It’s all out in the open now; there is no turning back in Canadian politics. The eastern politicians have made themselves crystal clear in their feelings toward the west with their recent move to form a coalition government with the Quebec separatists.
Stephen Harper has made it clear that he wants to run the country with western values at heart and his strategies have created an animosity towards him that runs deep in eastern Canada making progressive diplomacy tough at best.
Canada is a great nation, perhaps too great. With millions of square miles bordering three oceans with two official languages and ethnicity’s from around the globe. We pride ourselves on our multicultural rich heritage. But we have come to a point where our country has shrunk not in size but in mind. Several generations have passed since the great trek westward that pioneered Canada into the nation she is today. Westerners have lost touch with their eastern heritage and easterners may not have had any link to the west creating two distinct socio-economic classes with different values, lifestyles, languages and political values.
Is this going to be the legacy of Canada-the sad truth that human beings for whatever reason are incapable of coexisting outside of their own class; must we erect borders and barriers to divide ourselves? Perhaps the failure of multiculturalism is the very fundamental that creates it. If there were anywhere on our small blue refuge in the universe of unknown that people could prove that coexistence is possible and mutually beneficial, Canada is it. Elsewhere in the world past and present people are murdered in the millions or worse over trivial differences like gender, age, color, religion, opinion, etc. Something needs to unite us again, in the past it was the declaration of union and then an overt enemy but the world today is not so transparent. The lines are blurred between friend and foe in this global complex that is 2008. Pakistan, need I say more. Look outward instead or inward at your fellow Canadian’s petty differences and you find plenty of resolve in wake of a united Canada. Divided we are weak; together we are strong and free!
From afar American democratic culture seems more evolved than our own in that there is only one result of an election, a winner and a loser. America divorced itself of the parliamentary monarchist system of government in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 ushering in the age of enlightenment and with it a modern democratic system emerged. The most recent example of maturity in American democracy was the election of the first African American president shattering the race barrier in American politics. The cultural melting pot creates a commonality and patriotism, a pride in heritage not found among Canadians. North of the 49th parallel we seem to be taking one-step forward four steps backward, we can’t even penetrate the geographical barrier let alone any other obstacle.
Our politicians and their incredulous squabbling for power is like four school children tugging at the corners of our flag shouting, “It’s mine, it’s mine!” Like our country under the duress of potential separation, the flag tears in half sending the squabbling children to the ground with a thud, sitting on their bottoms they stare wide eyed across at one another wondering what happened.
The embers of separation have ignited a fire that is burning in Canadian hearts. Only with sincerity and bipartisan co-operation on the part of our leaders will they be able to unite Canadians with a vision for the future and extinguish this national threat!
R. A. J. Nichol