November 27, 2006

Kennedy is for Nation, but Would Vote Against It

It has come to my attention that Gerard Kennedy will not support the Quebec Nation resolution that is being debated tomorrow in the House of Commons. This whole “wrap yourself in the flag and accuse the other side of being a traitor” bit is really starting to get on my nerves. You know why, because the separatists do it to us all the time.

For years, the chief argument against the Quebec sovereigntists has been: We offer the benefits of both Quebec and Canada, while sovereignty offers only Quebec. Why choose one when you can have both?

By taking he petition supporters’ position, we force Quebecers to choose between the two options. We force them into a choice between two parts of their identity. English Canada, or in this case, a few people on a patriotic crusade, seem to believe it is a Canadian nation, or nothing.

The wording of their infamous petition states “call on our elected representatives to work instead for a united, equal Canada.”

Instead? Instead of what? A divided unequal Canada? Never could I possibly imagine there would come a day when Quebec federalists were being accused of working against Canadian Unity. The petition is gaining steam and Mr. Kennedy, who after all, believes Quebec is a nation, is now seemingly taking the politically opportunistic position by rejecting this motion.

Chantal Hebert said it best today. We are permanently removing a potent weapon from the separatists’ arsenal. We have Stephen Harper to thank. We have Michael Ignatieff to thank. We have the grassroots Quebec federalists to thank.

I leave you all with a quote

"Uniformity is neither desirable nor possible in a country the size of Canada. We should not even be able to agree upon the kind of Canadian to choose as a model, let alone persuade most people to emulate it. There are surely few policies potentially more disastrous for Canada than to tell all Canadians that they must be alike. A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate. A society which eulogizes the average citizen is one which breeds mediocrity."


Update!

"I respect the sense of identity shared by many Quebecers, reflecting a common culture, language, history and accomplishment and I will continue to promote that identity, rather than playing divisive political games with it."

“I deplore that anyone would use this as a wedge issue for political gains"

And by being the only one who opposes this, Gerard is not making a wedge issue out of this?

No No...If I say that , I must be drinking Kool-Aid eh Warren?

17 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Kennedy's position is perfectly reasonable and makes sense. Its one thing to recognize that a group of people constitute a nation, its quite another to formalize that in law, divide those who dont understand the meaning, and cause unnecessary damage to national unity.

11/27/2006 11:45 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Oh and Hebert is full of crap. They debated a "distinct society" resolution ten years ago. Does anyone remember? Does anyone even care? The notion that this will make the separatists go away is unmitigated garbage.

11/27/2006 11:46 a.m.  
Blogger Philly Cougar a dit...

The problem is in your argument. You begin by acknowledging that there is a English Canada and a Quebec. That's assuming your conclusion.

There is no English Canada. 13% of Canada's french are outside of Quebec. Most French in Quebec know English and French. Language is not some divisable border, unless of course you want it to be.

Nation has many definitions, most dictionary's give 4 definitions.
Three do not apply to Quebecois. So you advocate using a word that has a large chance of being misinterpreted just for some metaphysical recognition that ultimately when specified correctly, comes down to writing in the constitution, "oh yeah....and the shy is blue."

But again you assume your argument, tell me, why you think the advantages of calling the Quebecois as a nation outweigh the disadvantages such as fuelling seperatism's fire?

11/27/2006 12:12 p.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

I don't think Kennedy has taken a formal position yet as he has yet to issue a statement.
Let's wait before passing judgment as to whether he's right or wrong.

11/27/2006 12:27 p.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

Yes, remember to thank ignatieff everyone for creating this mess in the first place everyone. Remember to thank him for being willing to give the whole province of quebec to the separatist idea of nation. Thank him for putting the onus on canadians to prove to the quebecois that canada is worthy, instead of having the onus on separatists, that they have to prove why canada is unworthy. Some defender of canada he is.

I shudder to think how terrible the fortunes of the liberal party would be if ignatieff wasnt around to keep putting his feet in his mouth.

11/27/2006 12:33 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Hebert says:
"Without the failure to enshrine Quebec's distinct status in the Constitution in 1990, there would not have been a second referendum or a close vote on sovereignty in 1995."

All I have to say is thinking like that is what gets us into these intractible situations in the first place.

11/27/2006 12:35 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

phil,

I believe we can all be proud to be part of a Canadian nation.

I also believe I can identify just as much with the Quebec nation.

I believe a Quebecer is a person who contributes to the flourishing of Quebec culture and society.

the french word is epanouissement.

I think harper should define Quebecois for the sake of clarity.

However, we must send the message to Quebecers that we support the enrichment of their nation WITHIN Canada just as much as we support the enrichment of the Canadian nation in general.

11/27/2006 12:41 p.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

"I believe a Quebecer is a person who contributes to the flourishing of Quebec culture and society."

Lots of people outside of quebec who were born and live in other provinces do just that. Are they quebecers too?

I say if your going to pass this motion, pass another one for natives, and another one for ALL french-canadians.

11/27/2006 12:47 p.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

" “I am supportive of this notion, if it's clear, if it's a matter of identifying Quebeckers as having a language, a culture, and so on. But that is not clear in this resolution, and it will only create expectations,” Mr. Kennedy told a press conference less than an hour before debate on the topic was scheduled to begin in Ottawa."

Kennedy supports the Quebecois nation but feels the language of the Harper resolution is not clear thus is against the motion.

11/27/2006 12:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I agree with that Trudeau quote 100%, and I have been arguing all along that "the Liberal party must continue to stand for a country that promotes unity without demanding uniformity, and embraces difference without entrenching divisions."

I disagree with your interpretation of what Pierre Trudeau's opinions were, and I think I'll trust the Trudeau family to be the most reliable authority on that.

11/27/2006 12:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

(instead of the Michael Ignatieff leadership campaign, or any other for that matter)

11/27/2006 12:59 p.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

This is a what a son of Trudeau recently said..

Alexandre Trudeau said his father would never have supported Ignatieff's "paternalistic and empty" recognition of Quebec as a nation.

Moreover, he said the term nation cannot be strictly symbolic; it either "signifies a sovereign country, as in the United Nations" or it signifies a "cultural collective."

If it's a cultural collective, Alexandre Trudeau questioned how only Quebec can be recognized as a nation, and not other collectives such as "Mohawks, Jews, Arabs, Sri Lankans, Guatemalans, Crees, Irish, English, German and French descendents."

"One might be able to argue for a French Canadian nation. One might be able to argue for a state of Quebec. But arguing for the Quebec nation to the exclusion of the myriad of other nations of Canada is absurd for someone who aims to lead Canada," he said.

"It takes no son of Trudeau to know how foreign to him is the idea of allowing Canadian nation building to proceed along the path of ill-defined collective recognitions and entitlements as opposed to the clear rights of free individuals, each capable of being many nations or of none."

11/27/2006 1:03 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

phil:
excellent illustration of logic.

that trudeau quote is the very reason why we should not be supporting the uniformity of ethnic nationalism in quebec. it breeds intolerance ("English Canada"; "angry anglos"; "Lysiane Gagnon lives in Vancouver"; etc); it builds up walls between people. this is regressive.

if we are proud of the canadian nation and we work to enrich it, then we are necessarily enriching quebec society as well.

as an aside, whatever happened to calling yourself a french canadian??? this is now a foreign term in quebec. strange considering they were calling themselves canadians before the Brits took over. i don't get it.

11/27/2006 2:08 p.m.  
Blogger Loraine Lamontagne a dit...

If Dion would vote to recognize that French-Canadians form a nation, why doesn't he table a motion to that effect? Antonio, seeing you understand the nuances so well, do French Canadians form a nation different from the Québécois nation?

Loraine Lamontagne
Québécoisse-hors-Québec !

11/27/2006 3:05 p.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

I wish dion would table that motion. As well as one recognizing the sociological native nations.

11/27/2006 3:07 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

now that the genie is out of the bottle we must recognize all 787 nations in canada. as such, henceforth canada will be known as an empty shell, a holding company, for all the 'real' nations....sigh! hello balkanization. ask the czecks and slovaks how well a two-nations doctrine works for national unity. whatever happened to overcoming our ethnic differences in a collective political arrangement to seek collective aspirations that reflect our unity and diversity??? sigh! i miss you canada, it was great while it lasted...i guess i'll have to construct a lesser identity based on my ethnic backgrounds; yeah, french, scottish, irish...whoopdydoo. remember the optimism of our parents generation, that we could create a better world starting here at home, where we could bridge our differences and work for progress together while respecting and celebrating our diversity; remember being the envy of the world, how everyone you met travelling wore a canadian flag on their backpack even though they were yanks and brits...hold those memories dear, cause they may be all we have left.

11/27/2006 3:57 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

thanks alot iggy...you bastard!

11/27/2006 3:58 p.m.  

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