Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Morning After

I was going to write a long (and, I'm sure, quite moving) post on how 95% of MPs just voted in something which 2/3 of Canadians oppose.

I was also going to mention how bizarre it was to watch both the National and CTV News last night and watch them spend minutes trying to dissect what the resolution which had just been passed actually meant. No one seems to know what we've just done.

But since I'm fairly busy with convention stuff, I'll just direct you all to Andrew Coyne's site since he, as usual, sums things up quite nicely.


  • I honestly think people disagree with it because they don't really know what it means. There's unfortunately too little effort taken by the MSM to educate the public about it, and thus we get a situation where the word becomes so closely tied with separation that people say they're against it just because they don't want Quebec to separate.

    By Blogger TheFwanksta, at 12:58 PM  

  • It was meaningless so the wording is irrelevant.

    A month from now all will be forgotten.

    It got the motion off the floor of the Liberal convention so let's just call it "Divine Intervention".

    Now let's get on with the serious stuff.

    I need support for my motion to delay the leadership voting process by a week.

    It's too soon and I can tell that most of you aren't yet ready.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:05 PM  

  • The most interesting thing will be watching the Liberals try to flip flop on this later, and put a spin on it, claiming that they didn't support it.

    *That* should be entertaining.

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 2:09 PM  

  • Again with the mis-statements of fact.

    The House of Commons soundly rejected (by a vote of 48 to 233) that which 2/3 of Canadians oppose.

    If you want to poll to find how many agree with the motion that actually passed, you have to ask a very different question.

    By Blogger Paul, at 2:36 PM  

  • I can't wait to hear the jokes Calgary Grit and Warren Kinsella will be making about the Assembly of First Nations...

    It never occured to me how repugnant that appelation was to them...

    what exactly is Phil Fontaine's job? AFN? Those ridiculous cooks! And really, we should be calling them Canada poles, not Totem poles.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 2:51 PM  

  • Above all else, I'm disappointed and frustrated at how so many people brush off any kind of concerns or fears about this motion - because I think those concerns are valid, and have genuine, interesting questions behind them, questions that it's healthy to ask. Maybe I don't understand this issue - but isn't that a reason to educate me and explain it to me, not wave off my questions? This has been my first all-out disappointment with the Harper crowd.

    Sure looking forward to this interminable race being over - someone wake me up next week when it's all done!

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 10:54 PM  

  • fwanksta: they don't understand it because it's not meant to be understood. Both definitions have problems: the ethnic one smacks of exclusion and (to some) racism, whereas the civic definition does what the resolution was specifically not supposed to do: sets down Quebec itself as a potentially independent nation.

    Because of the negative implications of espousing either, everybody just seems to be waffling between them.

    chucker: odd thing: there are a lot of "first nations" within Quebec. Are they Quebeckers? Are they not? Does the appelation "Quebecker" end where tribal lands begin?

    In any case, the situation is more complicated with natives- they, um, predate the people who settled there. There's a far more valid concern about whether or not they deserve independent recognition than with Lower Canada/Quebec.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 11:47 PM  

  • "This has been my first all-out disappointment with the Harper crowd."

    I can't wait to hear how thrilled you are that, after having raised the ruckus, the Liberals plan to just shove it under the rug.

    And it was not an exclusionary "ethnic" definition, but rather a "cultural" nation which was recognized: M. Cannon has made clear that nobody in Quebec is forcibly included, nor forcibly excluded, but are free to self-identify as Canadian members of this "Quebecois nation". Indeed, most pundits have acknowledged that after several years, many immigrants feel very much a part of the Quebec culture.

    By Blogger Paul, at 11:56 PM  

  • This isn't the only thing that most of our government supports in spite of widespread public opposition. 63% of Canadians oppose cannabis prohibition, and it's still (de jure) banned (largely to appease Washington, Beijing, and the UN).

    Frankly though, I don't see the big deal: Most European countries are able to deal with the concept of mulitple nations within one country...Why are we so regressive? Remember: Canada was not founded as a Confederation of equal provinces: It was founded as a Confederation of (theoretically) equal nations: The English nation, the French nations, and the Aboriginal (First Nations) Nation.

    But then again, don't expect progress in a country that still uses the worst electoral system in the world.

    By Blogger Freedom Socialist, at 10:00 AM  

  • "Remember: Canada was not founded as a Confederation of equal provinces: It was founded as a Confederation of (theoretically) equal nations: The English nation, the French nations, and the Aboriginal (First Nations) Nation. "


    Canada was founded as an equal partnership between Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. All were given equal representation in the House of Commons, based upon population.

    Any other contention is pure fiction.

    By Blogger Matthew, at 12:35 PM  

  • demosthenes,

    actually no. what les Quebecois and First Nations share:

    they are the only groups who were conquered into Canada.

    so they both have unique cases.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 1:02 PM  

  • Furthermore:

    Who is a Quebecois? Whoever chooses to call themselves that.

    Easy, schmeezy.

    And, with that definition, it follows that no special powers or priveleges come with that appellation.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 1:03 PM  

  • jason,

    you're about the only person asking reasonable questions from the "opposed" side.

    and, I would ask that you beware the extreme nationalists on your end. just because the Canadian nationalism is civic (which I'm no longer sure of) doesn't mean it is any less extremist and exclusionary than anything else on the table.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 1:12 PM  

  • Harper thinks we should all be cool about his little side deal to haul in Quebec votes and patronage. We're all supposed to think its just acknowledging the obvious. He assumes we have all been brain washed by Mulroneyesque blarney and BS over the years into believing the myth that Quebec was created "distinct" by God and his holy angels, and that the rest of our provinces are merely wannabees in the distinctiveness stakes. Unfortunately he's been given free rein to exploit that gullibility to the max, and if you rock the boat by denying the current Gospel according to St Stephen you will be labeled uncool and one who doesn't get it.

    Well a lot of us do get it. This is a very stupid move, that will simply goad on Quebec ambitions within Canada, quite aside from separatist ambitions outside of Canada. Now they will never agree to just sit at table with the rest of us without having the silver spoon included in their cutlery. After all they are now a nation and the rest of us are provincial rubes. Their flag and symbols are the outward evidences of a nation, our tawdry provincial emblems are so clearly down market by comparison.

    The power of this stupid, stupid power play lies in its symbolism - and the dynamite sewn into the lining won't be neutralized with semantics. The word "within" is completely irrelevant when it comes to the power inherent in this nation-within gambit.

    It's like saying "look we know you guys are a nation, so hey have a trial run at our expense and with our blessings. We all dig you so very much (vote here)."

    After a few years of doing the nation thing within Canada thanks to Great Compassionate Leader, it will suddenly not be enough. Quebec voices will emerge that will claim they have been diminished as a consequence of being designated a mere nation-within-a-nation. Thanks to Great Leader they will have created all the necessary conditions to take the nationhood model to the next inevitable stage. Moreover they won't be attempting it as abrasive and intimidating separatists, they will be doing it with class courtesy of the leg-up offered by Harper.

    The Tories are all about political survival, and many don't care if the country is balkanized so long as their sacred power base is in place. They are playing fast-and-loose with Canadian unity, and the pro vote was high only because none of the other parties want to be seen as anti-Quebec by default.

    This is a machiavellian move that is being passed off with a shrug and a wink by some people who are only interested in short-term gain, but it opens up the prospect of a Quebec independence drive that can now claim the aura of respectability.

    By Blogger Aidan, at 3:06 PM  

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