can guarantee he'll move his supporters, but when things are so close between Kennedy and Dion, their game plan is to keep alive longer than the other. This helps.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 11:26 a.m.  

  • Propatria:


    Nice try though.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 12:39 p.m.  

  • Ignatieff didn't kick start this - we can thank the youth wing of the Liberal Party in Quebec for that.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12:49 p.m.  

  • Since it isn't Iggy's resolution, it isn't up to him.

    One of the provincial wings of the party have introduced a motion to the party as a whole. Not entirely sure how these matters work, but I'm pretty sure the central party can't dictate what resolutions a provincial wing puts forward or not.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 12:50 p.m.  

  • Kennedy, Dion and Rae have all said that they recognize "Quebec as a nation". No qualification, no reference to people vs. provincial borders. Rae has even supported recognizing that in the constitution and Dion has called the constitutional amendment "ideal". They didn't seem too troubled by the idea then.

    But you have avoided the question Propatria: are you saying that the central party should dictate to a provincial wing of the party what resolutions it should bring forward? do you actually want to give the central party that power?

    I expect that the motion will indeed get revised at the committee hearings before going to the floor at the convention. But I don't think anyone should be dictating anything to anyone the way you suggest. Support or not the resolution, believe it will help us in Quebec or not, but trying to shut up Quebeckers is a guarateed failure.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 1:17 p.m.  

  • Jack Angry said ...

    This motion will be a non-issue in the rest of Canada because every mainstream party in the ROC supports it. Any voter who gets angry about it has no alternatives.

    Surely I'm not the only blogger who remembers when similar sentiments were echoed about Meech and C-Town? My chosen party spent years in the wilderness and had to go through the whole merger process b/c that attitude was proven wrong.

    For the record, I don't think this motion is the huge deal some are making it out to be, any more than Chretien's '95 motion(s) on distinct society, etc. were. I'm not even as hostile to the motion itself as some folks here are.

    But if I'm wrong, don't assume that angry voters "have no alternative". Preston Manning would probably explain why that isn't always so.

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 1:17 p.m.  

  • Hats off to Harper who set this in motion as the leadership convention was coming up. Now Canadians can watch the Liberals split live on TV. Leadership candidates booed? The winner being denounced by the loser's people? Maybe someone quitting the party? The Chretien/Martin split enhanced? One group sitting out the next election to undermine the leader and then plot to take over? All with a spring election while the wounds are still fresh!

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 1:49 p.m.  

  • "I want a Liberal Party leader who doesn't follow Stephen Harper's lead on federalism."

    Well lets see.Iggy started this whole bull**** and then the Liberals voted by 80% for this motion at the convention.

    Then the leadership hopefuls flip-flopped all over the place on this motion and Duceppe,smelling blood,put forth his motion.

    Harper, realizing the boost this motion could give seperatists acted quickly and decisivly with his motion,effectivley trumping Duceppe.

    My question to everyone here who is bashing Harper,Dion and the others what do you suppose would have been the result if Harper had not done this.Imagine the Bloc's motion being voted on and the Liberals splitting their vote.Imagine Harper and the Conservatives voting against the motion

    Duceppe would have had a field day with this and you know it.

    If you want to lay blame start with Iggy and the delegates who voted 80% to put forth a nation motion.

    By Blogger paulsstuff, at 2:37 p.m.  

  • Propatria, I am quite pleased to acknowledge that Ignatieff has been on point with the issue - this isn't about 'disowning' a policy he's stood up for.

    But do you think he made Quebec a nation when he orchestrated the Quiet Revolution? Do you think he twisted the arm of the Quebec Liberals of ALL leadership camps, not just his, who proposed the party motion?

    The reason we're dealing with this, in a fundamental sense, is because so long as we deny the ground realities of Quebec society we are doomed. Pretending that we live in 1940s Canada isn't 'more federalist,' it's suicidal. Once again, I point you to Duceppe's Humiliation.

    The party needs a real, serious engagement with Quebec, no two ways about it. Ignatieff gets it, Dion gets it, and Rae gets it - to differing degrees.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 3:36 p.m.  

  • "There is no doubt canada is more secure if the man who brought us the clarity act is in charge."

    You mean the guy who has said that is about to vote in favour of the House motion today, who has repeatedly said that Quebec is indeed a nation (not Quebecers, not Quebecois, but Quebec) and that ideally that would be recognized in the constitution.

    That guy?

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 4:20 p.m.  

  • "I am proud to belong to the Quebec nation within Canada. The constitutional recognition of such a fact, although desirable, is not necessary."
    -- Stephane Dion, October 25, 2006

    Hmmmm. No mention of "sociological", no mention of "Quebecers", no mentio of "Quebecois", no definition of nation or of Quebec.

    How can a province be a nation in the sociological sense? is that possible?

    Is sociological nation a more ethnic based definition than Ignatieff's civic nation? or is it the same or closer to the same than ethnic nationalism?

    The problem with Dion, just like the problem with Rae, is that they have been saying things in Quebec, in French, that they wouldn't say to the rest of Canada in English. Ignatieff has been saying the same thing and that forced them out of the closet.

    So it now comes down to two on this issue: Ignatieff and Kennedy.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 5:11 p.m.  

  • Hey, man, I'm just putting up the guy's own words.

    And thanks for this:

    "Before entering politics, more than 10 years ago, I maintained that we Quebecers could be described as forming a nation, in the civic and sociological sense of the term."

    Show both that I'm right and that he's closer to Ignatieff's view than even my quotation indicated.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 5:50 p.m.  

  • Jason, aside from everything else, "Duceppe's Humiliation" has an utterly wrongheaded position on nationalism and the drive towards self-determination by national groups. The one example of the Catalonians in Spain doesn't begin to make up for the (extraordinarily violent) battles for national self-determination that we've been seeing ever since the cold war ended.

    That she would speak of Spain and not, say, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Chechnya or the various Latin American aboriginal groups speaks volumes; Hebert clearly either knows little-to-nothing about the subject or is engaging in deliberate deception.

    I'm a charitable person, so I'll presume ignorance.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 5:53 p.m.  

  • also, cerberus, don't be obtuse. Clearly whatever position Dion had regarding the difficult-to-define notion of nation, it has been throughly described by this point. He's going "sociological" and deliberately excluding those in Quebec who are members of other nations. Whether or not that position is wise, it is certainly not Ignatieff's.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 5:55 p.m.  

  • Except Demosthenes he said, and he's said it more than once, "Quebec" not "Quebecois", and "sociological" is not so different from "civic".

    So if there is a difference, they are a heck of a lot closer to each other than they are apart.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 6:14 p.m.  

  • cerberus, his letter to the Toronto Star clearly demonstrated that he sees the Quebecois as one nationality among many; that such resolutions could be as easily made for the Acadians, the natives, or whomever.

    This is nothing like "civic nationalism", which is based on belief in common civic institutions. The province of Quebec is a common civic institution. So is Canada, except one with legitimacy granted by both history and the recognition of the international community. So are the individual states that make up the United States, with a fair bit more justification than Quebec (as a province) ever had.

    (That is, of course, what Ignatieff means when he says that "Quebec is a civic nation". He is describing it, and all within it, as one nationality; the deliberate interpretation that everybody except Duceppe is taking pains to avoid.)

    Whether you like it as an Ignatieff supporter or not, they are two different things, and the letter clearly demonstrates where Dion stands on that issue.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 6:24 p.m.  

  • That she would speak of Spain and not, say, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Chechnya or the various Latin American aboriginal groups speaks volumes; Hebert clearly either knows little-to-nothing about the subject or is engaging in deliberate deception.

    You are being disingenuous - at best. Hebert was, quite reasonably in my view, arguing that if an entrenched democracy like Spain can recognize the Catalan nation, the present, purely symbolic motion will likely do no more than help take some of the wind of the sovereigntists' sails.

    Now, I don't really like the motion - my preference would be for a recognition of the "French Canadian nation centred on Quebec", if any recognition is to be made. However, since we don't live in an ideal world, we can hardly expect to be successful in pushing against the grain and informing a large number of Quebeckers that we don't recognize them as what they think they are - a nation.

    That doesn't mean we should go to the extent of Iggy and his coterie of useful idiots, who would have us recognize the province of Quebec as comprising a civic nation. That is nothing less than a direct concession to the arguments of the Pequistes.

    By Blogger JG, at 8:10 p.m.  

  • josh: I'm perfectly aware of what she wrote.

    I'm also perfectly aware of the volume and savagery of the counter-examples that were ignored in the argument- ones that make the single cited example of the Catalonians meaningless.

    The question is whether she is.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 10:55 a.m.  

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