Back by popular demand: a post from October.
Harvard is a Nation, too
Today, in the Globe and Mail, Ignatieff shows why he's not the guy for the federal Liberals:"Quebeckers, moreover, have come to understand themselves as a nation, with a language, history, culture and territory that marks them out as a separate people. Quebec is a civic nation, not an ethnic nation. More than 5,000 nations are recognized as such in the world, but there are fewer than 200 states at the United Nations."
If anything, it's the other way around. Ethnic-based nationalism is precisely the problem with Quebec. It has been since the emergence of the survivance movement in the late 19th century. Far too often, Quebec nationalism has a noxious chauvinism to it that reached its nadir during World War II, when much of the clerical and civil elite sympathized for the fascist Petain regime in Nazi-occupied France. Anyone who cannot see, or refuses to acknowledge, that the Quebec media and political elite sees the Quebec "nation" as the decendants of the settlers of the colony of New France is not dealing realistically with the issue of Quebec nationalism. Quebec nationalism was once built on the three pillars of Norman ethnicity, the French language and Roman Catholicism. Quebec has chucked the latter pillar, has adopted ludicruous and malicious language laws that blatantly violate individual rights to "save" the middle one, and pretends that the first one is simply a reflection of Quebec settlement. That's easy to do when you are unwilling to discuss the movement of more than one million non-Francophones from the province in the past thirty years, the "ethnic cleansing" of the old Anglophone populations of Quebec City, Montreal, the Eastern Townships and West Quebec, the officially-encouraged erasure of English place names, and the rest of the sordid acts done under the false and dishonest excuse of "protecting" French