Sunday, December 16, 2007

Canada's Re-Confederation

Doug Draper, in his Mar 18, 2005 Niagara This Week column, “Blame funding cuts, not Canada’’ takes a dismissive and pre-emptive shot at The National Post, accusing it of “a barely concealed mission to make Canada the 51st U.S. state”. Where’s his evidence? It almost seems that whenever Mr. Draper is against something, then it can’t be all bad. The Post is also a great opinionated paper -don’t some of his former St. Catharines Standard colleagues work there?

Not a tiresome column of his seems to go by without Mr. Draper trotting out and trashing his usual suspected villains- if it isn’t Bush he’s bashing, it’s Harper, if not Harris or Klein, it’s Mulroney, if not Republicans, then it’s Conservatives. Has he blamed Diefenbaker for anything yet?! Predictably, nary a critique when anything remotely smells of socialism. Although Niagara This Week describes Mr. Draper as ostensibly a “reporter”, his typically biased ‘reports’ read more like weekly partisan N.D.P rhetoric.

Mr. Draper neglects mentioning that it was Democrat Senators Kerry, Clinton, and Kennedy, the Canuck lib-left’s favorite U.S. troika, who recently voted against lifting the ban on our beef. By the way, where are all those millions of disillusioned Yankee Democrats who were so hot to emigrate up here to the utopian ‘blue state’ of the north? What; upon reconsidering Canada’s theoretical benefits, they’ve chosen to stay in greener pastures? Quelle surprise! And here we were, waiting for their validation to reconfirm our self-perceived superiority.

While Mr. Draper noted recent “troubling anti-Canadianism” in the U.S., has he bothered to devote any columns vehemently denouncing the troubling anti-American chauvinism festering in Canada for years? When Mr. Draper needlessly denigrates Mr. Herbert as “small-fry”, it is difficult to miss the irony of the pot calling the kettle black. The Texas businessman said nothing remotely as heinous as what has been embarrassingly uttered by some of the highest Liberals in the Canadian government.

We should not be persuaded to lose sight of our similarities with Americans, which are much greater and stronger than our differences. It seems only sensible to broaden our views of ourselves, and of our border, in a less parochial, less adversarial, more continental context.

Only in 1948 did the people of Newfoundland vote to bring their territory into Confederation. Does anyone think that if the people of any province decided to opt out of Confederation, that the Clarity act would stop them? It’s not an inconceivable scenario to be lightly dismissed. Do we need a new “Re-Confederation”, or would our disparate regional aspirations be better served within the framework of the U.S. republic? Now that our Constitution can be used to redefine the meaning of traditional marriage, perhaps it can also redefine the traditional meanings of sovereignty and confederation to support the mutually beneficial marriage of two nations. Can Canada willingly step up to the challenge as an equal-footed partner, rather than dither from the sidelines like a petulant child who spitefully refuses to tie her own shoelaces, knowing full well that she might trip and need help?

On May 30,2002 in Winnipeg, then Prime Minister Chretien bragged of his own sponsorship scandal: “Perhaps there was a few million dollars that may have been stolen in the process. But how many millions of dollars have we saved because we have reestablished the stability of Canada by keeping it a united country?” Now there is a legacy of casuistry to be proud of. It makes you wonder: if this is the kind of graft necessary to support the Liberal myth of Confederation, then is this kind of Confederation worthy of support?

There are those who would point a finger at Bush rather than at their own Canadian government, whose mitigating answer to national security is announcing that they’ll build a useless fence, and then sit on it.

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