No need for a na­tional iden­tity

Canada's History - - THE PACKET -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.