Thursday, November 23, 2006

A misguided slippery slope of a resolution

Sigh. Federal politicians, it would seem, are a gang of short-sighted tools, with little regard or understanding of our country's constitution and history.

First off, I'd like to point you to the following post from Calgary Grit which notes, as I always find that I must, that all this talk of the "Quebecois nation" conveniently forgets the pan-Canadian French-Canadian and Acadian francophone populations. And try as many might to obscure this fact, demands for recognition of the "Quebec nation" are not coming from those who are not ethnically francophone. The Harper/Bloc resolution is about recognition of ethnic nationalism, despite the intellectual convolutions that misguided federalists might be putting themselves through to make this into a recognition of a civic nationalism.

Calgary Grit goes on in an earlier post, slamming the various party leaders, and rightly so. I'd also point you to Paul Wells' denunciation of the resolution as short-sighted, and the first step towards another constitutional fiasco.

If anyone thinks this is resolution will put an end to the discussion, they're sorely deluded. The Liberals passed a resolution through the House of Commons a decade ago recognizing Quebec as a distinct society. Why should anyone believe that this will close the constitutional Pandora's Box any more firmly?

Frankly, this entire debacle leaves me scratching my head about my future voting intentions. I've never liked the NDP's constitutional positions - Jack Layton is far too eager to suck up to nationalists. But now all of the Liberals are willing to go along with this misguided resolution, which is little more than an exercise in smoke and mirrors, more likely to further inflame passions than to cool heads? It boggles the mind, and depresses the voter. The Bloc has played the three federalist parties for suckers, and they deserve a collective slap in the head for having been drawn in to these shenanigans.

I'm not saying that our federal leaders should hide their heads in the sand and hope that this issue will go away. But I will say that constitutional issues should not be debated on the fly. They require serious consideration, and consultation with both experts and Canadians who would be affected by any significant changes. Neither Stephen Harper nor Michael Ignatieff was elected with a mandate to rework the constitution, and so I would humbly suggest that a bit more thought and consultation is in order before recklessly committing Canada to a particular course of action.

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At 7:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, and please write more about this! This particular immigrant is still grappling with the issue and struggling to understand the layers of complexity.

At 7:57 am, Blogger Matt said...

I'll try to put together a more detailed post later today. I have one last class to teach for the week this morning, and then I can put together some more detailed thoughts. I know you read my blog regularly, IP, but the core of my thinking is in this post.

Blogging in the middle of November is tough - so much marking to get through, so little time for reflection.


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