Comment 2421

By (anonymous) | Posted November 29, 2006 at 22:06:16

Funny thing about 101 and 178 Quebecer... its that they are both constitutional under the Charter as they currently stand. The law is most constraining on francophones and immigrants due to the education provisions. I think when a majority is hardest on itself in these matters, it is a sign of maturity. But I can understand the bitterness, since it is hard to go from seeing oneself as the majority to recognizing that one is the minority, and to have that privilege usurped, even if democratically. In the decade I spent in Montreal, I met many anglos living in a past of resentment, longing for the days that St. James street ruled the province. I could never relate. I shared their language, but not the chip on their shoulders.

Is Harper's vision quite as radical as Jason suggests. Probably not. is his decentralist view consistent with the Canadian majority. Almost certainly not. But opening a dialogue on the nation may be helpful even for those opposed, because it opens the possibility of asymmetry, where we might have more possibliity of doing more things in common through the federal government if we recognized that Quebec might want to go about doing it in a different manner. In short, rather than having the will of the Canadian majority blocked by Quebec's legitimate insistence that its constitutional autonomy be respected, we could move forward on a number of issues by working in solidarity, but separately. Take parental leaves... the fact of reaching a deal with Quebec to allow them to set up a separate system now gives the rest of us a model to push for in the rest of the country, in order to replace the crappy system we have under EI.

I agree that the Quebec nation is complex and diverse and contested. Just like all nations. Its not as if we have stopped debating the contours and limits of the Canadian nation... just raise the question of the burkha and the kirpan in any gathering, and we can observe the complex, diverse and contested nature of defining who is and what is Canadian.

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