Earlier this month, Conservative MP Jean-Pierre Blackburn mused publicly about eventually re-opening the constitution to accomodate Québec. Whatever strategic motivations were being played out, it sure provoked a slew of reactions in the english language media, including the Liberal blogosphere, where comments ranged from the prudently constructive to the openly hostile. I was rather troubled, to say the least, by some of the extreme language that was used in some cases, revealing – no doubt – the depth of frustration at Québec haunting yet again the political agenda. In particular, I don’t know how come a word like “appeasement” could have become even remotely acceptable in our national unity debate – remember that this word is supposed to recall images of Nazi death camps and also, at least since 9/11, deadly international terrorist attacks – but I did encounter it here and here last week. Is it just me, or is there something terribly wrong here?
In one case, David Graham is apparently frustrated enough with those he calls soft-nationalists in Québec to support these stark implications by bluntly comparing ex-PM Mulroney to Lord Chamberlain himself, and yet another blogger (Lord Kitchener’s Own is his pseudo), commenting further in this other discussion, not only agrees with Mr Graham’s main point – that there is no place in this country for Québec nationalists – but he also suggests that this view is representative of the general state of mind outside Québec. How saddening, and the more so if there should be any truth to it. Yet again, in one reply during another discussion here, Big City Lib commented similarly that the Belleville flag-stompers and Reform war-mongers of not so long ago were merely expressing in a more extreme way certain feelings about Québec that were “not at all uncommon in an otherwise fairly moderate population”, as if this was to be at all re-assuring as to the sanity of such feelings.