Decision Canada 2006

Monday, January 09, 2006

Quebec is NOT a nation


Wikipedia defines it as

One of the most influential doctrines in history is that all humans are divided into groups called nations. It is an ethical and philosophical doctrine in itself, and is the starting point for the ideology of nationalism. The nationals (the members of the "nation") are distinguished by a common identity, and almost always by a common origin, in the sense of ancestry, parentage or descent. The national identity refers both to the distinguishing features of the group, and to the individual’s sense of belonging to it. A very wide range of criteria is used, with very different application. Small differences in pronunciation may be enough to categorise someone as a member of another nation. On the other hand, two people may be separated by difference in personalities, belief systems, geographical locations, time and even spoken language, yet regard themselves and be seen by others, as members of the same nation. Nationals are considered to share certain traits and norms of behaviour, certain duties toward other members, and certain responsibilities for the actions of the members of the same nation.

Nations extend across generations, and include the dead as full members. More vaguely, they are assumed to include future generations. No-one fixes a timespan, but a nation is typically several centuries old. Past events are evaluated in this context, for instance by referring to "our soldiers" in conflicts which took place hundreds of years ago.

The term nation is often used synonymously with ethnic group (sometimes "ethnos"), but although ethnicity is now one of the most important aspects of cultural or social identity for the members of most nations, people with the same ethnic origin may live in different nation-states and be treated as members of separate nations for that reason. National identity is often disputed, down to the level of the individual.

A state which explicitly identifies as the homeland of a particular nation is a nation-state, and most modern states fall into this category, although there may be violent disputes about their legitimacy. In common usage, terms such as nations, country, land and state often appear as near-synonyms, i.e., for a territory under a single sovereign government, or the inhabitants of such a territory, or the government itself; in other words, a de jure or de facto state.

In a more strict sense, however, terms such as nation, ethnos, and peoples denominate a group of human beings, in contrast to country which denominates a territory, whereas state expresses a legitimised administrative and decision-making institution. Confusingly, the terms national and international are used as technical terms applying to states, see country.

Quebec is a province NOT a nation. I'm sure lcentre, our Quebec blogger, would agree that Canada is a country and that Quebec is a province within this country. Why do we have to touch this seperation issue again. I am sick and tired of heating about this. If Quebec's a "nation" then BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NB, NS, PEI, YK, NW and NU are also "nations" - I don't see anyone else going and asking to be considered a nation.

To make a long post short, lets realize that Quebec is a province of Canada and end this pointless debate.


  • You need to go back to school and pay attention in your history classes, man. Read the text you quoted again. Quebec fits the description.

    My guess is that you don't know anything about other cultures, and in this case, even more importantly, you don't know anything about the Quebec culture (do you know anything about our culture, habits, food - and no, i'm not talking about poutine here, TV programs, movies stars, language, etc???), yet you make uninformed general statements like this. Seriously, you should consider immersing yourself in a foreign culture - Quebec, for example - for a while. Learn the language, experience the way of life, etc. And then come back and comment on what a nation is...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:34 PM  

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