View Full Version : My nationalistic pride


SkidiWili
Jan 29, 2002, 07:55 AM
As I was studying history of World of last century I realized how ignorant I had been about my country. Finland, my home country, has a history, which one can be proud of.

I always considered Finland as a western country, always comparing with other western countries like France, GB and so on. We have bit less in everything, we are supposed to be like them, like a western country which we are, I thought. But a realization struck me. Finland is an eastern country.

In 1917 the revolution in Russia happened. Finland gained independence along some other countries. After this one could say that Finland was balancing between two devils for a short, event rich, time. Devils with names Stalin and Hitler. Germany which has always been more or less friend of Finland gave Finland to Russia in the secret part of Molotov-Rippentrop treaty.

The Winter War, the Soviet juggernaunt rolled to Finland. Marshall Mannerheim, without argument the greatest war hero of Finland, had foreseen this and had mobilized the military of Finland. Finland having barely 4 million people, had no large army. The weapons of the army were few and there was little or no heavy equipment like tanks, planes etc. But Finland held.

Second war, Continentual war, was fought few years later. This time equipped with German weapons, like Panzerfausts(not much heavy equipment tough), Finland launched attack at SU alongside Germany. Another hero of the war, president Risto Ryti, made a deal with the Germans. Finland would fight to the very end alongside Germany and the president personally guaranteed this. Bit diplomatic trickery, one could say, and it was that. Even as the president guaranteed the deal personally it wasn't legal. It would have needed the confirment of parliament for it. Later president resigned and peace was made with SU.

Technically Finland had lost the wars with SU. But considering what the SU had thrown at Finland, and what had happened to the other states that had gained independence in 1917, Finland was a victor.

During the events from independence to the end of WWII Finland had fought, defended and earned its independence. Finland was a democracy, a democracy which had a long common border with SU.

Cold War. Finland won the Cold War. Political, economic, militaristic pressuseres of CW could not defeat Finland. As west(=USA) poured monetary help to all its allies, and east(=SU) enforced its socialistic ideologies to its allies, Finland was on neither group. Finland never received any monetary support from west, nor Finland never was a socialistic state(we had a communist party tough). With political geniuses like Urho Kalevi Kekkonen(had he born in either USA or SU, he would have taken over the world) Finland remained neutral trough the whole affair. A great policy in this not black/white world.

Year is now 2002. Finland has one of the best basic educations in the world. Finland offers basic means of life to its whole population, healthcare, education, monetary support, etc.(Actually bit socialistic trait, in most western countries some of those are done by companios after money). Our main income is industry, as some might know Nokia cellphones. Finland is one of the most computer oriented countries and so on. We didn't end up like many eastern countries did. No western money was poured here. Our history is a political masterpiece, something to be proud of.

Mikoyan
Jan 29, 2002, 08:21 AM
I am proud to be part finnish and that my great grandfather fought in the winter war. But does not this thread really belong in the history forum?

duke o' york
Jan 29, 2002, 08:24 AM
No offence skw, but this sort of thing should probably be in the history forum. I know that it's not only a historical discussion, but I believe that you'll get far more historical responses than to the other points made. To be honest, too few of the other fanatics know enough to say any more than "Yes, Mannerheim did well and Nokia phones are really well made". Most debate brought about by this thread will concern history in my opinion.

I am not fond of patriotism. You didn't choose the country in which you were born, and although it is a noble thing to try to improve life for those who share the same national boundaries, and maybe many great things have been done in the past in the name of your country, that is all they are. The truly great and noble actions seek to improve life for everybody in the world, regardless of national boundaries. These discoveries and actions are worthy of celebration, far more than those dictated by the desire for advancement of a single state.

Benz
Jan 29, 2002, 11:00 AM
I don't know much about Finland history but, from what I know mister SW, you are right to be proud of it.

However, you know that nothing is all black and white. It is scary to think that Finland was the ally of Hitler, but in the context, it is understandable. SU was not friendly either, I think the decision was more strategy than the support of Hitler's vision.

Education, health care and so on, these are very important values and I agree with you that Finland has one of the best. I recently posted a link to UN's site about that. I remember it because my "state", Québec, was very close. Our society has many similar path to yours in these topics. On the dark side of the medal, Finland has the highest rate of suicide and we are following you very close too. Nothing is perfect you know!

I also have alot of things that I am proud of about my state and there is other things I don't.

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duke,

I already talked about it in another post so, I'll be short. I think nationalism is a tool. A tool does have intentions, you do. You can do bad nationalism like the Nazi did. Or you can do good nationalism by showing up the world a good manner to manage your politic.

SW was not saying this to pretend he is better than anyone. That is important. Some nations pretend they are the best and they beleive so much themselve that they think they should change their neiborhoods like them. Usually, the strongests are the worse in that matter.

Our world is going right ahead to globalization. How do we deal with that? Should we let the stronger can control the smaller? Should we stay each other in our yard? Should we eleminate the small sovereignties for the benefit of the biggest? I say no way, big time! The protection of the small sovereignties like Finland, Norway and so on are very important. There is several domains where these society perform way better than the biggest. If we do not respect that, the biggest will destroy this quality and lower it down to its level.

Every society has its own values and choices. I recently had a discussion here in this board with few americans about the health care system. To me, it was more important to give access to every citizen. To him, it was more imporant to have the better cost performance. We do not give the same level of consequences to one side another. I respect the americans choices and I expect no less from them to respect mine. I am proud of what we are doing but, if I see something better in the neighborhood's yard, be sure I will take a look very closely and maybe do the same.

Most of the time, we do not realise that it can be better until we see someone else doing it.

Like Finland, we have in Québec one of the best rate of successfull students, but we also have one of the highest rate of suicide. It would be very interesting for us to compare our situation with them and with another country that has a better result. Of course, this country has something to be proud of and something to improve like everyone else. As long as you don't think you are the best in everything, it is ok to be proud of what you are and you must be ready to realize that you can be wrong even at what you beleive in so hard.

Vrylakas
Jan 29, 2002, 11:33 AM
SkidiWili, Finland did have some price to pay with its position in the Cold War though. I recall reading about Swedish scientists complaining angrily that their Finnish colleagues weren't being very truthful about radiation levels during the early stages of the Chernobyl disaster, fearing Soviet wrath. (Gorbachov took a week or so to decide whether to admit to the world that there had been an accident.) Soviet Bloc Poland was more forthcoming in the initial stages with radiation data than the Finns, or so claimed the Swedes at some conference on Chernobyl.

I don't mean to pick on Finland, and I think a Finn has as much to be proud about as anybody else in Europe (or anywhere). It's just that I'd want to temper your burgeoning pride with a reminder that all human countries and endeavors are laced with failure and shortcomings as well as successes and achievements. No country is beyond reproach. The Brits have a negative saying, "My country, right or wrong!" and that pretty much sums up the cause of most of Europe's troubles over the past century. Absolutely nothing wrong with being a Finn or being impressed with Finnish accomplishments - so longt as you're also aware of Finland's shortcomings (like having I believe Europe's highest rate of alcoholism outside Russia, for instance). I think I'm with the Duke o' York when he said:

I am not fond of patriotism. You didn't choose the country in which you were born, and although it is a noble thing to try to improve life for those who share the same national boundaries, and maybe many great things have been done in the past in the name of your country, that is all they are. The truly great and noble actions seek to improve life for everybody in the world, regardless of national boundaries. These discoveries and actions are worthy of celebration, far more than those dictated by the desire for advancement of a single state.

TheDuckOfFlanders
Jan 29, 2002, 11:50 AM
I am a human ,plain and simple.
Belgium is just another name for a boderline within i live.
Flemmish pride is abbundant in my country ,and although my name is TheDuckOfFlanders , im no part of flemmish nationalism ,cuz actually my name is sarcasm onto the flemmish nationalism ,that has is root's in an altered perception of our history inflicted by our regional gouverment's to promote anti-walonian sentiments.But ah ,that's just a part of the rediculous politic's in my tiny country.

Adebisi
Jan 29, 2002, 01:38 PM
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Case
Jan 29, 2002, 03:37 PM
Gee I'm glad Australia is an island nation.

Simon Darkshade
Jan 30, 2002, 07:17 AM
Yes, so much easier for me to rule it:mwaha: :mwaha:
My viewpoint on nationalism is quite the opposite to the sedition preached by Ducky;), although I will concur that the politics within his country are ridiculous.

Nationalism can be manipulated for good or for ill; there is nothing inherently wrong with it. That much is common sense. In my opinion, though, anyone who does not feel some loyalty/love/affinity to their own Reich...oops, country is rather silly. Our countries may do good and ill, but without proper belief and dedication, there will be more of the latter (with probably some other country doing it to you)

Rant concluded.

Stefan Haertel
Jan 30, 2002, 08:35 AM
I am not fond of patriotism. You didn't choose the country in which you were born, and although it is a noble thing
to try to improve life for those who share the same national boundaries, and maybe many great things have been
done in the past in the name of your country, that is all they are. The truly great and noble actions seek to improve
life for everybody in the world, regardless of national boundaries. These discoveries and actions are worthy of
celebration, far more than those dictated by the desire for advancement of a single state.

Wonderfully said. I agree wholeheartedly.

Benz
Jan 30, 2002, 04:48 PM
You may not choose where you are born, but you can choose the path you want your society to take. If you don't, you let someelse doing it for you.

Trying to change the world... what a beautiful goal!

Yeah but, what if you are wrong and the way you want it, is bad for the others? We don't all have the same values. Sometimes, it is not that simple to say who is right or wrong. That is why the respect of each others sovereignty is very important.

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Well Adebisi,

It is a kind of bloody story. At least, Finns survived. Many other small nations had not this chance or, they still are dominated by another bigger nations. Sometimes it is a "soft" domination and sometimes it gets worse.

Do you feel your country will not have enough power within the new European confederation? Or do you think you will benefit more from it?

Is Finland still have some minor conflict issues with Russia or Sweden?

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Duck,

I mostly agree with you. I think it is very important to have a good critic regarding our nation. It oftens help more than only reminding what we have done good so far. ;)

Adebisi
Jan 31, 2002, 07:21 AM
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allhailIndia
Jan 31, 2002, 07:38 AM
It may seem that "small" nations have no future unless they have a big ally close by or remian as slave states to a superpower. But the fact is that behind every great civilization and empire, there was a small nation made up of a brave and hardworking people with a vision.
Take Rome for example. They had to struggle against several smaller tribes and even if they won against them, there were always the mighty Greeks, the rich Carthaginians and the fierce Celts to contend with. But the Romans had a vision. THey wanted to be Perfect in what they did. Be it laying roads or building the Colosseum, they were determined to make it perfect. THis was what made Rome a great empire, not its Legions, not its Ships.
Any country can be great and powerful if the leaders have a vision and the people unite under one leader to make that vision reality.
Who knows, Skidiwilli may be that one to bring about that change, the one to lead Finland into glory

Adebisi
Jan 31, 2002, 08:34 AM
No, I will be that one!

allhailIndia
Jan 31, 2002, 08:47 AM
That's the spirit Adebisi and I shall soon meet you on the battlefield as the Overlord of India. :rocket:

kittenOFchaos
Jan 31, 2002, 10:15 AM
allhailindia...did you play alot of A&A on "thezone"?

(would have pmed but you don't seem to allow it)

SkidiWili
Feb 01, 2002, 06:30 AM
Originally posted by allhailIndia
Who knows, Skidiwilli may be that one to bring about that change, the one to lead Finland into glory
Now, that sounds scary... ;)
I wouldn't call myself as patriotic or nationalistic. I wouldn't die or kill for my country that is. To live for one's country is the best thing he can do. The fact is that I was ignorant, bit ashamed to be a Finn. A small, non-excistant country in the north Europe...

But I now understand what it means to be a Finn, what paths our history has taken to come to this position. We have been lucky, we have had great leaders, and I believe that things could be much more worse than they are.

Hurricane
Feb 01, 2002, 06:58 AM
The Russians don´t get too much credit in this thread, but that Finland was annexed by Russia in the early 19th century was actually a great streak of luck. With the quite free autonomy Finland was granted by the Czar, Finland could slowly develop its nationality and start up an own administration, from own money and postal service to own decision makers. Helsinki, which had been nothing more than a ****hole during the Swedish era, got a university and new churches and buildings were built.

This gave Finland a 100-year experience of self-ruling, which made the proclamtion of independence (in 1917) a much easier affair than for example Chechnya today or most of the African countries. Still, the country suffered a severe civil war, with atrocities on both sides. Many of them are still not very good researched (the winner writes the history, as always).

Adebisi
Feb 01, 2002, 10:10 AM
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willemvanoranje
Feb 02, 2002, 07:24 AM
I am both Dutch and German, and I am a patriot, I'm proud of my country. I think that one has to be proud of where he comes from, no matter if he's American, German, from Andorra or Afghanistan.
However, this doens't mean that I think less of other nationalities or whatever. I have both German and Dutch nationalities, maybe that influences a bit, but I will never say that a French guy is less or a Enlgish person sucks because he's English.
I repeat, one should be proud of what hgis country and countrymen achieved in the past. All countries have done great and awful things in the past. Holland faught 80 years (1568-1648) for its independence from Spain and became the first western nation where there was freedom of religiona and no one could be prosecuted or whatever for having a certain religion or whatever.
But Holland also did bad things, you can name the colonial times and slave trade, but I'm talking about the war in Indonesia after WW II as well. The Dutch government sent a lot of troops to make sure Indonesia (or Dutch-India as it was called back then) stayed a Dutch colony.
We all have things to be proud of and to be ashamed of, but no matter what your country's history is, be proud of where you come from.

Hurricane
Feb 03, 2002, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by Adebisi
Hurricane, I definitly disagree on your statement that the Russo annexation was a "streak of luck". Had the border stayed the way it was in 1808 it had been worse, yes, as part of Finland would be left in Russia. With the way things went at least Finland was united. But, had Sweden won the war of 1809, they could have teamed up with Napoleon some time later and taken back all land lost since 1714. And probably get some more, such as the Eastern part of Carelia, which was still populated by Finns at the time. Assuming of course that King Gustav IV Adolf would have been overtrown. Bearing that in mind you cant claim that Finland was lucky to get annexed by Russia.

That´s making a lot of speculations. Remember that Napoleon´s army was defeated in Russia.

The continuos wars between Sweden and Russia had driven Finland to extreme poverty, and even if Sweden had won in 1809, Russia would most certainly have attacked again later. Sweden was always well aware of this, and with the bankrupt Swedish economy, nothing was made to put Finland back on its feet. Russia would never have allowed Sweden to be so close to S:t Petersburg. And Finland had already been occupied by Russia for almost 100 years, and what had Sweden done about it? Nothing. They had more pressing concerns.

So what if Carelia had been inside Finland´s borders? In your scenario, Finland would have stayed as a rural part of Sweden, with an own language but more or less no own culture. It probably would have turned communistic during the bolshevik revolution and asked to be a part of the new fantastic bolshevik Russia. Just think about what happened to the Baltic countries.

As for the "independence"; No independence was given as a result of the mercy or good will of the tzar.

It seems you did not read my post very carefully. I never said czar Nicolai gave Finland independece. I said autonomy, which gave Finland a lot of room for self-government. Later (late 19th century), when the russians noted that Finland actually just became more and more western-centered, they tried to russificate the country. Luckily, nationalism had already bloomed, and the most important result was that Finland came to realise that independece was the only way to go.

Finland stagnated compared to the rest of Scandinavia during the Russian era.

I don´t agree. Had Finland been retaken by the Swedes, its future could well have been the same as Poland´s: a battleground for wars and wars. Sweden would never had put very much effort into making Finland prosper.

After the Russians took Finland in 1809, they had several reasons for giving Finland the very free autonomy (compared to other examples of the same time period). First, as I noted above, they did not want to make Finland into another Poland, with unrest so close to S:t Petersburg. Second, they wanted a lasting peace with Sweden, who would not have let Finland become too Russian. Third (late 19th century), Russia was at this time considering itself as an example of peace-makers. The international tribual at the Hague was for example formed at the initiative of the young Nikolai II.

Our nationalism woke up during this era, and after the short periods of oppression in the late 19th and early 20th century it was proved that we could not go on as a part of Russia. When the bolchevik revolution occured it was the last drop and we took the risk of declaring ourselves independent.

Agree. I never said Finland felt itself as a part of Russia, but I am almost certain that Finland had much better time being an autonomous part of Russia during the 19th century than a forgotten backwater part of Sweden.

Benz
Feb 05, 2002, 01:03 PM
I don't think neither Russia or Sweden were motivated to think about the goodwill of Finland. I don't think also that we can say that Russia was more cruel than Sweden. I believe that Finland was considered as a strategic zone used by these two powers. Russia needed that Finland could be strong and independent enough to keep to hold on Swedish but, it has nothing to do with generous goodwill given to the Finns. Neither that Sweden would act like a good big brother to protect Finland. It is the opposite, Sweden was probably better than Russia to keep Finland under its control with a lower effort. It is just a feeling I have from what I know and what I see here. ;)

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I would be ready to kill and die for my country, only if our freedom is menaced.

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willemvanoranje, I almost think the same things you do. :)

Hurricane
Feb 05, 2002, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by Benz
I don't think neither Russia or Sweden were motivated to think about the goodwill of Finland. I don't think also that we can say that Russia was more cruel than Sweden.

My point is the opposite: Finland had always been a part of Sweden (definately not just some strategic buffer), and while Sweden at the time were weak and busy with internal politics, they would sooner or later attack Russia if they saw too much Russian influence in Finland. With the growing nationalism during the 19th century, however, Sweden started feeling more like the good big brother, and Finland wanted to become independent, not just switch back to Sweden.

About the cruelty thing. How can you even compare Russia and Sweden about cruelty? It would be like saying that you don´t know if Russia or Germany was more cruel to Prussia.

The 100-year period of Finland being a part of Russia was actually much better for Finland than it is often portrayed, but it does not change the fact that Russia has been Finland´s enemy for most of its history.

I believe that Finland was considered as a strategic zone used by these two powers. Russia needed that Finland could be strong and independent enough to keep to hold on Swedish but, it has nothing to do with generous goodwill given to the Finns. Neither that Sweden would act like a good big brother to protect Finland. It is the opposite, Sweden was probably better than Russia to keep Finland under its control with a lower effort. It is just a feeling I have from what I know and what I see here. ;)

Finland was not occupied by Sweden, it was Sweden. You don´t have to occupy your own country. I don´t think Canada has to occupy Quebec, either. :crazyeyes

Adebisi
Feb 06, 2002, 07:26 AM
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Benz
Feb 06, 2002, 10:46 AM
"I don´t think Canada has to occupy Quebec, either"

Actually, it is kind of.

Since 1982, the French part of Canada (Québec) has no say in the constitution of their own country anymore. That was the year where Canada patriated its constitution from England and the English part of Canada took the opportunity tp modify it without our approval. It has put us into this dead end. The English majority can change it as they wish since then and we can't do anything about it. This is why there is an important sovereignist movement in Québec, including myself. We are proposing a solution very similar of the actual European Union type but, the English part doesn't look interested. We are considered as separatist by them because if they refuse our proposal, we prefer to separate than being their pet's. The English Canada do not recognize that we are two distinct nations sharing the same country. They want us to be exactly like them and have no say. Fortunatly, there is no sign of violence of any kind like we can see in some other places like Basque in Spain.

If you want to compare the situation of Québec/Canada vs Finland/Sweden, it would rather look like this. Finland would be a province of Sweden and it could have some powers but, Sweden would be allowed to do what they want into the Finland's politic. Because Sweden would be the only one owner of the constitution.

"How can you even compare Russia and Sweden about cruelty? "

Maybe I did a wrong choice of words. Anyway, as I already said, I don't know the Finland's history enough to be completly sure of what I am saying. I see your point and the one of our fellow posters and that is what I think at first sight. ;) Ce n'est pas coulé dans le béton!

Can you guys explain me where is Carelia and how big it is? Well, I have an idea but, just in case I mixed up. :rolleyes:

Adebisi
Feb 06, 2002, 01:28 PM
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DingBat
Feb 06, 2002, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by Benz
"I don´t think Canada has to occupy Quebec, either"

Actually, it is kind of.

Since 1982, the French part of Canada (Québec) has no say in the constitution of their own country anymore. That was the year where Canada patriated its constitution from England and the English part of Canada took the opportunity tp modify it without our approval. It has put us into this dead end. The English majority can change it as they wish since then and we can't do anything about it. This is why there is an important sovereignist movement in Québec, including myself. We are proposing a solution very similar of the actual European Union type but, the English part doesn't look interested. We are considered as separatist by them because if they refuse our proposal, we prefer to separate than being their pet's. The English Canada do not recognize that we are two distinct nations sharing the same country. They want us to be exactly like them and have no say. Fortunatly, there is no sign of violence of any kind like we can see in some other places like Basque in Spain.


Look, I don't want to downplay the concerns of Quebecers, but is it totally necessary to use inflamatory terms like "pets"?

The relationship is long and convoluted. We could go into the language laws, the conscription crisis, etc, etc but is it necessary?

Separation is a tricky thing to pull off. I think the idea of some "union" is as dead as yesterday's fish and for good reason. If you go, you go all the way.

And then parts of Quebec will have to decide if they're going with you or staying in Canada. And that's when the fun really begins.

/bruce

Benz
Feb 06, 2002, 10:17 PM
thanks adebisi!

What is the ratio of each ethnies in Carelia?

Do that area is still inhabited by a majority of Carelians? If so, do they feel they belong to Finland? If not, it is kind of too late now. It is something that the Carelians (if they still exist) have to decide. The UN recognize tribes and small nations that have no sovereignty today, as long as they were previously a state or any kind of independent or freed area. It has nothing to do with who owned the land long time ago. The most important issue is, the population living on that land. What do they think? Otherwise, it opens the door at too much abuses and interpretations of history.

Dingbat,

[Look, I don't want to downplay the concerns of Quebecers, but is it totally necessary to use inflamatory terms like "pets"? ]

Normally, No, not at all. But with what I see from the rest of your post, I regret to say that it is not that inflamatory. Usually, only english canadians talk to us like you do. I have not that kind of problems with americans, Europeans or anyone else.

Ontario, Québec, New-Brunswick and Nova-Scotia build Canada. Not the opposite. You cannot divide neither Québec, nor any other province's land integrity. French part of NB, Ontario and Manitoba cannot be merged with Québec neither that federalist part of Québec be divided to join back Canada.

What are we to your eyes? Less than nothing or what? Look, I talked about confederation like EU, I talked about respecting each other's sovereignty and all you reply is "if you leave, we will break you in many peaces!". Not constructive don't you think? What it is so bad about the European Union? Why can't you figure out that we are not the same nation? La preuve, vous ne comprenez même pas notre opinion.

When the time will come that you either refuse our proposal and want us to be partitioned, we will invite you to discuss the terms of separation with the UN international court. We are pretty confident about our position.

Just an hypothesis to compare the situation. I am wandering what would happen if suddenly Sweden says that they want to grab back some area of Finland only because they think it belong to them. It doesn't make sens, isn't it? It doesn't in our case either and it won't happen.

Hurricane
Feb 06, 2002, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by Benz
"I don´t think Canada has to occupy Quebec, either"

Actually, it is kind of.

If you want to compare the situation of Québec/Canada vs Finland/Sweden, it would rather look like this. Finland would be a province of Sweden and it could have some powers but, Sweden would be allowed to do what they want into the Finland's politic. Because Sweden would be the only one owner of the constitution.


Very good that you took up this point, because this highlites a very important difference between Québec/Canada and Finland/Sweden. And that is that before the 19th century, there was nothing as a Finnish nation. The Swedes made a few peaceful crusades into Finland and with them came Swedish families. The small village of Turku was soon made the administrative center of Finland, and is considered to have been founded as Finland´s first city in 1229. For many hundred years, Turku and its surroundings were what was called Finland. This district is still today officially called "Actual Finland", while the rest of Finland´s districts are called after the tribes that lived there (Lapland where the Laps lived, for example). Take a look at the map I attach, Actual Finland is in the southwest corner of Finland.

Only when the idea of nationalism, that a country is defined by the language of the inhabitants, did the idea of an own Finnish country grow. Since Finland at this time belonged to the Russians, it soon became clear that independence was the only way to go.

Just an hypothesis to compare the situation. I am wandering what would happen if suddenly Sweden says that they want to grab back some area of Finland only because they think it belong to them. It doesn't make sens, isn't it? It doesn't in our case either and it won't happen.

There was one issue after Finland declared itself independent in 1917. The Aland islands, which to 100% consisted of Swedish-speaking people (compared to a 6% national average) had always administratively belonged to Finland, but now wanted to become a part of Sweden. This issue was solved in the League of Nations in 1921, and Aland stayed as a part of Finland, but as a demilitarised zone and with long-going self-government. They have their own laws, taxation, have an own postal code (AX) and even tried with their own money at one time.

However, it was the people of the Aland islands that wanted to switch to Sweden, not Sweden that demanded they get them.

Adebisi
Feb 07, 2002, 08:23 AM
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Benz
Feb 07, 2002, 10:07 AM
"The other Swedish-speaking people most definitly wanted to become a part of Finland, in fact they were the most vigorous nationalists. "

Why these Swedish-speaking prefered Finland? They are in minority in Finland, isn't it? If the Aland (my keyboard can't do the little o over the A) has a special status and a level of autonomy, it is understandable but, what about the others?

What is the social status of Swedish speaking in Finland? Advantaged? Unadvantaged? Normally equal to any other Finns speaking?

Do the Laps have their own language or are they speakind finnish?

Is the language issue is a big debate in either Finland and Sweden? (regarding the minority group of either side)

Adebisi
Feb 07, 2002, 02:00 PM
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Benz
Feb 07, 2002, 02:43 PM
Do the swedish speakers are afraid to be eventually totally assimilated?

Do the gov't must provide services in both languages? How far it goes?

For instence, the Canada's government must be able to provide services in both English and French everywhere in the country even if there is an area speaking only one of the two languages. It is a big issue around here because there was a big assimilation process started by the British long time ago and it lasted for years. Some provinces in Canada made French illegal even if half of their population was French. This law is no longer effective but, it is too late. The assimilation succesfully reached 50% to 70%.

According to what you are saying, Finnish and Swedish speakers live more peacefully together than that, isn't it?

Can you say that most of the Swedish speakers of finland speak finnish either?

Hurricane
Feb 08, 2002, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by Adebisi
The people of Åland wanted to be united with Sweden already before Finland's declaration of independence. It was in the middle of ww1, so it was very understandable.

Sweden saw a chance to expand their borders and secure Stockholm - which would be blocked by Åland. In february 1918 Swedish troops occupied the island (humanitarian aid being the excuse), but were chased out by the German army in March.

Yes, but my point was that Aland wanted to join Sweden because they felt closer to Sweden than Finland (nationalistic reasons), while Sweden wanted Aland only for strategic reasons.

10-15% of Finland was Swedish-speaking at the time, not 6%. The other Swedish-speaking people most definitly wanted to become a part of Finland, in fact they were the most vigorous nationalists.

True. 10,98% in 1920, to be exact. :D

Originally posted by Benz
Can you say that most of the Swedish speakers of finland speak finnish either?

Most of them speak good or fluent Finnish, but about 20% has no or very little knowledge of Finnish. I´ll try to answer your other questions, too, if I can get the time for it (don´t want to over-simplify it).

And to give Adebisi a tip: why do you think my nickname is Hurricane? Take a look at the first five letters of it. ;)

DingBat
Feb 08, 2002, 05:44 AM
Originally posted by Benz

Normally, No, not at all. But with what I see from the rest of your post, I regret to say that it is not that inflamatory. Usually, only english canadians talk to us like you do. I have not that kind of problems with americans, Europeans or anyone else.


Mostly because they don't care. :)

Also, please keep your bigotries about english canadians to yourself. I have nothing but respect for Quebecers and francophones.

And who's "us"? You don't speak for French Canadians, or even Quebecers.


Ontario, Québec, New-Brunswick and Nova-Scotia build Canada. Not the opposite. You cannot divide neither Québec, nor any other province's land integrity. French part of NB, Ontario and Manitoba cannot be merged with Québec neither that federalist part of Québec be divided to join back Canada.


Now, you know very well that anything can be done. There are no rules for the breakup of a country.


What are we to your eyes? Less than nothing or what? Look, I talked about confederation like EU, I talked about respecting each other's sovereignty and all you reply is "if you leave, we will break you in many peaces!". Not constructive don't you think? What it is so bad about the European Union? Why can't you figure out that we are not the same nation? La preuve, vous ne comprenez même pas notre opinion.


Where is this coming from? You have no idea where I live. Again, please be careful with your preconceptions.

First, it is not me that is saying "if you leave, we will break you in many pieces". It's other Quebecers. If all Quebecers say "Sayonnara" to Canada, everyone will just say "have fun and don't let the door slam you on the ass on the way out". On the other hand, if there is a significant number who do not want to leave, why would you try to deny them the same opportunity to determine their own fate as you so strongly demand for yourself?

I have nothing against the European Union. But what you propose is not the European Union and never will be. The EU was a coming together of many disparate nations. What you're proposing is the alteration of an existing model. Obviously, all people have to agree to this. If they do, hey great!
[/B][/QUOTE]


When the time will come that you either refuse our proposal and want us to be partitioned, we will invite you to discuss the terms of separation with the UN international court. We are pretty confident about our position.

Just an hypothesis to compare the situation. I am wandering what would happen if suddenly Sweden says that they want to grab back some area of Finland only because they think it belong to them. It doesn't make sens, isn't it? It doesn't in our case either and it won't happen.


Ok, first, much as it must pain you, Quebec is part of Canada. Your hypothetical situation is flawed.

Secondly, the I have no real feelings about Quebec separation one way or another. If you think your life is suddenly going to change dramatically because decisions are made in Quebec City rather than in Ottawa, I fear you will be dissapointed. Ottawa is corrupt, but Quebec City is corruption raised to the level of fine art.

I know, post-separation, Montreal will still be down the road. I'll still go there every year for Juste pour Rire and sit on patios and drink beer. There will still be arguing over language laws, because English isn't going to go away. All the issues now faced by Quebec will still be there. Separation solves nothing, it only changes the arrangement of chairs at the table.

So, I really don't care if Quebec stays or goes. But what I am looking for is a little bit of consistency. Why is Quebec indivisible, but Canada isn't? Perhaps there's some exclusion clause for Quebec in international law that no one but you knows about?

/bruce

Vrylakas
Feb 08, 2002, 06:34 AM
If you think your life is suddenly going to change dramatically because decisions are made in Quebec City rather than in Ottawa, I fear you will be dissapointed. Ottawa is corrupt, but Quebec City is corruption raised to the level of fine art.

One very noticable effect will be the collapse of the living standard in Quebec. Economies don't run on nationalism. By separating from Canada, even if Ottawa and Washington agree to accept Quebec as a NATFA partner, Quebec will still find many of the resources and goods it relies on suddenly across foreign borders, and therefore more expensive to acquire. I've read about talk of Quebec beefing up its utility sector and exporting power to Ontario and the U.S., but a weakness in this plan is that there is local competition already in place (the hydroelectric power generators at Niagara Falls) and Quebec's plans (as I've read them) would require the abrogation of Canada's treaties with the Cree Indians and provoke the wrath of international environmental groups. Also, nationalist governments tend to scare away tourists, which is a problem with tourism being Quebec's biggest industry currently.

I know, post-separation, Montreal will still be down the road. I'll still go there every year for Juste pour Rire and sit on patios and drink beer. There will still be arguing over language laws, because English isn't going to go away. All the issues now faced by Quebec will still be there. Separation solves nothing, it only changes the arrangement of chairs at the table.

Very well put. I've watched the economic collapse of Montreal since the last referendum (the most dramatic example of which being the Bank of Montreal's move to Toronto), and that unfortunately is likely the immediate future for an independent Quebec. The mild recovery the city has seen recently is due to the loss of the referendum and the fairly stable political climate the province has seen since. The "old" problems will indeed not go away, especially the fact that a very substantial portion of the province's population speaks English as a native language. Separation may placate many in Quebec who feel "oopressed" by Anglophone Canada, but I gotta tell ya - as the descendent of a minority population (Poles in Russian Lithuania) when I look around modern Europe and see its minorities - the Germans in Alsace-Lorraine, the Basques, the Germans in Southern Tyrol in Italy, the Hungarians in Romania, the Sorbs/Wends in Germany, the Gypsies just about everywhere - I think any of these minority groups would be very happy to have the status and condition Quebec "suffers" with in Canada. The Aisnu in Japan, the Uighurs in China... I really can't think of a minority group that has the array of rights that Quebec has or has a majority population that has gone as much out of its way to accomodate the minority. Germans do not have to learn Turkish, nor do Poles have to learn Ukrainian. English Canadians do have to learn French though, nationwide.

That said, I have nothing against Quebec separating from Canada; it's idiotic to try to keep populations within a political framework against their will. I just wish if it must happen that it could be done intelligently and with the least amount of acrimony for all concerned - but as far as I've seen, the PQ isn't capable of either of these conditions, and therefore any separation they initiate will likely cause suffering and hostility for all concerned.

And this is my major concern about Quebec independence; that it will result in a poor, embittered Quebec that is a source of crime, cross-border smuggling and internal persecution of its own minorities that will keep it fairly isolated on the world stage. It's not so much the principal of independence I fear as how it's achieved.

Hurricane
Feb 08, 2002, 07:16 AM
Now to my *long* answer:

The Swedish language is guaranteed as one of the two official languages in Finland´s constitutinal law. This law says that Finnish- and Swedish-speaking people should have equal rights to use their language, equal rights to culture and a functioning society. A swedish-speaking person can use his own language at court and other official instances. The Finnish administration is bilingual, which means all official documents are made in both finnish and swedish.

To make this work in practise means that swedish-speaking persons must be educated in most professions (so that there is at least a few persons that speak and write sedish fluently). There is one swedish-speaking university and one business school, and some of the other universities either have some of the education in swedish or a fixed quota for swedish-speaking persons. This means that it in general, it is easier for swedish-speaking people to get higher education. All finnish-speaking people learn Swedish at school, and all swedish-speaking learn Finnish at school (with several exceptions, as always). While this looks good on paper, many Finnish-speaking are very reluctant to actually use Swedish (often because the swedish-speaking person speaks much better Finnish than the finnish-speaking speaks Swedish).

The church is bilingual, and one of the bishoprics (total of 8) is swedish. There is one swedish brigade, where most of the swedish-speaking population do their conscription (good luck, Adebisi!). There are 12 swedish newspapers, 2 political papers as well as several magazines. Digital TV was launhed last autumn, and it includes a swedish-speaking state-run channel. On the analog network with 2 state-run channels are part of the programs swedish. 16 of the parliament´s 200 mp:s (8%) are swedish-speaking, and there is one political party for the swedish-speaking (11 mp:s). The defence minister is a member of the swedish-speaking party.

The swedish-speaking live widely dispersed, mostly around the coast. Different organisations and associations work with swedish-speaking culture, business and sports. Financially strong foundations support all kinds of activities, from support to artists, theaters, music, research and sporting to free-time activities. One known swedish-speaking writer was Tove Jansson, who created the Moomin characters. The Finnish national anthem was first written in swedish by a swedish-speaking poet.

Ok, so much about statistics. On a more general level, one can say that since WW2 the two languages live side by side very peacefully. Debates and conflicts are visible at times in political debates, but there is very little tension on the grass roots level. One survey made in 1997 showed that 70% of the finnish-speaking population felt that swedish was part of the national identity.

There was great concern during the 70s that the swedish-speaking population soon would be totally assimilated by the Finnish, but this has proven to be wrong. Many bilingual families put their children in swedish schools, because many feels it is a richness to learn two languages ”for free”. With a close contact to Sweden, most people appreciate the importance of Swedish. The main argument among the critics today is that the swedish-lessons at school use up time which could instead be used for other more pressing subjects. Some also believe that if Swedish was voluntary at school, the pupils´ motivation would be higher. There is little evidence for that, however.

The closer circles in the swedish-speaking society, with ”everybody knowing everybody” has led to a more stable and secure society among the swedish-speaking. Counties with a majority of swedish-speakers are always at the top in the yearly ”happiest county in the country”-statistics. Swedish-speaking have a lower unemployment rate and commit less crimes (not that it is high among the Finnish-speaking, either). The economical structure is very similar between the language groups, but percentually, there are more Swedish-speaking in business and agriculture.

Hmm, I think this is a long enough post. And I still feel I generalised too much. :D

Benz
Feb 08, 2002, 10:35 AM
Hurricane,

That is very interesting. I hope to have the chance to visit Finland in the future. Well, the whole Europen if it is possible. I have only visited Paris and (Thier-Vichy) till now.

Excuse me guys but, two funny Quebec bashers will take my attention a bit. I'll come back with other questions later.

Dingbat,

[First, it is not me that is saying "if you leave, we will break you in many pieces". It's other Quebecers. ]

Nope! They are mostly a very small group of fanatic anglophones funded by the federal gov't and called, Alliance-Quebec. You will never see a member of the Liberal party saying that he is in favor of splitting Québec in many pieces. If so, name me one of them! Just one name!

"The EU was a coming together of many disparate nations. What you're proposing is the alteration of an existing model. "

Big deal! So what? The model is bad! We prefer the EU model because it respects more the nations of this country. The problem is, you are deying the existence of these nations. How pathetic! And you think we will say "oh yeah! You right, I do not exist!"

"All the issues now faced by Quebec will still be there. Separation solves nothing, it only changes the arrangement of chairs at the table. "

Which ones? You are unable to talk about the issues. It is a "one way" discussion. No matter what I say, you come up with your redondant speech we ear for generations. SAY IT! I dare you to tell me that English and French are the same nation. Tell me that the English deserve to rule the constitution without a say from the French part.

"Why is Quebec indivisible, but Canada isn't? Perhaps there's some exclusion clause for Quebec in international law that no one but you knows about? "

Ask to these fanatics of Alliance Quebec. They suited us to the UN several times and they always lost. Québec and the others have created Canada, not the opposite. If Germany leaves the EU, do the EU can keep Berlin without the approval of Germany?

Vrylakas,

You don't know much about Québec for sure.

"Economies don't run on nationalism. "

No? Nationalism is what took us from one of the poorest area to the big league. Our best move was the nationalization of Hydro-Québec. We are making profits big time even if we have the lowest cost rates in america.

"Quebec will still find many of the resources and goods it relies on suddenly across foreign borders, and therefore more expensive to acquire. "

80% of our business is done with the USA. We are already seperate from the US as far as I am concren. Your logic do not hold the road. Conflicts and protections exist between provinces because the NAFTA does not cover it.

"the hydroelectric power generators at Niagara Falls) and Quebec's plans (as I've read them) would require the abrogation of Canada's treaties with the Cree Indians and provoke the wrath of international environmental groups. "

First of all, Niagara is in Ontario besides Buffalo. It has nothing to do with us. Second, It is very funny that you talk about it because, Québec and the Crees have officially signed YESTERDAY the treaty you talk about. :lol The treaty is called "La paix des braves". Very good news for us and for the natives.

"Also, nationalist governments tend to scare away tourists, which is a problem with tourism being Quebec's biggest industry currently."

Oh boy! You definitly don't know what is going here. The Québec is one of the most visited province in Canada. There is so many festivals in Montréal and its reputation is known around the world. Such as Jazz festival, Formula one racing (we recently got a championship of the Cart serie) and so on. The tourism industry never suffered from politics. Even in 1995, the year of the last referendum.

"the Gypsies just about everywhere - I think any of these minority groups would be very happy to have the status and condition Quebec "suffers" with in Canada."

We are no Gypsies! :crazyeyes Come visit us and you will see what is our society. It is not because we have a better status than the Hungarians of Italy that we will sit on our chair and wait into a golden prison. The issue is, we deserve a say into the constitution of our country. We will get it with or with the ROC(rest of Canada). That is as simple as this. It is because they do not want to understand that we will go by our own.

"but as far as I've seen, the PQ isn't capable of either of these conditions"

If you read crap, I can't help you?

By the way, it is true that several companies exile to Toronto but, it happened mostly after the first election of the PQ in 1976. Before and after the referendum of 1995, there was no big moves. The fear no longer works in Québec. This kind of witches chase is clearly not outdated. By the way, Toronto is sucking every business in Canada anyway and it makes all the regions upset. We are doing pretty good today and specially in the technology domain. Montréal is in the top 5 cities in america regarding the technology industry.

"And this is my major concern about Quebec independence; that it will result in a poor, embittered Quebec that is a source of crime, cross-border smuggling and internal persecution of its own minorities that will keep it fairly isolated on the world stage. It's not so much the principal of independence I fear as how it's achieved."

That is pure bigotery. None of what you are saying is realistic. It is clear that you don't know Québec, our society, our culture, our history, our model and so on. International persecution? Let me laugh! The English minority group here is one of the most well protected minority of the world. I'm telling you man! You are way off track. You are having a so bad and non realistic opinion of us that I don't know where to start. I this point, all I can say is come see us by yourself and you will see how wrong you are.

You have no idea of all the crap the federal gov't is doing in that country. Just few exemples... The budget of R&D (very big budget) goes like this, Ontario 50%, Québec 8%. R&D creates jobs and business, Ontario wins over every other provinces big time. Our Hydro developpment was funded only by our provincial gov't but, the Ontario Nuclear Plants are big time funded by the federal. Do I have to tell you that it is alot of money? This mean, we are paying for either OUR electricity and THEIR electricity. The list of theses crappy stuff is very long. Econnomically, I have no fear at all.

Do you know that Québec is not only one talking about separation? It is the most serious one but, western provinces are very unsatisfied with the actual system and they are English, not French.

Unfortunatly, I do not have alot of web site links in english... at least, I have these. If I find better stuff, I'll tell yeah but, meanwhile, you can come discuss with us at this board. There is one section reserved to the english visitors! ;)
http://pub23.ezboard.com/bavenirquebec

some articles...

http://www.vigile.net/dossier-economie/1-12/Quebec-Region-State.doc

http://www.vigile.net/dossier-economie/1-12/lisee2001-a/index.htm

http://www.vigile.net/00-9/lisee-20.html

DingBat
Feb 08, 2002, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by Benz
Hurricane,

Excuse me guys but, two funny Quebec bashers will take my attention a bit. I'll come back with other questions later.


Again, I'm not a Quebec basher. If you need to find a pigeon hole, how about "seperatist basher"? Though I would prefer simply "someone with a different view that you".

Though, it's not as easy to get followers if you don't turn the rest of Canada into evil persecutors of all things good (meaning Quebec), right? Must be a membership drive going on now.


[First, it is not me that is saying "if you leave, we will break you in many pieces". It's other Quebecers. ]

Nope! They are mostly a very small group of fanatic anglophones funded by the federal gov't and called, Alliance-Quebec. You will never see a member of the Liberal party saying that he is in favor of splitting Québec in many pieces. If so, name me one of them! Just one name!


You forgot the Cree, right?

If this group is so small, then separatists have nothing to worry about then, right? Why are you so worried?

As for official party platforms, it would probably be best to wait until push comes to shove.


"The EU was a coming together of many disparate nations. What you're proposing is the alteration of an existing model. "

Big deal! So what? The model is bad! We prefer the EU model because it respects more the nations of this country. The problem is, you are deying the existence of these nations. How pathetic! And you think we will say "oh yeah! You right, I do not exist!"


Who's "you"? I'm not saying anything of the sort.

You seem to like inflamatory speech and lot's of arm waving, but the bottom line is the argument boils down to if you believe in treating everyone the same way, or making special exceptions.


"All the issues now faced by Quebec will still be there. Separation solves nothing, it only changes the arrangement of chairs at the table. "

Which ones? You are unable to talk about the issues. It is a "one way" discussion. No matter what I say, you come up with your redondant speech we ear for generations. SAY IT! I dare you to tell me that English and French are the same nation. Tell me that the English deserve to rule the constitution without a say from the French part.


Did you raise any issues? I've never seen you actually speak about issues. You've merely ranted about being treated like a dog. If you'd like to raise a specific issue, I'd be happy to discuss it.

Is this the separatist plan? Rant and rave to get what you want? I grant that it may work. It's worked in other places before. If so, just let us know and we won't waste time arguing any more.

In answer to your questions/dare: "English and French" are the same nation. The English do not deserve to "rule the constitution" and they do not. Quebec has the right to opt in or open negotiations at any time, on the understanding that this is not a discussion between two equal parties but between 10 equal partners.


"Why is Quebec indivisible, but Canada isn't? Perhaps there's some exclusion clause for Quebec in international law that no one but you knows about? "

Ask to these fanatics of Alliance Quebec. They suited us to the UN several times and they always lost. Québec and the others have created Canada, not the opposite. If Germany leaves the EU, do the EU can keep Berlin without the approval of Germany?


If the EU had granted Berlin to Germany after membership was granted then, yes, I think the EU might have a case.

I know it's a real stretch for you, but you might at least acknowledge that when Ungava, etc was added to Quebec's borders it wasn't with the intention of letting it leave Canada later on. When Quebec joined Canada, it didn't bring as much as the separatists are threatening to take away.

/bruce

Adebisi
Feb 08, 2002, 11:14 AM
edit

Benz
Feb 08, 2002, 01:06 PM
Adebisi,

Well, the title is my nationalistic pride and the first poster was interested to know other nations point of view. I only compared your situation to ours and you see the results! ;) HURRI-CANE seems to like his mysterious origin! :lol:

dingbat,

It seems that you like to read only what you want to read.

"You forgot the Cree, right?"

Nope, they are into my reply to Vrylakas. Go back to check it out. Crees have been driven into pathetic games between these "white" conflicts Ottawa-Québec. Now, ask the Crees if they want to leave the new deal they just signed up yesterday.

"Why are you so worried?"

Worried about who and what?

"Did you raise any issues? I've never seen you actually speak about issues. You've merely ranted about being treated like a dog. If you'd like to raise a specific issue, I'd be happy to discuss it."

Yes I did! Read again! I will do it again with bullet points to make it more clear for you.

- Québec is a different nation
- therefore, we must have a say into the constitution (the very least)
- we must have a decentralized central gov't to make sure that the federal will no longer force us to do what he wants us to do against our will. (the western provinces agree on that and they expect no less the same too)

You see? It is not that difficult! You don't have to drink the sea. All we are asking is respect and the freedom to manage our stuff like we want to. It is because you do not undertand this that we look foward sovereignty.

"Quebec has the right to opt in or open negotiations at any time, on the understanding that this is not a discussion between two equal parties but between 10 equal partners. "

9 of this 10 partners are English and one is French. The French one do not think like its neighbors. If they don't listen to what he has to say, he will leave and that is what gonna happen. 1982, the ROC has changed the constitution without us and we no longer have a say.

"When Quebec joined Canada, it didn't bring as much as the separatists are threatening to take away."

Wow! Because you think that you granted us our own land? Should we say thank you then? In 1840, when London unified both Ontario and Québec into one colony, they merged the debt of Ontario and split it to both. While Québec had not a debt as big as they had. Northen Québec (Nunavik) do not belongs to you. It belongs to the Inuit NATION and don't worry, we know how to negociate peacefully with natives. Ask the Crees and the Innus.

We are not threatening away something that belongs to English Canada.

I am not tender regarding English Canada and there is a specific reason for this. This issue is burning our energy for over 40 years now. We tryied several times to make them understand and there is no opening to resolve the problem. It always end up into the same result. 9 against 1! This is pissing us off. It is not because the situation is complicated, there is no goodwill to resolve the problem.

[The English do not deserve to "rule the constitution" and they do not. ]

Yes they do since april 1st, 1982. Québec is not a member of the constitution anymore.

DingBat
Feb 08, 2002, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Benz

"Did you raise any issues? I've never seen you actually speak about issues. You've merely ranted about being treated like a dog. If you'd like to raise a specific issue, I'd be happy to discuss it."

Yes I did! Read again! I will do it again with bullet points to make it more clear for you.

- Québec is a different nation
- therefore, we must have a say into the constitution (the very least)
- we must have a decentralized central gov't to make sure that the federal will no longer force us to do what he wants us to do against our will. (the western provinces agree on that and they expect no less the same too)


These are not issues. These are demands.

It seems to me you pretty much do want you want in Quebec anyway. Please list (cuz I know you've got a list) all the ways the federal government forces you to do what they want against your will. Those are issues.


"Quebec has the right to opt in or open negotiations at any time, on the understanding that this is not a discussion between two equal parties but between 10 equal partners. "

9 of this 10 partners are English and one is French. The French one do not think like its neighbors. If they don't listen to what he has to say, he will leave and that is what gonna happen. 1982, the ROC has changed the constitution without us and we no longer have a say.

J'accuse!

If you think those 9 out of 10 partners all think alike, you are guilty of the same ignorance you accuse English Canada of. Sorry, but you're not all that unique.

/bruce

Benz
Feb 08, 2002, 03:48 PM
*whisper*

"lease list (cuz I know you've got a list) all the ways the federal government forces you to do what they want against your will."

- Bill C-7, this bill raise the punition to the crimes and it include the youlth contravener. Despite we have one of the best performance of reabilitation, the federal do not want to let us manage this ourself. It will crap all the social works done here.

- Our National Asembly has voted unanimously in favor of a generous program to help women in maternity. The federal decided to stop it even if it is not of its business.

- Bill C-20, the federal is hijacking our inhireted rights to consult our own population. This law allow them to unvalidate our referenda if THEY THINK the question is not clear to THEIR understanding. It places them exactly into a conflict interest. So we made a bill 99 stating our institutions and Superior Court are the only one competent enough to judge it. If the federal does not agree, it will has to ask international supreme court.

- Social Union, the provinces (9) allows more flexibility to the federal to get into provincial's business. The federal applies it on Québec even if we haven't agreed.

- All the main and most important expenses are done by our gov't but, the federal collects as much money as Québec does. Then they want to participate in our expenses but, they have their conditions. These stuff are not of their business.

- Bourses du millénaires. The federal has finally retired itself but, they highjacked the students more than one year. They wanted to manage a program usually done by the provinces and of course, in a different way from us. Just to bother!

Do you want me to continu? I think you have enough here to play with.

"If you think those 9 out of 10 partners all think alike, you are guilty of the same ignorance you accuse English Canada of."

Of course they are differents! They do not have the same colored stick to hit my back. :lol *this was a joke*

There is 10 provinces but, we can easily talk about for 4 regions.

-East provinces (atlantic), they were very seasonnal oriented. The federal has not promoted any other kind of developpement and most of the R&D went to Ontario. My guess is they are the ones that suffered the most from the economic management from the federal. Actually, they are economically the poorest region of Canada. It is sad because they are pretty cool regions I like to visit.

-Québec, the only one French majority province. Different civil laws, different language, different orientation of politic and so on. It is one of the most socialist area of the north america. Although it is not socialist at all compared to East Europe.

-Ontario, biggest province 33% of the whole Canada. They own the federal's capital Ottawa and the biggest city, Toronto. Politic... mainly conservative.

-West, they have a curious feeling of being driving by the center but, when the time comes to defend their point, they sit down. West is interesting. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are mostly left winger, Alberta extremly right winger and BC... well, it is hard to say.

Canada is very different from coast to coast but, there is a single problem applied to all. The federal is taking to much powers over them and only Québec is doing opposition. The way it goes, it will collapse soon or later like the USSR.

When I say it is 9 against one, it is because they all signed the new federal's constitution even if they knew we wouldn't be in. The same thing happened in 1999 with the social union and the defeat of Meech in 1987 and 1990. They have no conscience problems with that. It doesn't matter at all that we are forced to swallow their rules without a say. "Let's go Quebec, shut up and follow us!". No my friends! We are not YOURS. Respect us as we are or... hasta luego, ciao, au revoir, do svidania comrads!

muppet
Feb 08, 2002, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by Benz
Hurricane,
Do you know that Québec is not only one talking about separation? It is the most serious one but, western provinces are very unsatisfied with the actual system and they are English, not French.

There are many people in many provinces, states, regions and districts that do not like where they are, or the government that they must obey. However, most of us that feel that way have a tendency to emmigrate. You can always leave. No? What you can't do is take land and territory that does not belong to you. Hmm... it would be really neat if me and my bros wanted to separate from Canada, claim our real estate and call that our own country. Sounds stupid, No?

As to those everywhere else in Canada that have wanted to separate this country -- it has always been about greed.

Did British Columbia want to separate when it was experiencing mass immigration and investment from Asia? Yup. There was talk in those days with Washington, Alberta, and Oregon about forming an independant economic zone. Because our so called earnings that had to be shared with everyone else that was not doing as well. Does Alberta wish to leave Canada now? Yup. Same stupid reasons.

Western provinces are NOT 'unsatisfied' with the situation. More correctly, 'greedy' westerners are unsatisfied with the situation.

I have no patience for greed, and am glad that these discussions about separation were uhm... killed!

I pay more in taxes in 10 years than most British Columbians will in their entire lifetime. I do not mind, in fact I am quite proud, that my taxes are being used to support the poorer interior provinces so that all Canadians can benefit. I am dissapointed that others in my position are so f*cking greedy.

Vrylakas
Feb 09, 2002, 07:30 PM
Benz wrote:

You don't know much about Québec for sure.

Very possible. Aside from a couple pleasure-trips, my point of reference is Central European minorities, any one of whom would have given anything to be annexed by Canada and live with the rights and conditions Quebecers have. It's just very difficult from that vantage point to understand what Quebec really has to complain about, at least in terms enough to want to secede.

"Economies don't run on nationalism. "

No? Nationalism is what took us from one of the poorest area to the big league. Our best move was the nationalization of Hydro-Québec. We are making profits big time even if we have the lowest cost rates in america.

Quebec was among the poorest of provinces until about 30 years ago when the provincial government began to liberalize its economy, attracting foreign investment and encouraging business growth (the "Quiet Revolution"). Still though, after 3 decades of a much higher rate of growth than the rest of Canada, Quebec's average individual income is still only 92% of of the rest of Canada's average. At both of the secession referendums, in 1980 and 1995, the Quebec economy tail-spinned. I was shocked how abandoned Montreal looked in 1996, like a ghost town - completely different from 1985.

Republican Ireland, Franco's Spain, Peron's Argentina, Junta-ruled Greece, Nasser's Egypt - all nationalist governments, and all experienced moribund economies until they rid themselves of the nationalists. Also, nationalist governments tend to borrow a lot of money, which Quebec has done, as a way of buying off the population. Quebec currently has the highest per capita provincial debt in Canada - though it must be said that at least the Quebecois nationalists have used what they have borrowed much better than most.

"Quebec will still find many of the resources and goods it relies on suddenly across foreign borders, and therefore more expensive to acquire. "

80% of our business is done with the USA. We are already seperate from the US as far as I am concren. Your logic do not hold the road. Conflicts and protections exist between provinces because the NAFTA does not cover it.

No - 86% of Quebec's foreign business is done with the U.S. Clearly, the U.S. is the province's main international trading partner. However, overall the U.S. comes in at 6th on Quebec's export list. Ontario is #1. 40% of Quebec's total GDP is exported, about half of it to the rest of Canada and half internationally. A quote from a Canadian government report on the Quebec economy: "While trade relations are especially strong between Quebec and Ontario, it is important to note that Quebec exports as much to Newfoundland as it does to such countries as Japan and France."

Also, everywhere I looked on American websites in reference to a Quebec secession, the opinion is negative. I also recall hearing some American officials voice negative opinions about Quebec independence. The likelihood seems to be that the U.S. would not automatically support and grant an independent Quebec the same treaty status that the province enjoys through its association with Canada. Ottawa and Washington have a HUGE amount of commerce-related treaties, and the evidence suggests that Washington would not consider Quebec a party to them - which means an economic brick wall would suddenly spring up along the St. Lawrence River. Remember that 86% of Quebec's foreign trade going to the U.S....?

I cruised some old brokerage analysts' websites to see what their take on Quebec independence would be, and just about all agreed - the Canadian economy would be very hard hit, but the Quebec economy would tank. Quebec provincial bonds probably won't be worth the paper they're printed on. And this is all assuming the secession is peaceful and amicable...

"the hydroelectric power generators at Niagara Falls) and Quebec's plans (as I've read them) would require the abrogation of Canada's treaties with the Cree Indians and provoke the wrath of international environmental groups. "

First of all, Niagara is in Ontario besides Buffalo.

Yup. I lived in Buffalo for years.

It has nothing to do with us.

Wrong; it's competition for power export. Major utilities can export power far afield from their own power-grid networks. (For instance, some Canadian utilities are currently selling electricity to California.) Quebec is pinning much financial hope on being able to make a major splash in the utility market - and as I was pointing out, this business will be born in a crowded local neighborhood. Quebec is obviously looking southward at the far more populous American market.

Second, It is very funny that you talk about it because, Québec and the Crees have officially signed YESTERDAY the treaty you talk about. :lol The treaty is called "La paix des braves". Very good news for us and for the natives.

Very good news indeed, although it is already kicking up some dust I see. There are claims that Chief Moses rammed it through, designing the vote so that there would intentionally be a very low voter turn-out - with his supporters making sure they did vote. Thanks for the update. BTW, I didn't see in any of teh stories I read about this; are the Inuit involved with this treaty?

"Also, nationalist governments tend to scare away tourists, which is a problem with tourism being Quebec's biggest industry currently."

Oh boy! You definitly don't know what is going here. The Québec is one of the most visited province in Canada. There is so many festivals in Montréal and its reputation is known around the world. Such as Jazz festival, Formula one racing (we recently got a championship of the Cart serie) and so on. The tourism industry never suffered from politics. Even in 1995, the year of the last referendum.

Montreal and Quebec City are indeed world famous, but I strongly beg to differ about the effects of the referendum. Leading up to that referendum, there was a capital flight from Montreal, with businesses fleeing to more secure markets. Also, foreign investment (according to a September 2001 Canadian government report I found) still has not achieved pre-1995 levels, although it is picking up quickly again. The Bank of Montreal was one of the many businesses to move its HQ out of the province, and indeed I recall seeing numerous news reports about this capital flight. As I mentioned, I visited Montreal in 1996 and was shocked at how empty the main business district was. The American economy (a major foreign trade partner for Quebec) at the time was in the midst of its strongest period of growth in its history, and yet the province's economy was clearly in recession. Since then it has recovered greatly, and why? Because the nationalists have learned to keep their mouths shut about another referendum, instead promoting economic stability and viability in Quebec - a very smart move.

"the Gypsies just about everywhere - I think any of these minority groups would be very happy to have the status and condition Quebec "suffers" with in Canada."

We are no Gypsies! Come visit us and you will see what is our society. It is not because we have a better status than the Hungarians of Italy that we will sit on our chair and wait into a golden prison. The issue is, we deserve a say into the constitution of our country. We will get it with or with the ROC(rest of Canada). That is as simple as this. It is because they do not want to understand that we will go by our own.

I didn't say Quebecois were Gypsies. I have visited Quebec a few times already, and no doubt will again sometime. And what's this about the Hungarians of Italy? I didn't realize there was a Hungarian minority in Italy (aside from perhaps Cicciolina...). Italy does not rule any Hungarian-populated areas, although it does rule territories once belonging to Hungary - Trieste and the Istrian Peninsula - but these are Italian, Slovene and Croat-populated areas. Ya got me confused here.

As for a say in the Constitution, didn't Quebec refuse to ratify the 1982 Canadian Constitution, which is the reason Quebec has little input into Constitutional issues?

"but as far as I've seen, the PQ isn't capable of either of these conditions"

If you read crap, I can't help you?

Do you define "crap" as all literature that doesn't agree with your opinions? Let's try and keep this civil at least, and not use pejorative terms, OK?

By the way, it is true that several companies exile to Toronto but, it happened mostly after the first election of the PQ in 1976. Before and after the referendum of 1995, there was no big moves. The fear no longer works in Québec. This kind of witches chase is clearly not outdated. By the way, Toronto is sucking every business in Canada anyway and it makes all the regions upset. We are doing pretty good today and specially in the technology domain. Montréal is in the top 5 cities in america regarding the technology industry.

Yes, it's true that the Quebec economy is doing much better nowadays, but for the reason I mentioned - that the PQ has lowered its rhetoric and concentrated on building up the province. And businesses don't abandon their home areas and flee simply on rumor. They look at realistic analyst reports on likely economic consequences.

"And this is my major concern about Quebec independence; that it will result in a poor, embittered Quebec that is a source of crime, cross-border smuggling and internal persecution of its own minorities that will keep it fairly isolated on the world stage. It's not so much the principal of independence I fear as how it's achieved."

That is pure bigotery. None of what you are saying is realistic. It is clear that you don't know Québec, our society, our culture, our history, our model and so on. International persecution? Let me laugh! The English minority group here is one of the most well protected minority of the world. I'm telling you man! You are way off track. You are having a so bad and non realistic opinion of us that I don't know where to start. I this point, all I can say is come see us by yourself and you will see how wrong you are.

I don't quite see the part about how I'm a bigot - but I'll ignore your name-calling and move on to the rest of your point. I wrote Internal persecution, not international. I don't understand why you're taking this so personally - I'm not attacking you. Relax! I was projecting what I think would likely happen should Quebec achieve independence. As I read projections by the Ontario provincial government today, I saw that they have come to similar conclusions. You seem to have some sort of persecution complex, that you need to attack me so strongly. I laughed when I read your statements above, somewhat stunned.

You have no idea of all the crap the federal gov't is doing in that country. Just few exemples... The budget of R&D (very big budget) goes like this, Ontario 50%, Québec 8%. R&D creates jobs and business, Ontario wins over every other provinces big time. Our Hydro developpment was funded only by our provincial gov't but, the Ontario Nuclear Plants are big time funded by the federal. Do I have to tell you that it is alot of money? This mean, we are paying for either OUR electricity and THEIR electricity. The list of theses crappy stuff is very long. Econnomically, I have no fear at all.

I understand there are many arguments about how public finance is handled in Canada, but is secession the only way to deal with these issues? This is really the gist of my argument, that I think Quebec is reaching for independence more on nationalist than rational grounds. I'm trying to point out, as someone who studies new states and the struggles they face, that statehood is not quite the automatic magic answer that many believe it to be. Quebec also derives much benefit from being in Canada, and I haven't seen that angle explored on any of the websites you posted; a more rational approach would be to ask, "OK, what are we losing by doing this?" but I don't see any of that kind of discussion yet. It appears to me to be a blind leap into darkness, with little real contemplation of how this will impact those in Quebec or those surrounding Quebec.

As I mentioned in my initial post on this subject, I'm not against Quebec independence - I'm only questioning how it's being done. There was a joke circulating around Prague in the early 1990s that went like this: "In Bratislava there are Slovaks, and in Prague there are Czechoslovaks..." That was a separation that was similarly "inevitable", but at least it was well-thought out and planned. No violence and minimal economic pain for both parties. I can only hope that if Quebec makes a move in that direction, it will be done similarly.

Do you know that Québec is not only one talking about separation? It is the most serious one but, western provinces are very unsatisfied with the actual system and they are English, not French.

Yes, I know. As I recall BC and Alberta nominally asked to join the U.S. several years back. The big issue for the Western provinces is the tax structure of Canada, which heavily favors the East over the West. (Alberta is the only province that actually pays out more taxes than it receives back in the form of grants, etc.) BTW, you'll note that when the Western provinces made their request, Washington did react immediately with a statement (despite one guy in Congress) to the effect that the U.S. would not entertain any move that would break up Canada - a bad precedent for Quebec.

The figures I used in this post I gathered the Canadian government finance website, the Quebec provincial finance website (though their .pdf files were only in French), the Ontario provincial website and various news articles relevant to the subject, all from financial news sources I know to be trustable.

Benz
Feb 11, 2002, 10:07 AM
muppet,

"you can't do is take land and territory that does not belong to you. Hmm... "

Then you are clearly saying that we are not at home here in Québec. We are here for the last 300 years but, it is not our home.

"I do not mind, in fact I am quite proud, that my taxes are being used to support the poorer interior provinces so that all Canadians can benefit. I am dissapointed that others in my position are so f*cking greedy."

Well, this mean you are definitly not an Canadian Alliance member or anykind of right winger! ;) I perfectly agree with you that led by greed feelings to separate, is not a good option.

Tell me muppet, why do you think the English part of Canada can rules the country alone? Why the French part can't have a say on the constitution?

Only because you out number us?

Our solution of doing an European-like confederation would resolves the problem but... no solution from this black sheep must be accepted isn't it?


Vrylakas,

"Also, nationalist governments tend to borrow a lot of money, which Quebec has done, as a way of buying off the population. "

From 1985 to 1994, the Liberal party of Quebec had the power. They made big deficits every single year of their reign. They raised the debt so high that we will pay the consequences for several years. Since 1996, the PQ successfully reduced the deficit to zero. Your argument does not hold the road, sorry! ;)

"No - 86% of Quebec's foreign business is done with the U.S. "

Yes, you are right, sorry! :)

"Also, everywhere I looked on American websites in reference to a Quebec secession, the opinion is negative. "

To be honest my friend, it does not matter at all.

"Ottawa and Washington have a HUGE amount of commerce-related treaties, and the evidence suggests that Washington would not consider Quebec a party to them "

Very nice! And .... what is the reason of this friendly attitude? The fear that we will do treaties with Fidel Castro? That we will invited Bin Laden? That we will support Sadam Hussein? What is the silly reason why the USA would be very interested to do business with the rest of america and not with us? I do not recall that I ever see a capitalist stop doing business and money because a land became free. What would be interesting from the members of the NAFTA to lose Québec?

Mike Harris, former prime minister of the Ontario never being scared to say that the Ontario would do business with an independent Québec as usual. Why? Because Ontario makes more money with us than we do with them. Their income from us is around 1G per year.

"I don't quite see the part about how I'm a bigot "

No? then what is this?

"that it will result in a poor, embittered Quebec that is a source of crime, cross-border smuggling and internal persecution of its own minorities that will keep it fairly isolated on the world stage. "

So you are telling me that my society will become like this if we get independent and you expect me to react gently to this? I can bet you anytime and what you want that we won't. There is no intelligent explanations from you to come at this conclusion.

"You seem to have some sort of persecution complex"

Of course, look at yourself! Let me recall you that what you are saying to us today, Britain was saying even worse on the US before they got their independence.

"I can only hope that if Quebec makes a move in that direction, it will be done similarly. "

Do you see any act of violence somewhere in Québec regarding sovereignty movement?

"Czechoslovaks..."

hmmm, they were communist! It was even harder than it will be for us. ;) :p

"As for a say in the Constitution, didn't Quebec refuse to ratify the 1982 Canadian Constitution, which is the reason Quebec has little input into Constitutional issues? "

aaahhhhh! Here is the jackpot!

In 1982, they ratifyied the constitution the way they want it to be. We haven't signed it because we were not satified with it. They decided that they no longer need us to change the constitution and this is why they signed it without us even if we never left the negociation table. London granted the constitution of Canada to Ottawa even if we asked London to not allow them to do such thing.

We have been betrayed and the situation is still like this today. They do not want to change it to accomodate us. They want to be able to change it without us. And of course, they expect us to follow exactly what they are telling us to do. OVER MY DEAD BODY!

Would you sign something like that? Would you allow another nation to rules exclusively the constitution of your own country?

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 11, 2002, 11:51 AM
Oh, there is a reason why people outside Québec would think of a free Québec given to internal persecution.

It died a few months back, and was called Mordecai Richler. A reason whom, might I add, was one of the worst source of lies about Québec in history. He was generally speaking an outcast of the Québec Jewish community because of his ridiculous statements about Québec. Most Québec federalist (IE : excluding Alliance Québec) were rather annoyed with his editorials that painted a completely false view of Québec.

Aside from a few biggots (on all side, Richler and that guy who brought about Bouchard's resignation with his tantrum*) that can be found in every nation on the planet, Québec is actually quite open, except for the difference in language, and that's not really that much of a problem since more and more the french-speaking Québécois also develop a decent english.

As for my personal opinion on independance or Canada...if we had anyone but Chrétien for prime minister (Martin and co for example), things would run in a far smoother way. Chrétien is just dead-set on drawing hatred from Québec, and his government constantly infringe on the provincial sphere of action.

Otherwise, I don't frankly care wheter I live in Québec or Canada. I see no reason to go away, and no reason to stay in - nothing that would get me strongly loyal to Canada, and nothing that would make me want at all cost to be away from Canada.

Nationalist pride is overrated anyway. I don't see myself as Québécois or Canadian or even North American. I'm human, and that's that. I feel no closer to a guy because he live inside the same randomly determined geographic limits as I do than I feel to a guy living in another country.

If only more in the world felt that way, mankind wouldn,t be so screwed up.

Vrylakas
Feb 11, 2002, 12:01 PM
Benz wrote:

Vrylakas,

"Also, nationalist governments tend to borrow a lot of money, which Quebec has done, as a way of buying off the population. "

From 1985 to 1994, the Liberal party of Quebec had the power. They made big deficits every single year of their reign. They raised the debt so high that we will pay the consequences for several years. Since 1996, the PQ successfully reduced the deficit to zero. Your argument does not hold the road, sorry!

They've reduced the annual budget deficit to zero (which is major progress), but not the debt. As I said, Quebec still has the largest provincial per capita debt in Canada. It's not say they haven't made significant progress in this direction, but the debt issue is still valid. It may however indeed be that the Liberals initiated this debt; I'm not sure. If that's the case then the PQ have done well by attempting to rein it in.

"No - 86% of Quebec's foreign business is done with the U.S. "

Yes, you are right, sorry!

"Also, everywhere I looked on American websites in reference to a Quebec secession, the opinion is negative. "

To be honest my friend, it does not matter at all.

Unfortunately it is significant. The U.S. would certainly never be able to stop Quebec from seceding from Canada and wouldn't lift a finger to attempt doing so, but it is very probable that Washington would refuse to allow Quebec to be considered a signatory to the various U.S.-Canadian treaties relative to commerce. That would be the equivalent to Washington slapping high tariffs on Quebec products, which again would make Quebec commerce much more expensive. I can assure you that this would have a very significantly negative impact on the economy in Quebec.

Quebec's salvation in this regard may be local interests, meaning that the U.S. states who trade with Quebec may lobby hard in Washington on Quebec's behalf. However, only one of the main trading partners among U.S. states I saw on the Quebec website is a "big" state with real political clout in Washington (New York). I strongly suspect that the American reaction would be pinned to exactly how Quebec independence came about; a negotiated and legal disengagement arranged between Ottawa and Quebec City would probably involve negotiations with Washington (and even Mexico City because of NAFTA) on adding Quebec to the various treaties as a formal signatory. A unilateral Quebec secession however may invoke American anger enough for the U.S. to be happy to watch Quebec twist on the vine for a while.

And that was only half of my original point; my figures showed that half of Quebec's exports go to Canada, principally to Ontario. This is the half that would suddenly have to transport across a foreign border, which in every case - even between friendly countries like the U.S. and Canada with trade treaties like NAFTA - raises prices. The cost of transport itrself will go up simply because there are now two different authorities maintaining the system - look at Europe! And once again, local (especially Ontario) business interests may lobby for a normalization of relations, but the outcome really depends on how the separation would take place; business interests do not always win.

"Ottawa and Washington have a HUGE amount of commerce-related treaties, and the evidence suggests that Washington would not consider Quebec a party to them "

Very nice! And .... what is the reason of this friendly attitude? The fear that we will do treaties with Fidel Castro? That we will invited Bin Laden? That we will support Sadam Hussein? What is the silly reason why the USA would be very interested to do business with the rest of america and not with us? I do not recall that I ever see a capitalist stop doing business and money because a land became free. What would be interesting from the members of the NAFTA to lose Québec?

Canada is the United States' #1 trading partner, #1 security partner and the country that shares the most with the U.S. in just about all categories, including culture. They are two different countries with distinct traditions, but it would be difficult to find two other countries who share so much in common. And, put on an emotional level, most Americans simply like Canada. (That was the humor behind the South Park spoof film a couple years back with the hit song "Blame Canada!"...) Their economies and security needs are so intertwined that pain for one means pain for the other; now can you understand the American fear of instability in Canada over Quebec? You are correct that business interests would indeed eventually pressure both Ottawa and Washington to resolve the situation - and from a purely economic standpoint it would be to everyone's interests to find a solution but again, business interest does not always win. I'll give an example below in response to your statement on why I'm a bigot.

Mike Harris, former prime minister of the Ontario never being scared to say that the Ontario would do business with an independent Québec as usual. Why? Because Ontario makes more money with us than we do with them. Their income from us is around 1G per year.

Again, it would depend how Quebec leaves, were it to do so.

"I don't quite see the part about how I'm a bigot "

No? then what is this?

"that it will result in a poor, embittered Quebec that is a source of crime, cross-border smuggling and internal persecution of its own minorities that will keep it fairly isolated on the world stage. "

So you are telling me that my society will become like this if we get independent and you expect me to react gently to this? I can bet you anytime and what you want that we won't. There is no intelligent explanations from you to come at this conclusion.

I wasn't targeting Quebec in particular with that statement. Look at most of Continental Europe in the interbellum years; a multitude of states were born (or reborn), all with high hopes and all with the unfortunately automatic assumption that independence = all problems solved. It doesn't. Achieving independence is one thing; maintaining a viable state is quite another. Trade relations between states all over the continent were stunted by nationalists who wouldn't trade with rivals, economic plans were subjugated to political (nationalist) ideologies, and many - most? - ended up as, and I quote, "poor, embittered [states] that were a source of crime, cross-border smuggling and internal persecution of their own minorities." Poland, Romania, the Baltic states, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania and to a lesser extent Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Greece all fell into this pattern. It is an old model that has been by now played out all over the world in failed or semi-failed states. My own family has come to the U.S. as a result of just such a scenario of failed statehood. There are also those who have returned from that abyss, the examples of Spain, Greece and Ireland providing current models of successful and prosperous reformed states. Quebec seems to me to be potentially fitting this category of a (potential) state that would be inclined to make decisions based on nationalism rather than economic or political rational.

A bigot to me is someone who holds beliefs about a people based on their innate qualities and not their actions, and would say something like "Quebec people are clearly incapable of running an independent country and never will be." I've never said anything like this; my statement is that the PQ seem likely to me to jump at independence based on nationalist reasons and the result will be a tragedy for Quebec and its neighbors.

"You seem to have some sort of persecution complex"

Of course, look at yourself! Let me recall you that what you are saying to us today, Britain was saying even worse on the US before they got their independence.

Fair enough - but perhaps you should recall that the U.S. spent its first few decades in financial dispair, and is very likely very lucky that Europe was too preoccupied with the Napoleonic Wars to interfere with the new country across the ocean. Even with the 1812-14 war between the U.S. and Britain, the British were only able to bring minimal pressure to bear against the Americans until the very end (ironically to the final battle of the war, which they lost). Also, what do you mean, "What you're saying to us"? Who do you think I am? Do you think I'm a Canadian Interior Ministry functionary or something? You seem to have me pegged as an enemy, and I'm not sure exactly why.

"I can only hope that if Quebec makes a move in that direction, it will be done similarly. "

Do you see any act of violence somewhere in Québec regarding sovereignty movement?

Independence hasn't been attempted yet. That's when I fear the potential for violence. BTW, several of the news articles I read on the subject mentioned that polls indicate since the Quebec economy has been recovering that support for indepenedence throughout the province has dropped somewhat. Is there a corallary between the recession of the 80s and 90s and the independence movement?

"Czechoslovaks..."

hmmm, they were communist! It was even harder than it will be for us.

They weren't communists when Slovakia separated at the end of 1991. The joke was a Czech joke, and refered to the level of frustration Czechs felt with having poured resources into Slovakia for nearly a century and yet the Slovaks still wanted to separate. To be fair to the Slovaks, by virtue of their smaller population and poorer economy they played a lesser role in the country even despite numerous Constitutional controls in place that ensured Slovaks were represented at every level of the national government, and that both languages were used nationally. I might point out, BTW, that after separation Slovakia soon decended into an economic abyss (like the one I predicted) and collapsed into a pseudo-dictatorship and police state under Meciar for most of the 1990s. It became isolated from the EU and the U.S., even making a move at one point to attempt to join the CIS of the former Soviet Union. Within the last couple years however it has recovered somewhat and is on track to potentially join NATO and maybe even the EU - but it's been a long and painful decade for Slovaks.

"As for a say in the Constitution, didn't Quebec refuse to ratify the 1982 Canadian Constitution, which is the reason Quebec has little input into Constitutional issues? "

aaahhhhh! Here is the jackpot!

In 1982, they ratifyied the constitution the way they want it to be. We haven't signed it because we were not satified with it. They decided that they no longer need us to change the constitution and this is why they signed it without us even if we never left the negociation table. London granted the constitution of Canada to Ottawa even if we asked London to not allow them to do such thing.

What were the issues that made Quebec abstain from ratifying it?

We have been betrayed and the situation is still like this today. They do not want to change it to accomodate us. They want to be able to change it without us. And of course, they expect us to follow exactly what they are telling us to do. OVER MY DEAD BODY!

Oddly enough, the rhetoric I hear from the English-language Canadian press is they feel betrayed by Quebec. They also claim Quebec is inflexible and will not accomodate the rest of the country, despite what they see as many concessions to Quebec. This situation sounds a bit more complicated and less cut-and-dried (as Americans say) to me than you're portraying it.

Would you sign something like that? Would you allow another nation to rules exclusively the constitution of your own country?

I need to understand it better to reply. Do you have a link with the full text I could review? A few caveats though: 1. Quebec is not yet a country so having others have an impact on its Constitutional status is to be expected, rather like New Jersey must allow for the Federal Constitution in the U.S.; 2. when in a country, politics is ruled by compromise and accomodation. No one is going to get everything they want. That Quebec is a distinct society within Canada is clear and I don't have any automatic answers about how best to preserve Quebec's unique culture - indeed, maybe independence is the only solution, although as I think Bruce mentioned the reality that Quebec is surrounded by English language culture and will continually be bombarded by it through the media, etc. will not change - but it's just that I don't think independence is necessarily the only answer, and I base this on my historical insights on what happened in Europe in the 20th century (including to a certain degree France, with its failed 3rd and 4th Republics) and elsewhere since. Again (broken record here), I am not necessarily against Quebec independence, rather I'm so far not convinced by your arguments or those I've seen elsewhere that it is the only way.

SkidiWili
Feb 11, 2002, 03:36 PM
When did we move to Quebec? :rolleyes:

Vrylakas
Feb 11, 2002, 06:52 PM
Oda Nobunaga wrote

Aside from a few biggots...that can be found in every nation on the planet...

Yes indeed; no country is ever completely clean of them.

Québec is actually quite open, except for the difference in language, and that's not really that much of a problem since more and more the french-speaking Québécois also develop a decent english.

That's been my general experience, at least in the cities.

As for my personal opinion on independance or Canada...if we had anyone but Chrétien for prime minister (Martin and co for example), things would run in a far smoother way. Chrétien is just dead-set on drawing hatred from Québec, and his government constantly infringe on the provincial sphere of action.

Why is this? I tried to watch a Canadian Parliamentary debate once and was surprised how bad Chretien's English was. Why is he seen to be against Quebec, especially since he's a Francophone?

Otherwise, I don't frankly care wheter I live in Québec or Canada. I see no reason to go away, and no reason to stay in - nothing that would get me strongly loyal to Canada, and nothing that would make me want at all cost to be away from Canada.

Nationalist pride is overrated anyway. I don't see myself as Québécois or Canadian or even North American. I'm human, and that's that. I feel no closer to a guy because he live inside the same randomly determined geographic limits as I do than I feel to a guy living in another country.

Amen to that. It's much more important to live in a place that affords you a decent chance at a good standard of living, relative freedom and security. If Albania is the only place to offer it, then I'm off. (Luckily, many more places around the world offer these things... :D)

If only more in the world felt that way, mankind wouldn,t be so screwed up.

Yup. Your nightly news would be economists and sports. Unfortunately, in reality life is much more like a Civ game...

SkidiWili wrote:

When did we move to Quebec?

I think Benz brought it up, but quite legitimately - the thread is on "My Nationalistic Pride", and not pinned to any particular nation.

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 11, 2002, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by Vrylakas

Aside from a few biggots...that can be found in every nation on the planet...

Yes indeed; no country is ever completely clean of them.

Québec is actually quite open, except for the difference in language, and that's not really that much of a problem since more and more the french-speaking Québécois also develop a decent english.

That's been my general experience, at least in the cities.

As for my personal opinion on independance or Canada...if we had anyone but Chrétien for prime minister (Martin and co for example), things would run in a far smoother way. Chrétien is just dead-set on drawing hatred from Québec, and his government constantly infringe on the provincial sphere of action.

Why is this? I tried to watch a Canadian Parliamentary debate once and was surprised how bad Chretien's English was. Why is he seen to be against Quebec, especially since he's a Francophone?

Chrétien's Canada-famous for being equally fluent - READ : equally inept - in both official languages. As for the rest, he's a strong federalist, determinate to act in every domain even those he shouldn't be acting in, to take no notice of the specific cases of provinces, etc.

For example, his government recently passed a bill about teens crime. That one was about allowing adult prison sentence for kid 14 and up instead of the old 16 and up. Problem is, Québec has been running with great success a prevention/rehab program instead of sending them to "Crime's big school" for many years, has a low crime rate compared to the canadian average...

And yet they force that law on us, despite being repeatedly asked by *EVERY* political, and legal (the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, the judges, the Assemblé Nationale (parliament) - in an unanimous vote) force in Québec to make room for provinces to opt out of it.

Otherwise, I don't frankly care wheter I live in Québec or Canada. I see no reason to go away, and no reason to stay in - nothing that would get me strongly loyal to Canada, and nothing that would make me want at all cost to be away from Canada.

Nationalist pride is overrated anyway. I don't see myself as Québécois or Canadian or even North American. I'm human, and that's that. I feel no closer to a guy because he live inside the same randomly determined geographic limits as I do than I feel to a guy living in another country.

Amen to that. It's much more important to live in a place that affords you a decent chance at a good standard of living, relative freedom and security. If Albania is the only place to offer it, then I'm off. (Luckily, many more places around the world offer these things... :D)

If only more in the world felt that way, mankind wouldn,t be so screwed up.

Yup. Your nightly news would be economists and sports. Unfortunately, in reality life is much more like a Civ game...

Yeah - a very brutale one.

DingBat
Feb 11, 2002, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by Oda Nobunaga

For example, his government recently passed a bill about teens crime. That one was about allowing adult prison sentence for kid 14 and up instead of the old 16 and up. Problem is, Québec has been running with great success a prevention/rehab program instead of sending them to "Crime's big school" for many years, has a low crime rate compared to the canadian average...

And yet they force that law on us, despite being repeatedly asked by *EVERY* political, and legal (the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, the judges, the Assemblé Nationale (parliament) - in an unanimous vote) force in Québec to make room for provinces to opt out of it.


Chretien is a threat to all provinces. We have become a one party system and it infuriates me that the Conservatives and Alliance allow this to continue. But that's another story.

I really believe Quebec should have the right to continue with their prehab program, if it is seeing success. But you'll excuse me if I don't consider this enough of a reason to consider separation.

Regards,
/bruce

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 11, 2002, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by DingBat


Chretien is a threat to all provinces. We have become a one party system and it infuriates me that the Conservatives and Alliance allow this to continue. But that's another story.

I really believe Quebec should have the right to continue with their prehab program, if it is seeing success. But you'll excuse me if I don't consider this enough of a reason to consider separation.

Regards,
/bruce

I never said it was, I said it was a reason to dislike his royal highness Jean I of Canada.

I said it earlier, I frankly don't give a damn about separation.

Hurricane
Feb 11, 2002, 11:28 PM
There have been many good thoughts by everybody on this thread (and it haven´t even turned into a flame war... yet) :D

I tend to think that Vrylakas is perhaps overly pessimistic about Quebec ruling itself, but on the other hand, I think Benz is perhaps asking for too much. Do Quebec really need independence, which means own foreign politics, an own army, own monetary system and so on? With good experiences of how things were done in Finland, would not far-reaching self-government be better? I really think you should study the Aland Islands case a bit more.

This is quoted from the Aland Lagting´s (their parliament) web pages:


THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ÅLAND - ÅLAND'S OWN PARLIAMENT

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IN WHICH SPHERES CAN THE LAGTING PASS LAWS?
Thanks to their autonomy, the Ålanders possess the right to pass laws themselves concerning their own internal matters and to exercise budgetary powers. The legislative assembly or ''parliament'' of Åland is called the Lagting. The Lagting appoints the Landskapsstyrelse, Åland's ''government.'' Rules on the autonomy are contained in the Act on the Autonomy of Åland, which can only be altered by the Parliament of Finland in constitutional order and with the consent of the the Åland Lagting. The current Autonomy Act came into force on 1 January 1993.
The Autonomy Act specifies the spheres in which the Åland Lagting has the right to pass laws. The most important sectors are
education, culture and preservation of ancient monuments
health and medical services
promotion of industry
internal communications
municipal administration
the police service
the postal service
radio and television.
We may say that in these spheres Åland functions in just about the same way as an independent state with its own legislation and administrative machinery.

WHICH SPHERES BELONG TO THE AUTHORITIES OF FINLAND?
In spheres where the Lagting does not possess legislative competence, the laws of Finland apply just like in the rest of the country.
Examples of such sectors are
administration of foreign affairs
most aspects of civil and penal law
courts of justice
customs and monetary services.
To enable the interests of Åland to be safeguarded in these matters as well, Åland has its own representative in the Parliament of Finland, who is elected in the same way as other Members of Parliament in Finland.

ECONOMIC AUTONOMY
Besides passing laws, the main duty of the Lagting is to adopt the budget of Åland. The new Autonomy Act has entailed great changes for the autonomy in economic aspects.
As previously, the State of Finland collects taxes, customs duty and charges in Åland like in the rest of Finland. In return the outlays of Åland are compensated through an allocation in the State budget being placed at the disposal of the Lagting. This allocation amounts to 0.45 % of the income of the State budget with the exception of State loans. This lump sum is to enable Åland to manage such affairs which otherwise would be administered by the State authorities. The Lagting is free to decide how to apportion the lump sum.


More information on these web pages:
http://www.aland.fi
http://www.lagtinget.aland.fi/eng/index.htm

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 12, 2002, 12:23 AM
*smiles*

In theory, the Québec government as a Canadian provincial government, can do all that and more besides.

In theory.

In practice, the federal government is always invading the province's field of competence, using the tax money as they see fit rather than let those closer to the field of action administer the needed money for health et al (admitedly they aren't the only ones to blame for healthcare troubles). This, however ,isn't a problem of Québec alone ; it's a problem of Jean Chrétien and his band of looney idiots who might as well *NOT* have to run for reelection due to the Canadian Alliance and Bloc Québécois drawing votes away from any serious opposition through their regional status.

Which explains me calling Jean Chrétien "His Royal Highness" earlier in this thread. He has the power, and he doesn't intend to let it go - and it doesn't seem he'll need to in the foreseeable future.

allhailIndia
Feb 12, 2002, 05:21 AM
I would like this Quebec madness to stop.
If every bunch of nitwits had a desire to have their own country, we would have had a million countries by now. Frankly most people cannot figure out why quebec does not want to be part of Canada??:confused: What is the point of being a free nation if iit is almost completely enclosed by the parent nation and has to depend on it for most of its needs?? Please explain this and then continue.

Vrylakas
Feb 12, 2002, 06:28 AM
Hurricane wrote:

I tend to think that Vrylakas is perhaps overly pessimistic about Quebec ruling itself, but on the other hand, I think Benz is perhaps asking for too much. Do Quebec really need independence, which means own foreign politics, an own army, own monetary system and so on?

I'm not pessimistic about Quebec ruling itself - it's essentially doing that now - but about how the PQ nationalists are bucking for independence without considering what it really means to be independent. Questions like, "What will the real costs of independence be for Quebec and Canada?", "Is it the most sane route financially and politically for Quebec?", "What will the long-term repercussions be of independence?", etc. are not being asked. Instead, the PQ just wants to push the dream of being able to raise the Quebec flag as a national flag, a nice idea but not exactly basis for independence. Hurricane's Aland reference raises another point, that I don't see yet any studies of how states separate going on (at least publicly) in Quebec, and sort of reference points for them to see how it's best done. THAT'S my concern; that I see the PQ just charging forth towards independence without any concern about consequences. Oda raised some legitimate issues about how Chretien apparently wields Federal power and I'd like to explore that more, and this is to say that Quebec may have some very legitimate complaints - but again, is independence the automatic answer the PQ claims it is?

Let me put it another way: Quebec is a modern industrialized economy and society, with about as good a chance as any potential state to succeed in independence. In fact, in a comparison between all the regions most likely to attempt independence around the world, I think Quebec by and far comes out as the most modern and most likely to succeed, given its resources and very advanced level of development. HOWEVER, even with these advatntages things can go wrong, and that's what I fear. History is repleat with examples of similarly advanced regions and states attempting or asserting independence for the wrong reasons (usually goaded on by nationalism) with dire consequences. The PQ just doesn't seem to want to think this through, and that worries me. Benz seems to think I'm a Quebec-hater because I don't see the automatic need for Quebec independence, but I'm afraid that isn't true. I enjoy visiting Quebec, and especially enjoy the local history. I do not have a single drop of English blood in me and look at the Anglophones and Francophones as two equally critical components of Canada.

AllHailINdia wrote:

I would like this Quebec madness to stop.
If every bunch of nitwits had a desire to have their own country, we would have had a million countries by now. Frankly most people cannot figure out why quebec does not want to be part of Canada?? What is the point of being a free nation if iit is almost completely enclosed by the parent nation and has to depend on it for most of its needs?? Please explain this and then continue.

O man, Benz is going to burst a blood vessel now.

This does raise a basic issue though; Quebec does have an image problem worldwide. For those who believe in Quebecois independence, they haven't propagated or communicated their cause very well to others, and so few outside of Quebec and perhaps France really understand or sympathize with them. The PQ has a PR problem. Most of the world reacts like I and AllHailIndia have; everyone wonders what could possibly be so bad about living in Canada. Benz is a little gung-ho about his beliefs but he and Oda have conveyed at least some of the issues that are driving some Quebecois to believe independence is a viable route. The world understood Slovak independence, they understood Estonian and Eritrean independence; they don't understand Quebec independence. Wouldn't it be in the PQ's interest to build up some international support to pressure Ottawa, even if only for concessions and not full independence?

Whiskey Priest
Feb 12, 2002, 12:43 PM
Chrétien's Canada-famous for being equally fluent - READ : equally inept - in both official languages.

I hate it when people say this. The reason he has trouble speaking both languages is because HE HAS A SPEACH IMPEDIMENT!!!!. Frankly I don't see how someone who can fluently speak two languages on top of having a speach impediment should be ridiculed.

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 12, 2002, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Whiskey Priest


I hate it when people say this. The reason he has trouble speaking both languages is because HE HAS A SPEACH IMPEDIMENT!!!!. Frankly I don't see how someone who can fluently speak two languages on top of having a speach impediment should be ridiculed.

If it was only his speech impediment there wouldn't be a problem with it. Problem is, it's not just the pronunciations, it's the way he has of picking the wrong words at the wrong times, etc. That's why we call him inept in both official languages. I'm not blind, I know he has a speech impediment.

Parler couramment deux langues? Bien sur. Après tout, le français est ma langue natale :P. En fait...

So the speach impediment is irrelevant to what I was saying and being fluent in two languages really isn't that big.

Whiskey Priest
Feb 12, 2002, 01:27 PM
I've only heard him mispeak on one occasion. It was at a meeting with Bill Clinton and a reporter asked what he thought of the drugs coming south from Canada to the United States. Chretien's response: "I think it is great"

(He thought the reporter said "Trucks") :lol:

And learning languages is somewhat difficult. Through five years of French in school I remember only one phrase. Je ne pas de travail ;)

Benz
Feb 13, 2002, 11:04 AM
vrylakas,

"That would be the equivalent to Washington slapping high tariffs on Quebec products, which again would make Quebec commerce much more expensive. I can assure you that this would have a very significantly negative impact on the economy in Quebec. "

First of all, you will have to face the opposition of Northem-East sates. Recently, Bernard Landry did a business travel with many Quebecers and he met the governers of our southern neighbors. They were all glad they could do business with us and one of them said clearly that if Québec gets its independence, it won't change a thing with his mind. Because business, is business. No one is interested to lose money. I don't beleive the americans will do something stupid like that. They are way wiser than that. Do I have to recall you that if USA raises its tariff, we will do the same? Globally, we would be more affected of course but, I don't think the american business people that are doing business with us will appreciate. Almost if there is no valid reason to do so. Isn't it?

"A unilateral Quebec secession however may invoke American anger enough for the U.S. to be happy to watch Quebec twist on the vine for a while."

It is true that the foreign relations of USA are one of the worse in this world but, I am quite confident that the americans are wiser than that. We won't do anything that you haven't done before. ;)

"ou seem to have me pegged as an enemy, and I'm not sure exactly why."

Because of this: "my statement is that the PQ seem likely to me to jump at independence based on nationalist reasons and the result will be a tragedy for Quebec and its neighbors."

You seem to be so sure at this statement. As long as you will take it for cash, you may have an non-realistic judgment. Our "nationalist" reasons are no offense to anyone and it won't become so. We are one of the most opened society and the "nationalist" like me are proud of it.

"Slovaks"

The industry in Czech was pretty well developped and the one in Slovakia wasn't. The Slovaks were frustrated by the situation and this is why the country they separate. However, there was no referendum on the subject so, was it a people's choice? Not really! Maybe the Slovaks trusted too much the gov't in place and absolute power always end in corruption.

Perheps you could also talk about Slovenia? Does this new independent country did wrong? ;)

"They also claim Quebec is inflexible and will not accomodate the rest of the country, despite what they see as many concessions to Quebec. This situation sounds a bit more complicated and less cut-and-dried (as Americans say) to me than you're portraying it. "

Judge it by yourself. Do not take on of our view point. Do your own! What I am saying is, we want a say into the constitution because we are too different. It is important for us that the country is not led by English only. They do not accept that because they do not considere us as a different nation. They are saying that the majority must rule even if they are all English and we are French. Who is right? If we take a look at the Europeans, no country is willing to let the biggest ruling them without a say. The sovereignty of each others is very important. It is the same for us but, they do not accept that.

Put yourself in each other place and make your mind about it.

"That Quebec is a distinct society within Canada is clear and I don't have any automatic answers about how best to preserve Quebec's unique culture "

Then you are on my side. The ROC does not accept that. We Québécois do not want to rule the country. We only want to have a say. The ROC does not want to be bothered by that. They want to availability to change the rules alone even if we do not agree. For exemple, they have the power to make French illegal again. I don't care if they will or not do it in a nearby future. It is not normal that they have the power to do so without our will.

"I don't think independence is necessarily the only answer"

I don't either. That is why we are proposing a European-like confederation type. We are sovereignist way more than separatist. But if they refuse our proposal, we will separate. We won't accept the status quo.

"rather I'm so far not convinced by your arguments or those I've seen elsewhere that it is the only way."

I never said it was the only way. We are actually proposing solutions and they (the ROC) will have to make a choice.

---------

dingbat,

"But you'll excuse me if I don't consider this enough of a reason to consider separation. "

It is not. read what I wrote to vry in my last three paragraph to him. We think there is a solution but, if you do not accept it, we will separate. There si no way we will accept the ROC's version alone of the constitution.

-----------

Hurricane,

"I think Benz is perhaps asking for too much. Do Quebec really need independence, which means own foreign politics, an own army, own monetary system and so on? With good experiences of how things were done in Finland, would not far-reaching self-government be better? I really think you should study the Aland Islands case a bit more. "

Two things!

Frist, Québec population is greater than Finland. I don't think it is fair to compare our society with this little Island. No offense to them! :)

Second, in our main project, separation is only the consequences of a refusal and not the main project. We are proposing to Canada a European-like confederation type where our both sovereign societies would live together. Sharing some stuff like army, money and so on. These are not even an issue. The issue is, having a say to the rules of this country. Would you be in favor of having a European gov't that can change up stuff into Finland as they wish even if Finland is totally against? This is what is happening in Québec actually.

-----------------

allhailIndia,

Read carefull this response and you should be able to get the point. Otherwise, I can't protect you from yourself! ;)

-----------------

vrylakas again...

"attempting or asserting independence for the wrong reasons "

Do you think that having a say into a country where the majority is from another language of yours is a bad reason?

Our proposal should resolve the issue. But there is NO good reasons for us to swallow a refusal. We share or we separate. We won't let them rule us without a say.

"Benz seems to think I'm a Quebec-hater because I don't see the automatic need for Quebec independence, but I'm afraid that isn't true. "

No, I think that you do not understand the consequences of your position. I think you do not realise what it means for a society like us to be in that kind of situation. I am sure that you can change up your mind if you get the main point.

"even if only for concessions and not full independence?"

We are ready to make alot of concessions... but not giving away our soul.

"Most of the world reacts like I and AllHailIndia have; "

Not that much. Most of those that react like this is because they do not understand what is going on. I would be very suprise to see the world being welcoming to the arrival of Bosnia, Kosovo, Timor and so on but Québec. Most of the time, when people get to know us, they change up their mind.

---------------

Whiskey Priest

"Through five years of French in school I remember only one phrase. Je ne pas de travail"

Well, if you could learn better, maybe you would have a job, no? :p Just kidding! ;)

About Chrétien, there is two books of all the stuff he said wrong. However, it is in French only. Here is some of his bests.

A reporter asked him when he was in Japan for a G7's meeting.
Rep: -How do the starving Africans could go on the internet? They don't have neither computers, nor food.
Chr: -They may use their portable (cellular phone)

A racist citizen of Fredericton said to Chrétien when he was taking a crowed bath.
Cit: -I'm glad you are kicking the a** of these frog (French)
Chr: -Thank you very much

When Chretien went to Palestine, then Israel, and finished in Jordania.
(Friday)
In Palestine: -Palestine is plently justified to get unilaterally its independence.
(Saturday)
In Israel: -Isreal is justified to keep the lake *I don't remember the name*.
In Jordania: I don't remember what he said but, the lake he talked about is a big issue between Jordania and Israel.
The whole Canada felt ashame of this moron. He got elected few years later. This country is quite strange.

When he was in China during a cocktail with the leaders of China.
Chr: -Chin!
(in chinese language, the sounds of this word is similar to the translation of the word penis)

We call that, "Les Chrétienneries". (In English it might sounds like The Chretienneries or Chretienneties?)

Benz
Feb 13, 2002, 11:20 AM
Oda,

In a perfect world, there wouldn't be any nation and every body would be equal. We are all humans and that's it!

However, it doesn't work that way. The human race has not learned to live in a so wide peaceful society yet. We are different and there is nothing we can do about it. Well, for the next generations until collective conscienness (conscience collective?) has learned to respect each others.

It happens often that some societies want to live in a way they think it is the best and it is an offense for many others.

How do we deal with that? The only way is to respect each other's sovereingty. I respect those that have a religion even if I do not believe in any god. I respect those that believe only in economy even if I think it leads them to undevelopped collective social standards. And so on! I respect all this as long as the others respect what I believe in.

Now, like you, I really don't matter about if Québec separate or not from the ROC. What I want to is, the resolve the main problem. I want the sovereignty of Québec. Whether it is an independent country or, in a confederation negociated type, I don't care either.

No society is perfect and no one should have the power to drive smaller societies with having their say. Sinon, c'est une nivellation vers le bas. Rien ne nous empêche d'être une société souveraine et libre dans une confédération Canadienne. Cependant, je ne leur laisserai jamais l'occasion d'imposer leur volonté sur notre société. Tu comprends?

Bill_in_PDX
Feb 13, 2002, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Benz

I don't either. That is why we are proposing a European-like confederation type. We are sovereignist way more than separatist. But if they refuse our proposal, we will separate. We won't accept the status quo.


I am enjoying everyone's posts here. This is an issue that a western US guy like me has only heard snippets of in the past (and mainly related to the possibility of a Northwest economic sphere...an idea quickly dying as the pacific rim economies slow down.)

But to you Benz, I ask: If the idea of an EU like relationship between Quebec and the remainder of Canada could be accomplished, then what is in it for the rest of Canada?

Meaning, in the EU model, in theory, most of the major players come to the table as equals, and therefore the benefits are shared. Under your model, and admittedly being ignorant to the financial realities of the Canadian economy, what is the benefit to the other provinces to share expenses with Quebec? It would seem on the surface to be a proposition disproportionately beneficial to Quebec.

Thanks
Bill

DingBat
Feb 13, 2002, 04:06 PM
Good question, Bill.

I mean, really, Canada is already pretty decentralized as it is. I REALLY don't want to downplay Benz's concerns, since they are sincere, but most of them do look like basically an argument over who has jurisdiction over what.

And you know what? In the EU, they still have to decide who has jurisdiction over what.

Anyway, I would assume, in this "EU" model, that the transfer payments from the federal government to the provinces would cease. At the moment, I believe that all provinces except Ontario and Alberta receive something from the federal government so Quebec would seem to be out at least this much. Maybe I'm wrong. I dunno.

And in this "EU" model, is the national debt still centralized? If not, that's about a decade's worth of arguing right there about how much is Quebec's share.

Is there still a national armed forces? If so, how much does Quebec contribute? National police? Etc, etc, etc.

It's a very good point. What is Canada giving up? What is Quebec?

/bruce

Vrylakas
Feb 13, 2002, 09:21 PM
Benz wrote

vrylakas,

"That would be the equivalent to Washington slapping high tariffs on Quebec products, which again would make Quebec commerce much more expensive. I can assure you that this would have a very significantly negative impact on the economy in Quebec. "

First of all, you will have to face the opposition of Northem-East sates. Recently, Bernard Landry did a business travel with many Quebecers and he met the governers of our southern neighbors. They were all glad they could do business with us and one of them said clearly that if Québec gets its independence, it won't change a thing with his mind. Because business, is business. No one is interested to lose money. I don't beleive the americans will do something stupid like that. They are way wiser than that. Do I have to recall you that if USA raises its tariff, we will do the same? Globally, we would be more affected of course but, I don't think the american business people that are doing business with us will appreciate. Almost if there is no valid reason to do so. Isn't it?

Yes, I mentioned in my post how the Northeastern states would probably lobby hard. But again - business interests don't always win. Washington's concern vis-a-vis its northern neighbor(s) is stability, and if Quebec declares independence unilaterally, American anger at the destabilization of Canada will far outweigh business considerations. Again, it really depends how it would all happen.

"A unilateral Quebec secession however may invoke American anger enough for the U.S. to be happy to watch Quebec twist on the vine for a while."

It is true that the foreign relations of USA are one of the worse in this world but, I am quite confident that the americans are wiser than that. We won't do anything that you haven't done before.

Um, not approaching the issue of the quality of American relations, my answer above suffices. For instance, it would probably be in almost everyone's interest for the U.S. to open its trade with Cuba, but look at what's happening there... That's a bit of an extreme example - I'm not comparing Castro's dictatorship with the PQ - but Washington is very unforgiving about instability on its borders.

"ou seem to have me pegged as an enemy, and I'm not sure exactly why."

Because of this: "my statement is that the PQ seem likely to me to jump at independence based on nationalist reasons and the result will be a tragedy for Quebec and its neighbors."

You seem to be so sure at this statement. As long as you will take it for cash, you may have an non-realistic judgment. Our "nationalist" reasons are no offense to anyone and it won't become so. We are one of the most opened society and the "nationalist" like me are proud of it.

You're confusing two different things. The Quebecois may have very valid reasons to be angry with Canada. Actually I'd like to explore this in more detail. My question is whether they're pertinent enough to want to secede. There's nothing wrong with being proud of one's society (which is the point of this thread, as I recall), so long as it's tempered with a healthy respect for and understanding of other countries.

"Slovaks"

The industry in Czech was pretty well developped and the one in Slovakia wasn't. The Slovaks were frustrated by the situation and this is why the country they separate. However, there was no referendum on the subject so, was it a people's choice? Not really! Maybe the Slovaks trusted too much the gov't in place and absolute power always end in corruption.

Very insightful, Benz. The Slovaks were led into an unknown adventure by nationalist politicians who promised them the world would be golden when Slovakia became independent. Instead, they watched their living standards collapse and their meagre exports stunted by cross-border tariffs, and they channeled their anger into electing even more extreme nationalists (Meciar & crew) who tried to build a 1940s-style police state, a la Father Tiso.

Perheps you could also talk about Slovenia? Does this new independent country did wrong?

Certainly better-positioned than Slovakia - both economically and geographically - but it is not without its problems. Like all former communist regimes, they've had problems getting rid of some of their "apparatchiks". Still, it hasn't been nearly as violent as Slovakia, and they've had the benefit of having borders with two very friendly states (Italy and Austria) and one at least neutral state (Croatia).

"They also claim Quebec is inflexible and will not accomodate the rest of the country, despite what they see as many concessions to Quebec. This situation sounds a bit more complicated and less cut-and-dried (as Americans say) to me than you're portraying it. "

Judge it by yourself. Do not take on of our view point. Do your own! What I am saying is, we want a say into the constitution because we are too different. It is important for us that the country is not led by English only. They do not accept that because they do not considere us as a different nation. They are saying that the majority must rule even if they are all English and we are French. Who is right? If we take a look at the Europeans, no country is willing to let the biggest ruling them without a say. The sovereignty of each others is very important. It is the same for us but, they do not accept that.

Can you itemize for me here exactly what Quebec (in general) wants? Can you create a short bullet-pointed list of typical Quebecois demands? And just curious, are you able to make a similar list of Anglophone demands of Quebec?

Put yourself in each other place and make your mind about it.

That's essentially what I've been doing all along. Again - I'm not against Quebec independence per se; it's just that I wish that if it must happen, that there were cooler heads than the PQ to carry it out.

"That Quebec is a distinct society within Canada is clear and I don't have any automatic answers about how best to preserve Quebec's unique culture "

Then you are on my side. The ROC does not accept that. We Québécois do not want to rule the country. We only want to have a say. The ROC does not want to be bothered by that. They want to availability to change the rules alone even if we do not agree. For exemple, they have the power to make French illegal again. I don't care if they will or not do it in a nearby future. It is not normal that they have the power to do so without our will.

I'm not really on anyone's side. I'm not a Canadian, I'm neither French nor English, and the past struggles for North America between the French and British empires is just interesting history for me. My ancestors were busy trying to imagine different ways to put a pike through the Tsarina's head when Wolfe captured Quebec in 1759. My interest is solely in maintaining stability in North America. That, coupled with a decade-and-a-half of studying the birth and growth of new states, has brought me to the conclusions I've so far reached on the PQ and Quebec issues. I've developed an aversion to nationalists, having seen little good come from them throughout the 20th century but misery.

"I don't think independence is necessarily the only answer"

I don't either. That is why we are proposing a European-like confederation type. We are sovereignist way more than separatist. But if they refuse our proposal, we will separate. We won't accept the status quo.

This much I'm glad to hear. I don't know that a European-style confederation is the answer either - after all, it's barely working in Europe either - but any reasonable non-violent solution must be considered.

"rather I'm so far not convinced by your arguments or those I've seen elsewhere that it is the only way."

I never said it was the only way. We are actually proposing solutions and they (the ROC) will have to make a choice.

Everyone will have to make some choices in the end. The most likely outcomes will mean everyone will not get everything they wanted. That's politics.

---------

vrylakas again...

"attempting or asserting independence for the wrong reasons "

Do you think that having a say into a country where the majority is from another language of yours is a bad reason?

Depends what you mean by "having a say". Minorities are the rule, not the exception, around the world and many countries approach things in different ways. What language, cultural or political rights to the Lapps of Finland, the Greeks of southern Italy or Koreans of Japan have? In Federal systems, minorities tend to simply be integrated politically like anyone else, unless they are so numerous they can overwhelm the system like the so-called "Hispanics" of the U.S. It's much more difficult to form autonomous regions in Federal systems.

Our proposal should resolve the issue. But there is NO good reasons for us to swallow a refusal. We share or we separate. We won't let them rule us without a say.

What exactly are your proposals?

"Benz seems to think I'm a Quebec-hater because I don't see the automatic need for Quebec independence, but I'm afraid that isn't true. "

No, I think that you do not understand the consequences of your position. I think you do not realise what it means for a society like us to be in that kind of situation. I am sure that you can change up your mind if you get the main point.

Well, you've got to understand that your position may not be the ultimate answer. It's OK for poeple to disagree; that's why we have democracies. You clearly are very passionate about your beliefs and that's fine, but you should never assume that any particular political or social group's reasoning will be universally understood or accepted. I don't necessarily even disagree with your points; rather I'm not convinced by them yet.

"even if only for concessions and not full independence?"

We are ready to make alot of concessions... but not giving away our soul.

Reasonable enough. No one else would either.

"Most of the world reacts like I and AllHailIndia have; "

Not that much. Most of those that react like this is because they do not understand what is going on. I would be very suprise to see the world being welcoming to the arrival of Bosnia, Kosovo, Timor and so on but Québec. Most of the time, when people get to know us, they change up their mind.

I've been reading about the Quebec issue for years - decades actually - in various press reports in Poland, Hungary, Germany, and the U.S. And of course, in all these countries I've had access to news sources from nearly all over - Russia, Canada, etc. etc. etc. My point above was that most of the world really does react much as AllHailIndia does - with a blank stare and a question like, "Who would ever want to leave Canada?" Keep in mind that Canada has a very positive image abroad, with the single possible exception of Spain. (Especially Spanish fishermen...) Quebec may have legitimate issues with Canada, but it hasn't done a good job of letting the rest of the world know what they are. Perhaps in the French-speaking world their arguments are better known, but in countries like those in Central Europe, who are quite neutral on the issues, they know little of them and again simply ask, "Why would anyone want to leave Canada?" It's a PR (public relations) problem.

BTW, thanks for a very well-balanced reply. No need for rancor, though we all feel strongly about our views.

muppet
Feb 14, 2002, 12:38 AM
Benz:

Exactly what does Canada not permit Quebec? I mean, it has been more than a decade since the Constitution, Meech Lake and whatever else. I remember back then, the following concessions were either made, or already in existence:

1. Quebec is disproportionately represented in the Canadian Supreme Court. That is 1/2 of all CSC judges are from Quebec! This is the 'highest' court of the land, and Canada has essentially said that the french minority will represent 1/2 of all voting judges on this court! Further, the CSC is clearly directed to consider Quebec Civil Law to be the primary authority when adjudicating matters in Quebec, hence part of the rationale for so many judges to be selected from Quebec.

2. All government services are offered in French and English. In fact, certain positions in the federal government simply will not hire english speaking only -- even in British Columbia, where our greatest minority is actually Chinese, possible East Indian by now.

3. Quebec and its citizens enjoy exactly the same rights, privileges, and status as any other province and their citizens. There are no laws that say Quebec is granted lesser authority than any other province.

4. A disproportionate amount of cultural funding is granted to Quebec. A somewhat trivial example, but one I am told of by the Chess Federation of Canada. Quebec receives funding for 'chess', of all things, whereas British Columbia is not permitted even $1 in federal funding towards this so called 'cultural' endeavor. I don't even want to imagine what else is funded by federal tax dollars (contributed by everyone in Canada) towards Quebec culture. It's like 'chess' is as cultural significant anywhere else in Canada, but because the citizens of Quebec tell us it is definitely part of their heritage, they are given federal funding. Does this sound fair to you?

Westerners don't exactly whine and complain about the benefits that Quebec enjoys within Canada, but most general accept that the federal government granted certain 'bonuses' to Quebec to maintain a happy family. I guess in short, what exactly do you want to happen?

muppet
Feb 14, 2002, 01:41 AM
I don't know why Canadians would want to air their dirty laundry in an international forum. But let's at least set the record straight.

On Economic/Research funding:

Years ago BC was granted funding to develop the tri-university meson facility (TRIUMF). Then, a state of the art Nuclear partical accelerator. Today, Saskatchewan is the beneficiary of a current state of the art nuclear research facility. Everyone gets their turn. There isn't enough money for everyone to get it at once. But that is not to say that everyone is not treated well. Imagine Saskatchewan? I think maybe the entire provincial population is no greater then the City of Vancouver, yet Canada saw fit to boost their economy, brain power, and international recognition with federal funding.

With respect to Laws:

Canadian version or philosophy regarding a 'free and democratic society' necessitates the creating of a singular criminal code and set of punishments and/or rejudivication. Quebec is not the only province with its own reform programs. However, the Canadian philosophy is that a 'free and democratic society' means that all criminals will be equally punished and/or reformed regardless of geographic locations. Whereas the US philosophy of like society is that the the the local people should have a greater authority in order to reflect the democratice philosophy. It is really a matter of preference in criminal matters. Do we have 'one law' applied 'equally and fairly' to all, or do we have 'many laws' applied unequally throughout what is suppose to be 'one' country. It's really just a plus/minus thing. In the US you never really know travelling from one state to the next, what is not legal and what the punishment is. In Canada, you go anywhere and expect the same laws and punishments.

In regards to culture:

If you ever travel to BC, you'll find Chinese and East Indian culture everywhere despite no guarantee in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to promote foreign culture or language. In fact, a Canadian East Indian police officer is permitted to wear a turban despite it normally being a violation of the uniform code. A Sikh religious ceremony permits the donning of swords, weapons that are illegal to wear by the rest us. Why? Because Canada believes that cultures should be promoted, including immigrant cultures and that our laws should be bent to allow for cultural promotion. Quebec culture is not only permitted the same, but has been enshrined in the very consitution that Quebecers, for whatever reason, decided was not good enough.

Can we try to not paint Canada as a repressive, culture killing, freedom hating country? Some of us immigrants, kind of like the Canadian philosophy.

knowltok2
Feb 14, 2002, 06:21 AM
Originally posted by muppet
I don't know why Canadians would want to air their dirty laundry in an international forum. But let's at least set the record straight.

Can we try to not paint Canada as a repressive, culture killing, freedom hating country? Some of us immigrants, kind of like the Canadian philosophy.

As far as airing your dirty laundry, I guess the US is rubbing off on you. You know what they say, "Association breeds assimilation" ;)

As for that second part, I always thought that was the US's justification for bombing you guys. ;)

DingBat
Feb 14, 2002, 07:28 AM
Originally posted by muppet
Can we try to not paint Canada as a repressive, culture killing, freedom hating country? Some of us immigrants, kind of like the Canadian philosophy.

I'm sure this reply will cause fur to ruffle. Heck, I may even get labelled a racist bigot again. My parents said I was never too bright. :)

Now, I'm gonna generalize here, which should make anyone uncomfortable, but I'm gonna do it anyway. I am speaking of no one in particular.

<generalize>
I've spent considerable time in Quebec. My wife grew up there. My experience with Quebecers in general, and separatists in particular, is that they know very little about the "ROC", as Benz refers to it. The culture tends to be inward looking. When Quebecers travel, they don't tend to travel east-west, but north-south: to the northern states, to Florida, and the Carribean.

I feel this tendency leads to a "us against everyone else" mindset. Canada is perceived as a monolithic bloc rather than a bunch of disparate groups, which is how everyone else tends to see themselves.

I grew up in Calgary, yet I probably understand west coast culture less than Quebec culture. And I would never mistake the issues of Ontario for those faced by the maritimes. They're not the same, they don't want the same things, and they don't vote the same way. Yet some see all of these regions simply as a bloc of "Anglo's" (which may too change, someday).

I should point out that this is not just a Quebec thing, either. After I moved to Toronto I would often speak with my friends back west. I had to tell them that the "eastern bums and scums" really weren't trying to put the screws to the west, they simply just didn't think about the west at all. It wasn't malice, just that the west doesn't show up on radar out here. Of course, that just infuriates them all the more, but there it is... :)
</generalize>

/bruce

Ozz
Feb 14, 2002, 08:51 AM
Quebec is not, nor never has been a nation. it is a have not
province of Canada (produces a lot of wining and not much lest). Canada got Quebec because France preferred to keep it's sugar producing islands rather it's own people occupying Quebec.

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 14, 2002, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by Ozz
Quebec is not, nor never has been a nation. it is a have not
province of Canada (produces a lot of wining and not much lest). Canada got Quebec because France preferred to keep it's sugar producing islands rather it's own people occupying Quebec.

And that kind of reaction is one of the main one why people from Québec fail to feel at home in Canada. Being told that you are "whiners" and nothing else get on your nerves - EVEN and perhaps ESPECIALLY when you aren't pro-separatism.

Ozz, I encourage you to do your research instead of pointlessly insulting québec as a whole and everyone that lives there.

Just because I'm not separatist doesn't mean I'll take random insults to my province.

allhailIndia
Feb 14, 2002, 09:18 AM
Now that we have over 200 countries in the world, (applications for new countries run into a few million:D) I would like to have my own country. Here are a few basic facts about the land of Egomaniax.

1.It has a popluation of roughly 2-2.5 million, no specific race predominating(Indian politicians are an exception;) )

2.It's boundaries are ever fluctuating depending on the no. of people gullible enough to think this is a real country.:confused:

3.It's ruler is quite undoubtedly ME:king: , though elections held every year result in one vote for every citizen, so I am the DeFacto ruler;).

4.It's currency is the <citizen>dollar, where each citizen of this fine country can call the money by its own name.


Well these are facts under construction in the Buraeu of Statistics of Egomaniax, as they are developed they shall be released
:p

Benz
Feb 14, 2002, 10:48 AM
Bill_in_PDX,

"But to you Benz, I ask: If the idea of an EU like relationship between Quebec and the remainder of Canada could be accomplished, then what is in it for the rest of Canada? "

The same thing as any Europeans have into the EU. Québec has a good potential to help and contribute to this country at several levels. Contribution to the army, economy, canadian dollars and so... if they don't see the advantage, then why do they want us to stay in the actual version of Canada? :crazyeyes

"what is the benefit to the other provinces to share expenses with Quebec? It would seem on the surface to be a proposition disproportionately beneficial to Quebec. "

No!!! Québec is not a poor province depending on the others to survive. This reflection is kind of silly! On one hand, they do not want us to separate but, on the other hand, they do not see any benefits to ally with us? It doesn't make sens at all.

I am sure that our sovereignty will create a huge brainstorming about the future of Canada. The East, Ontario and the West are very different despite they all speak English and there is a lot of chances that our idea of confederation will end up with several states more representative of the regions.

Unfortunatly, Québec is the only serious about that.

-----------

DingBat,

"I mean, really, Canada is already pretty decentralized as it is. "

Oh boy! We are not living in the same reality my friend. I suggest you to take a closer look at the Trudeau's constitution (1982) and the Social Union of 1999. The Canada is way too centralised and both the East and the West are upset about it. Even Ontario agreed with Québec in 2000 when both Mike Harris and Lucien Bouchard have forced Chrétien to resign his proposition about the intrusion into the health care system.

The centralization of politique in Ottawa IS the issue for the last 40 years.

------------

Vrylakas,

"Again, it really depends how it would all happen. "

Since we are not your ennemy at all, I am pretty confident with our choices. I don't think the US need to create ennemies. No one would benefit from it.

"but Washington is very unforgiving about instability on its borders. "

We do not want to create instability. There is no doubt about our willingness to keep up good relations and economical stability. So there won't be a problem.... unless there is a stupid subborn man that wants to stop our sovereignty process even if the YES side wins the referendum. So if there is a problem, it will come from outside Québec. We will NEVER sale our soul for any reason. Neither you will.

"Quebecois may have very valid reasons to be angry with Canada. "

I wouldn't say angry against Canada. Otherwise, we wouldn't offer a partnership. We are angry at the actual situation but, our forgiveness of history is very big. Maybe too big. We are doing this for one reason, we do not want a eternal repetition of the history.

"The Slovaks were led into an unknown adventure by nationalist politicians who promised them the world would be golden when Slovakia became independent. "

I am sorry for them and you should be happy that we are not following the same path.

[Like all former communist regimes, they've had problems getting rid of some of their "apparatchiks". ]

That was my point. Our society is already progressive and well potisionned into the international economy.

"Can you itemize for me here exactly what Quebec (in general) wants?"

Again? Ok, I'll repeat!

- recognition of the Québec nation
- have a say into the constitution
- decentralized federal gov't or at least, have the option to do ourself a federal program we do not agree on

These are the 3 most important points. The two first are rejected by the ROC. And the third one is shared by many westners.

"there were cooler heads than the PQ to carry it out"

I am a PQer and I think you have not the proper information about us. You are trying to portray a alarmist view of what could happen if we separate. But if you want a serious analyse, you should start to talk about the real issues that motivates us to seek for sovereignty. And of course, you have not realised yet that if we separate, it is because the English part of Canada would refuse our partnership. Our goal is sovereignty, not separation. We would be pretty please if we have an alliance where our both soveriegn nations, French and English are respected.

I don't see anything scary in that kind of message.

"I'm not really on anyone's side. "

I should have had this face ;) to show that I am teasing you. unfortunatly, you stuck your answer into that single sentense and you haven't respond to the following. :(

"ut it hasn't done a good job of letting the rest of the world know what they are. "

When you are not sovereign and your federal gov't is trying to do anything possible to give a bad portray of Québec, it is kind of hard to reverse it.

The last summit of the americas was in Quebec City. Guess what! Our federal gov't refused to let us welcome the leaders of the americas. Because Ottawa thinks that it is the only one that should do this. It sux! We are not welcomed in our own capital. But we were invited and appreciated in the last globalization summit in Swisszerland and Brazil (Porto Alegre). Go figure! I am not about to fogive our federal for that.

"What language, cultural or political rights to the Lapps of Finland, the Greeks of southern Italy or Koreans of Japan have?"

Again, I have a lot of respect for minorities but, you are still insulting me. We are NOT a minority. We are 7 millions and a clear majority into our land. If you want a good example to compare us with it, I'll give you one.

Imagine that the Russians grab Finland and make it a province of its Russian federation. That will look like our situation. The difference is Finland got its independence and we don't. Because in the original constitution of Canada in 1867, it was supposed to be a real confederation, we have not see the need to get independence until the country became a very centralised federation.

The biggest problems started in the WWII. The federal took alot more powers and never give it back to the provinces after. Few years later, a new nationalist feeling was born. The federal abused of its new non-constitutional powers and it results of the raising of nationalism in Québec. In 1982, the Canada patriated the constitution and they changed it to make legal the abuses of powers from the federal. That was the first time of the Canada's history that the French population had no say about the rules. In 1999, the Social Union signed by 9 of 10 provinces did again give more power to the federal.

The consequences are unacceptable for us. Today, the English part of Canada can change the rules as they wish even if we 100% desagree. They have the power to make French language illegal. As I said, I don't mind if they will or not do it again, it is not normal that they have such power on our future.

Do you understand that?

"It's much more difficult to form autonomous regions in Federal systems."

We know, we tried it for the last 40 years without a dust of success. That is why the only way to resuolve the problem is to change it into a confederation type of gov't. Whether the ROC prefer two states or regional states, it is their choice. I would enjoy to debate it.

----------

muppet,

"and Canada has essentially said that the french minority will represent 1/2 of all voting judges on this court! "

Of course, otherwise the English part will always win. You have assimilated so much French with xenophobic bills in the past, this is our lastest protections. Imagine! we are in 2002 and the first Frnech school will be build in PEI, after 12 years of fights at the Surpeme Court. Do you think it is normal?

"the CSC is clearly directed to consider Quebec Civil Law to be the primary authority when adjudicating matters in Quebec, hence part of the rationale for so many judges to be selected from Quebec. "

Of course! Name me one society that will allow another one to rule them. :crazyeyes

"All government services are offered in French and English. "

No... they SHOULD offer. The Offcial Language Commission revealed severals lack of application of this rule. I did myself sent two "plaintes officielles" at them because I was not able to obtain services in French from the federal gov't. It was about the computer help desk for the tax collected sent by magnetic tapes. It happened on January 4 and 11.

"In fact, certain positions in the federal government simply will not hire english speaking only "

They do it anyway. If the federal gov't was less centralized, you wouldn't have that "problem". You would then need less competences to have the job.

"There are no laws that say Quebec is granted lesser authority than any other province. "

Québec is not like any other provinces. Québec is French with different civil laws. Québec has different values and political choices. It is not acceptable for us to be forced to follow the other's choice. We share or we separate. We won't swallow your stuff.

"A disproportionate amount of cultural funding is granted to Quebec. "

THAT IS TRUE! You are right on this one. This amount is allowed to promote Canada and all the propaganda around it. We would like to use that money for wiser uses but, we can't. We are bombered of this propaganda 10 times more than the whole rest of Canada.

"Does this sound fair to you? "

No it doesn't and I totally agree! I'm telling you! It is crap and the federal use it for only one purpose. To sell its image to us.

"Westerners don't exactly whine and complain about the benefits that Quebec enjoys within Canada, but most general accept that the federal government granted certain 'bonuses' to Quebec to maintain a happy family. I guess in short, what exactly do you want to happen?"

Yes, some bonuses are granted to buy us. It is then easier for the central gov't to benefit from us after. No one really benefits from it. It is a huge waist of money. I would like the Westeners be more acknoledged about all the disfunctional stuff into that central gov't. With a more decentralized one, we(West and us) would have a better opportunity to manage our stuff as we wish to. There is a reason why westerners elected a regional party. Ottawa has too much power.

"means that all criminals will be equally punished "

Then, a bad rule must be applied everywhere equally. I don't see anything progressive and interesting in such way to think.

"In the US you never really know travelling from one state to the next, what is not legal and what the punishment is. In Canada, you go anywhere and expect the same laws and punishments. "

ok but, why do we have to choose the worse? The answer is, because we do not have all the same opinion of what is worse. Then, it is better to have different laws.

"for whatever reason, decided was not good enough."

The culture is not only the hat you were. It is also the social choices you make. I want to have that possibility to make a choice. Is it too much to ask?

"Can we try to not paint Canada as a repressive, culture killing, freedom hating country? Some of us immigrants, kind of like the Canadian philosophy."

Do I go that far? We have issues and we expect to resolve them with solutions we offer. We have no positive response and the consequences are very bad for our society.

"that our laws should be bent to allow for cultural promotion"

Then explain me why the French of PEI and Nova Scotia had to fight up to the supreme court for years only to have access to education? Tell me why the federal has not came to protect the Montfort hospital? Why the Winnipeg city is changing the arret/stop signs to stop only even this city contain one of the biggest concentration of French speakers outside Québec? Why the Acadians national day isn't recognised by the Federal? Why a racist english group could disturb their national day last year without be arrested and punished? Why I can recieve more French services in Los Angeles Airport than in Toronto Airport? (yes, it happened to me in december 2000)

----------

dingBat again...

[I feel this tendency leads to a "us against everyone else" mindset.]

If you considere the "everyone else" as the ROC only, well, it is partly true. But it has nothing to do with the outter world or the places we visit. I have been often in the East and Ontario. It has a better influence on my judgment about this issue than my travels in France, California, Texas, Mexico and Nothestern US.

"It wasn't malice, just that the west doesn't show up on radar out here. Of course, that just infuriates them all the more, but there it is... "

Don't you think that it is time for the west to take their will into hands? Our solution of a real confederation would balance more the power to a regional display. A too centralised gov't tend to unbalance the politic picture and make the bigger become the stronger. Way to strong if you see what I mean.

---------

allhailIndia,

Then Civ III may perfectly answer to your desire I guess.

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 14, 2002, 04:05 PM
Ok, time to post an historical and rather neutral look at Canada-Québec relationship, and the whole problem.

I'm from Québec, and as I said before, I am decidedly neutral (one might say I've had enough of both sides pointlessly *****ing).

The first true manifestation of the current problem (which has its roots in the fall of New France) is in 1837/38. At that time, the people of Canada attempted to rebel against the British governor who as basically constantly screwing up the democratic process in Canada. It would be false to claim that the rebellion was slowly a thing of the French people ; there was a similar movement in Ontario at the time, though weaker (due mostly to the lack of popular support, since the english-speaking common people had far less to complain about.

The rebellion was a failure, and, rather than keep the old territorial division of upper canada and lower canada, the whole territory was united in one territory, with the clear goal of assimilating the french. While in Québec the concentration of French people and the influence of the Catholic church countered that to an extent, over the next few decades, most of the french-canadian outside Québec, outside scattered communities and the Acadian land ( and even there...) was assimilated.

In 1867 Canada was granted a form of semi-independance by the British (it was not effective independance in international domains until the treaty of Westminster, and Canada only became consitutionally independant (ie, we have direct control over our own constitution, as opposed to our constitution as a document being held in London, with the british technically having to approve changes to it, etc) from the british crown in 1982). AFAIK, however, we still have Queen Elizabeth II as official Canadian chief of state (ie, she's the one on the money, on the stamps, Canadian warships still bear the "HMCS - Her majesty's canadian ship" abreviation before their name, etc).

This semi-independance was reached through the work of mostly represenative of Québec and Ontario, with little influence from the other provinces. The goal at the time was to found a confederation-style government, in theory.

However, what actually came out was a mixture of federation and confederation. And, through the world wars (which brewed their own problem), Canada's federal government seized more power, especially at the economic level, for their own, away from the provinces.

Also, the world war twice resulted in the people of Québec being forced for a country that they certainly felt no ties too, especially the first one (conscription to go die for the government of London in a war really never struck too much interesting in Québec - for some reason). However, the leaders of the army and the political elites at the time (and for a while yet) were mostly of the English-Canadian side, therefore meaning that Québec could do little about being forced to go fight to save a country that wasn't theirs, when Canada itself was not attacked, and when French-Canadian troops were mostly used as cannon-fodder.

Yes, I am aware that most countries imposed conscription at the time. However, what I am saying is that it was seen as unnecessary by french canadians at the time, and not only that, but they had been promised by Mackenzie-King that there would be no conscription in World War II. In 1942, he made a nation-wide referendum asking all canadians (With the english being in majority) to free him of the promise he had made. His victory was no surprise, but most in Québec felt it as a betrayal - as if he had asked the english canadians to free him of the promise he had made to the people of Québec (which, to an extent, he did).

All the while, of course, french-canadians throughout Canada were still being assimilated, and Québec itself was mostly in a "French lowlife, English elite" situation. Oh, there was a french elite, but still, english was the language you were forced to use to get a job in many of the important companies, many corporation offered no service in french, etc. Montréal was an especially bad case of this.

This is in a large part what, of old, resulted in the birth of the indepandantist movement in Québec. Some of these cause - federal encroachment in provincial territories - remain still, and Québec is far from the only province who dislikes that situation - the Western provinces don't take it much better. Others were, though the Parti Québécois and especially its montreal groups (the more rabid ones) refuse to admit it, pretty much taken care of as much as can be done (ie, linguistic problem).

The major problem Québec has now is in fact the Parti Québécois and it's nemesis, the Parti Libéral du Canada. Both of these are caught in the grip of old retards (Landry and co on one side, Chrétien and his cronies on the other) who don't seem to realize that most of Québec is simply SICK of hearing of referendums and independance. (Why do we elect the Parti Québécois still? Because they used to have a decent leader who understood that until the rabid idiots like Yves Michaud ousted him. Decent, in the sense that he was better than the leader of the opposite Parti Libéral du Québec.). And yes, one of those old is Bernard Landry and his imbecilistic "red rag" comment (talking about the Canadian flag...though he claim he wasn't, of course).

The other major problem fueling the indepandatist movement is how twice in the last 20 years québec and the other provinces were all ganging up on the federal government to obtain a thing or another (Constitution, Social Union), and on both occasion, the other provinces suddenly changed side, accepting Canadian offers they had said they would refuse and leaving Québec alone.

There are three other problems that I can really notice : rabid elements, RoC (generally speaking, though it's mostly the Ontario/Western Provinces block) newspaper having a liking to ridiculing Québec or trying to pass the province off as bad as possible, and the overall canadian political situation.

The rabid elements are best represented by the like of the now-deceased Mordecai Richer, and by Yves Michaud. Other factions representing this force include for example Alliance Québec ("english-Québec" side). On one side the militants are constantly asking for strenghtening the pro-french laws, on the other, they are constantly challenging them in court and likening them to anti-freedom-of-speech law (which they aren't) worthy of USSR or Nazi germany.

Needless to say, having these groups bickering is quite annoying to the population as a whole. The linguistic situation is relatively good as it is.

The newspapers problem is another one. Let me quote some actual examples.

Somewhat over a decade ago, there was a crisis of some importance involving the native americans. There were baricades built across a major road by said natives, and the police was sent, the two groups staring back and forth over the barricades for a while (eventually, after a policeman was shot by one of the natives, the army was called in). There was no mass slaughter, no gang mob going up against the natives or any such. Heck, there was little actual fighting - if any, except for some from the extremist native group known as the "Warriors" (who incidentaly would probably fit the "terrorist" definition quite well).

What did the Canadian newspaper did with it? They likened the provincial police to the state police of Nazi/Communist states. They had articles titled "Québec is burning" - in direct reference to the movie "The Missisipi is burning". They compared Québec to KKK-years Alabama.

Later, in 1998, there was the great ice storm. The entirety of the Montréal region was plunged, in the depths of winter, in a days (and for most of the region weeks) long black out due to almost all the power lines crashing due to the weight of the heavy amount of ice received.

The Québec newspaper at the time had titles like "It's like hell!" (given the cold of Québec winter, quite understandable. Certain (Ontario mostly) RoC newspapers immediately reacted by mocking said newspapers...while at the same time themselves having a "It's almost like the titanic!" Title in reference to an overall minor train crash.

The final problem is the overall political situation of Canada. It's actuall a coumpound of many smaller problems.

1-The fact that Québec tend to be somewhat more socialist (ie, think Ralph Klein's Alberta vs current Québec) and somewhat less conservative (the recent juvenile crime law is for Ontario and the western provinces mostly) than the western provinces. However, those provinces have quite some weight in Canada, and thus certain laws have been forced on Québec especially regarding the criminal system that simply does not fit the current situation of the province. Overall, there are many in Québec who intesely dislike the idea of a very likely overall increase in crime rate so that the conservatives in the western provinces can watch happily as kids are sent to prison.

2-The hegemony of the Liberal Party. The current situation in Canada is basically that of four specific region for voting : Ontario (were there's bacially only one party - the Liberals), Québec (Québec Block, Liberal), the West (Canadian Alliance, Liberal), and the Coastal provinces (ie, the east and west coast). (were the vote is divided between the various party, swinging wildly - but the liberals are there, too).

So basically you got one party getting nearly all the parliament sieges in one province, and picking up quite a few in all other provinces, a duo of regional parties taking the voting hostage, and a handful of minor national party picking some sieges in the coastal regions and sometime if they luck out a few inland one - but in minor amounts.

There's no way the liberals will be ousted of their place anytime soon. Meaning that they can pretty much do any horror they want with abusing hteir powers, etc, they will not lose their place. They can also draw the anger of whichever province they want other than Ontario - they are *NOT* going to lose the power anytime soon.

DingBat
Feb 14, 2002, 06:00 PM
Nice summation, Oda.

A couple of comments (you knew there would be). :)


1) I hear a lot about the conscription crisis. First, it WAS almost 60 years ago. I think it might be time to let that one go.

I understand that Quebec did not feel it was their war. And that's cool, but a little view of the other side is in order.

At the time the crisis came to a head, Canada's army in Europe was in bad shape. Casualties were far exceeding expectations and units were being broken up to provide replacements for others. In many instances poorly or totally untrained rear echelon soldiers were dropped into front line units without any preparation.

I've read accounts regarding the Scheldt campaign where these untrained replacements would show up for breakfast and be dead by lunch. It was a great cause of anger in the veteran troops who had to watch these poor guys get thrown in the meat grinder.

At the time there were an estimated 70,000 reservists, trained reservists, in Canada. None of them could be touched because of the conscription promise. Hence the change in direction.

As far as I recall, it took so much time to actually implement the legislation, round up the reservists, process them, transport them, etc, that not one of them saw action anyway, so it all turned out for nought.

I'm not arguing that it wasn't a betrayal. I'm not saying Quebecers (of the time) shouldn't have been upset about it. But there were good reasons for the broken promise.

2) You've correctly identified the Liberal party as the single biggest problem in Canada at the moment. I wonder how many people in the world realize that Canada has essentially become a one party state?

There are two big reasons why this situation came about, however: The Bloc Quebecois, and the Conservative meltdown. The current Alliance/Conservative impasse drives me crazy but we can hope they will eventually merge (no comment on whether this is bad or good). That's a start, but if Quebecers really want to oust the Liberals from Ottawa they're going to have to give up the BQ.

I frankly don't blame Quebecers at all for voting BQ. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If I had the option, I'd probably vote that way too. But doing so makes it virtually impossible to dislodge the Liberals.

Think we could both vote Conservative? :)

/bruce

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 14, 2002, 08:55 PM
Afraid not DingBat.

Québec's probably the LEAST right-winged province in Canada, along with Ontario. As I said, if the Bloc goes down, sad as it is, the Liberal party will probably be the only one gaining from it - because, as center-aligned as they are, it's still better than the right-wing party.

muppet
Feb 14, 2002, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by allhailIndia
Now that we have over 200 countries in the world, (applications for new countries run into a few million:D) I would like to have my own country. Here are a few basic facts about the land of Egomaniax.

Well these are facts under construction in the Buraeu of Statistics of Egomaniax, as they are developed they shall be released
:p

Nice to see some humor in an otherwise too serious a discussion.

muppet
Feb 14, 2002, 11:13 PM
"and Canada has essentially said that the french minority will represent 1/2 of all voting judges on this court! "

Of course, otherwise the English part will always win. You have assimilated so much French with xenophobic bills in the past, this is our lastest protections. Imagine! we are in 2002 and the first Frnech school will be build in PEI, after 12 years of fights at the Surpeme Court. Do you think it is normal?

"the CSC is clearly directed to consider Quebec Civil Law to be the primary authority when adjudicating matters in Quebec, hence part of the rationale for so many judges to be selected from Quebec. "

Of course! Name me one society that will allow another one to rule them.

Québec is not like any other provinces. Québec is French with different civil laws. Québec has different values and political choices. It is not acceptable for us to be forced to follow the other's choice. We share or we separate. We won't swallow your stuff.

This is the point. That despite being a 'minority' culture in a larger country, Quebec has been enshrined with rights and privileges not bestowed upon other provinces to ensure that Quebec's unique concerns are protected.

ok but, why do we have to choose the worse? The answer is, because we do not have all the same opinion of what is worse. Then, it is better to have different laws.

It may just happen to be the worse this time. However, central authority also makes decisions for the better. The question and preference is purely philosophical. When regarding criminal matters, what is a crime and how it should be resolved. Is it more 'free and democratic' when the rules apply country wide, or when the rules apply by provincial jurisidiction. Being American born, I kind of like our system; however, Canada has a tradition of criminal matters being dictated centrally which is not philosophically incorrect either.

Edit:
Despite central administrative authority, much power still rests at provincial levels regarding federal crime legislation. Provinces, including Quebec, still determine micro-police budgets; thereby, determining what federally classified 'crimes' are actually hunted down and prosecuted and what is let go.

I can't even begin to count the number of times a police officer has told me, "If you slow down, and don't kill yourself I'll just give you a warning this time." Or how Cocaine dealers are more hunted than marijuana dealers. Or how an illegal gaming establishment is only targeted by provincial police if there is a drug or prostitution element also involved. So, despite Ottawa's 'administrative' authority, provincial police powers is still the determinant 'enforcement' factor.

muppet
Feb 14, 2002, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by Benz
Then explain me why the French of PEI and Nova Scotia had to fight up to the supreme court for years only to have access to education? Tell me why the federal has not came to protect the Montfort hospital? Why the Winnipeg city is changing the arret/stop signs to stop only even this city contain one of the biggest concentration of French speakers outside Québec? Why the Acadians national day isn't recognised by the Federal? Why a racist english group could disturb their national day last year without be arrested and punished? Why I can recieve more French services in Los Angeles Airport than in Toronto Airport? (yes, it happened to me in december 2000)

Maybe because education is a provincial matter, not a federal matter. BC, for example, despite being the west coast has 'french immersion schools' where the only language spoken is French. Remember, 'we' asked for the 'decentralization' of educational authority?! The very decentralization that 'we' are asking for more of?! So being a 'decentralized service', one can not really blame the feds for not having the power to do anything about it, eh? However, despite this, the appointment of 1/2 of the CSC from Quebec, per central authority, I'm sure helped the cause in favor of French schools. So if anything, we should be thanking the feds for provinding the country a 'back up' so to speak when provincial powers make an error contrary to the constitution.

I know nothing of the Montfort Hospital.

Winnipeg is a municipality. And traffic, like education is a provincial matter where provinces have often delegated municipal posting authority to the cities. Therefore the question is why does a french population in Winnipeg (as you claim they are significant) wish to not print arret on stop signs?? Again, a result of 'decentralization' which we are apparently asking for more of. If it were a 'centralized' federal matter, we wouldn't have this problem right now.

Why should the 'Acadian national day' be recognized by the feds? The Chinese New Year is not. The Sikh religious holidays are not. The British Columbia day is not. It is a provincial holiday, not a matter of federal jurisdiction. Remember, we want provinces to have more say.

Why weren't they punished? I don't know. How come Quebec's police force didn't arrest them? They are fully empowered to enforce laws. How come Quebec's provincially appointed judges didn't pass a stiff sentence? They are also fully empowered to rule on criminal matters. Remember again, we would like the provinces to take care of us.

It seems to me like the provinces can't even handle what authorities they have already been granted by the feds. How come these matters are within Quebec's jurisdiction, not federal jurisdiction, yet the feds get blamed for them?:confused:

Anyways. I hope you appreciate my sarcasm. I honestly am neither against nor for Quebec separatism based on any of the arguments posted so far. I really am just concerned that some people in Quebec want to separate from Canada for all the wrong reasons and maybe blame the feds and centralized governing too much.

Benz
Feb 15, 2002, 08:40 AM
Oda,

It is a pretty good resumé and I agree for most of it except (of course) your comment about the PQ. I honestly not agree with some of PQ's point of view and sometime they take some decisions that make us upset. However, I would probably act the same way as Landry about the "Red Rag". You forget to say that it is not litterally what he said in French. The translation do not give the whole sens the the real expression "chiffon rouge". If you remember what happened, the federal was offering to us our own money to fund a aquarius and they put their conditions that was not acceptable for us. We are not prostitutes Oda. Our National Assemly supposed to have the full legetimity to apply its own rules regarding provincial matters.

The federal knows how far this is provocation. We are contesting its power not legetimated by us and many others either. Insulting back is maybe not a good option but Landry cannot be blamed for this.

You seems to like alot to call the PQ, the imbéciles but, you have not answered me. We are offering to the Canada a real confederation type where our both sovereignties would be respected. We could then both benefit of such partnership without bothering each other political choices. Of course, if Canada is not interested in our partnership, it is clear that we do not have any future with them and time to separate has come. Either way, we have to get our sovereignty, otherwise we will always fall into the Liberal's trap and finish into the dead-end.

I myself am very sick of the referendums. I would like this to end for good and move on something else. However, the results are there. The population choosed (at 50.6%) to stay in the problems and we are pretty well served. Problems ahead still coming and it is always getting worse. Next time, let's vote yes and it will stop this dead-end.

--------

DingBat,

We are neither conservative, nor right winger. The Conservative Party is not an option.

"This is the point. That despite being a 'minority' culture in a larger country, Quebec has been enshrined with rights and privileges not bestowed upon other provinces to ensure that Quebec's unique concerns are protected."

Poor little one! Explain us how much you suffer of this! ;)

"It may just happen to be the worse this time. "

One is too many. It is simple, it happens each time the federal take a decision that concern the provinces. Such as "Bourses du millénaire", C-20, C-7, and so on.

The difficulty you have to understand is, it allows the English part of Canada to set the rules alone, without our say. That is why it becomes unacceptable. Because we do not share the same values. Why is that difficult to understand? We are too different to let you set the rules alone. We are mostly left winger while the English part is mostly conservative and right winger. Deal with that!

"I'm sure helped the cause in favor of French schools. So if anything, we should be thanking the feds for provinding the country a 'back up' so to speak when provincial powers make an error contrary to the constitution. "

At least! It doesn't stop the provinces to keep up with these kind of arrasment and these French minorities have to fight at the supreme court again and again.

"I know nothing of the Montfort Hospital."

It is the biggest issue between French and English in Ontario. It is the only one French hospital for a french population of 800,000 peoples. They wanted to close it. In Québec, there is 14 English hospitals for a english population of 500,000. So what is the point? The federal gov't did nothing to help the French in that case. They had to fight alone.

"the question is why does a french population in Winnipeg (as you claim they are significant) wish to not print arret on stop signs?"

Nope! You have not understand. Winnipeg (mostly English) has merge with St-Boniface (mostly French) long time ago and the provincial gov't made that decision. Together, the English is the majority. Recently, Winnipeg has decided to get off the road the Arrêt/Stop sign to replace them with Stop sign. The French population got upset for two reasons. First, it is an insult to them and second, it is a waste of money. Completly non usefull and insulting to the French. It is like this in North America since 1759.


"Why should the 'Acadian national day' be recognized by the feds? The Chinese New Year is not."

Then... to you, the Acadians are nothing else than immigrants. It doesn't matter if they are living into this land way before the English arrived. Can you tell them that eye to eye?

"How come Quebec's police force didn't arrest them? "

Because they do not have power outside Québec. duh!? Maybe you don't know that the Acadians are mostly in New-Brunswick? Do you know that Fredericton is in NB close to the american borders?

"come Quebec's provincially appointed judges didn't pass a stiff sentence? "

Because it was refused at the provincial superior court. They can try now at the supreme court. In a intelligent, normal and respectful country, they should not have to do this.

"I really am just concerned that some people in Quebec want to separate from Canada for all the wrong reasons and maybe blame the feds and centralized governing too much."

Since you have not considered at all our propositions of a REAL confederation type where the sovereignty of both French and english part as two distinct nations, it tells me that we are doing the right thing. Each time the ball is in your hand, you do not capitalized with it. Is it because my English writing is not good enough to understand or something? ;) (sarcams either!)

muppet
Feb 15, 2002, 06:23 PM
"I'm sure helped the cause in favor of French schools. So if anything...

At least! It doesn't stop the provinces to keep up with these kind of arrasment and these French minorities have to fight at the supreme court again and again.

"I know nothing of the Montfort Hospital."

It is the biggest issue between French and English in Ontario. It is the only one French hospital for a french population of 800,000 peoples.

"the question is why does a french population...

Nope! You have not understand. Winnipeg (mostly English) has merge with St-Boniface (mostly French) long time ago and the provincial gov't made that decision. Together, the English is the majority. Recently, Winnipeg has decided to get off the road the Arrêt/Stop sign to replace them with Stop sign. The French population got upset for two reasons. First, it is an insult to them and second, it is a waste of money. Completly non usefull and insulting to the French. It is like this in North America since 1759.

These are all matters that 'we' have convinced the federal government of Canada to become 'provincial' matters. These matters are those that 'we' have 'demanded' to no longer be the authority or jurisdiction of the federal legislature. Which is my point regarding provinces asking for so much authority such that consistency and the application of individual and group rights become infringed by provincial legislation. These erroneous legislations, or administrative/executive decisions by the provinces then have to be corrected by either a federal court or the SCC in order to not infringe upon the Canadian Consitution or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

muppet
Feb 15, 2002, 06:36 PM
"Why should the 'Acadian national day' be recognized by the feds? The Chinese New Year is not."

Then... to you, the Acadians are nothing else than immigrants. It doesn't matter if they are living into this land way before the English arrived. Can you tell them that eye to eye?

"How come Quebec's police force didn't arrest them? "

Because they do not have power outside Québec. duh!? Maybe you don't know that the Acadians are mostly in New-Brunswick? Do you know that Fredericton is in NB close to the american borders?

"come Quebec's provincially appointed judges didn't pass a stiff sentence? "

Because it was refused at the provincial superior court. They can try now at the supreme court. In a intelligent, normal and respectful country, they should not have to do this.

I thought I had mentioned this before, but maybe I didn't. I am not born Canadian. I am an AMERICAN. So, no. I am not completely fluent in Canadian geography.

In any event. My points have nothing to do with immigrants vs. natives of Canada. They are more objective than that:

1. Provinces have the federally granted power to create provincial holidays. Provincial celebrations so created, are then the exclusive jurisidiction of said province. It is the Provincial courts and police that are therefore empowered and charged with the duties to uphold the peace and laws of both Canada and the provinces.

2. I do not agree that 'they' should not have to do this. This is a democracy. Be it an independent New Brunswick, Ontario, or Alberta, or provinces within a democratic Canada. It makes no difference. The fact is, in a democracy there will be protesters, and it will be up to the police and courts to make good on what they do wrong. I agree though, that protesters and rioters etc. generally should not have the right to do such anti-cultural things; however, in a democracy we can not 'personally' become the police, lawyers, and judges -- it is simply not the democratic way. Unfortunately this means some 'obvious' crimes against good judgement and humane behaviour also must go through the court process. But 'I' still prefer the democratic way more than the communist way of government.

muppet
Feb 15, 2002, 06:52 PM
Since you have not considered at all our propositions of a REAL confederation type where the sovereignty of both French and english part as two distinct nations, it tells me that we are doing the right thing. Each time the ball is in your hand, you do not capitalized with it. Is it because my English writing is not good enough to understand or something? (sarcams either!)

No. I 'personally' am neither against nor for separatism per se. I move back to Los Angeles in less than 6 months, so Canadian politics will be of consequence only to Washington, but not me personally.;)

What I feel is that 'we' are placing too much blame on Canadian unity or the Canadian federal government and its 'ways' when our 'gripes' (for a lack of a better word) is really with the provincial governments, who 'we' have told the federal government that 'we' want them to have said authority and jurisdiction. And the provincial governments to which we have 'demanded' to be empowered with said jurisidiction over said matters are the ones who are 'f*cking up'

And then 'we' begin fighting over separatism be it Quebec, British Columbia, or Alberta, when the feds have indeed listened to our demands and 'we' are the ones who created this problem.

In terms more familiar to me, and somewhat analogous, it is akin to blaming Washington, the FBI or CIA for increased murder rates, or racist-crimes in a particular state, when neither federal agency is charged with the prevention of this crime, but it is the individual state's authority and jurisdiction to oversee these matters. The 'we' in America prefer this local power, and 'we' do not blame Washington when our state government, courts, and police are the ones to blame.

Edit:
Canadian provinces have like powers to American states. However, my point is: having seen how pitiful the provinces are with both the creation of legislation and the administration thereof, and the keeping of such legislation and policies with the Canadian Constitution and Charter, how can 'we' reasonably suggest that it is 'better' to grant even more powers to the provincial governments?

muppet
Feb 15, 2002, 07:14 PM
Benz:

On a final note. It is not that I disagree with your feelings. If the population in Quebec truly feels that they are so distinctly different from the rest of Canada, then Yes. They should be an independent country.

What I disagree with is that the problems you have brought up are not the problems of a distinct society. They are the problems that every region in every country faces when dealing with the central government.

However, I don't think it is 'democratically' possible for even greater rights to be afforded Quebec. Not that I disagree that Quebec is different. But also, BC is different from AB, and also different from ON, and PEI, and NWT. So each province, like each state is different. So, to grant Quebec even greater rights, one would have to grant all provinces greater rights to be fair and democratic. And when you grant too much authority, then every province eventually become its own country. You have to stop comparing Quebec to 'the rest of canada'. There is no 'rest of canada'. One can not argue that the 'rest of canada' is not uniquely different from each of its other parts. Just as TX is not exactly the same as CA. And each of these state's governments want to have their say too.

So, in a sense, I do actually agree with you, just not necessarily with your reasons. :)

Benz
Feb 18, 2002, 08:15 AM
"The fact is, in a democracy there will be protesters, and it will be up to the police and courts to make good on what they do wrong. "

To make good? At this point, I do not care what it should be or not.

The Acadians went to the justice and they hoped they could at least get a tool or a law enforcement to prevent any futher racist acts like this in the future. The justice gave its support to the xenophobics and nothing will stop them to do it again next year.

If I understand right what you are saying is, the provinces should have never asked anything and no problems would occurs?

Even the communists were not that exagerating! ;)

"What I disagree with is that the problems you have brought up are not the problems of a distinct society. They are the problems that every region in every country faces when dealing with the central government."

The reason why the central gov't do not matter about what it is happening is, they say that we are all the same and even if we desagree, it doesn't matter because the majority must win.

The problem with that is, we are not the same, we never were and we won't be it ever.

"So, to grant Quebec even greater rights, one would have to grant all provinces greater rights to be fair and democratic. "

Typical silly answers we hear from the west. First, we do not ask to have granted power over the other provinces, it only concerns us and our own politics. Second, I don't see anything democratic of being totally ruled by another nation than mine.

"There is no 'rest of canada'. One can not argue that the 'rest of canada' is not uniquely different from each of its other parts. "

I don't care if they do not have the same sox colors. What I see is, they all agree to put us isolated and dominated without a say on the rules of this country they can all agreed but us. That is the only one thing that concerns me. Whether they feel they are the same or not, I do not care. It is not of my business.

"So, in a sense, I do actually agree with you, just not necessarily with your reasons. "

It is because you do not understand the whole meaning of being from a different culture than the majority.

Let's take a hypothesis situation that may never happen. It is just to show how big it is for us. Imagine that something terrible happened in China. The whole country must evacuate. 30% of the population died and the rest are moving anywhere on the globe. 400,000,000 chineses move to the states. The English speakers now become a minority into their own land. The Chineses adapt a little bit themselve to the country and in a nearby future, they take the control of politics and the power. The white anglos are now in the opposition. Only 5 out of 50 states are still English majority. Now that the Chineses have the control of the majority of the country, they changed the rules (the constitution) like they wish to. The English do not agree but, they are not the majority anymore. So they can't say a damn thing. they must obey to the majority.

Does this sounds acceptable? Should the English speaking nation should at least have a say even if they do not have the majority anymore?

I know the example do not look realistic but, it is not the matter.

I only want to show you that no matter how big is the English majority into Canada, it doesn't give them the right to rule us like this. If they want to share this country with us, we should have a say either. If they don't, we leave. It is as simple as this.

We are NOT the same nation. If you want to prove me the opposite, say it in French. Then I may understand. ;)

DingBat
Feb 18, 2002, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by Benz
"So, in a sense, I do actually agree with you, just not necessarily with your reasons. "

It is because you do not understand the whole meaning of being from a different culture than the majority.


As far as I can see, from your arguments, this is a red herring designed merely to squelch debate.

The issues you have raised are merely jurisdictional in nature and have nothing to do with culture, different, the same, or otherwise. Please tell me how control over the prosecution of young offenders has anything to do with francophone culture?

Again, to go back to your EU model which seems to be the goal of separation. Do you think that the EU member states don't have jurisdictional beefs? Are the separatists going to threaten to separate from an EU type relationship the first time they don't get to do what you want?

As I see it, "culture" is a sham used by separatists to create issues which do not exist. Without it, there is no "us vs them", no "woe is me, everyone is against us". Instead of 10 different people, 9 of which merely disagree with the separatist model of the country, culture allows you to spin it as 9 anglos ganging up on the poor francophone minority.

It also hides the fact that this really boils down to a group of individuals who would rather be big fish in a small pond than small fish in a bigger pond.

/bruce

Benz
Feb 18, 2002, 12:48 PM
"The issues you have raised are merely jurisdictional in nature and have nothing to do with culture, different, the same, or otherwise. Please tell me how control over the prosecution of young offenders has anything to do with francophone culture? "

Because it is one among many other domains where we act differently and make different choices. Our society have different values and we should not being force to take yours without a say.

Where is the problem of having two distincts societies into this country? Give me one reason why the French minority should allow the English taking all the decisions alone even if we are totally against what concerns us. Why?

"Are the separatists going to threaten to separate from an EU type relationship the first time they don't get to do what you want? "

I don't see why we would do this and what we could win of doing this. Unless the ROC decides once again that he has the power to decide anything concerning us, without us having a say. I doubt they would do so once we will be sovereign. I doubt the Europeans would do such thing to each other either. You see, I am pretty confident it is possible to stay together as long as we do respect each other's sovereignty. ;)

"As I see it, "culture" is a sham used by separatists to create issues which do not exist. Without it, there is no "us vs them", no "woe is me, everyone is against us". 9 of which merely disagree with the separatist model of the country"

Don't be a simplist man. Even Québec federalist want a better situation than the status quo. Robert Bourrassa, a federalist leading the province from 1986 to 1993, couldn't get any deal with Canada. He was a federalist and you refused his offer. Actually, even if his offer was giving less power to Québec than our does, it was kind of too much asked to the others. Because it would mean that Québec could still be a province, benefit from the federal and having a special status. At least, we (the bad evil separatist) are more honest than that we do not want an advantage over the others. We simply want to manage our stuff and do not bother you about your choices. Only sharing power over stuff we are sharing and that's it.

"culture allows you to spin it as 9 anglos ganging up on the poor francophone minority."

Hey! Don't be whiner like this. I have clearly exposed what are the political issues and what are our goals. Our claims are legetimates and if you do not agree, keep the debate in a more clever manner. We never asked pitty or something. We only ask the respect of each other's sovereignty.

I may judge severaly the past but, I am very opened mind about the future.

Again I ask you. What is the problem with having two distinct societies?

By the way, as I said to our friend muppet in a previous answer, if you want to argue about the "we are the same" thing, do it in French. If we are "the same", it should'nt be a problem. N'est-ce pas?

We are so different and they still do not understand why we want to do our stuff by our own. It still amaze me big time!

DingBat
Feb 18, 2002, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Benz
We are so different and they still do not understand why we want to do our stuff by our own. It still amaze me big time!

You are so arrogant, Benz. You have no idea what I do or don't understand.

If you must know, I have no problem with a re-negotiated relationship with Quebec. Especially if it puts an end to this nonsense, I would be willing to put just about anything on the table. I actually have no real problem with considering Quebec a "distinct society".

However, there are those that feel that what Quebec wants is extortion. Once paid, the extortionist always comes back for more, so perhaps the best answer is separation. I can live with that too, since, in the end, it will mean virtually nothing.

I would humbly suggest that, if you want a better reception to your point of view in the future:

1) Do not use "we" to refer to Quebec or Quebecers, since you do not speak for even a majority.

2) Do not use "you" to refer to the rest of Canada, since it has been made endlessly clear to you that they are not a homogenous mass and cannot be treated as such.

Adieu,
/bruce

muppet
Feb 18, 2002, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by Benz
"So, in a sense, I do actually agree with you, just not necessarily with your reasons. "

It is because you do not understand the whole meaning of being from a different culture than the majority.


In debate, one is theoretically to debate fact, opinion, and question. One is to accept and concede points. One is not to claim the the lack of knowledge of another. I try to limit myself to debateble issues.

I am a VISIBLE minority. Mostly an American in Canada. Rarely an American in America. Simply a banana in China. I understanding not whatsoever the 'whole meaning of being from a different culture than the majority'. I therefore concede this point as well.

banana = yellow on outside, white on inside.

Edited for spelling and comprehension.

andycapp
Feb 18, 2002, 08:03 PM
If Benz is an example of your typical Quebecer Canada would be well rid of the province. Why not offer Quebec to France as a colony? That would soon turn the Quebecois off their love of every thing French! :D

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 19, 2002, 01:55 AM
Québec *IS* definitely distinct in term of culture.

Canada (in general terms) :
Primary Language : English
Primary Religion : English Protestantism
Primary Culture of Origin : English
Main Cultural Influence at present : American

Québec (in general terms)
Primary Language : French
Primary Religion : Roman Catholic
Primary Culture of Origin : French.
Main Cultural Influence at present : American

One point in common - and if that's enough to warrant saying the two societies are the same, then most of the world is one society, one culture, etc. Three different. While you may try bringing up the latino-american culture of various major american areas as a counter (or the asian of the west coast), let me remind you of a thing...

They are immigrant who chose to become a part of a country with an english majority, for the most part. Whereas Québec was conquered by force of arm - and thus never really offered a serious choice as to being with Canada or not.

Just keep that in mind.

DingBat
Feb 19, 2002, 06:35 AM
Originally posted by Oda Nobunaga
They are immigrant who chose to become a part of a country with an english majority, for the most part. Whereas Québec was conquered by force of arm - and thus never really offered a serious choice as to being with Canada or not.


It's about time to give that up, as well. It happened over 250 years ago. The people of Tibet have a beef. The people of Quebec do not. I guess they can hold a grudge for as long as they like, but the people they have the grudge against are long dead.

I am a third generation Canadian on my mothers side, 4th on my fathers. I've got Scottish, Irish, Lithuanian, and Swedish blood my past. While my forebears MAY have chosen Canada for it's British ties, for the most part I suspect they were simply looking for a place of opportunity or perhaps trying to escape trouble in their native land. I strongly suspect that is the motivation driving todays Chinese, Indian, and other immigrants, not whether the country is "English" or "French", whatever that means.

/bruce

Benz
Feb 19, 2002, 10:45 AM
dingbat,

"You are so arrogant, Benz."

I became like this a little bit more each time I had to face this reality. If it is the only way to shake your ideas, why not?

[Especially if it puts an end to this nonsense, I would be willing to put just about anything on the table. I actually have no real problem with considering Quebec a "distinct society". ]

So what's the problem then?

"However, there are those that feel that what Quebec wants is extortion. "

Yeah, I know, so funny. What do you think about that? Do our proposals sound like extortions?

"1) Do not use "we" to refer to Quebec or Quebecers, since you do not speak for even a majority."

I do speak for the French majority. 60% of the French voted yes in the last referendum. While 99% of the English voted no and 80% of the the others voted no.

"2) Do not use "you" to refer to the rest of Canada, since it has been made endlessly clear to you that they are not a homogenous mass and cannot be treated as such."

Well, this is your first message where you tell me that you are ready to put good offers on the table. Actually, I see no sign of that kind of opening from your politicians. Tell me what you are ready to sign up with us and I'll pass from arrogant to very welcoming.

Don't forget that we are living into this frustrating situation every year since the beginning.

"It's about time to give that up, as well. It happened over 250 years ago. "

Then stop this non-sens. All you have to do is recognize that we are a different society.

"I've got Scottish, Irish, Lithuanian, and Swedish blood my past. "

And I have got French, Irish, Norwegian and natives boold, so what?

"trying to escape trouble in their native land"

I don't think moving more than 6 millions people out of 7 is a thinkful solution.

[not whether the country is "English" or "French", whatever that means. ]

Then give it up. What is the problem? Share it! Do not keep it for yourself. We have two different societies with different languages. Why is the majority should win over all? Don't you get it? What are you afraid to lose if we share the constitution? That is what I do not understand. Each time we talk about that, like you said, some guys think we want extortions. However, the same guys cannot offer anything to put us at the same equal basis. Is there any solutions to come up with somthing serious?

Our prime minister said at the last conference on federalism, "Give me the recognition of Québec nation and a deal lamost like the Meech accord and I'll sign it tomorrow morning". Landry also said when he was in Europe, "if Canada offers us a european-like confederation type, I would be glad to sign it".

But all we ear from Canada is "shut-up you whiners". Very constructive! don't you think?

----------------

andycapp,

J'imagine que tu dois être assez expérimenté dans l'horreur de connaître la langue française. Tu ne te salirais pas à la parler n'est-ce pas? Au moins, là où tu te trouves sur le globe, tu as une bonne raison de parler à l'envers du bon sens. ;) :lol:

Bill_in_PDX
Feb 19, 2002, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by Benz

Why is the majority should win over all?

Our prime minister said at the last conference on federalism, "Give me the recognition of Québec nation and a deal lamost like the Meech accord and I'll sign it tomorrow morning". Landry also said when he was in Europe, "if Canada offers us a european-like confederation type, I would be glad to sign it".


Benz,

Why should the majority rule? Because that is what elections are all about eh?

I'll ask again, you must have missed my previous question in this thread. I am just a curious american: What is in it for the rest of Canada? In the EU, most countries in theory come to the table as equal partners, offering a divergent set of economic opportunities that together could form a powerful bloc.

In Quebec, it would seem that is not the case, and an independant, but EU style partnership in Quebec might well be a burden (as a ratio of services provided against contribution).

Why wouldn't Canada just want to say good bye to Quebec entirely rather than accept the EU scenario?

Again, I don't know the detailed economics of Quebec versus say Ontario or British Columbia, but I would like to understand it.

DingBat
Feb 19, 2002, 12:17 PM
This is a good exercise. I've stated that I don't really have any objections to re-negotiating the relationship with Quebec and I mean it. So let's try to hammer out an agreement. :)

What does an "EU style partnership" mean? From what I gather, the main demand is to be allowed to develop "made in Quebec" legislation without federal intereference. Fair enough.

Perhaps Benz could list a set of initial conditions that would make Quebec happy.

What are federal responsibilities and what are provincial under this new model?

/bruce

Benz
Feb 19, 2002, 12:38 PM
bill,

"Why should the majority rule? Because that is what elections are all about eh?"

As long as we talk about the same nation. Which is not the case. There is two distinct societies and that does not include the natives, a different issue.

You suggest that Québec has nothing to offer to the Canada? That we would be an expense for them and nothing else? You are wrong.

Québec is the second most powerful province in Canada. Well, Alberta is maybe in better economic position than both Ontario and Québec because of its ressources such the gaz and petrol but, their economy is not as diversified as us. I guess they will develop it pretty in a nearby future and get in first place.

"Again, I don't know the detailed economics of Quebec versus say Ontario or British Columbia, but I would like to understand it."

The economy of Québec alone is the 15th in the world. All Canada together is 7th or something. These are statistics I saw few years ago.

Here is some links I founded on google. If you can read French, I have some better but, I think these are pretty good too.

Take a look around on this one
http://www.quebecameriques.com/anglais/A-QueSum/A2-PointVu/a2som-point-vue-quebec.htm

http://www.conway.com/quebec/9808/pg04.htm
http://www.conway.com/quebec/9808/pg03.htm
http://www.mic.gouv.qc.ca/economie/Calepin-tab-01_en.html
http://www.premier.gouv.qc.ca/premier/english/quebec/main_horizon.htm

Oda Nobunaga
Feb 19, 2002, 12:41 PM
First Dingbat, in answer to your former post, considering that the original conquest was followed by years of the english trying to assimilate and/or lording over the french canadians, no, I doubt the pain will go away too soon. The problem itself has gone away a few years ago already...but the lingering memories still remain, especially among the older ones.

And I was not complaining about it, to any extent. Simply stating it was a major difference when it cames to determining why Québec could be said to form a wholy different "society" and culture. The immigrants have their own cultures, but it's a point one can't help but notice that they CHOSE to move to a country where nothing will be set to accomodate their culture. Whereas Québec was not given such a choice (much as the natives), hence explaining why Québec has the right to ask for certain special treatment (which it gets, for the most part, thanks mostly to the provincial authority in educational matters, for example).

As for the idea of tryign to "play at" negociating a settlement, it sounds very good.

May I offer my services as moderator for such a debate?

Benz
Feb 19, 2002, 01:10 PM
Now you are talking dingbat! :)

First, recognition of Québec nation.

Second, have a say to the confederation's constitution. An agreement MUST be reach before any futher changes are allowed at this level.

Third, instead of having ten provinces, it should one Québec state and...

you know, I don't mind how the ROC want themselve to be. If they want to be one global federal state with 9 provinces or separate in 3 regional states (Atlantic, Ontario and West), or simply divided up everything in 9 states, it really does not matter to me. However, I think it is clear that the Atlantic provinces are not ready to do such move. They are weak and dependent big time of the main federal system. I think (and I can be wrong) that Manitoba and Saskatchewan would rather want to be part of a Western state rather than be a single state on their own. BC and Alberta are (I think) quite strong enough to be individual states. That said, I am pretty open to whatever the ROC want itself to be, all that I am saying is, what I want Québec to be.

Since Québec is the only one to debate about such sovereignty for years and it is very too soon for the ROC, maybe it would be better to divide it like I first proposed. 2 states, Québec and the ROC, sharing some powers together. If other regions/provinces want to become a state either, we have no problems with that.

Fourth, we can share few stuff like army, money, wide open boundaries, interstates laws and agreements. I don't have an exautive list of all the details but, we can go a little bit futher than the EU union.

No more federal intrusions into our powers. The states collect the tax and give back its share to the central gov't.

If you have other suggestions of something to share, say it. Maybe I forget something.

Oh, by the way, the equalization. If the ROC want us to participate, I have no problem with that. We will pay our share of the pooling but... of course, this time the calculation must be revealed. In the past, Québec seemed to benefit from it but, we had no control about the Federal's R&D investment all the other federal's programs. I am pretty confident that we can contribute more than benefit once we will be sovereign but, many Canadians think that it is the opposite. So I won't insist. I'm only offering it.

It is only a start and since we never succeed to come at an agreement in the past, there is room for negociations my friend! ;)

---------

Yes Oda, it is ok to me! :)

DingBat
Feb 19, 2002, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by Benz
Now you are talking dingbat! :)

First, recognition of Québec nation.


Others may have trouble with this, but I don't see that it really matters. If you have jurisdictional controls you want, does it really matter if they call you a nation, a province, a realm, or an enclave?

Recognition is de facto given if this new model is adopted.


Second, have a say to the confederation's constitution. An agreement MUST be reach before any futher changes are allowed at this level.


I know we'll argue here, but Quebec has always had a say in the constitution. It just didn't like what the rest of the country had to say.

I suspect what you are proposing really does depend on there being two entities, Quebec and Canada, each with an equal say.

Otherwise, you are talking about giving Quebec a larger than proportional representation. I can't get behind that, democratically speaking.

So, this basically boils down to the condition below:


Third, instead of having ten provinces, it should one Québec state and...


This is the crux of the matter.

If we throw the door open, then some of the other provinces may want to go it alone. I would hope they would still want to be involved in this new Canadian union, but the risk is that they would not want this. Wholesale disintegration of the country serves no one well.

Let's suppose there are the 5 entities you suggest: Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, BC. The next challenge is then to decide jurisdiction between the union government and the entity government. Once that is decided, we then could very well find ourselves in the same bind we have today: what if Quebec decides it doesn't like the allocation of jurisdiction?

Does Quebec get the same representation as the remaining four? If not, then you have to face the possibility that there would be a 4-1 vote against Quebec on some jurisdictional challenge. You reduced the odds, but not the problem.

Even an EU member has the right to leave the EU. Sure, it's less likely, but you have to admit that this doesn't guarantee our children won't have to deal with the same problem.


Fourth, we can share few stuff like army, money, wide open boundaries, interstates laws and agreements. I don't have an exautive list of all the details but, we can go a little bit futher than the EU union.


You have to be careful there. What if the other parties in the union decided to go to war? If Quebec were participating in the army, if would have no choice but to go along as well. You can't have an army whose loyalties are suspect. You may want to rethink that one since it has caused friction in the past.

Money isn't an issue since, in 10 years or so, we're all going to be using the yankee buck anyway. :)

Borders won't be an issue. It would be silly to have stricter borders than the ones we share with the U.S.

The only other issue I can see is the Maritimes. As you say, they may not want to be cast adrift. Guarantees of access to the Maritimes through Quebec would probably be necessary (that is, aircraft rights, free passage for transportation and goods to the Maritimes to the rest of Canada through Quebec).

/bruce

Benz
Feb 19, 2002, 03:03 PM
"I know we'll argue here, but Quebec has always had a say in the constitution. It just didn't like what the rest of the country had to say. "

dingbat... in 1982, the ROC changed the constitution without our approval. How do you call that? If they can change it even if we 100% desagree, it means we have no say. No matter what we think or choose, they can change it as they wish.

"what if Quebec decides it doesn't like the allocation of jurisdiction? "

If we really can't have any agreements on anything, then perhaps separation would be better. I doubt it. If 9 provinces wants to shre something and we don't, I have no problem if they do between themselves. As long as we do not have to pay for it or, if we do, that we can get our part and manage it as we wish.

That was the Lévesque's offer in 1981. He offered to the Canada that every provinces could opt out of a federal's program and get its full compensation. This option is now supported by many westeners.

Army... well, you are right. A plan must be made up in case such thing happens.

Money... very possible. However, we must careful and not fall like Argentina did. ;)

About your last issue, yes, a good negociated plan should be in place to insure everyone not enter into tricky conflict. On that matter, the new confederal gov't may have a big power on that.

Whether the ROC wants to stay as one peace or not, it is up to you. We do not enter into that business and my gov't is more careful than me. I guess two states and yours divided into 9 provinces is a good starting point. But as you can see, my concerns is about Québec first. Any other proposals are welcomed.

If there is five entities, it can also means 5 vetos on constitutional changes. Too many vetos can also freeze any further changes. That is why I am also careful about this approach.

Benz
Feb 20, 2002, 10:51 AM
I found out a pretty good description that summerized the Québec situation.

It is not writen by a sovereignist so, I guess the septicals can trust it! ;)

http://webcenter.roughguides.netscape.com/content/2963/10044.htm

Bill_in_PDX
Feb 20, 2002, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Benz
I found out a pretty good description that summerized the Québec situation.

It is not writen by a sovereignist so, I guess the septicals can trust it! ;)

http://webcenter.roughguides.netscape.com/content/2963/10044.htm

It is a pretty good read, thank you for the link.

I also think it reinforces my concern posed to you, and by the way, I did not say that Quebec was worthless to Canada, so please do not build strawman arguments.

What I did speculate, and this article confirms, is that Quebec would receive, and in fact has already received, a disproportionate amount of the governement tax revenue in support of these seperatist programs.

Under an EU relationship as I see it, Quebec would like to see itself gain benefit from the sharing of all parts of the Canadian tax base and economy, but still reserve the right to opt out anytime they saw fit. This is just not reasonable to anyone outside of Quebec I'll wager, and a better solution would be total separation, and let Quebec go it's own way.

That brings up the question of if Quebec has an economy and resources necessary to survive on it's own. I differ with you on the size of the Canadian economy, though only slightly, as my info says that Canada's GDP is #11 in the world as of 2000, just behind Mexico, but ahead of Spain. See:

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/global.rankings/

Note that the data there comes from countrywatch.com and does tend to contradict itself, in the short overview, it refers to Canada as the fifth largest economy in the world (something you quoted), and that same small paragraph says that Canadians enjoy the highest standard of living in the world...I wonder if that is news to some of my friends up north? In the larger narrative it refers to Canada as the 11th largest economy in the world. I think GDP is a pretty good measure to use.

That is certainly good enough considering the comparative population for GDP, however, my understanding was that Alberta's resources and Ontario's industry were the drivers of that economy. Quebec itself is a merchandising and distribution center of that production, but under a seperatist move, what in Quebec could be distributed once the other provinces create their own version of Montreal? Not meant as a slam, but something for you to think about.

I can see the other provinces' concerns with fairness. If Quebec truely cannot work within the structure of the Canadian constitution, and recognize that the majority rules in a republic, then they need to go their own way. It is unfair to ask the other provinces to be less equal just to satisfy your own needs.

I would hope that Canada itself would not breakup further due to that event. I would welcome BC as the 51st state :-) but I enjoy more the thought of travelling to foreign exotic lands when I trek up to Victoria...

It is staggering to note, and heartening to a capitalist like myself, that over US$1,000,000,000 per day occurs over our 8,000km undefended borders.

Quite an example for the rest of the world, though as noted earlier in this thread, the reaction of the US to a seperation is far from a given (in terms of extending agreements in place), and might be somewhat of a surprise to the Quebec citizens depending upon how independance was achieved.

Benz
Feb 20, 2002, 12:48 PM
Bill,

I don't get it!

"Under an EU relationship as I see it, Quebec would like to see itself gain benefit from the sharing of all parts of the Canadian tax base and economy, but still reserve the right to opt out anytime they saw fit."

why? You are missing a point. We will NOT take Canadian tax money. The stuff that we will share, we will ALL benefit from it. So what is the big deal?

"I differ with you on the size of the Canadian economy, though only slightly, as my info says that Canada's GDP is #11 in the world as of 2000, just behind Mexico, but ahead of Spain. See: "

What I see is that on GDP per capita, Mexico is 48. That means the scale between poors and riches is much higher in Mexico. Since, I have Mexican friends living there and I have visited them two times, I am pretty well place to say that there is no comparision possible between Mexico and Canada. The life condition in Canada are so greater than Mexico than it is useless to compare them.

"my understanding was that Alberta's resources and Ontario's industry were the drivers of that economy"

They are the two best performer, yes.

"what in Quebec could be distributed once the other provinces create their own version of Montreal"

The same stuff as today. Our ressources, companies, knowledges, industries, and so on... it won't desapear. I just don't understand your point.

"It is unfair to ask the other provinces to be less equal just to satisfy your own needs. "

The population of Canada is merely the same as the one in California. I do not recall any complaints from Californians about the fact that Canada has a seat to UN and they don't.

Bill, you cannot compare oranges with apples. Québec is a distinct society from the ROC. They won't be LESS. French will have their state within Québec and English will have their state within English part of Canada. Whether they want to be all into the same state with nine provinces or divided up in regional states, it is not of my business.

"I would hope that Canada itself would not breakup further due to that event. "

Does the risk to collapse the Canada appart worth the non-recognition of our distinct society? :crazyeyes You have a big brainstorming to do yourself either. :eek: Our solution provides both our sovereignties and an unity within a confederation. :king: So what is the big deal?

"might be somewhat of a surprise to the Quebec citizens depending upon how independance was achieved."

It is true that we would be very suprised if the Canadian leader decides to play a Milocevic-like and retain Québec by the force. I am pretty confident that it won't happen and the fruit of negociations will be benefit for all. There won't be a winner if the negociations go wrong. Neither us, nor the English part.

Every reasonable human being know that! ;)

Bill_in_PDX
Feb 20, 2002, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by Benz
Bill,

I don't get it!

"Under an EU relationship as I see it, Quebec would like to see itself gain benefit from the sharing of all parts of the Canadian tax base and economy, but still reserve the right to opt out anytime they saw fit."

why? You are missing a point. We will NOT take Canadian tax money. The stuff that we will share, we will ALL benefit from it. So what is the big deal?

"I differ with you on the size of the Canadian economy, though only slightly, as my info says that Canada's GDP is #11 in the world as of 2000, just behind Mexico, but ahead of Spain. See: "

What I see is that on GDP per capita, Mexico is 48. That means the scale between poors and riches is much higher in Mexico. Since, I have Mexican friends living there and I have visited them two times, I am pretty well place to say that there is no comparision possible between Mexico and Canada. The life condition in Canada are so greater than Mexico than it is useless to compare them.

"my understanding was that Alberta's resources and Ontario's industry were the drivers of that economy"

They are the two best performer, yes.

"what in Quebec could be distributed once the other provinces create their own version of Montreal"

The same stuff as today. Our ressources, companies, knowledges, industries, and so on... it won't desapear. I just don't understand your point.

"It is unfair to ask the other provinces to be less equal just to satisfy your own needs. "

The population of Canada is merely the same as the one in California. I do not recall any complaints from Californians about the fact that Canada has a seat to UN and they don't.

Bill, you cannot compare oranges with apples. Québec is a distinct society from the ROC. They won't be LESS. French will have their state within Québec and English will have their state within English part of Canada. Whether they want to be all into the same state with nine provinces or divided up in regional states, it is not of my business.

"I would hope that Canada itself would not breakup further due to that event. "

Does the risk to collapse the Canada appart worth the non-recognition of our distinct society? :crazyeyes You have a big brainstorming to do yourself either. :eek: Our solution provides both our sovereignties and an unity within a confederation. :king: So what is the big deal?

"might be somewhat of a surprise to the Quebec citizens depending upon how independance was achieved."

It is true that we would be very suprised if the Canadian leader decides to play a Milocevic-like and retain Québec by the force. I am pretty confident that it won't happen and the fruit of negociations will be benefit for all. There won't be a winner if the negociations go wrong. Neither us, nor the English part.

Every reasonable human being know that! ;)

But you would be taking Canadian tax money (through shared services and military and the like). Would Quebec and the remainder of Canada be equal economic powers? If not, then one or the other gets a bad deal.

The EU idea is that by breaking down barriers among many diverse economies with geography in common, then you will increase everyone's economic power. Your model is different, I cannot see how Canada's economic power will increase through a EU relationship with Quebec.

So again I ask, what's in it for them?

Speaking about apples to oranges, uhm, what the hey does California have to do with anything? California does have a seat on the UN, it's labeled United States, nor is it less equal than any other state in our union. In fact, in the House, it has the highest number of representatives.

Economically what does Quebec produce? I am asking, because if the Quebec economy is strongly tied to production from Ontario and Alberta, then it will be in trouble standing on it's own. I honestly don't know that answer, that's why I am asking.

Yes, I think the risk of breaking up Canada is worth balancing against the vocal group of Quebec residents who clammor for an independance that isn't fully thought out.

Benz
Feb 27, 2002, 12:28 PM
"But you would be taking Canadian tax money (through shared services and military and the like). "

And we will give Quebec money either. So what's the point? Tell us why Québec would not pay their share?

Both Canada and Québec would benefit. Québec will be a great contributor and it will cover more expenses than if Québec is not part of the equation. Please give me an exaustive explanation of on how come the ROC would be a loser to benefit from the paid share from Québec. We do not expect to use these confederal tools more than we every did.

"The EU idea is that by breaking down barriers among many diverse economies with geography in common, then you will increase everyone's economic power. Your model is different, I cannot see how Canada's economic power will increase through a EU relationship with Quebec. "

Why? What is the difference? I think you should rather ask to the Torontonian business men. Harris, the former leader of Ontario clearly said that he will keep up the same relations with an independent Québec. Since Ontario represents the biggest province of Canada, I suggest you to talk them first. ;)

"California does have a seat on the UN, it's labeled United States, nor is it less equal than any other state in our union."

California does not feel to have more than this because they feel they are as american as New York and Florida. It is not the case about Québec vs Canada. If you compare Québec culture with english Canada's, it is like if you compare USA's with France's. You said "and recognize that the majority rules in a republic" amd I answer you, Canada does not form a republic like the USA. There is clearly two distinct nations. Unlike in the USA.

"Economically what does Quebec produce? I am asking, because if the Quebec economy is strongly tied to production from Ontario and Alberta, then it will be in trouble standing on it's own. I honestly don't know that answer, that's why I am asking. "

We have one of the best bio-pharmaceutic sector industry in america
Bombardier, one of the leaders in the aero-spacial industry
Québecor, a leader in paper industry
Alcan, a big Aluminium producer
Lavalin, a multinational ingenering company
Hydro-Québec, totally owned by the gov't and one of the best efective and productive hydro-electricity. We earn profits of around 1.5G USD a year, even if we have one of the lowest cost in North America.
Montréal is in the top 5 best cities for technology industry

We have a very good human ressources and a pretty well shaped and growing economy. We are very close to the same Finland's results about educational success.

and so on... we have nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn't scare me a bit.

"that isn't fully thought out"

Well, it depends about who we are talking about. Because I don't think that nuking economical relations is quite "fully thought out". Almost if it is only because you want to penalized a democratically freed region. ;) Until now, all our partners said they would like to continu business with us if we get separate. I don't think they have lied and I don't think we would be willing to change their mind.

Oh by the way, I have a good one for you. About half of the american lottery corporations are doing business with the printer Oberthur Gaming Technologies. It is a branch of the French company Oberthur based in France. Guess who is either their auditor and the biggest lottery auditor in North America? Samson Bélair, the Québec part of Deloitte & Touche. So, around half of the american lottery corporations have their scratch ticket games audited by the Montréal firm. They also audit several European Lottery Corporations. I worked for them 7 years before I changed to a better position into a Montréal branch of a Swiss bank.

As you can see, I am not impressed by your concerns about if we are a good potential partner or not. ;) I know we are and our actual relations know it as well.