Friday, November 24, 2006
Is Canada's sky really falling?
For all of those Chicken Littles who believe that Harper's motion recognizing Quebecers as a nation is the end of the world, here's something to chew on: Why wasn't Jean Chretien's motion recognizing Quebec as a distinct society similarly the beginning of the end?
In my view, people who believe in Canada should also believe that we're strong enough to withstand a symbolic gesture which merely recognizes a political reality no politician in Quebec can afford to ignore.
Trying to win votes in Quebec without acknowledging the Quebec nation is like tyring to win votes in Atlantic Canada by not supporting seasonal EI, or trying to win votes in the Prairies without saying you support agriculture.
What Harper did this week was political. The challenge of facing Quebec separatism wasn't going to end tomorrow if Harper had left things alone. In fact, a good argument could be made that the challenge would have been made that much harder if federalists in Ottawa had denied what Quebecers themselves see as self-evident truth: that Quebec is a nation.
So, when reading theories about how Harper unleashed the forces of doom on the nation of Canada, try to take a deep breath. If Canada can't survive this, then what in the world can it survive? I believe that only a small amount of faith is needed to believe that we can get through something like this. Is that too much to ask for from some?