Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The term NATION: A Primer

Joe Hueglin wrote:

There will be no Digest until next Tuesday.

The following links will enable those choosing to do so to visit the primary news sources aside from editorials.

The day was spent in composing "The term NATION: A Primer".  It has been sent to newspapers and should you see it in one you read I'd much appreciate you letting me know.

That there is ignorance is proven by CTV's "Today's Question" Do you agree with the government's motion that recognizes Quebec as a nation within Canada?

The motion is as I understand it is "That this House recognize that the Quebecois form a nation within a united Canada." NOT that this House recognizes QUEBEC as a nation.

Please share your thoughts on this matter and send links to articles you deem of consequence so that when I return from what amounts to a total retreat from the internet I can be brought up to date.

        Until Tuesday next,











Do you agree with the government's motion that recognizes Quebec as a nation within Canada?
                                                                       Yes              2211 votes         (32 %)
                                                                       No               4705 votes         (68 %)

                                                                       Total Votes:    6916

Subject: The term NATION: A Primer


Ever hear of the BRAYON? I never had until yesterday when speaking with a young woman living in Ontario who described herself as French from New Brunswick.

I said "Acadian, eh?"

Her reply, "No, Brayon - we don't eat sea food."

The Brayon are a group of people distinct in their identity from all others. They are a cultural-nation.

Information concerning the Brayon is included in appended links.  Appended as well is an article dealing with the complexities of the use of the word nation and the impact of interaction among cultural-nations upon historical development.

The Letter to the Editor that follows attempts to differentiate between political-nation and cultural-nations.  Differences of which Members of the House of Commons ought to be aware in that using the term nation indiscriminately is fraught with the potential for grave misunderstandings.

        Joe Hueglin

One what? Brayon…

Origine du terme "Brayon"

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do:Nations, States,and Nation-States

Dear Editor,

The term NATION is used in both political and cultural contexts.  Only through employing the terms "political-nation" and "cultural-nation" can clarity of meaning be obtained.

Canada is a political-nation subdivided into 10 provinces and three territories. All who are citizens of the Canadian political-nation are Canadians whether native born or by choice. Canadian citizens collectively form the "Canadian people" who are at liberty to reside in any political sub-division they choose.

If asked upon entering another country "What is your nationality?" the answer would be "Canadian" not Ontarian, Manitoban or Newfoundlander. There is only one political-nation, Canada, and one cultural-nationality in relationships with other countries, Canadian.

Canadians are not culturally homogeneous but composed of different cultural-nations.

Canada's primary cultural-nations are linguistic based:  English-speakers and French-speakers. Both are composed of sub-groups some whose mother tongue is English or French, others who, while speaking another language within their own cultural-nation, speak English or French in general social intercourse.

The oldest English-speaking cultural-nation sub-group are the Newfoundlanders.  Developing distinctive cultural patterns from 1610 onward Newfoundlanders are to be found to-day not just in Newfoundland and Labrador but across Canada.

The Canadian French-speaking cultural-nation is not homogeneous. The Quebecois, while the most numerous, differ in cultural traits from the Acadians and Brayon concentrated in the Atlantic Provinces and other groups across the country.

The political-nation of Canada and its subdivisions are measured in land area. The cultural-nations of Canada both English-speaking, French-speaking, speaking aboriginal languages and languages brought from political-nations around the world by immigrants are measured by the numbers identifying with them.

The relevance to the current debate in the House of Commons is that there is no Quebec political-nation.  There is a Quebecois cultural-nation . Its members, however, are resident not only in Quebec but in all parts of Canada.

Yours truly,

Joe Hueglin
5838 Mouland Avenue
Niagara Falls, Ontario



Harper's Quebec motion seen as potential step in plan to rebalance federalism
PM moves to make Quebec a nation within Canada

Harper scores points in unity debate

Charest welcomes Tory motion

Text of Harper's address to the Commons

CALGARY (CP) - Attempting to recognize Quebec as a nation within Canada could be the first step in the Conservative government's campaign promise to re-balance federalism, says one of the Alberta Tory leadership contenders.

Ted Morton said Wednesday that he hopes Prime Minister Stephen Harper's surprise announcement opens the door for "not just side-deals for Quebec but reducing the intrusion of Ottawa in the government of all 10 provinces."

Morton, who faces a Saturday vote for the leadership of the ruling Alberta Progressive Conservative party along with seven other candidates, has campaigned aggressively on a platform of limiting Ottawa's impact on the lives and pocketbooks of the province.

But Alberta Premier Ralph Klein dismissed Harper's announcement, saying he had no idea what the prime minister's motivation was, adding that "it might be politics."

"First of all it's not legislation," Klein said. "He can say what he wants to say, as I say what I want to say from time to time, and until it's legislation, there's no need to worry about it."

Morton also acknowledged that Harper's announcement was likely an "inside-Ottawa political strategy" aimed at exploiting differences on the Quebec issue within the leading Liberal leadership candidates.

"If it's more than that, I'm hoping that it will basically produce some results that go back to Harper's campaign promise to re-balance federalism."

Over the years, Morton and Harper have shared similar beliefs when it comes to social and economic conservatism and the role of the federal government within Canada.

In 2001, the two were part of a group that wrote the "firewall letter" which advocated limiting Ottawa's influence on Alberta and urged the province to run its own tax, health and pension plan systems.

Some people in francophone communities on the Prairies said Wednesday that they have always recognized Quebec as a distinct part of the country.

"Quebec is really the centre of the francophonie in Canada and I don't think there's any problem with that," said Daniel Boucher, president of the Societe Franco-Manitobaine.

"I think it's important for Canada to have a strong Quebec and it's also important for Canada to have strong (francophone) communities outside Quebec."

Others were more muted in their praise of the Prime Minister's motion to recognize Quebec as a nation within Canada.

"Myself, for instance, I am not a Quebecois, I am a Western francophone," said Henri Lepage, a former mayor of the French community of Gravelbourg, Sask., about two hours southwest of Regina.

"Obviously it's not a separate country, but it being a distinct nation? Yeah, I think it is something that should be recognized for sure."

Some people in Vancouver said that Harper's motion just recognizes something that is obvious to most Canadians.

"I think it's about time, it's long overdue," said Dwayne Doucette, 37, an engineer, who said he has no political leaning.

"I don't see any problem with that. There can be communities within cities, nations within nations and families within extended families."

William Mitchell, who works in the film industry, said accommodating Quebec has long been part of Canada's history.

"This isn't a new thing," he said. "This has been going on ever since General Wolfe."