Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stephane de France

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.


Anonymous said...

I’m not writing this to defend STEPHANE-my-father-was-a-separatist-pionner-therefor-I-want-proove-him-wrong-due-to-lack-of-love-from-him-causing-psychological-issues- DION. Nor, to comment the fact that the Ontario Liberal members once again choose or purchase a Quebecer to be hard on Quebec.

My question is why the big fuss with Stephane Dion having the French Citizenship while the fact that John Turner and John A. MacDonald were British caused no commotion at all and was even glorified. Is it because France the country makes you thinks of the French language, consequently, the language spoken by 85% of Quebecers at home?


Human Brother

Steve said...

Times have changed since Turner and Macdonald, imagine the fuss if say Harper had joint Canadian/US citizenship.The debate is quite valid.

Ottawa Watch said...

When John A Macdonald was prime minister, everyone in Canada was a British citizne, including Abbe Lionel Groulx and Henri Bourassa. Canadian citizneship didn't exist.
Turner, unlike Dion, was born abroad.

Anonymous said...

Dion defended this issue pretty well in his interview with Peter Mansbridge.

I agree that it should be a non-issue.

The Bloganism said...

Re: Dual citizenship --two basic questions to consider...
(1) What's the other country?
(2) What are the circumstances behind this 'dualism'?

Well, in Dion's case, the answers are
(1) France
(2) His mother is French

France is a mother founder. Dion's mon is a mother (duh). And she's from France. Case closed.

Ottawa Watch said...

Dion should give up French citizenship if he becomes PM. Probably he has no need to worry in that regard. The Tories just have to piss him off a few times and he'll alienate the voters.