No need for a national identity
Andrew Coyne could not be more wrong in saying that Canada “must be” — or become — a nation [“Confederation Derailed,” June-July 2017]. Canada works because it is a federation without being a nation. Like culture, national identity is regional. Coyne uses the example of Spain as a nation, but Spain is rife with regional identity conflict; think of the Basque and Catalan regions. Coyne points to the United States as a “counter-example,” but regional differences are pronounced in the U.S. The American obsession with being “one nation, indivisible” reflects that country’s struggle to hold together disparities that strain at the seams, not the presence of a “national us.” Successful federations do not require a federal national identity.
The ability to embrace differences — different nations — within a shared political unit — a federal unit — without requiring belonging to a larger nation is the project facing the twenty-first century. Jason Brock Toronto