Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dion and Lester Pearson

Here's the more logical interpretation of Lester Pearson's legacy on the national unity file, that probably wouldn't surprise anyone but is worth quoting:

Under considerable political duress, Pearson accepted reluctantly a fair degree of administrative decentralization for social programs in areas of provincial responsibility...At no time did Pearson ever contemplate constitutionalizing this process of administrative devolution or asymmetrical federalism. [He was] an ardent Canadian nationalist, a clear-sighted internationalist, and a defender of national unity. Pearson's policies and practices in federal-provincial relations must be placed in the larger context of such pan-Canadian achievements as Medicare...and the Canadian flag.

A revisionist interpretation of Pearson's handling of the Quebec question has been proposed...arguing that Pearson became a strong proponent of the two-nations theory of Confederation. Even more importantly, Pearson developed into a supporter of a Canada-Quebec conception of territorial duality because Quebec, in his view, constituted the homeland of the francophone nation...[Ken] McRoberts concludes that the Pearson years constituted a promising golden era in Canada-Quebec relations, and that it was destroyed almost singlehandedly by his successor, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. ...Unforunately, Canada did not continue down Pearson's road....This interpretation has gained the support of [Quebecois academics] such as Guy Laforest and Stephane Dion...who champion the entrenchment of an asymmetrical Quebec-Canada federation in order to accommodate Quebec's political and constitutional distinctness.

-Michael D. Behiels, Lester B. Pearson and the Conundrum of National Unity, 1963-1998

This perspective has perhaps escaped proper national attention.



Blogger Sholdice said...

One motion cannot a federalist make? I was actually very disappointed with Dion - I thought he was better than agreeing to fight the Tories on their own terms.

Instead of playing by Harper's rules, let's overturn the tables. Like the Afghanistan question, Kennedy decided enough was enough.

3:00 AM  
Blogger EX-NDIP said...

Pearson was the last lib PM that had any idea what was going on, both in Canada and the rest of the world!!!
He did not trample the provinces rights as did PET and all those that followed. He was a man of integrity, both at home and abroad. PET was not. Neither was the Cretch or Martin. Those that followed Pearson had difficulty discerning the truth, they were a collage of self-serving clowns!!!
By the way . . . Dion is no Lester Pearson and never will be!!!

9:52 AM  
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4:25 PM  

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