Saturday, May 21, 2005

Lament for a Nation

David Warren's latest commentary, Lights out, reads like an obituary for Canada.

The events of the last few weeks have brought to light what thoughtful, public-minded citizens of all political persuasions, not just conservatives or Conservative partisans, have feared for years but have not been able to express with complete coherence and clarity.

The Canada we once knew and respected, a free nation founded on the rule of law, personal liberty and respect for our fellow man and our national traditions, has been replaced with a corrupt oligarchy who hold in contempt the public whose treasure they steal and whose liberties they violate.

We have committed suicide, as a nation. Outwardly, and immediately, the consequences of what we have done will be seen in much different areas. We must deal with the renewed demand for separation in Quebec, and much deeper alienation in the West, where people begin to realize that they have been permanently disenfranchised. We will endure the continuing bleeding of economic opportunity, as both capital and our most talented citizens migrate to better prospects in the United States and beyond.

But as a people, we have proved incapable of connecting the dots between our national decline, and the bottomless corruption of our legal and political order.

Multicultural states inevitably disintegrate when the raison d'etre underlying their existence disintegrates, whether it be the dominance of a royal dynasty, political ideology, religious faith or peculiar political circumstances.

The peculiar political circumstances that led to Confederation in 1867 have long since passed away. The sun has set forever on the British Empire, and the United States has no desire to annex new territory, the fears of anti-American nationalists notwithstanding.

The entity inaccurately known as "English Canada" exists no longer. The vestigial ties to the British Crown are of little practical importance, as the bulk of the population of the rest of Canada is neither of British descent, nor identifies with Britain, British culture or the Commonwealth in any way.

A new centre of political and economic power has grown up in Western Canada, yet its influence and concerns are ignored at best, scorned at worst, by the old power elites in Central Canada.

Atlantic Canada, the wealthiest part of the country in 1867, has steadily declined in political and economic influence until it has been reduced to a backwater, deliberately kept in colonial dependency by Central Canada (Upper Canada, if you prefer.)

Quebec has long since ceased to identify its national aspirations with Canada's in any meaningful way. It has become, in fact if not in law, a separate nation unto itself.

Canada will pass into history over the next couple of decades as yet another failed state, like the Austrian Empire, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia before it, whose original foundations had crumbled and could not be rebuilt on new ones.

1 comment:

Literate Canadian said...

Intelligent Canadians are already checking out immigration to other freer countries as this one is lost.
You can lead an easterner to the polling station but you can't make them vote intelligently.