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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Nations within nations

My thinking has been evolving on this subject, but it's hard for me to get too worked up about Stephen Harper's recognition of the Quebecois "nation" within Canada. After all, it appears the Tory position refers to the sociological or ethnic body that is the Quebecois, not the political entity that is the province of Quebec. That being the case, the recognition doesn't necessarily mean that Quebec is entitled to special rights based on any alleged nationhood.

Anyway, if one really wants to get hot under the collar about the whole concept of nations within nations, then a much better target of inquiry would be the scores of "First Nations" in B.C. that are in the process of receiving special rights within Canada.


Posted by Terry O'Neill on November 22, 2006 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Curious how this Marc character included Leonard Cohen and the Bronfman family in his list of Quebec "nation" notables. (I doubt they, or any Jews, consider themselves part of this phoney "nation.")

This purported "nation" consists of decendants of French peasants, the so-called "quebecois," that call themselves "pure wool" to distinguish the pureness of their "race." In Quebec "nation" means race, pure and simple.

What's curious about including Jews--Cohen and the Bronfmans, (who have long ago fled Quebec for New York)--is that this whole concept of Quebec "nation" was invented by the vile cleric Lionel Groulx in opposition to Jews; while he cheered they were being murdered in Europe.

The French in Quebec are a backward, ignorant, and superstitious bunch that are just a tool being used to shakedown Canada for money and attention. Only Canada takes the quebecois seriously.

Posted by: Lance | 2006-11-25 11:57:19 AM

No, the Quebecoise cannot claim Leonard Cohen and the Bronfman Family. Nice try though "Marc".
Harper is specifically speaking of French as to culture and language as a nation within the Province of Quebec in the Country of Canada. Quebec is not a Nation unto itself. This is similar to the Aboriginals, they have their various nations, ie the Cree Nation.

Posted by: Liz J | 2006-11-25 1:51:31 PM

Lance, Lance, Lance,

Cohen and The Bronfmans are Quebecers by heart an attachement to our bouillant culture. The Bronfman did a lot for Québec. My own familly worked for them and beleive me, they are Quebecers. Same for Cohen: you must catch an interview with him when he talks about his Motherland and his people. Our Québécoise NATION isnt regarding the race of our citizens; but their attachment to their Quebec brothers. In the "Les Patriotes" épopée, there were also Londonians (Eng) on their side; convinced that the British regime back then was a real cancer to our population. In Quebec, if you're, AT LEAST, trying to speak french and getting involved in the comunity you live in, you're a QUÉBÉCOIS. Anglos Québecois are also very different from the West and the rest of Canada. They think "in Québécois" like the rest of us. They and we are Québécois, a very prolific, bouillant and intelligent Nation.

Of course, if you're reticent to the idea of being a Québécois but living in Quebec...we politely inviting you to leave this great Nation. (This also include the Integrist that tries to imput their religeous BS to our people).
Stupid people that are bashing against us like Don Cherry/Barbara Kay/Jane Wong...dosent understand and speak a word in French. You wanna put your trust and confidence in those guys...your problem. While doing it, just accord a minute to think about the fact that those who tries to define my culture...dosnt understand a word of what we're saying...

"Only Canada take Québécois seriously"
He he he, Nice try!
Many World Leaders salutes our specific culture and all the beauty and realisations that comes with it. The coutry that is the most disconnect from us and dosent care about the good we're doing is, Canada.

Posted by: Marc | 2006-11-25 2:13:15 PM

Liz J,
You have to understand about the fact that Quebecers dosent gives a sh*t about what Harper is saying. We know who we are and a Torrie from Alberta will NEVER be able to understand nor defines us...

Posted by: Marc | 2006-11-25 2:16:26 PM


Are you saying it's not important to be pur laine to be a Quebecois?

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-11-25 3:05:58 PM

Yes, Just like Ducepe and Landry had always said.

Posted by: Marc | 2006-11-25 3:35:20 PM

...But You cannot disassociciate the French fact when talking about the Québecois.

That's all

Posted by: Marc | 2006-11-25 3:36:41 PM

Geez, talk about confusion and muddification, someone here is definitely fuddle-duddled up.
According to Marc you don't have to be pur laine French to be Quebecoise, so say Gilles Duceppe and Bernie Landry??? Why bother then with creating a symbolic nation status for a mere mishmash of Bastardised French people?

Posted by: Liz J | 2006-11-25 7:47:45 PM


Whether the Supreme Court has been functioning within the Constitution or not, it has been acting as the Philosopher Kings/Queens in Plato's Republic - clearly far from Democracy.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2006-11-25 8:03:58 PM

Liz J,
You're just another exemple of those who claims to know who we are but dosent know sh*t about us. When Landry and Duceppe talks about the "Québecois Nation", they include EVERYBODY that lives within our frontiers and thinks "IN Québécois". I'm sure you dont have any friends that are Québécois cause if you did, you'd be aware that Gilles Duceppe and M. Landry are speaking each weeks in front of Anglos, or any cultural communities PRECISLY because they considering them as Québecois. They are explaining them their political plateforms and exchanging on how can Quebec help them best.

50% of Quebecers (now, you know that this included ALL of us) are asking for Independance...not "symbolic Nation status"...Independance. Not for keeping our french alive (it's been 400 years and we still proudly speak french), not for being treat like special people within Canada; but because we ("pure laines", Quebec Anglos, and the cultural communities) thinks differently than the rest of Canada. We're not better than the people of the ROC, we're not "special", we're not worst...WE ARE DIFFERENTS...point à la ligne. You know it and we knows it.

Then, whats the point in staying inna team we dont associates ourselves with; starting with political divergences on about every issues...? For real...why Liz J ?

Harper just gave us a "candy" for more political capital in Quebec. Do you think he had said something we didnt already knows about ? Of course the BLOC support the motion about us being a specific Nation...but this was nothin' new for us or even you. This motion didnt shut the BLOC's "reason of being" like many bloggers likes to think: The reason why the BLOC is fighting is to assure Quebecers that our voices will be eard around the World when Canada goes "International". The BLOC will stick there until my "Nation" gives itself a COUNTRY...

A Canada that dosent represent us CANT be HOME for us. Plus, despite of bashing on Quebecers, maybe you should let go and look where this bring us all: I think that the constitutional debates Quebec always brings back on the table can bring many good for EVERY Canadians. Decentralising power from Ottawa to bring more power to Provincial governement is where we're going. This will have positive effects on any of you.

Srangely, I've tought of you when being in Mexico last week. We've met with 2 nice couples from BC and one of the 2 guys was born in Alberta. We talked long hours by nights and he explain to me that his forefathers were Ukrainians living in some sort of "campounds" near Edmonton. He told me that those "campounds" no longer exists and he entertained me on how was life for his famillly and other Ukrainian famillies back in the days...

Those 2 couples were really great people and we had a lot of fun with them along the week. We talked a lot on Hockey (of course), NFL and CFL football. When talking about political issues and our visions on the World, it was(is) clear that we were(are) so different from one another...it's like we're not from the same country.

Well, people...this is exactly OUR POINT.

Posted by: Marc | 2006-11-26 12:47:25 AM


"...not for being treat like special people within Canada; but because we ("pure laines", Quebec Anglos, and the cultural communities) thinks differently than the rest of Canada. We're not better than the people of the ROC, we're not "special", we're not worst...WE ARE DIFFERENTS...point à la ligne. You know it and we knows it".

"...I think that the constitutional debates Quebec always brings back on the table can bring many good for EVERY Canadians. Decentralising power from Ottawa to bring more power to Provincial governement is where we're going. This will have positive effects on any of you."

This sounds good to me the way you put it but I am not yet convinced for two reasons.

The first is: "Distinct society" did mean something in the past. Distinct society always meant to me that Quebec would be given special privileges in law that no other province would have; in my mind, therefore, distinct society status could only be granted through a distinct country. I am not opposed to that because sometimes good fences help to make good neighbours and I often think that we would get along better through international treaties with one another rather than through attempting to modify the Constitution. Now if you are saying that your first point is a cause of your second point, then that is a different matter than what many of us thought was meant by distinct society. Although not yet convinced, I am open to reconsideration.

The second reason is this: over the last 20 years, the most prominent politician outside of Quebec to raise your second point about decentralization of Federal powers was Preston Manning. The very point you raise is what he called the "rebalancing of powers" within the Federation. He was prepared to grant "distinct society" as long as it meant no special privileges in law - I think that would fit with your "different but not special" idea. Why was he not popular in Quebec?

It also seems to many of us from (or formerly from) Alberta that the decentralization of powers should also include the removal of the very large transfer/equalization payments. Please comment on that issue as well. I know that some from Quebec say that culture is more important than money. We are talking about a lot of money here. Please provide an estimate of the percentage that would be prepared to give up the equalization payments entirely. If we are to believe the "50%" number is accurate, then the number I am asking for must be at least "50%".

Although I hope to communicate my skepticism of a few of the points you raise, I mean to do it respectfully. I hope you can see that.

On another point, I have appreciated your and Remi's comments about the Harper motion. It seems to me that it cannot be at the same time significant to Quebecois and insignificant to non-Quebecois. You and Remi has both confirmed that.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2006-11-26 5:40:04 AM

i notice there's an awful lot of whining from westerners who like to say Quebec whines.
If we are still in Canada it is not because we live to bait and bug you. it is because just a few more of us believe in the idea of a united Canada than don't.
I must admit though, that your intolerance, racism and ingorant remarks are making me reconsider my Federalist stand.
Frankly, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that it is Alberta that has an axe to grind. How do you guys feel about annexing with the US? Seems like you have the mentality for it. But wait... there are more and more Quebecois moving to Calgary... before you know it, you might be more bilingual and liberal than you'd ever have thought! *lol*

Posted by: humanation | 2006-11-26 9:39:12 PM

Posted by: Marc | 23-Nov-06 7:21:57 PM

Take a look at the list our good friend Marc posted to define the Quebecois.

Every last one of the names on the list is a person from Francophone descent.

Therefore, our good friend Marc has just defined the Quebecois ad the descendants of the original settlers along the St. Lawrence River ... not the populace of the province of Quebec.

Had Marc listed somebody not of francophone descent, then the argument that the administrative region of Quebec and the Quebecois are one and the same may have contained some truth.

The list Marc worked so hard on clearly demonstrates the ethnicity of the Quebecois identity.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-11-27 12:48:14 PM

You do have it right. I had much more names to put there from both Fr/Ang + great names from cultural communities but then, I would have to explain everybody here why I did put names that wasn’t "Québecois pure laine" - because you are missing the point when reading the word "Nation" in french - So I decided not to put them. As you can see, I had already answered those questions in further posts. If you ask me to, politely, I'll give you the rest of my list of great people from the province of Quebec - "Quebecois" ---> those who WANT...TO...>> who are from any origins and that contribute/d to built the place we live in today and our distinct culture: "La culture Québécoise"...
By the way, we’re not holding the ROC from taking pride in those guys up there…

And Set…Please get the F off my back!!!

I'm just an everyday 30 years old Québécois guy that works his ass 2 jobs for a living. I know that I have a lot of common sense and I’m also awarded that I have some sort of “political maturity”. I'm paying a lot of taxes; much more than you by the way - and I'm telling you that; knowing that it’s not the ROC'S problem, but still.
I'm enjoying life (the one we live: on EARTH) and I have a good sex life with cute chicks when I'm not inna couple. I like beer, hockey and...Strippers. Just like you guys...and maybe you Liz J. I have absolutely no interests in bashing @ Westerners or to promote some sort of "bad for u" Quebecers "ideologies" here in the "Western Standards"...
It would be a waste of time anyways…
I'm just giving you the vues of Quebec from a common Quebecois. Plain and simple. I'm trying to express what’s life for an everyday Québécois (whatever his origins). I have no interests in lying or playing any games with you guys. I can represent the voice of the youth from Québec that are tired of a federal government that did reach us but then f**ked us with Ad scams, just to name this one. Now, the CPC looks pretty clean and all…but it doesn’t gives sh*t about what Québec thinks on any issues. We are fed up with this fat and heavy thing on our shoulders that doesn’t care about us and that doesn’t represent us at all. We're aware that the ROC is good for us inna ÉCONOMIC way but don’t be fooled by those who tell you that this is what’s keeping us attached to you guys. See those guys up there…If Québec separates itself from the ROC, I would have full confidence in those guys up there and the rest of our “bouillant” population. The French roots of our vibrant “nation of Quebecers” as manage it’s way since 400 years and you can bet your house that “today’s Quebec” would be ok soon enough after splitting from the ROC…I don’t see no problem there.
Like I said, I'm no expert in economic questions...and frankly, I think that Quebec is also good in many ways for the ROC but if you people wanna talk about economic matters, than address yourselves to the Quebec Minister of finances, The Bloc Québecois' economists or the Government of Canada.
I'm not personally responsible for those issues and frankly, I doubt that we care that much about those questions when looking at today’s Canada. I'm just giving you a peek of what a normal Quebecois that lives "within Canada" have to say about Canadian and Quebec issues.
If you don’t want to put your confidence in what I’m telling you…then don’t. But I'm not gonna let you people bash about us or trying to tarnish my people with bullsh*t. There is no "cute" in the way you’re doing it right now. You Albertans are the people who are the most racists in the eyes of MANY Canadians and others around the world. So stop doing a transfer of particularity on our side and accepted who you really represent.

So SET: Yes, la culture Québecoise or “les Québecois” represent every Quebecer that helped shape Québec…whatever their origins are. Those people are different than you in the way of thinking and they are tired of having a federalism that doesn’t represent them or use them to feed an old machine that isn’t half of what it was supposed to be…
And I’m not even talking about economy here.

So playing your dumb game, I will wish you a great night by giving you this suggestion: try not to think too much of your “now too old” daughter when going visit your favourite pig in the barn beside your house before going to bed…

Posted by: Marc | 2006-11-27 5:30:43 PM

Concerning Quebec, I recall the time at a local U in 1980 when we had immersion students come from Quebec and we watched them get the 'carte blanche' treatment at our anglophone Albertan expense as students.

They had special treatment where we were in our own residence made to go to different meal sittings, have the basement rooms, use the communal showers and sitting rooms at different times but hey they were the 'cause celebre' from that cultured bastion of Eastern Canada so we were good boys and were only happy to oblige.

As the summer progressed with this nonsense, this did not sit well as engineers as we found ourselves 'second class' students in the co-op program from that well known pre privatization company of the federal government everyone loved to hate.

We saw students from Quebec universities get all the plumb positions not on ability but on the fact they were from the non Mcgill and Concordia colleges. Many female 'engineers' were not up for the task but we ended up working twice as hard for less pay then them but producing better task results that 'our bosses' later took the credit for.

To get even when co-op program ended after listening to them all knock our fair province at the end of August, we decided to do a little social experiment. As we were proficient french speakers (but westerners)we painted several party rooms with quebecois/FLQ poltical slogans to see what the reaction of the local brass would be and what action they would take should these immersion students get blamed.

To our shock nothing was ever said, the whole matter was covered up very fast and the brass had a maintenance crew in to paint all the walls up in record time even before their french co-op prof came back from Quebec. The hypocrisy of it all!

I have worked for the French in France, the Middle East and Africa too. Its a big world out there and you develop the skills to work and respect each other in a multinational environment with the goal of getting the task and project completed. While we have our differences, respect is a two way street and that includes confederation. But as for anyone getting special status I would have to say an affirmative 'non'.

It is true though that one day and eventually Quebec may go. I see no problem with this and I agree as an Albertan you have that choice Quebec.
But we are not all racists and as much as the east likes to think, the clout and pendulum is turning fast as these days we have to compete in a global world. The west is positioning itself for that very future.

We have a respect and admiration for people who don't live off the backs of others and we look after the less fortunate where we can. Yet that good faith is becoming less and less when it comes to watching the spoilt children of confederation continually asking for more and more. I know from watching the European Union what member countries feel when that tired Gaul bureaucracy gets its tentacles tangled through every nook and cranny of Brussels and Strasbourg life. We appease you in federalism to a point where it is more then fair, you are practically through affirmative action like legislation in every corner of bureaucratic life in Ottawa not really on merit I may add. Even your Bloc MPs get pensions and benefits.

Some of us are respected professionals that work globally from Alberta and compete with your SNC-Lavalin and Bombardier government subsidy firms and as tough as it is, win contracts based on merit and aptitude and not on patronage to keep worn out tired manufacturing industries in business.

Funny how the oligarphic Quebec families like the Bronfmans and Demerais have most of their wealth and trusts out of the province and did so with favorable tax consequences over the years.

You all come out here, migrate and for the great most part are all welcome by albertans. Try doing that these days in 'mother France' and see how far down the totem pole they would treat you not being from anywhere near Ile de France and double digit unemployment. Many eastern workers live and work here now and for the most part, they arent heading back east in droves either.

There is also the question for Quebec that if it leaves it will have to settle land claims with many Crees who predate Quebec, that courtesy is long overdue to the natives of that region and one that when it suits people gets quietly swept under the rug.

Eventually as the world becomes smaller, they may look at our Alberta Nature of taking responsibility for ones own actions as a political course to follow when they find out that the raison d'etre status quo of yesteryear,low birth rates complimented by francophone select immigration just does not cut it anymore as the failed public policy that it is when the rest of the world embraces low tax areas with the relevant and thriving business sector that it accompanies.

Would anyone really want to live in and by that "Nation's" rules and way of life? That would yet to be seen.

Posted by: Bill Strong | 2006-11-28 1:16:14 AM

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