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.