Tuesday, November 28, 2006

William Henry Drummond and the National Unity Debate

Willian Henry Drummond was an Irish-born Canadian poet. When he was just a lad, William Drummond moved to Quebec and spent the rest of his life living among the rural Quebecois (the habitant), who he came to love and admire.

In 1897 he published the first edition of his Habitant Poems, a series of poems written in English, but as told "...as they [the Habitant] would relate [their tales] to English-speaking auditors not conversant with the French tongue".

So, imagine Jean Chretien speakiing English in rhyme.

In any case, when I was searching through the Variety Village book shelves yesterday afternoon I found a copy of Habitant Poems for $0.49. Not only that, when I opened the book, I found a honest-to-God four-leaf clover pressed between the pages! That's a great price for a book plus good luck charm! Naturally, I bought it.

So when I got home and watched the Quebec motion pass, I became (and remain) perhaps irrationally optimistic concerning the state of English-French relations in Canada.

To all those who opposed the motion, I would freely admit that English Canada, The First Nations, and so forth, got screwed. French Quebec does not deserve such extra recognition, even if it is merely symbolic, any more, and perhaps less, than do aboriginals or Ukrainians or anyone else. Nevertheless, Michael Ignatieff let the genie out of the bottle, and this seems to be the quickest and easiest way to force it back. It takes several parties to get into a constitutional brawl. If that is considered a bad result, then I would suggest that in this instance the best route is to turn the other cheek and let it go.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

You're probably right. My concern is that we have always "let it go" and look what happens...it keeps coming back. And everytime it comes back, they get more (the separatists).

Today, I would personally like to round up all the separatists who have been messing with Canada for too long and ship them back to France. Or any other land mass. I'm frankly beyond fed up with them. I imagine the rest of Quebec is too.