Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Meech + Strong Central Gov't = Bob Rae

Here, at the blogging capital of the federal theory world, we turn to Bob Rae. What is his vision for the federation?

From "The Great Canadian Questions:"

"Those who argue that Canada is made up of ten provinces which must be treated exactly the same - a cookie-cutter approach to equality - are arguing in defiance of Canadian history. Such an approach may fit one person's theories of federalism, but we have seen the danger of governing in the name of a theory, whether it is Lord Durham's, Pierre Trudeau's or Preston Manning's.

...Those outside Quebec whose voices have rejected the notion of distinct society are ignoring an important part of Canadian history and Canadian reality. For generations, people outside Quebec kept on asking the typical media question, "What does Quebec want?"

I think Quebec is now entitled to say, "Well, we have a pretty good idea of what we want. We told you what that was in Meech Lake. We've given you some sense of the direction we want to go in." There's clearly a strong majority of opinion in Quebec not in favour of separation, but certainly in favour of recognizing the particular quality of Quebec institutions."

There seems to be a pattern developing here. But hang on, there's more:

"Yet the centre needs a continuing capacity to act for the whole country. The persistence of regional resentments from one corner of Canada to another is the least attractive feature of our national character.

There has been much ink spilt by digruntled "regional" parties, from Joseph Howe to Preston Manning, about the unfairness of the principle of majority rule. Having denounced "central Canada" for a generation, Mr. Manning should hardly be surprised that Reform has yet to be embraced by Ontario. Federalism is about balance. If the centre cannot hold at all, the country will not make it as a federation. And a federation it must be."

Why that part sounds downright Liberal! More so than anyone we've covered here before. Interesting.


Blogger Steve said...

I hope my post complements this. I guess I have a different take, but hence the advantage of having both presented.

12:27 AM  

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