NATION OR NOT?

Is this widespread debate about Quebec being a nation throwing any light on our national identity?  A recent poll shows that 34 per cent of Quebecers say they do not think “Quebec is a nation within Canada,” precisely the motion passed last night in the House of Commons.  Another poll reveals that one quarter of Quebecers do not feel “the Quebec people form a nation.”   Mr. Michael Chong resigned from the Harper cabinet because he does not believe we should be recognizing ethnic nations in Canada.

     Do you think we may be heading down a dangerous road here and recognition of Quebec nationhood is the last step before recognition of Quebec as a country?

4 Comments »

  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    I am completely DISGUSTED with this whole nation bit. Anglo-Quebeckers, for the most part, do not see themselves as part of the “Quebec” nation. Quebec is a province.

    Nationalists are trying to be nationalist without appearing ethnocentric or tribalistic. I feel like telling them: sorry folks, nationalism is ethnocentric. Deal with it. If you stand up for your language, culture, “people” and so forth to the exclusion of all other considerations, that’s nationalism, and those do not identify with it are exclude. That’s reality. They want to act like it’s not, but it is. They don’t want to be tagged as being exclusive, but that’s how nationalism works. “Civic nationalism” is still nationalism. Multicultural nationalism doesn’t work– it dilutes the very thing you’re trying to defend.

    I just haven’t found the words to blog about this yet. I’m so pissed off. I fought against this when I lived in Quebec, fought against this in the 1995 referendum, moved to Ontario to get away from this crap, and here are these people telling me I’m part of this whole nationalist collusion by being a member of this “nation” (although I live in Ontario now!).

    Ridiculous. In the long-term it will bite them in the ass. The Conservatives should’ve learned not to pick up the Nationalist vote, but nooooooooooo.

    Grrrrr….

  2. 2
    jim Says:

    A nation has mobility. A country does not. If for instance a nuclear electricity generating station exploded and Quebec Province was made unliveable and if the French-canadians had to move to PEI it’s the nation that would move there and yes leave
    the non-francofolies behind and let them roast in hell.And yes, then and only then will we have inherited the earth.Well the Bloc now have a new spiritual adviser with Raymond Gravel,a former priest, having been elected a few days ago. No,I won’t pick up the soap.
    I’ll do one more citation about a
    nation. There are 6 Celtic nations in the world. One of them is Brittany France. The Irish have been talking about separating from France for years.
    Speaking Gaelic enmasse is what makes them a self-described nation. Finally be aware of the term nation-state, that is a country.

  3. 3
    Tim Says:

    It was an unnecessary, retrograde and stupid move to decide to call the Quebecois a nation. It is potentially harmful and divisive, it sets the Quebecois apart from the rest of Canada, it probably gives the separatists some additional leverage for whatever crazy issues they wish to raise or whine about and in some fashion or other, it says the Quebecois are special compared to other Canadians. There is no good reason to have done this — it seems to have started with the opportunistic and somewhat deceitful vote-getting initiative by that intellectual but unintelligent Mr. Ignatieff. Harper has now stuck all of us with this silly and unnecessary pandering to a bunch of separatists. I think it stinks and that the last people ( people as in persons not as in nation) that the Federal government should be giving anything to is the Quebecois sovereigntists. Nation in this case is a dumb and ugly ethnic move that fuels the separatist agenda while confusing and undermining the interests of the majority of Canadians who want this country to grow and stay together. I’d like a rational explanation of why the Federal government did this. It annoys me that my federal government panders to the seditionist Quebecois. Nothing is worth that and least of all buying their votes.

  4. 4
    Barbara Says:

    Sorry, folks, I do feel like I am in a different “nation” when I leave Quebec. People suddenly get vituperative about allowing Quebec to be a somewhat different culture within the Canadian framework. The hostility is palpable and it is a hostility I do not feel within the border of Quebec towards those outside.
    Just as English Canadians — and I mean that in the broadest sense — have their style of society that suits them reasonably well, so do the folks in Quebec. It is a different style and we buy into it, for the most part. We feel at home within it. The Quebecois, and I include myself, although hardly bilingual, want to be able to do things their own way and most would prefer that to be within Canada. Just as you would rebel if forced to assume a Quebecois-style society, so do the Quebecois rankle at the idea of assimilation in what they perceive to be an alien society in some ways.
    Words like “nation” are difficult to translate because they contain an element of the intangible and abstract.
    I find it curious that the Parliament has so rapidly passed a motion that has turned out to be divisive. Strange kind of democracy we have in this country.


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