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quebec and the federation 2

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Michael Moriarity
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Joined: Jul 27 2001

I am very negative to the idea of nationalism, whether of the Quebec nation or any other one. I consider it a social development similar to religion, in that its main effect is to divide people into groups, with the members of each nation or religion usually believing that theirs is superior to all others. These divisions have been used by unscrupulous leaders with tragic regularity to convince people that it is morally acceptable, even virtuous to kill, rape and rob non-members of the group.

Regarding the Canada/Quebec situation, I do not believe that the Quebec nation is superior or inferior in any significant way to the rest of the population of Canada. It may sometimes be more progressive, on average, than people in other parts of Canada, but the reverse has also been true, for example regarding Mulroney's free trade deal. I see no reason to believe that an independent Quebec would be better (or worse) for its inhabitants than being part of Canada. On the other hand, there are potential up sides as well as down sides for the rest of Canada in the possibility of Canada breaking apart into several smaller states.

Any major political reorganization would be a big crap shoot, the results of which no one can predict. It seems to me that both those who expect Quebec independence to make their lives much better, and also those who think a united Canada is crucial to general happiness are romantic idealists, whose dreams are no more realistic than those of love-struck teenagers. (No offense to teenagers, but I still remember what it was like, and it was anything but realistic.)

 


flight from kamakura
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Joined: Nov 24 2006

Caissa wrote:

What makes it bad and how do you think it could be made better, FFK?

we're talking about issues that are irrelevant.  if quebec decides to vote for a new political arrangement, okay, in the meantime, let's discuss pertinent issues.  this thread just keeps circling this "quebec leaving canada" drain, these old arguments again and again.  for instance, the discussion of constitutional issues and (i assume) the ndp project under mulcair given the ndp's commanding position in the province just instantly got rethreaded into a discussion of 'sovereignty-association'.  i mean, it's just a bad conversation.  we could have talked about anything from the substance of a mulcair "beau risque" to the ways in which the quebec political class has simply moved on, or any number of issues in between, but instead 'sovereignty association' and the quebec nation.  just bad.

here's a big broad something we could maybe turn it around with: with post-mulroney arc running from chretien's trudeau-light to martin's asymmetrical federalism to harper's de-centralization - how will continued efforts to ensure a quebec-friendly federation re-structure the federation more generally?


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

flight from kamakura wrote:

here's a big broad something we could maybe turn it around with: with post-mulroney arc running from chretien's trudeau-light to martin's asymmetrical federalism to harper's de-centralization - how will continued efforts to ensure a quebec-friendly federation re-structure the federation more generally?

I am very interested in hearing your opinion on that.  Go ahead you have the floor.


flight from kamakura
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Joined: Nov 24 2006

well, i guess i'll just toss off a few thoughts, then.

assuming that mulcair is likely to win the next federal election against an unpopular cpc and with a strong/near unanimous quebec contingent, i'd assume that we have a few interesting scenarios, all with their own pitfalls, and with the huge x-factor of a potential pq government at the national assembly.

while it was never clear that the ndp supported the notion of a much more unitary sort of federalism, clearly, post-sherbrooke declaration, we've a party that stands for a federation of pares, and a federal government responsible for a certain number of mandates.  that quebec hasn't signed the constitutions is irrelevant, the clear line of jurisdictions is essentially un-challenged.  where chretien/martin wound down many of the mandatory opt-ins that survived mulroney for certain federal programs making them voluntary and conditional (federal funding proportional to per/capita federal taxing and then adjusted by whatever formalae were hammered out in negotiations), something that usually only quebec took them up on, essentially giving the impression that asymmetrical federalism worked to the advantage of only one province.  harper's plan doesn't look much different, just with less money on the table.  so when mulcair comes to power, one wonders if we haven't already a highly circumscribed number of jurisdictions in which his government make itself felt in quebec (as opposed to virtually all of the rest of canada, whose provinces have mostly felt keen to opt in whenever the feds want to start a new program on the backs of their citizens and jurisdictions).

so, in contrast with haper, we'll probably see mulcair running the country on two speeds, quebec and canada.  one can argue that this represents a return to form (with the harper and diefenbaker exceptions), but one wonders at the substance.  will mulcair evacuate the feds from major taxation prerogatives in favor of increased provincial taxing abilities, in domains where the province clearly has the greater interest and better experience (post-secondary, for instance)?  will mulcair make a volte-face and go chretien-style to defend some last redout view of federal integrity, as some (count iggnatiev, for instance) have said necessary for canada to remain coherent as a polity?  will he see adjustment of quebec's status - a de jure recognition of de facto arrangements - to recognize the area as an autonomous region within canada?

essentially, without getting into quebec's unique political culture, the march of quebec's self-determination has progressed so steadily that the next phase - over which mulcair and marois will likely preside - seems near certain to bring about some new arrangement, and i wonder at the effects this might have on the bonds of other provinces to the center.


ilha formosa
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Joined: Feb 1 2010

FFK, that is a much better contribution to the discussion than just saying "this conversation is bad."


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Rather than start a new thread, I'll post this here:

Make St. Jean Baptiste Day a national holiday to 'recongnize French founders:' NDP MP*

Duncan Cameron a few years ago wrote a column on the significance of June 24th: Quebec celebrates

And Wiki has this: National Holiday (Quebec)**

I think it's an interesting idea to make June 24th a Canada-wide holiday but I also suspect it'll start new debates about the religious and political significance of the holiday.

*François Lapointe, the Quebec (NDP) MP for Montmagny, L'Islet, Kamouraska and Rivière-du-Loup, introduced a private member's bill on Tuesday to make June 24 a national holiday.

**In 2010, Franco-Ontarian New Democratic MP Claude Gravelle introduced a private member's bill in the House of Commons to recognize St John the Baptist Day as a federal holiday in Canada.

(bolding emphasis mine)

Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Boom Boom wrote:

I think it's an interesting idea to make June 24th a Canada-wide holiday but I also suspect it'll start new debates about the religious and political significance of the holiday.

I think this NDP MP is an idiot. His bill would create a new federal holiday called "St. John the Baptist Day" - to recognize "French founders"? So it's both a Catholic and an ethnic holiday. Well done, idiot.

In Québec, June 24 is called "la Fête nationale". Not any Saint, and not any French colonial settlers ("founders" my arse). The word "nationale" refers to Québec, not Canada. And the NDP (like all other parties then in the House) claims to recognize Québec as a nation.

We need a new federal holiday. It's called Louis Riel Day.

Thanks for spotting this, Boom Boom. Let's warn the NDP off this crusade, shall we?

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I'm a relative newcomer to Quebec (1995, although I spent a good deal of my childhood in Montreal) so I'll defer to others like yourself, U, with a deeper involvement and knowledge of the history here. It did catch my attention, though, that it's NDP MPs pushing this idea through, which is why I emphasized them in my post.

 

By the way, how much traction is Louis Riel Day getting? Has it been proclaimed into law yet? I'm totally in the dark on this.

 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Unionist wrote:

It's called Louis Riel Day.

Done already.... in Manitoba, anyway. 

They call it family day here, and as much as I like families, I don't like the implication. It's Louis Riel Day to me.

And you know, I don't think there is any solution to what you propose. I am sure there are some people who are going to see it as a "founders" day, just as much as there are umpteen different ways to celebrate Christmas and Easter.

And having seen a pic of some local United Empire Loyalists at some 1812 celebrations this week, I am sure there are some people who see it as a quasi-religious celebration as well.

None of us has absolute ownership over these things, though I agree with the idea that the NDP should be clear on what it is they are promoting.

 

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I guess the NDP MPs suggesting this holiday are not aware of this:

 

From The Canadian Encyclopedia:

"La Fête Nationale Du Québec (formerly Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day), Québec statutory holiday, observed on 24 June."

and:

"René LÉVESQUE sanctioned the celebration as an official holiday on 24 June 1977, eliminating the religious connotation and making it a statutory holiday in Québec."


alan smithee
Online
Joined: Jan 7 2010

Yeah...it is la fete nationale...but you'll notice on the screens in the front of Montreal buses still say 'bonne fete st.jean'...In fact,atleast every fete in the past,when you go to a store people will say 'bonne fete st.jean'

Maybe it sounds better than 'bonne fete nationale'?


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Well, I have my church calendar right in front of me, and June 24th is a white letter (liturgical) day, "The Birth of St. John  The Baptist".  So, obviously, people still conflate the two, especially if they are religious. But it's been officially a Quebec non-religious hoilday since 1977.

 


kropotkin1951
Online
Joined: Jun 6 2002

What a waste of time.  Opposition MP's don't get to propose many things in a session and this is the priority?  Its just weird and bizarre to me. However I think the workers of Canada could use an extra 13 statutory holidays. One for each province and territory.

If one wanted to have a national holiday tied to Quebec history then September 13th seems far more appropriate. We could call it Supreme Arrogance Day.  So named because a few thousand white men fought a single battle that purportedly saw control of Turtle Island pass from one empire to another. 

I'd even go for July 14th if any French theme will do. Bastille Day has a nice ring for a new holiday.

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Bastille Day! Laughing


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Thing is, outside of Quebec, it isn't a Fête Nationale. I know the posters for the gig here in Saskatoon are for the Fête St. Jean.

So if someone wants to make the prospect of a Canadian national holiday celebrating our French heritage (very close to Aboriginal Day, I might add) more complicated, fine. But like the similar notion of a "holiday tree", I think people are going to call it whatever they want.

(edit)

Though I just did a bit of reading. I didn't know that the bonfire originally had a royal connection - in that it was lit by the king.

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

dp


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

I started this Facebook group 4 years ago, just after the government of Manitoba did the right thing - but I didn't push it much (not being an avid Facebooker). Maybe it's time. The NDP has to forget about June 24. It's a holiday of the Québec nation. Keep the religion and ethnicity and conquest out of it please.

Make "Louis Riel Day" a national holiday!


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

I'd agree with you on that, Unionist. I think the events of 1849 and 1870 had far more to do with building this country than 1867 did. 

And Riel is the key person in that second event. Even though he fought against confederation, he is still the one who made it happen.

 


alan smithee
Online
Joined: Jan 7 2010

Funny thing is,I don't ever remember la fete st-jean as a religious holiday...atleast not in my lifetime...it's always been a day of celebration of Quebec.

So technically,it really doesn't matter what you call it.

But yes,it is a Quebec national holiday and it makes no sense to make it a federal holiday....just like Canada Day means virtually nothing in Quebec..in fact July 1 is known as Moving Day here.

It's high time to recognize Louis Riel with a national holiday,though.


Ghislaine
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Joined: Feb 15 2008

I propose a federal stat day in June...I don't really care what it is called! 

It is hard not to feel resentful that my Quebec co-workers get an extra stat - a week before the Canada Day stat. 

...perhaps something to celebrate making it through another Canadian winter?

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Ghislaine wrote:

It is hard not to feel resentful that my Quebec co-workers get an extra stat - a week before the Canada Day stat.

Really? Will it make you feel better when you find out that the first Monday in August is not a holiday in Québec?

"Extra stat" - do your research.

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

JOYEUX FESTIN À TOUS LES QUÉBECOIS


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

LOL! Yummy.

 


alan smithee
Online
Joined: Jan 7 2010

I stand corrected..Today I took the bus and the front screen said 'Bonne Fete Nationale'....So to everyone,have a happy June 24!


Brachina
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Joined: Feb 15 2012
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-zero-in-on-quebec-with... Harper now wants to be bffs with the PQ after bashing everybody else for working with seperatists, I wonder why.

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