Sunday, January 01, 2006

Contingent Canadians

Over the last few days, vigorous discussion has broken out about what, indeed, one must say in order to be regarded as a separatist. Apparently for some, something like this does not qualify:
Many of us in Alberta are working on our last federal campaign if the Liberals remain in power - we will be working on Alberta separation after January 23...
Stamp here says that he will only begin working on Alberta separation after the election if the Liberals are re-elected. (He said the same thing following the last election, see here, and for all we know had said it about Cretien's re-elections, too. But let's leave that aside.) There are, of course, other posts where his separatist sympathies are less qualified, for example at Project Alberta, where under the handle 'Gord S.' he closed many postings with the proclamation that "Canada has no moral justification to exist". (See also his separatist statements here.)

But let us allow Mr. Stamp, and those like him, a mental footnote: "Canada has no moral justification to exist (after January 23 if the Liberals are re-elected)".

Frankly, to me, whether someone is an out-and-out separatist or a proto-separatist does not much matter. Contingent Canadians--those who say that they are happy to be Canadian if the country does one thing or stops doing another--do no credit to themselves or their ideas. OK. Let's wave our magic wand and make the Conservatives the government. Will not Mr. Stamp and his kind merely reinvoke their tawdry little threat at every political cross-roads? The Supreme court overrules a pet piece of legislation? "We'll start working for separation!" A member of his party crosses the floor? "Separation!" The Conservatives are unsuccessful in convincing the provinces of its constitutional agenda? "Separation!" It looks like they might lose an election? Etc. Etc. Etc.

No. Commit yourself. Either in or out. Grow up and decide. Show some respect for yourself and your beliefs.

I am a Canadian. I was born Canadian. I will die a Canadian. I have lived most of my life in the west, am now living in Ontario, and by the time I die might have the privilege to live elsewhere in this great nation. I am proud of Canada, its history, and its achievements. I like who we are and what we're becoming. I will not vote for anyone who asks me to defend Canada to them; nor will I vote for anyone who knowingly associates with such a person. I want people in public life who can articulate their reasons that Canada has "a moral justification to exist" no matter what mistakes its people or governments make. I do what I can to get along with my fellow man, but I will not change my vote to buy off contingent Canadians.

(I welcome comments that adhere to my comments policy.)


buckets said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jean LeBlanc said...

Very well said. We may both support different political ideologies and we may vote for different political parties but one bond that we share is an unconditional love of our country and our hope to make it a good, peaceful and fair place for all our fellow citizens.

buckets said...

On a slightly similar vein, cf.

buckets said...

Himm. Not sure why the link is not working. Try

Blogger said...

Much has been said about the Liberal sense of entitlement, and I do believe it exists. However, when I talk to grassroots members of the Conservative party their is an even GREATER sense of entitlement.

Jean LeBlanc said...

Holy s**t "the truth hurts", how can a Party which is two years old, whose antecedents have not been in power for thirteen years and has held power in Canada only 33% of the time since Confederation have a Culture of Entitlement. Sheeeshh! I think you mean a culture of frustration and an aching to get a chance at the wheel for awhile.

Your viewing that as Entitlement only reinforces YOUR sense of entitlement.

oh yeah....I know you are but what am I..and nyen nyen..nyen nyen nyen...Just kidding.

Blogger said...


But seriously, my calculator must be broken. How does a party that is only two years old manage to hold power 33% of the time since confederation? (I must have forgot to carry the one.)