Saturday, April 28, 2012

A polarized Canada

Several weeks ago, a journalist from the Montreal Gazette called me up for a conversation about a feature she was writing about the increasingly polarized nature of Canadian politics. We talked for about an hour, and a fair bit of what I had to say appeared in this story which ran in today's paper. Check it out!

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At 6:37 pm, Blogger Skinny Dipper said...

Earlier this week, an internet polling company asked for my mapped definition of my immediate local community. I tried my best to circle the neighbourhoods where I do most of my shopping and weekly/monthly recreation. It was a shape that had a radius of about 2-4 km from my home. The polling company asked about my ratings of political parties and cultural groups from 0-100 within my community and my federal riding.

I would wonder if I had to draw one or more circles around my "national" community, which parts of the world I would include and exclude. It would be nice to include all of Canada. However, realistically, I would probably only include places in the world where I have had direct and indirect contact in my life. My "national" community would likely include much of urban or semi-urban southern Canada from Victoria to Halifax. I would probably include rural Ontario, but not the rural parts of the otther provinces. I may include parts of Gatineau and downtown Montreal and west to the Ontario border. I might have nodes around Hollywood and Disney World. I would likely exclude northern Canada and most of Quebec. My nation would be three Venn diagram circles that are urban, English-speaking, and Ontario. I would have an inner nation of urban, English Ontario; I would also have an outer urban nation that included elements of urban, English-speaking, and Ontario.

If someone from Quebec were to draw a territoral map of his/her nation, it may look very different from mine. That person may draw a circle around Quebec. Perhaps that he/she may include Ottawa, Toronto, Boston, or Florida. Would that person include the francophone areas of Ontario and New Brunswick? Maybe not. Would he/she include Labrador?

How many people would circle all of Canada as a whole territory that consists of their nation? There might be less today than 20 or 30 years ago.

At 10:10 pm, Anonymous Mark S. said...

Very cool, Dr. Hayday


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