Thursday, November 23, 2006

Oh My God, They Killed Canada! You Bastards!

It is a rare day when Andrew Coyne, the Star's editorial board and myself agree about anything, but today is that day. Recognizing Quebec as a "nation", even "within Canada", is a disaster waiting to happen. It legitimizes the old idea that ethnic nationalism trumps civic nationalism (that ethnic nationalism is the only "real" nationalism), that Trudeau fought against his whole life. I never liked Trudeau, for many reasons, but I always agreed with him on this issue (as did the NDP at that time). Ethnic nationalism was the cause of most of the bloody history of the last 200 years. Whenever you get ethnicity trumping civic rights, you are bound to have "winners" and "losers" decided by genetic lottery. Why anyone would rush to endorse such an obviously bad idea, is beyond me.

I have to admit, I have been very uneasy about the NDP's drift in the direction of supporting this concept over the past few years. It is based on the idea that the party can make gains in Quebec by swallowing their vision for a "national" enclave in Canada. My agreement with the party over a myriad of other issues kept my unease in check. No longer. I find myself, for the first time in my life, party-less. There is no party in Canada that represents a progressive worldview with a dedication to civic nationalism. There is no party that speaks for me, or Coyne or the good folks at the Star. We are orphans in a "country" that is not a real "nation". I guess Lucien Bouchard was right all along. Pity.

Update: Oh yeah, what Wells said, too.
It is telling that only one nation was discussed in the House of Commons today, and it was the nation most Canadians don't live in. Apparently most of us don't deserve a nation. Certainly we don't seem to deserve a prime minister who names our nation for us. And if you don't like today's events in the Commons, you pretty much have to lump it, don't you: Vote Tory, NDP or Liberal, it's all pretty much of a muchness, because none of them can name a nation worth defending except Quebec
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