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Why Canadian Unity Matters and Why Americans Care

Why Canadian Unity Matters and Why Americans Care: Democratic Pluralism at Risk

Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 256
  • Book Info
    Why Canadian Unity Matters and Why Americans Care
    Book Description:

    Charles Doran examines why Canadian unity is important, what drives Quebec separatism in the American view, and the nature of the historical era that has shaped and conditioned secessionist impulse.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8347-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. CHAPTER ONE Challenges to Democratic Pluralism
    (pp. 3-36)

    To most North Americans, the name of Brussels is identified with the European Union. Yet Brussels, a largely French-speaking urban centre, is located in the heart of Dutch-speaking Flanders, the breakaway province of Belgium. Few North Americans would equate the European Union with the breakup of Belgium. Fewer still perhaps realize that because French-speaking Brussels is in the centre of Dutch-speaking Flanders, Brussels is the geographic insurance policyagainstBelgian fragmentation. Yet this juxtaposition between regional evolution and devolution along ethno-linguistic lines establishes the blueprint for cultural and territorial turbulence inside the state during the twenty-first century.

    According to a...

  5. CHAPTER TWO A U.S. Perspective on Canadian Unity
    (pp. 37-65)

    Both Canadian and U.S. citizens regard what they have accomplished as singular, and how they govern themselves as worthy of emulation. From the outset, this was their mission.

    ′We shall be as a city on the hill,′ said John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company, in 1629, as he contemplated the future of the North American experience.¹ Freed from political tyranny, that future held the promise of learning to live together politically. The early lesson of this highly conformist society was twofold: it easily created a political tyranny from within and yet it politically accommodated a reality that did...

  6. CHAPTER THREE Will Quebec Secede?
    (pp. 66-105)

    Quebec is unique unto itself, but it is also uniquely North American. I is often said that English Canada needs Quebec to fulfill Canada′s authenticity. A North American Quebec likewise needs an amiable English Canadian counterpart to bring out Quebec′s richest tradition, to preserve it from unremitting inwardness, to attain its loftiest fulfillment as a people and as a nation.¹ Quebec and English Canada are, in many ways, dependent on one another. But the dependency could be broken. Quebec could separate. Quebecers for the most part will themselves decide, but they alone will not be affected. All of North America...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Could English Canada Unravel?
    (pp. 106-134)

    If Quebec secession occurs, might English Canada, splintered geographically, be able to cohere politically? Exploring the reasons for the dismaying possibility that perhaps it could not, the analyst finds plenty to worry about. There are a number of natural obstacles to continued unity that the Rest of Canada (ROC) would be required to overcome. Issues involving the impact of economic inequality and the likely end to transfer (equalization) payments must be resolved. The inherent unevenness of political power between Ontario and the other provinces must get sorted out. ′Western alienation′ and its subordinate demands will require more serious attention than...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE Is Separatism Home-Grown or the Result of Contagion?
    (pp. 135-161)

    In world terms, is cultural nationalism on the increase or on the decrease, and why? This chapter examines this question in the context of another question. Is secession, which is often the product of cultural nationalism, largely a home-grown phenomenon? Or is secession a product of ideas, influences, interactions, and information that are imported from abroad, the international system itself becoming the catalyst for secession? Perhaps the international system acts as a constraint in certain periods of history in the context of a given structure, and as a catalyst in other periods of history in the context of a different...

  9. CHAPTER SIX Is Small Size a Stimulus or Obstacle to Separatism?
    (pp. 162-189)

    According to the previous chapter, contagion alone does not explain the contemporary phenomenon of secession, although tumult in world politics caused by systems transformation can trigger state fragmentation. Conversely, the breakup of Canada could unleash a contagion effect on the processes of democratic pluralism by putting these processes at risk worldwide. Causation does not so much move from international system to state, according to these arguments, as from state to international system. This chapter asks a similar question about secession and the direction of causality: Is the small size of a potentially secessionist actor a stimulus or a hindrance to...

  10. CHAPTER SEVEN What Kind of Canada in the Twenty-First Century?
    (pp. 190-224)

    At a minimum, there are five interpretations describing the unity implications of the 1997 and 2000 federal elections and the 1998 Quebec election. Options for governance flow more or less readily from each of these.

    Some of the interpretations complement the others. It is therefore likely that more than one of the options could be practised simultaneously. For example, one or more modes of decentralization could accompany the effort to establish a relationship of ′asymmetrical federalism′ with Quebec. Ideally, the analyst would like to rank the interpretations as to likelihood, yet the degree of political uncertainty is so great that...

  11. CHAPTER EIGHT Self-Determination and Democratic Pluralism
    (pp. 225-252)

    In the new millennium, when liberal democracy is celebrating its proudest successes, the democratic polity finds itself confronting a challenge from within that is so fundamental and so persistent that the very core of democracy′s achievement is put at risk. Let us begin by very clearly stating the arguments leading to this stark conclusion.

    (1) Democratic pluralism argues that diverse communities in a liberal democracy can live in harmony with each other inside a single state, and, what is more, that in this condition of social and political interdependence the members of these communities can thrive spiritually, economically, linguistically, and...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 253-290)
  13. Index
    (pp. 291-300)