Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
People's will determines nationhood Monti 1J, THI UTHMIDGl HERALD By Prime Minister Pierre Trndean, taken from a recent Winnipeg tpeech People have'come to realize (hat what really holds nations together is just one thing: the will ot the people to live to- gether. People form a nation because they want to form a nation, they will themselves to form a nation. And no nation is eternal. Very few people in ancient limes realized that. It's said that Themistocles in an- cient Greece was one of tlw few wise men who said that Greece was not eternal. We know that no nation is eternal. We know that the glue that holds it together, the thing that makes nationhood, is tlw will of the people, the free will of the sovereign people to live together and to form a nation. And this is the oiily answer we can give in whatever decade or whatever century a nation is threatened with dissension or diversion. There were annexa- tionist movements in the 19th century as you know, at least a couple ot' times very strong an- BERIffS WORLD nexationist movements ot Eng- lish-speaking Canadians to join Canada to the United States. And in this century there wero very strong separatist move- ments of French-speaking Can- adians to disjoin Canada. And the only answer we could give them last century, and the only answer we can give the Separ- atists today, is that we want to life together. We can't prove that the frontier between Que- bec and Ontario is immovable and It should never change in any way. It's not written in the maps of God's mind. The nation exists because in a sense every part of that nation wants to belong to the whole. And for a host of rea- sons. Obviously economic rea- sons ore important, and social and historic reasons. It's the. French philosopher Renan who said that: "La nationa, c'est un plebiscite de tons les. the nation exists because every day, or perhaps.every genera- "I vent the word fo jo out fo the executive hroncft; Hencerorffi, we shall have no more tion, the people by a kind ot tacit plebiscite vole themselves into lliis nation. Which really means they can vote them- selves out of it U they want. Tlw social contract about which Hobbcs and Rousseau and so many others wrote great books on, this social con- tract is something we enter into freely. And we know we can't hold any nation together by force. It can be done i'or a per- iod of time. It can be dona by breaking the will of the people, or enslaving them. But wo know it doesn't last, We know that the only thing that keeps us together is the fact that each one of us and each part of tho whole feels that it can fulfill itself lo the utmost by living in this particular society, that tho chances of fulfilling yourself, of pursuing your own particular vocation as an individual, as a person, or as a family or as a province or as a region, your chances of doing it with- in Canada are greater than if Canada broke up and you'd have to do it in some other way as a host of little states up here banana republics without the fruit or perhaps annexed lo the southern giant, the United States. So we all love Canada for many reasons. It's problably one of the most beautiful lands in the world, and the geography of it as you know is absolutely stupendous. I could spend a large part of this speech just describing the pleasure of a na- tional politician by the very fact that we have lo travel to so many parts of this really ex- traordinarily beautliui land, Canada is a changing reality. It changes from day to day and decade to decajle. It changes with population, it changes with technological advance, it chang- es with movements wilhin, with transportation, it changes by the forces from without and the new relations we establish with other countries. It's changing all the time and anyone who tries to say, this is a beautiful Canada and we must preserve it this way, is just going to be swept away by the winds of time. He'll be left in his little fortress when the caravans of history move on and discover new realities. This Is the challenge that pol- iticians must meet all the time. This is coming to the importance of political parties, this strange thing called parties which isn't even mentioned in the constitu? tlon but which is really the tool through which ths of a democracy like ours can ex- press their sovereign will, can express not only their desire to live together but the way in which they choose to live to- gether. The opposing interests wlilch always exist in a coun- try have to be resolved and the threads have to be knotted together as in the back of a tap- estry. But they are always changing You know how It was done In recent times in my par- ticular province where there was strong separatism, within this very decade the last decade, I should say, because we are now into the seventies. There were two conflicting schools: those who said Que- becers can only really fulfill themselves and get out of this colonial status by building pol- itical power in Quebec. For some it was separatism, for others it was special status, for others it was two nations, for others it was associate state- hood. But all these theories sort of said: Quebecers can't'really be understood by the people up in Ottawa; let's grab more power from Ottawa and let's become more or less indepen- dent from that colonizing gov- ernment up in Ottawa. That was one school of thought. And the other school of thought was composed of those who said: "No way; we're not going to weaken Canada in order to bet- ter ourselves; we're going to send strong politicians from Quebec to Ottawa so that the policies of Ottawa understand us Qucbecers and permit us Quebecers lo fulfill our voca- tion." That's how in Mr. Pear- son's day and in our day thp idea of bilingualism as 3 right, of French and English as two official languages, came fo be the solution to those in Quebec who said: "We can't be at home in this country; four mil- SPRING ON QUALITY GLIDDEN PAINTS BIG SAVINGS Sale Ends Sat. 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The will of the people will be broken up if you don't under- stand this." "I think it was Mr. Pear- son's greatness to have under- stood this early In the 1860s when he set up the B and B Commission, when sep- aratism was a real Uireat in Quebec. And he brought in a solution which we then passed into law in tho last Parliament, with the support of all parties I wouldn't say of all mem- bers of all parties, but of all our and of all party leaders. We brought in the Of- ficial Languages Act, which was a difficult thing for a lot of people to swallow, including I'm sure a lot of people in this hall who, I've heard say often: why French? my second lang- uage is English, my first lang- uage is Ukrainian or it's Ice- landic or it's Italian it's not French, it's some other language. And yet there was a national party, the Liberal Parly, which took it upon itself to explain to all of Canada that the will of the people, including the will of the people of Que- bec, could only be kept united if we accepted this Well, it was a lot to ask of Canadians, and yet I think .that is what they said they accept- ed in 1968 when they returned the Liberal Party. I won't go into what happened in 1972. I think we slacked a bit. I think we didn't go on explaining enough, not only that it was part of the bargain but also what it meant. And we beard about, you know, "you're still forcing French down my throat" and so on, when all we were saying is that the govern- ment of all Canadians should be able to talk to all Canadians in one or the other of the offi- cial languages, and that didn't mean every civil servant of course, it meant those that were dealing with people of the French or English .language. But I'll leave that for another speech. The point I want to make is that the federal politicians from. Quebec who went lo Ottawa to prove to Qucbecers that they could have a voice in the na- tion's capital, and who set up this awful thing called French power awful at least in prop- aganda, but which really only meant that the people of Que- bec wanted to know that they were represented up there in Ottawa. What I say is that this tiling that was done this solu- tion that was done by Quebec- ers, must be done by every part of Canada, and there must be Manitoba power in Ottawa, and there must be western power and Atlantic power in Ottawa. And it must be great- Books in brief "A Time for by Ar- lone Kale, (Little, Brown and Company Limited, 247 pages, Corliss Mitchell and Ilcese Sheridan waited a long time to get married. When they finally decided on the wedding day their plans were thwarted by an unexpected illness that was the start of a series of disas- ters. Business intrigues, mys- terious prowlers, unhappy love affairs, disloyal employees, and the inevitable 'other woman' become the background against which Corliss and Ecese find Uwir destinies. Arlene Hale is a gified story teller who has used her talents to write an intriguing and sensi- live novel. "A farewell to Alcohol" by Willfam Mcllwain. (Random House o( Canada Lid. 141 pages. Heart disease and cancer are dreaded killers, but I think its safe to say lhat the disease that brings the most heartache is alcoholism. William Mcllwain is an alcoholic and this short writing is the story of his re- habilitation at Butner, a centre for alcoholics. Twenty seven years a s a drunk, waking up shivering, sweating and shaking every morning, yearning for anotlwr drink to steady liis nerves, llis wife and tliree children were just one of the possessions he lost due to alcohol. This is an honest appraisal of his situation; an honest, heartwarming account of a man who, no matter how many years pass, dares not have an- other sip of alcohol, for if ho decs he's right back where he started. Aleolw! Is one of the greatest menaces to society one won- ders how an adult can stand with a drink in lus hand, and lechire his children on the use of drugs. One's the same as tin; other. Garry Allison From La Mancha By Louis Burke DUBLIN La Mancha, Spanish prov- ince, homo of Don Quixote and made fam- ous by Cervantes, comes to life jn the Ire- land ot today. Not that Ireland Is back- ward but it's near impossible problems are similar to La Mancha's and it is easy to envisage ils windmills dressed in Irish. The great Irish windmill today is that of 'Oneness' which has nothing whatever to do with unity despite what the intelligentsia thinks. This great windmill is already on the Irish horizon and made itself a visible giant recently, in the form of the "Border Poll" which is to be followed by a British white paper on the state of the union. Few people here doubt that the ground is being laid for the eventuality of a single Ireland: now, fifty years overdue. However, the poll itself will go flown as a farce. In stupid terms, the people of the Six Counties were asked to declare whether they wish to remain at- tached to Britain, or to join and form a new country with the rest of Ireland. The results: Tthe Protestants and Unionists opt- ed for the former; ;the Homan Catholics and Nationalists boycotted, this perfectly useless exercise one likley to increase rather than decrease tensions between both communities. Nevertheless, a single Ireland is in the machinery and bringing it to life is a nec- essity recognized by everyone in the Brit- ish Isles. It has been in the political ma- chine some 350 years and its birth cannot be delayed much longer give or take a decade or two. But a unified Ireland is going to be a shuddering stiock to all parts and parties for all time: the churches, both Protestant and Koman Catholic: the political parties, both in Belfast and Dublin and the people in all 32 counties of the country. Economically, both parts have been clos- ing the gaps quickly for years. If it had not been for British money, tne Six Coun- ties would have collapsed long ago: it is not a viable economic unit. The republic has come along on its own initiative by leaps and bounds, to use a cliche, and it stands to gain massive injections of Euro- pean money over the .next few years. So, that old argument has gone forever. Besides, the famous or notorious "Bor- der" grows'more meaningless as the dif- ferences in all areas shrink economy, education, employment, taxation, welfare, and others. In addition, emigration is no longer a problem for the Republic which lost nearly a miliicrii jjwpie during uie forties, fifties and sixties. In this decade the flow of people has reversed for the Republic while the Six Counties are losing in the neighborhood of ten thousand yearly, main- ly lo Britain on a temporary basis, but m'any to Australia, Canada and New Zeal- and, permanently. Yet, the most significant figures lie in the educational field. Fully 50 per cent of the children attend what are called "vol- untary-aided" schools. Practically all these schools are Homan Catlrolic. They art badly under-financed, have been for fifty years, and are solidly nationalist in aspira- tion and sentiment. These factors translat- ed into time and numbers mean an event- ual majority for t h e Nationalists in the not too distance future a fact, undoubt- edly, realized by the hard-nosed, practical Unionists. As a personal observation of these facts, it would seem to me that the Protestants and Unionists have been badly served by so-called modern ideas on abortion, con- traception and family planning. They have lost, or are about to lose their one-time majority; the reason for their claims to that part of Ireland. This is a sad situa- tion because Protestant people have just as much to contribute to a single Ireland as any other people. Moreover, a unified Ireland would cer- tainly not be determined to northern Prot- estants: far from it. Instead ot being con- fined lo their ghetto, cringing under the protection "Mother Hen" Westminster, they would have a whole country to roam in as equal citizens. Dublin, indeed, as a capital is notorious for welcoming strangers who stay to rule her the Vikings, tire Normans, the Eng- lish, and even the Corkonlans in recent years. There is no reason why the Prot- estants of Belgast slxnild not have their turn, loo. Be assured, however, Dubliners will laugh and jeer when Don Quixote comes to tilt at Irish windmills. This lias been their mode white the Llfl'ey flows on, and Guinness brews great Guinness. One little word of cheer By Kathleen Barrows, free-lance writer MILK RIVER You may have been hearing lately that our wild life is being threatened with extinction. Why not come and visit our Warner Country and see for yourself? Don't let anyone ever tell you that life is dull in the country. Every even- ing at dusk during our last 20 below spell we had a herd of 25 deer come up Irom the river, stand awhile at the kitchen win- dow, saunter over to the rock garden and' nibble at a few dead flower stalks, over to the perennial beds and nibble some more, then up through the spruce grove and wander away north. One of them stood up on his hind legs and pawed at the evergreens. He must have been quite hungry. A lone coyote slunk across the pasture, keeping an eye open for a stray rabbit, mouse or partridge. Later in the evening his mournful howl was joined by that of others of liis kind, and the whole cacophony replied to by another several miles away. Rabbit tracks made a haphazard pat- tern in the snow. Prairie chickens skitter- ed across the snow banks, then huddled together in groups to protect themselves from the wind. Their fluffed-out feathers made them look twice their normal size. Sparrows, grosbeaks and goldtinehes cov- ered dormant trees and shrubs like Christ- mas tree decorations. A liny .but full- grosvn saw-whet owl, a stray from the Sweet Grass Hills, sought shelter from the blizzard on our shop. Magpies flew past the window in long swoops and landed on the compost pit for a snack. A large cock pheasant stalked majestically through the caragana hedge. One owl answered another from the nearby trees, a part of the in- exhauslablc entertainment that- the country offers. And to quote Thoreau, "Every little pine needle expanded and swelled in sym- pathy and befriended them all." Do we really need lo be afraid that scenes like these will become a thing. of the past? Every day arc bombarded by radio, television and others telling us that our wild life is becoming extinct, or at least seriously decreasing. Hunters and trappers are criticized and women wearing i'ur coats are looked on as pariahs. Yet here on the prairies an increasing num- ber of animals are apperaing. Foxes have become common, racoons have moved in along our rivers. Antelope in herds of 100 forage around farmers' grain stacks. Skunks eat companiably out of the cat dish at the farmer's back door. Porcupines waddle along our highways and beavers build their dams along our streams. Deer are common in herds of SO or more taking shelter in our tree belts. Badgers, mar- mots, muskrat and mink are all commonly seen by outdoorsmen. An occasional kanga- roo rat has made an appearance in Isolat- ed places. Water turtles and horned toads have also been seen. The gopher is still a problem in some places. Jack rabbits race madly in tho headlights of our cars as we drive home at night and flocks of white buntings fly up in alarm. Docs this sound like extinction? Is our wild life really disappearing? How about one little word of cheer in this world of woe? Perhaps things are not as bad as they are being painted. On the use of words Theodore Bernstein Anolher problem >'ct. Are there rules sbout the use of as yet versus yet? A. Shelby Martin of Media, Pa., poses that question. In almost all contexts the use of as with yet is optional. You may say cither "He has not arrived or, "He nas not arrived as yet, as your little heart desires. There is one exception: When meaning up lo now, stands at the head of a sentence the as is just about mandatory. You would say, "As yet he has not but not, "Yet he has uot ar- rived." Word A peculiarity about that uttlc rascal t'tt has apparently attracted no attention amreig authorities on usage but is most interesting. Take a look at Ihis (sentence: "The Dwarfs football team has .vet to win a game." Everybody under- stands the sentence, but what do Uie words actually mean? You cannot omit the yet, nor can you move it to another position. You could do either of those things if the sentence reads, "The Dwarfs have not yrt won n game." So jet in the original sen- tence is the crucial word. But no dictionary definition explains it as used there. The word as so used, together with-that con- struction, must be set down as a baffling idio.-n. Another self-word. Overused and often misused, self-evident is a word that is al- most dispensable. Here is an example of a misuse: "Even a cursory examination should make it self-evident lhat poverty is an almost insoluble problem." The mean- ing of the word is: certain without any proof or reasoning. If even a cursory ex- amination is necessary, a thing is not self-evident; it is merely evident. Through the ages there have been philospphers who have maintained nothing is self- evident that propositions become evident only upon Ow application of logic or investigation or examination or general acceptance. We need not be as strict about the word as that, but on the other hand we should cot be in use of it.