The English colonization of Ireland suppressed the Irish language, but the advent of the Irish republic showed you can virtually extinguish a language, and not kill nationalism. British Lord Durham wanted to assimilate Quebecers to the English language majority.
The Act of Union of 1840 failed to achieve that imperial objective, and the Irish example suggests that even if the French language had been substantially weakened, Quebec nationalism would not have disappeared.
The history of de-colonization shows how much trouble multi-linguistic states have creating a sense of identity strong enough to engender national feelings. The primary attachment remains the linguistic community.
Newly elected NDP premier Darrell Dexter was reported as being concerned about the size of the Nova Scotia government deficit.
We all know, when the economy goes bad, two things happen to public finances: revenues go down and expenditures go up. The result is inevitably a deficit.
What we have to fear from deficits is that they will be used to manipulate public opinion, and scare governments into the doing the wrong things: cut spending and postpone needed projects.
Canadian CCPA Monitor Editor Ed Finn calls deficits the all-purpose excuse. Bank economists, editorial writers and business commentators warn us against the sin of spending money we do not have. Instead, they call for fiscal "responsibility," as if to ask, who could be against that?
The Liberals are too weak to chance a defeat at the polls; and the Conservatives are not strong enough to win an election. While the Liberals got less of a boost in popularity from the coronation of Michael Ignatieff as leader than would have been welcome, Conservative support has not slipped as much as the economy, which is about as good as the government caucus could expect.
If it were enough to look ahead, and recognize the next occasion to reach out, and build support, politics would be a manageable activity. But something more is required of our leaders than being good managers. Moving about constantly, meeting the key people, saying the right thing and performing well in the public eye is not sufficient for success.
Conventional thinking says negative ads work well, especially when they attack someone not well known to the voting public. The Conservative ads are aimed at that portion of the Canadian electorate that does not follow politics closely. The idea is to have the Conservatives introduce Ignatieff, rather than allow the Liberal leader to introduce himself.
There is a facile answer to the first question. Capitalism is crisis prone. The current American banking crisis is like the dotcom crash, the Asian crisis, the Mexican peso collapse or the wreck of the American Savings and Loans companies. It is another in a series of upsets that have beset capitalism. Since the powers-that-be cling to the belief that capitalism offers the best economic model, we can expect to go from one crisis to another, which does not mean that each successive crisis does not have its own story, or does not matter greatly.
Sadly, both Ontario Liberals, and federal Conservatives are prepared to back Detroit-based management of American companies, and push around the Canadian workers who have been making cars. Surely, it should be the other way around: governments should be backing Canadian workers through an industrial strategy, not being pushed into doing whatever is decided in the U.S.
Sending subsidies South is not going to bring back jobs eliminated by GM, Ford, Chrysler and US Steel; or support Southern Ontario, and its hard hit communities: Oshawa, Oakville, Windsor and Hamilton.