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Secession again? Really? August 21, 2008

Posted by tomflesher in Canada.
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William Johnson this morning in the online Globe and Mail:

Ten years ago today, the court delivered its response to the reference on whether Quebec had the right to secede unilaterally. The court’s advisory opinion was complex but clear. Why, then, has it been constantly misrepresented across Canada and ignored in Quebec?

Johnson’s article makes the case that politicians have “misrepresented” the court’s opinion, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217,  which lays out four criteria on which a secession must be judged: democracy (do citizens of Quebec want to secede?), rule of law (do they have the power to do so?), federalism (would secession be to the detriment of the other provinces?), and the protection of minorities (would secession harm language and ethnic minorities?). Johnson’s argument is that politicians and media ignore the last three criteria and treat the democratic criterion as the only valid one. (more…)

Canada as a post-Monroe kingmaker August 4, 2008

Posted by tomflesher in Canada.
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This editorial by Carlo Dade in Monday morning’s Globe and Mail is an interesting survey of the development of the Monroe Doctrine with respect to the United States’ self-declared role as the West’s big brother. The Doctrine developed out of the US’s feeling that Latin America was its sandbox, with the US declaring itself the brute squad of the western hemisphere and no one having the military power or the inkling to argue. As Mr. Dade writes, “While no one in the hemisphere endorsed the Monroe Doctrine, it was begrudgingly accepted as an unavoidable reality.”

Mr. Dade, however, notes that the US is currently occupied (ha!) militarily in the Middle East, and points to Brazil’s rise to leadership in the United Nations’ mission to keep stability in Haiti as evidence that Latin America and Brazil are developing politically into able world powers. Canada has a unique role to play in the post-Monroe era. (more…)