How can I best describe this?
Bad idea jeans?
Don't play with matches?
Apparently with the support of the Ignatieff campaign, the Quebec wing of the Liberal party feels that the LPC needs to recognize Quebec as 'une nation' and the existence of the desequilibre fiscal.
I've put 'nation' entre guillments, and in italics, because it doesn't mean the same thing in English as it does in French.
The desquilibre fiscal thing means exactly the same thing in English as it does in French. We want more money. I'm not sure why I put it in italics.
But let's deal with 'nation' vs nation.
En anglais, a nation is commonly used as a synonym for an autonomous political entity, like a country. Which is why an awful lot of anglophones go loopy every time they hear some suggest that Quebec is a nation.
Une nation a group of individuals who share cultural links which define them a community. These links might be language, a common history, values etc. Thus, some would argue that le Quebec est une nation, a l'interieure du Canada.
Of course, I haven't heard the last four words linked with the first four words very often.
But that really is a side point, because to deny la province is une nation is to drive an awful lot of Quebecers absolutely loopy. In fact, they start to look like anglophones who have just heard some suggest that Quebec is nation.
Now, I'll bet this is starting to sound an awful lot like distinct society.
I have to say, I have a lot of trouble telling the two apart myself.
A good number of us who live inside and outside of Quebec shake our heads and realize how incredibly disconnected that the political class of Quebec is from the Tim Horton's reality where 99% Canadians live, regardless of language or geography.
Most of us are trying to get through school, pay the mortgage, figure out who will win the Stanley Cup, watching tetesaclaques.tv and understand what really is going on Lost.
Et on s'encrisse si nous sommes une nation, ou bien, un gros donught.... Apparently LPC-Q didn't get the memo.
But distinct society was almost 20 years ago. 20 years ago Culture Club and David Emerson still had a chance a promising career. Pierre Trudeau was still having kids. Harold Ballard still owned the Leafs. S tephen Harper was trying to destroy the Conservative Party, and Bob Rae was trying to figure out how to get re-elected.
Today, Boy George and Bob Rae might still have a chance, but otherwise times have changed.
We've all matured a little bit, or so I'd like to think. Unfortunately, as much as I think mes confreres carres hors du Quebec have little interest or knowledge of the linguistic subtleties of nation vs nation, j'en suis tres sur que mon chum Mikey Ignatieff le sait tres bien.
Which, quite frankly, leaves me a bit ticked at Mr. Ignatieff and his campaign team who just about flat outed admitted in this morning's Grope & Flail that they were trying to distract people away from his mid-east peace initiative.
Iggy appears to have missed the last 20 years of Canadian politics and the divisive debates about distinct society, the referendum, and blah, blah, blah... I am not sure that this will play out as the card that shows he has the political acumen so absent in the last few weeks.
Don't mess around, this is fate of the nation kind of stuff...
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UPDATE: Buddy at the Waters Edge has nifty post on the motion passed at LPC-Q which is well worth the read.