Friday, November 24, 2006

The Definition is Irrelevant


The debate over whether Quebec should be recognized as a nation is too often focused on what we mean by "nation", how we define it, the word's significance. The real issue, from everything I've witnessed in the past, isn't in the definition but in the expectations the word unleashes.

This isn't like the way we once gave beads to Indians. No, the gift of "nation" to many Quebeckers brings with it expectations of some degree of genuine sovereignty and the trouble arises when they realize we have no intention of delivering that. Nobody likes crass manipulation for political advantage, especially not if they come to realize they're the targets of it.

If you stir up the embers, you're likely going to rekindle the fire.

2 comments:

wilson61 said...

Quebecers wanted to be recognised as a nation. They got it.

So now they are going to be mad and separate???

Maybe the ROC will not be all that stirred up about it this time.
Maybe PMSH just called Gilles bluff...

The Mound of Sound said...

Maybe, but I don't think so. When Mulroney tried to pitch Meech Lake he said it would resolve Quebec's aspirations. Bourassa came right back saying it was only a beginning. That attitude has not gone away since Meech. Quebecers aren't getting what they want but Harper is certainly whetting their appetite.