Look, folks, I think the yammering about Dion's French citizenship really is a lot of hot air. I'm not sure why he feels he needs it, since, as a PhD and a prof, he can live in the EU without any trouble. Those columnists who imply Dion is going to be phoned at 4 a.m. (10 a.m. Paris time) with the Elysee Palace's shopping list are simply mischief-making. Dion, of all the Liberal leadership candidates, has certainly shown his dedication to Canada, and a federalist one at that.
I just have one problem: the way he's dealt with this. Brushing aside reporters with "next question" is not a way of answering the question. Canadians really can handle candor. If the French citizenship is a tribute to his French mother, fine. We can handle that. If Dion sees himself as a citizen of the world and believes the idea of single "citizenship" is a relic of the kind of nationalism that cursed the 20th century, that's OK. A case can certainly be made for wide-open borders. If Dion believes his EU citizenship is valuable and something that might open doors for himself and his children in the future, that's OK with me. Unfortunately, three of my four grandparents were born in Canada, and my grandmother was born in the States, so there are no easy second citizenships out there for me. The U.S., unlike the EU, does not grant second-generation citizenship. I'd gladly accept Irish, British or French citizenship, but my ancestors from those countries came here too long ago. My wife's parents were born in the Netherlands and her father has Dutch-German dual citizenship. Would I like my kids to have that? You bet. Like France, those countries expect no obligations or national service from expatriates. If, in the future, they did, my kids would be able to make their own choices.
And to really piss people off, here's a thought: I bet Mahar Arar would have liked to have some kind of EU citizenship. A lot of good his Canadian citizenship was, both in New York and in Syria.