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Source: (consider it) Thread: Post-National Country
Horseman Bree
Shipmate
# 5290

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Having been thoroughly involved in resettling a Syrian refugee family in a place that is still unused to people coming from "different" places, this discussion held a certain interest for me.

How about you play with the idea for a while?

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It's Not That Simple

Posts: 5368 | From: more herring choker than bluenose | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
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# 13815

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It seems to me that the author is playing with himself. A bit surprised that it's 14 hours since you posted and I'm the first to jump in with that rather obvious comment.

Canada is still receiving non-refugee immigrants, but is not alone in doing that. Despite the generally inhumane treatment of refugees by the Aust govt*, there is still a large influx of new inhabitants under other schemes - family reunion being perhaps the best known. I can't imagine that there are no other countries into which there are many new immigrants.

*and in which, sadly, it seems to have taken much of the population.

[ 05. January 2017, 02:25: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6713 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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I think there are a number of "post national" individuals in most countries. I remarked on a few occasions within the EU referendum threads that I struggle to identify as British. My identity is tied into people I relate to - family, friends, colleagues at work, church, the people I interact with personally. 60 million people is simply too many to identify with in anything more than the most abstract sense. And, probably common with most people, a significant proportion of those people I interact with on a daily basis were not born in the same nation as me - which since I live in a different nation to the one I was born in (living in Scotland, born in England) isn't surprising.

And, also probably very common, I find that there are people in most nations I share common values with and admire and agree with, people I would want to identify with. While at the same time finding large numbers of people in my own nation I just can't understand how they can believe what they do, people I find myself sharing nothing significant in common with.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

Posts: 32112 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I had hesitated to post, being from Canada. The issue is not merely immigration and percent of people who are foreign born (it's about 40% in Canada where a person or their parents were not born in Canada - I am one of these).

The issue is one of values, and what the perception is of foreignness. I have seen the debates in other countries about trying to regulate what Moslems wear: attempts to do this in Canada are contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The level of defense of human rights seems very high in Canada, to me. Of course you should pursue your language, religion and culture in Canada, with precious few limits. You just may not harm others. Being a hyphenated Canadian is usual, with proud acknowledgement of your ancestry. But please let us try your food.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11064 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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While Foran seems to be making a virtue of a not always comfortable fact, he does hit on a theme that runs through the Canadian identity, which is an anxiety about who we are. I think that that began fairly soon after Europeans started to settle here permanently, albeit with different manifestations over time. The Hudson's Bay Company factor who came here as young man, after thirty years of trading in the bush, was he still a Scot? Could he ever go back to Orkney and be happy? (And, indeed, what is an Orcadian? Scot? Norse?) And what of his children, who will become known as Metis?

I think if there is a constant in the Canadian identity, even if most individuals don't articulate it, it's not a fuzzy Kumbaya feeling (although, to the extent that we have it, I think that it's mostly genuine), but an anxiety about distance, real and metaphorical. My eighteenth century Orcadian would likely never see his family or farm again. I have a Muslim friend from Mumbai (so, an outsider there) who has had a number of successful careers in Canada (an outsider here?), and seems to voice very little interest in returning, even to visit. With something like 80% of Canadians residing within 100 miles of the American border, it would seem that anxiety of distance would diminish, but that's not the case. Canadians are the most mobile (defined as living more than 500 miles from one's birth place) of the industrialised nations. Think of all the Newfoundlanders in Alberta, Nova Scotians who moved to northern Ontario a couple generations ago. Distance from home town, distance from home country, distance from our neighbour, separated by language... Perhaps the defining trait for a Canadian is to ask him/herself, "What the Hell am I doing here?" (there's a Gaelic song from the Red River Colony which pretty much asks that question outright), which is more than a little funny, considering how location and geography are determining factors in identity. It explains our intellectual history's and economy's constant return to the themes of distance and communication (Innis, McLuhan, Powe, Fawcett, Bill 101, Anik satellites, Blackberry, Coupland, the Northwest Passage - both the passage and the song).

This is all in service of demonstrating that the Canadian identity is a nexus of cross currents, some happy, some not. Not to be too postmodern, but it might be thought of as a palimpsest in train. I find Gallant's definition perhaps the best, if not entirely satisfying. Perhaps no less true, if funnier, was the contest Peter Gzowski had on his radio programme This Country in the Morning (or was it Morning Side?) to find a Canadian equivalent for "As American as apple pie". The winning entry was "As Canadian as possible under the circumstances."

Posts: 656 | From: 30 arpents de neige | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Shrug. In Australia we call it multiculturalism.

Canada and Australia both have a far, far higher proportion of foreign-born people nowadays than the US, which prides itself on being the world's melting pot. The US held that position several generations ago, but not now.

Given that Canada and Australia share a great many demographic features and are a very similar pair of nations, it would be nice if the article had recognised our existence instead of focusing on America and Europe.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18048 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
Shipmate
# 18686

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Point taken, Orfeo, although I would say that as the article was written for a British/European audience by a Canadian, it's not a surprise that he made no reference to Australia. One key difference is that Australia doesn't have a linguistically distinct co-founding nation, which is a defining earmark of Canada, culturally and politically. I wonder, as well, do Australians have the same neurotic obsession with identity that Canadians do? Whatever your relationship to the Mother Country, you are not contiguous to a behemoth.
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que sais-je
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# 17185

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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
Whatever your relationship to the Mother Country, you are not contiguous to a behemoth.

They've got New Zealand!

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"controversies, disputes, and argumentations, both in philosophy and in divinity, if they meet with discreet and peaceable natures, do not infringe the laws of charity" (Thomas Browne)

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by que sais-je:
quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
Whatever your relationship to the Mother Country, you are not contiguous to a behemoth.

They've got New Zealand!
Hey, they've at least Five Armies! And don't discount the doughty hobbits.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16930 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Shrug. In Australia we call it multiculturalism.

Canada and Australia both have a far, far higher proportion of foreign-born people nowadays than the US, which prides itself on being the world's melting pot. The US held that position several generations ago, but not now.

Given that Canada and Australia share a great many demographic features and are a very similar pair of nations, it would be nice if the article had recognised our existence instead of focusing on America and Europe.

I once met an Australian prof working on a book on the intertwining of Australian and Canadian multiculturalism policies. He had a double thesis: 1) that the Oz version succeeded the Canadian one and improved on it (he may have an argument there), and 2) they were both an example of taking necessity and making it into a virtue-- both countries were formed from imperial provinces and colonies and landed with waves of diversely-sourced immigration. The classical parameters of the nation state (unity of origin, religion, mythos, and language) were only minimally there, so another theory of the country had to be devised-- and a value-oriented one sort of works. The aboriginal presence in both countries is now more and more emerging as a consideration, but that may be for another thread.

Having worked IRL in related fields for some years, I have come to believe that the Ozite and Canadian policies have to be developed with reference to each other, more than to less-relevant places such as France, the UK, or the US.

Posts: 6137 | From: Ottawa, Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
# 12699

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Canada got into the whole multiculturalism thing by necessity: it grew out of English Canada's response to the Quiet Revolution in Quebec. And French/English relations have always pushed Canada in a more accomodationist direction by necessity. It really was a case of just pushing the system a little bit in the way it already wanted to go.

Wholly unsaid though, is the flip side. Assimilation is a three-generation process. It's the public schools that due the bulk of the assimilating. Not with the curriculum, but with friends, peers, English as the language of the schoolyard, kid's TV shows. 10 to 14 years of that, and you're in the mainstream, whether you want to be or not.

Viscerally the public knows this, the government knows this and the media knows this. If you get too vocal about it is ruins the process.

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NDP Federal Convention, Edmonton 2016: More Trots than the Calgary Stampede!

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Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
# 3245

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What is post national about Bill 101.
Posts: 3684 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Horseman Bree
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# 5290

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Bill 101 is in the same mode as the whole Tea party/Trump thing in the US: a group of noisy supporters yearning for a return to the "old days" before TV and the Internet and cellphone cameras revealed what actually happens.Knowing that "our side" is just as bad as any other side makes many people quite uncomfortable.

Some of Canada's move into "post-nationalism" is related to our climate, as described by Margaret Atwood in "Survival". If you live in a climate that will kill you in many different ways, you NEED your neighbours, even if you don't like them or understand them, and they equally need you. Add in the relatively recent arrival of the majority of us (less than a century) and there has to be some acceptance of the fact that we are not all able to be alike. So most people have moved on to making it work, rather than trying to persuade Sri Lankan immigrants that they should like oatmeal NOW.

And the Quebecers know that they are also immigrants, most of them involuntary, so the same accommodation has to be mad, amongst themselves and with "outsiders"

The same climatic things works (for the most part) in the northern states of the US, although the rather desperate pursuit of individuality does get in the way. Still. Maine, apart from Paul Lepage), or Minnesota or Washington State tend to be less obdurate about forcing issues a la Tea Party, compared to the Deep South.

The same sort of idea could be applied in Oz, with the extreme heat and dry replacing the extreme cold, and with the addition of too many poisonous or otherwise lethal animals.

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It's Not That Simple

Posts: 5368 | From: more herring choker than bluenose | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
Shipmate
# 18686

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To clarify, Bill 101 is not evidence of being post-national, but of the odd Canadian obsession with communication.

To equate Bill 101 (which I find, to say the least, problematic, viz. the absurdity of pasta-gate) with the Tea Party is very wrong. By the time Bill 101 became law, Quebec nationalism had moved well beyond a nostalgic nationalism of the sort supported by the francophone Catholic Church to a secular (indeed, anti-clerical), politically progressive nationalism. Granted, some Pequistes* are pure laine* nationalists (is that were Harper got his "old stock Canadians" from?), but many are outward looking, at least to the Francophonie*. (Debates about the hijab rather complicate the picture.) It was not so much an act of nostalgia, but part of a project for the future for the survival of Quebecois culture. And, as much as it often irritates anglo-Canadians to hear it, it has been in large part successful, producing much more interesting cinema than does English Canada, generally, and a vital literary scene.

As to the reference to Margaret Atwood and Survival, that accords with my "What the Hell am I doing here?" component of the Canadian identity.

*Pequistes = PQ-ist = member/supporter of the separatist (depending on the day of the week) Parti Quebecois

pure laine = lit. "pure wool", sort of "dyed in the wool", meaning descended from the pre-conquest settlers

Francophonie = the international organisation, somewhat analogous to the Commonwealth, of francophone states and governements (*very* broadly defined)

Posts: 656 | From: 30 arpents de neige | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged


 
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