Sunday, November 26, 2006

Quebec a Nation?

From the November 23rd edition of the Vancouver Sun:

Harper
: Quebec is a ‘nation’

Resolution aimed at shoring up support in the province for his Conservatives ahead of federal election that could be held as early as next year
BY ALLAN WOODS and JULIET O’NEILL
CanWest News Service With files from Norma Greenaway
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper received a standing ovation from all three federalist parties in the House of Commons Wednesday after he introduced a landmark resolution that will see the province of Quebec recognized as a “nation within a united Canada.”
Harper outlined the motion in a passionate speech to MPs following question period, leaving the Bloc Quebecois outraged because it planned to ask the Commons Thursday to recognize the predominately French-speaking province as a “nation” with no conditions attached.
The prime minister’s intervention in the decades-old dispute has effectively let the Liberal party off the hook for its own divisive plan to address a similar resolution at its policy and leadership convention next week in Montreal.
But it also allowed Harper’s Conservatives — some of whom were inclined to vote with the Bloc motion — to cast themselves as the defenders of Canadian unity.
“The real question is straightforward: Do Quebecers form a nation within a united Canada? The answer is yes,” Harper said to applause from the Liberal and NDP MPs. “Do Quebecers form a nation independent of Canada? The answer is no, and it will always be no.”

It would be interesting to get your thoughts on this move . . . . Are we generally in favor of the motion? Is it merely a political move? Will it's passage - as looks likely - make any difference? What are the long-term ramifications?

I must admit not having a strong opinion about this matter, so any enlightenment would be appreciated . . . .


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I feel about this Harper move, either. Based on politicians in general, however, it is no doubt politically motivated as opposed to a genuine concern for the country as a whole.

Daniel wbc said...

The whole Quebec thing is confusing to me. Europe is unifying more every year, but they want to break up Canada?

It seems that Canada has bent over backwards so that Quebec doesn't feel overwhelmed and overpowered by the rest of Canada. In fact, it seems that they (Quebeckers) have more pull in Otawa on a per capita basis than the rest of Canada.

This is the opinion of an outsider, but I think that many pushing for independence are not really thinking about what independence would mean in reality, but rather enjoy having that threat as a political weapon.

I must say that I am impressed by this maneuver by Stephen Harper -- he outfoxed both the Liberal Party and the Bloc -- pulled the rug right out from under them. Sharp.

Another interesting aspect of this "nation" within a nation concept is that there are other French-speaking communities that go way back historically and are not in Quebec. What does this say about them?

I will be the first to say that I have a lot to learn.

West End Bound said...

I will agree that there is lots to learn about Canadian politics - that's why I like Idealistic Pragmatist blog. Her take on the situation is very enlightening.

It looks like Mr. Harper's move may come back to haunt Canada as a whole to me.

Anonymous said...

P.M. Chretian proposed a motion when he was Govt. that Quebec was "a distinct society". Everyone voted on it...there were a lot of opposition to it...but it went away and no one was bother about it. yet it garnered as much media as this "Nation" bit. It will go away for the time being but the Bloc and the Separatist party will make a lot out of it to gain support in Que.