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What does it mean to be English Canadian?


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Even the guys who go out to fight on behalf of their old country in some "foreign" land?

I recall that Serbian guy - excuse me, Canadian guy - who was convicted of taking Canadian soldiers hostage in Bosnia on behalf of Serbia. Then there were those Albanian "canadians" who murdered the security guard at the Turkish embassy on behalf of their old homelands. Or those Greeks who assaulted the Mayor of York during a mini riot because the city was going to put up a Macedonian flag on its birthday, etc etc.

This is sidetracking the topic here. That is all.

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Well, you know Canada is English when you see another soldier being carried to the cargo plane to come home and its the Scottish bagpipes playing. I also wonder how the French soldier would feel about that? I guess he'd feel better coming home alive than worrying over the bagpipes playing. English Canadian is just someone speaks English before any other language.

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I am homo-sapien above all else, if you really want to get facetious about it.

Stick with the context of the thread and you will do fine. I said Canadian first, everything else second, including what language you speak.

Okay, I can see now I had the order of importance wrong, the scale of which goes up. I suppose homo-sapiens tops everything else from an anthropocentic perspective. An earthling could also be mistakenly construed as being a dolphin or an Argus for example.

The trouble now is Canadian is now the least important according to you, unless of course you're an English Canadian which sounds like it is even less than #1 which I'm pretty sure is the context of the thread.

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Well I certainly don't have any struggle trying to figure out who I am, and I even know precisely where I am, at all times...

...directly over the center of the earth, just like everybody else. That's an old mariner's joke by the way.

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No matter if you speak english or french, you are a Canadian first. everything else second.
That's a very ROC way of looking at identity. A lot of Quebecers would disagree and say that they are Quebecois(e) first, Canadian second. The problem with this entire argument is that there are two definitions of "nation." Those definition are used interchangeably when they are not necessarily interchangeable. The two types of nations I'm referring to are civic nations and ethnic nations. As globalism creates more culturally heterogeneous states, we'll probably see growing tensions between the definitions. The natives use the definition properly. They are a nation. But states, especially heterogeneous ones, try to get everyone to identify with the state itself, thus they create civic nation ideals for everyone to identify with. Trudeau is the father of our civic-nation ideals. He wrote them into law with the charter and the constitution, with bilingualism and multiculturalism. The problem we currently have is that Quebec is doing everything it can to reject the civic nation to ensure the survival of its cultural nation. Right or wrong, I don't know. But, what I can tell you is that civic national ideals are a construct of the state used to create unity among dissimilar peoples. It's not so simple to say you're "Canadian" first. What's to say we should identify with the state anyway?
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The natives use the definition properly. They are a nation.

No, they would use the 1st Nations.

The problem with this entire argument is that there are two definitions of "nation."

There are more than that. In the case of 1st Nations, the Haida consider nation to mean like England when they recall Brian Mulroney announcing Canada would negotiate nation to nation with native people's. Haida Gwaii includes an EEZ that extends 200 hundred miles out to sea. Haida Gwaii is or could well be a country one day.

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Well I certainly don't have any struggle trying to figure out who I am, and I even know precisely where I am, at all times...

...directly over the center of the earth, just like everybody else. That's an old mariner's joke by the way.

Well you are actually closer to the truth...but that is a matter for religion and philosophy section.

While everyone can identify themselves using all kinds of adjectives, collectively we really have no identity that isn't myth based.

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No, they would use the 1st Nations.

There are more than that. In the case of 1st Nations, the Haida consider nation to mean like England when they recall Brian Mulroney announcing Canada would negotiate nation to nation with native people's. Haida Gwaii includes an EEZ that extends 200 hundred miles out to sea. Haida Gwaii is or could well be a country one day.

Well no. We call them "first Nations" but only as a matter of trying to marginalize them into one homogeneous melting pot, instead of recognizing each and every nation for who they are with the culture they preserve. Their concept of nation is not well understood in our terms, and infact our terms are not well understood because we try to make claims we are something we are really not.

Canada is really a Metis nation.

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An earthling could also be mistakenly construed as being a dolphin or an Argus for example.

IMO earthlings are what we are to extra-terrestrials.

-----

To answer the OP's question, what is English Canada? English Canada is Quebec sovereignty in reverse. English Canada is a pipe dream in the minds of all those who want Quebec booted out of Confederation. I say a pipe dream because only Quebecers can decide if they want to leave the Federation. Since they have voted independence down more than once, I'd say they'll be around for a long time.

We don't have 2 solitudes as is often referred to by some political observers, we have 3. The English who hate Quebecers, Quebecers who hate the English and those who don't care one way or the other.

So we are left with Canadians whose mother tongue is English, Canadians whose mother tongue is French and Canadians who can't understand either. A great big happy family in a dysfunctional kind of way.

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But, what I can tell you is that civic national ideals are a construct of the state used to create unity among dissimilar peoples. It's not so simple to say you're "Canadian" first. What's to say we should identify with the state anyway?

We could use some unity. I mean, otherwise we would then stop really being Canadians, which is a commonality among all of us.

I am a Canadian that speaks English.

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You folks are still obscuring the meaning of nation. Countries and political borders are not nations, they are states. States that are culturally heterogeneous will attempt to forge a set of national values that everyone can identify with. This may create a sense of national identity towards the state, and you can consider this a proper nation, but it should not be confused with the ethnic/cultural nation. Native Canadians do make up nations. French Canada, in particular, the Quebecois(e) are a nation. Sometimes nations will have political borders like the Inuit in Nunavut or the Quebecois(e) in Quebec. But, other times the political border is drawn around many different nations, like Canada, and the federal government tries to create a national identity that is all encompassing. This is the civic nation.

As it pertains to the opening post, there is no "English-speaking" Canadian nation because there is no common set of values held by "English-speaking" Canadians and ONLY "English-speaking" Canadians that would define them as a nation. French Canadians have a shared history that includes everything from the Roman Catholic Church to the Civil Code that they can identify with as being particularly French, not to mention their language and other cultural traditions. The Quebecois(e) have an ethnic nation of their own. The English language is not particular to a single ethnic national identity. English speaking Canadians come from all different ethnic backgrounds and histories. They cannot possibly form an ethnic nation because of their diversity. Instead, English Canada is bond together by the values of the civic nation that was built by Trudeau. English Canada identifies with multiculturalism, diversity, bilingualism, the charter of rights and freedoms, our national anthem, the flag, etc. However, all of these things were put into place to bind together people of many different backgrounds. This civic nation was created to hold together people of many different nationalities.

The sad truth is that English Canadians are the bastard children to a government that has undertaken for far too long the impossible task of keeping together dissimilar peoples. English Canada has given up its ethnic national identity for a civic national identity, in the hopes that this country could be kept together. English Canada sacrificed its identity to embrace French Canada only to have it thrown in their face everytime someone from the Bloc Quebecois--a party whose purpose is to fortify the French ethnic nationality--is elected to Parliament.

That's my opinion anyway.

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We could use some unity. I mean, otherwise we would then stop really being Canadians, which is a commonality among all of us.

I am a Canadian that speaks English.

Absolutely we need unity, but Quebec never signed the Constitution and it currently holds seats hostage in Parliament by electing a party whose sole purpose is to fortify the French ethnic national identity. The problem is how do you have unity without one culture absorbing the other? Is it even possible to have unity yet maintain heterogeneity? I don't know. Perhaps the only way to have unity is to let Quebec go its own way.
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What a thread. Random links, and response.

Charter is technically correct, but Cybercoma hit the bulls

eye with this definition:

....

I don't think the term English Canadian would be used outside of Quebec.

IOW, you English Canadians have assumed the word "Canada". By what right do you take this description?
The majority of non-Francophones and non-Aborigines who are part of and ascribe to the notions, culture, beliefs and value-system which has existed, grown and flourished in mainstream Canada - excluding French Canada - for the last hundred odd years. That culture is somewhat a replica of what existed in the UK, including Ireland over the past, but tends to exclude the classism and most of the religious prejudices. It's made up of people of every ethnic background who came here and adapted through the classic melting pot approach, and did not desperately cling to their old world culture and beliefs. The guy with the German name I know and the guy with the Ukrainian name I know are no different than I am, regardless of our family backgrounds. Same culture, same value set.
That's it? Sad.
No matter if you speak english or french, you are a Canadian first. everything else second.
But my questions was: if uopu speak English, what is Canada?

Gost, you have conveniently avoided the question. (Are you a politician?)

Well you are actually closer to the truth...but that is a matter for religion and philosophy section.
I admire Canada because we relegate our national existential questions to religion and philosophy.

[Then again, on my French forum, they are discussing once again independance in the context of a financial collapse.]

We don't have 2 solitudes as is often referred to by some political observers, we have 3. The English who hate Quebecers, Quebecers who hate the English and those who don't care one way or the other.
Giggle. An original way to avoid the question.
The sad truth is that English Canadians are the bastard children to a government that has undertaken for far too long the impossible task of keeping together dissimilar peoples. English Canada has given up its ethnic national identity for a civic national identity, in the hopes that this country could be kept together. English Canada sacrificed its identity to embrace French Canada only to have it thrown in their face everytime someone from the Bloc Quebecois--a party whose purpose is to fortify the French ethnic nationality--is elected to Parliament.

That's my opinion anyway.

Cybercoma, this is what I think too, but with more generosity - perhaps because I share your language by ancestor.

----

Underneath all, I am surprised that English Canada lacks a definition. To me, Canada is one thing, but English Canada is something else.

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Absolutely we need unity, but Quebec never signed the Constitution and it currently holds seats hostage in Parliament by electing a party whose sole purpose is to fortify the French ethnic national identity. The problem is how do you have unity without one culture absorbing the other? Is it even possible to have unity yet maintain heterogeneity? I don't know. Perhaps the only way to have unity is to let Quebec go its own way.

It's called learning to live with each other. Hell we do it all the time in the family and workplace. We have conflicts everywhere. Live and let live, life is to short to be bitching about these petty differences.

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IOW, you English Canadians have assumed the word "Canada". By what right do you take this description?
Not so. French Canadians are entitled to be a part of that civic identity, but choose not to. English Canadians have not assumed the word "Canada," French-Canadians have rejected it in favour of Quebec. It's still there for them to be a part of if they want to come back. There is still hope.
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Absolutely we need unity, but Quebec never signed the Constitution and it currently holds seats hostage in Parliament by electing a party whose sole purpose is to fortify the French ethnic national identity. The problem is how do you have unity without one culture absorbing the other? Is it even possible to have unity yet maintain heterogeneity? I don't know. Perhaps the only way to have unity is to let Quebec go its own way.

You just pointed out why there is no unity!

"...how do you have unity without one culture absorbing the other"

The fact that you believe this is what keeps us at a distance from defining ourselves as real nation-cultures. Early Canadians didn't have so much a problem since when you are out in the wilderness struggling to survive you learn about what works, incorporate into your own daily traditions and celebrate it!. The Metis picked up the fiddle because it came from a place that had culture and they put on their moccassins to dance in because they were comfortable, durable and easily made. The Metis derived their culture as a distinct people from embracing the culture of all, not trying to absorb or eliminate one over the other. The culture has many individual roots that became the Metis culture.

The real culture of Canadians that we refuse to embrace in one of aboriginal-Metis, British and French. The reason we can't get Quebec to buy into Canada is the result of English cultureless Canada attempting to wipe out any traces of Quebecois culture (which again is more aboriginal-Metis culture than it is French Parisian culture). They will have nothing of it. Instead if we say to Quebec we WANT you to maintain your own unique culture and we'll celebrate that nationally, and at the same time we say to English culture that we want to explore your settler - aboriginal roots and see if there is a culture we can develop from it, and if we say to aboriginal people, we WANT you to celebrate your culture and languages and will provide the same protection for it as we do for Quebec and English-speaking Canada, then we'll have a chance at unity. However, we have to admit that Canada is mostly an aboriginal-Metis nation culturally and our traditions, customs and even our unique belief in equality and fairness is derived form those roots. In order to accomplish such a transition, we'll have to expose the myths that pretend we are a British nation, Kings and Queens and nobility in our own right and all others, notably the aboriginal and the French are not worthy of our attention.

Such delusions has not only led us in the past 150 years into conflict and hard feelings but it will keep us going in the same direction. Our only hope must be to start admitting that aboriginal and Quebec have something that will benefit us, and not the other way around.

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Absolutely we need unity, but Quebec never signed the Constitution

Not true. It didn't sign the Constitution Act, 1982, which was simply an amendment to the Constitution. The signature was just a formality. Everything in the Constitution Act, 1982, still applies to Quebec.

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Not true. It didn't sign the Constitution Act, 1982, which was simply an amendment to the Constitution. The signature was just a formality. Everything in the Constitution Act, 1982, still applies to Quebec.

Semantics.

The fact remains that Trudeau's vision was adopted by those outside of Quebec (so much so that Canadians name bilingualism, multiculturalism and our rights just behind Tim Hortons, Hockey and Don Cherry when asked what it means to be Canadian) and the national identity he forged has been largely rejected within Quebec.

The Constitution applies, of course, but the missing signature is symbolic of Quebec's rejection of the Canadian civic nation.

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It's still sitting on my bookshelf because I haven't had time to read it, but did you get that post from John Ralston Saul's A Fair Country? It sounds similar to how the jacket sells his argument.

Of course he confirms what I have known all along but articulates much better than I do. It is such a simple read it should be on your priority list. The chapters are short and not hard to comprehend.

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Of course he confirms what I have known all along but articulates much better than I do. It is such a simple read it should be on your priority list. The chapters are short and not hard to comprehend.
Re-reading my post it sounded much more accusatory than I meant. I was just wondering what you thought of the book. :) I'm not trying to call you up on plagiarism or anything. It is a message board after all. I'm really looking forward to reading it, but I just really haven't had the time. I would also have his book on globalism.

I rummage through the used bookstore downtown frequently. I love it when I find relatively new books for dirt cheap. I also managed to pick up Chretien's biography and Trudeau's pre-PM years biography recently. Like I said, there's not enough time to read through everything. It would be nice to have a month or two to do nothing but read for pleasure.

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I've read Voltaire's Bastards and dragged myself through most of the Unconscious Civilizations. While they both provide some indepth points of view, I found them needlessly wordy and thick.
Adrienne Clarkson's husband told me nothing about life, modern government or English Canada.

I reckoned that the publisher accepted his book because it was thick, and some university professors would require it. The publisher looked at his wife's prospects. (Signal to guys: Choose a good wife.)

Voltaire's Bastards is a foolish book written in sophisticated style. John Saul and Michael Ignatieff are phoneys.

And what does this have to do with English Canada?

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