AngryFrenchGuy

Can you tell the difference between a Fascist and a National Post Columnist?

with 198 comments

hitler-vs-the-national-post

Come on, now!  I don’t think the good people on Canada’s National Post opinions editorial board are as bad as Nazis.  They do not advocate the extermination of any identifiable human group.  They only want to see those who are wrong (according to them) sternly reprimanded, denied federal funding and stripped of their passports and right of habeas corpus.

I do, however, believe that National Post writers and columnists share with fascists a very inflated sense of their own culture’s achievements and a self-righteous conviction that their own opinions and values are eternal human truths.  They also have a very unhealthy fixation on a few bogeymen on which they can conveniently blame for everything they don’t like about the world.

You disagree?  Well let’s see if you can tell the difference between National Post columnists and history’s great fascists!

Click here or on the pic to take the Quiz!

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Written by angryfrenchguy

March 3, 2009 at 2:59 pm

198 Responses

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  1. I prefer progress on all fronts: both individual and collective. Just because people collectively deemed certain things necessary 30 or 50 years ago doesn’t mean it still fits the bill today. Times change.

    That’s why I am in favour of changing Canada’s constitution in order to give Quebec the powers to determine itself, alone, what it needs to protect its unique character.

    I also favour the same form of self-determination for all aboriginal groups.

    I reject the more extreme forms of libertarianism (not saying you espouse them Vinster) because it’s an illusion to think that what one does can truly have zero effect on others. To put it bluntly, we’re all breathing the same air. If you can figure out a way to have your own breathing system and personal waste disposal system that is completely cut off from my environment, then go for it. But until then, what others do is at least going to be partly my business.

    Acajack

    March 9, 2009 at 11:12 am

  2. I prefer progress on all fronts: both individual and collective. Just because people collectively deemed certain things necessary 30 or 50 years ago doesn’t mean it still fits the bill today. Times change.

    That’s why I am in favour of changing Canada’s constitution in order to give Quebec the powers to determine itself, alone, what it needs to protect its unique character.

    I also favour the same form of self-determination for all aboriginal groups.

    I reject the more extreme forms of libertarianism (not saying you espouse them Vinster) because it’s an illusion to think that what one does can truly have zero effect on others. To put it bluntly, we’re all breathing the same air. If you can figure out a way to have your own breathing system and personal waste disposal system that is completely cut off from my environment, then go for it. But until then, what others do is at least going to be partly my business.

    Acajack

    March 9, 2009 at 11:14 am

  3. I think Acajack already answered many of your questions and comments better than I could have. I’ll try to answer the others.

    > Québec has some things to change… so does Canada.

    That’s certain. I am curious, though, to know what you think each of these societies has to change.

    > Please define what the “Canadian-way” is.

    Well, for one, I believe that Quebecers insisting that immigrants learn French and, especially, opening only French-language public schools to the children of these immigrants goes against the Canadian bilingual ideal. As well, the insistence of many Quebecers that their provincial government should have an international role within the domains it is responsible of among the Canadian federation (mainly culture and language) goes against the principle that Canada shall have a single international voice.

    > last time I checked, thought, not all anglos had the same opinion about
    > offshore drillings, the value of having a minority Conservatives
    > government, or any other subject for instance.

    Nor do all Quebecers have the same opinion about these subjects and others. Those are just political disagreements.

    Alberta isn’t a distinct society in Canada just because it’s more conservative and regionalist than, for example, Ontario. It’s possible that the conflict between Eastern and Western Canada will eventually make these two societies separate with different cultural referents, but we’re not there yet. On the other hand, Newfoundland appears to me to exist as a separate society from the rest of Canada, despite the fact that Newfoundlanders aren’t even part of a distinctive minority ethnic group.

    > Do you really think Torontonians really question themselves that
    > much about us in Quebec?

    No they don’t. See Acajack’s comment about the majority of Canadians “valuing” Quebec (or more accurately the francophone element, which isn’t the same but which they conflate with Quebec) mostly because they’ve been told to as part of the Canadian nation-building process. This is not unique to them; we do the same in Quebec when dealing (for example) with the First Nations. So they don’t really think about us, but when they do, this is what comes out of their minds.

    > But I think this assumption to be completely false and highly
    > reductive, and also quite insulting for Torontonians in general.

    I don’t think I’m being reductive or insulting to Torontonians. On the other hand, I admire Torontonians for having such a diverse, world-class city. It would be great if we could have the same in Quebec.

    > Imagine this : you have a minority in your province. You try your
    > best to accomodate them. You see various political formations, ranging
    > from the right to the left, that try different things to try to reach
    > out to this minority. You do that for a couple of decades… and watch
    > them elect people from a political formation whose main goal is to
    > promote the dismantling of the province election after election.

    But that’s the thing: francophone Quebecers aren’t a minority. We are one of the founding nations of Canada. You do seem to have trouble seeing the difference between this and an ethnic minority. Maybe it’s because the myth of Canada as a multicultural, multiethnic society is so prevalent. (Note, by “myth” I don’t mean “false”, I just mean a set of accepted ideas.)

    And you seem to believe Canadians outside of Quebec really have no idea “what does Quebec want”. Well, of course they don’t spend all their time thinking about it, but I’m sure that they have an idea. It’s certainly clear enough in the comments on this blog.

    What are the things that the various political formations have done over the years to reach out to Quebec? That have succeeded, I mean. And if you say “official bilingualism”, that’ll be because you too conflate the francophone element with Quebec.

    > What I meant by “and more” is the Natives that were here before Europeans

    The Natives are of course an extremely special case. I don’t think they can really fit in either the Canadian or Quebec models of citizenship. They have an existence and right to the land that predates the appearance of any of the rest of us. It’s a complicated question, and obviously we haven’t solved it yet.

    > the Irish that came over here in high numbers, but also all these people
    > that came over here afterwards because they were told that this country
    > was a nice place to live.

    But the thing is that these people will tend over time to fit among either the francophone-majority or anglophone-majority component of this country. They do bring a set of customs with them, but as Acajack says, they’re an imported culture, not one of the founding blocks of the country. But anyway, Acajack already explained it better.

    Marc

    March 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm

  4. Excellent post, Acajack. I just have a few questions and comments.

    > Even in Gatineau many people are completely clueless with driving
    > directions in Ottawa beyond the first few blocks of downtown, or
    > are totally shocked when they meet francophones who live in Ontario.

    This is so true. I don’t really know how some people can live in Gatineau and not know about the existence of Franco-Ontarians, but apparently it’s possible. Have they never heard of S.O.S. Montfort? It was all over the news ten years ago! (Okay, I guess it’s starting to date, maybe they’ve just forgotten.)

    > So in Quebec you have one group that is antsy about English and its
    > place (they would say encroachment) in Quebec.
    […]
    > The other group sees English (and by extension English-speaking
    > Canada and even English-speaking Quebec) as having a civilizing
    > influence on French Canadians, whom they see as being perhaps not
    > inferior, but certainly a tad irresponsible.

    I can see why you’d call the first group as (mildly) anglophobic. They probably have a valid reason to be afraid of the place English takes in Quebec, but they’re still afraid of English, and sometimes it can get unreasonable. On the other hand, I question calling the second group “anglophilic”. It sounds more like a mild case of francophobia to me. (I’d agree that both these groups exist.)

    > One can imagine where these two groups generally end up politically,
    > but interestingly enough I would say that some federalists and
    > sovereignists are found in both groups, although probably given the
    > linguistic reality there are probably more anglophobic federalists
    > (who are always willing to give Canada yet another chance) than
    > anglophilic sovereignists.

    Anglophobic federalists certainly do exist, but for the life of me I can’t think of a single prominent sovereigntist that would fit your definition of “anglophilia”. There are sovereigntist politicians who are “anglophilic” in other ways (I believe René Lévesque really liked the US, for example) but none that is anglophilic in your sense.

    Marc

    March 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm

  5. Marc–Anglo Canadians have a reputation among us here in the US for telling us at length about how different they are from Americans. And most of the ones I have met live up to this reputation. :-) The Francos that I have met, on the other hand (all of whom are from Québec, and with all of whom I have normally spoken French) have never said anything to me about the subject; they don’t seem to feel that they need to, and I suspect that part of the reason for this is that they believe that their language distinguishes them from us quite nicely all by itself, thanks. I have not yet encountered an ROC Franco in person, so I have no means of gauging how such people deal with this subject.

    littlerob

    March 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  6. Antonio,

    No, not necessarily to be a separate country. This,is a decision for Quebec given the caveats and conditions as outlined in my last response.

    If Quebec wishes to stay within Canada it should not expect special treatments which are not afforded to all partners equally.

    If it is Quebec’s aspirations to control all of its internal and international affairs, I believe the best approach is for Quebec to separate and represent themselves as an free and independent country, both culturally and fiscally independent from Canada.

    ABP

    ABP

    March 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm

  7. Acajack,

    “The other cultures he referred to such as the Chinese one in BC are, for lack of a better term, “imported”. There is no full-fledged Chinese-Canadian film industry, no Indo-Canadian literature, nor are these things likely to come into existence because these groups do not have the institutions (nor the impetus to create them) that would allow this to happen at some point.”

    I agree completely with this. This is the same reason that anglophones in Quebec get special status and enjoy services not enjoyed by other ethnics; they have their own schools, hospitals and so on because of their “historical rights” meaning they have existed for a long time in Quebec and had existing institutions long before Bill 101. Even so, I think Quebec should cut funding to those services but that is another subject.

    Antonio

    March 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm

  8. Acajack,

    “That’s why I am in favour of changing Canada’s constitution in order to give Quebec the powers to determine itself, alone, what it needs to protect its unique character”

    What changes would you want to make? Those that would exempt Quebec from the consitutional agenda that is common to the other partners or those that would give more power to the individual partners.

    ABP

    abp

    March 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm

  9. “This is so true. I don’t really know how some people can live in Gatineau and not know about the existence of Franco-Ontarians, but apparently it’s possible. Have they never heard of S.O.S. Montfort? It was all over the news ten years ago! (Okay, I guess it’s starting to date, maybe they’ve just forgotten.)”

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Franco-Ontarians aren’t very “audible” when you go to Ottawa. If I look at shopping centres like St-Laurent and Place d’Orléans, you don’t really overhear *that* many people speaking French there when you’re walking around there. As we’ve noted before here, service in French is quite rare and when it is available it is usually delivered by someone with an anglo accent (note that many Franco-Ontarians do speak French with an accent closely resembling that of anglos). Now, I know and some other people know that much of east end Ottawa is one quarter to one third francophone, but a lot of these statistical francophones don’t speak much French when they’re out and about with friends or family. So it’s not a stretch for your average Gatineau resident who crosses over to Ottawa to assume that the people he overhears speaking his language are Quebecers visiting Ontario just like him.

    Acajack

    March 10, 2009 at 8:15 am

  10. Marc:‘’> The other group sees English (and by extension English-speaking
    > Canada and even English-speaking Quebec) as having a civilizing
    > influence on French Canadians, whom they see as being perhaps not
    > inferior, but certainly a tad irresponsible.
    “I can see why you’d call the first group as (mildly) anglophobic. They probably have a valid reason to be afraid of the place English takes in Quebec, but they’re still afraid of English, and sometimes it can get unreasonable. On the other hand, I question calling the second group “anglophilic”. It sounds more like a mild case of francophobia to me. (I’d agree that both these groups exist.)”

    So what you are saying is that these francophones are francophobic? They are “phobic” against themselves? This is quite possible, although I’d say in the case of Québécois, it’s probably essentially the same as being anglophilic, since the alternative to embracing one’s innate francophone character is always the (apparently superior) anglo model here.

    Acajack

    March 10, 2009 at 8:25 am

  11. Marc: “Anglophobic federalists certainly do exist, but for the life of me I can’t think of a single prominent sovereigntist that would fit your definition of “anglophilia”. There are sovereigntist politicians who are “anglophilic” in other ways (I believe René Lévesque really liked the US, for example) but none that is anglophilic in your sense.”

    What about Jacques Parizeau and his famous “by joves” and “jolly good shows”? Maybe that doesn’t correspond to my definition either. What I really meant by anglophilic sovereignists was that they really admire diverse anglo societies like the ROC and the U.S. so much so that they want to repeat the exact same thing in Quebec, but in French. But they tend to see the ROC/Canadian variation of Anglo North American society as being so successful and powerful that they need a political barrier between it and Quebec in order for the Quebec French variation of it to be able to flourish. Otherwise the anglo variant so dominant on the rest of the continent will come to dominate here as well.

    Acajack

    March 10, 2009 at 8:31 am

  12. Since I don’t know where to put this exactly, I’ll add it to the end. What I can gather from what lots of people have been saying here, it seems to me like Acajack might have been right when he described the different groups present in Québec. I don’t know where Acajak fits however, since I haven’t seen any groups named “salf-hating anglos” (not mocking you by the way, I’m just giving it a very general descriptive name… well, like you did)! I’ll give you this, thought, Marc did make it more simple than you have : it’s either anglophobic, or francophobic. Wow… you guys have such a high self-esteem, it’s incredible!

    Reading your replies, I can see why some people would wonder why you guys are not sovereignists. But I don’t question it… you’re probably part of the “let’s give them another chance!” (who came up with that one?) group too. I look at your vision of what Quebec is like, and I can’t help but wonder if you really do like this place. As for our culture, you want to act with it just as if it was an old folk : place it in a retirement home, with all the services included, so you don’t have to worry and care about it… until it dies and you regret you didn’t spend more time with it. I know you specifically said, Acajack, that you didn’t say I was espousing extreme forms of libertarianism. You are right. But I also believe that, as long as you see your fellow citizens as kids, you won’t give them a very good feel for responsibilities.

    However you phrase it, it is hard for me to admit that you can’t recognize the diversity we have here, in Canada. This is where the weird form of superiority complex I was talking about comes in : lots of you can’t seem to accept that there is another culture as worthy as French Canadian culture in Canada, and therefore this should give us a special status. I don’t think that the concept of “special citizen” is a good one. You are either a citizen, or you’re not, and to me, all citizens are equal, even those that were “imported”, as you phrased it. And that’s what we want, a special status! We begged the Parliament to get it (the Quebec Nation)! And begged is the good word, here.

    Yes, French canadian culture, particularly in Quebec, makes Canada a very unique country. But do we really always have to come back to it whenever we talk about canadian politics? Aren’t there more important things going on in Canada? What do you need to hear? You want the ROC to tell us they love us for more than our culture? Well, sorry to tell you this, but we don’t really give them much incentives to do so.

    Vinster171

    March 10, 2009 at 10:29 am

  13. “I don’t know where Acajak fits however, since I haven’t seen any groups named “salf-hating anglos” (not mocking you by the way, I’m just giving it a very general descriptive name… well, like you did)!”

    The only problem with this is that I am not an anglo. I am originally a minority francophone from the ROC. I did all that schooling in English because French-language education for the most part wasn’t available in the parts of Canada where we lived.

    My family in this country goes back all the way to the likes of Samuel de Champlain, and into France way before then. If I can recall from the last time I looked at my family tree, I think there are maybe only one or two non-French surnames in there.

    So, I am as old-stock a French-Canadian as they come. My spouse is a francophone (from the ROC as well) and our kids are born in Quebec and are totally francophone both linguistically and culturally.

    Being a franco from the ROC, I used to be one of these patriotic “Captain Canada” types, however my flag-waving days are over. You won’t find me yelling “I! AM! CANADIAN!” at a large-screen TV in a sports bar near you. I am nonetheless still committed to Canada and to finding a way for us to remain together, but my view of our country is now quite unsentimental (which makes me different from most federalists I realize) and mostly based on rationality and practical considerations.

    Acajack

    March 10, 2009 at 11:47 am

  14. “However you phrase it, it is hard for me to admit that you can’t recognize the diversity we have here, in Canada. This is where the weird form of superiority complex I was talking about comes in : lots of you can’t seem to accept that there is another culture as worthy as French Canadian culture in Canada, and therefore this should give us a special status. I don’t think that the concept of “special citizen” is a good one. You are either a citizen, or you’re not, and to me, all citizens are equal, even those that were “imported”, as you phrased it.”

    It’s not that I don’t recognize the diversity. It is there, obviously. Where we differ is what that diversity represents and how it is to be embraced.

    Consider that the province of Saskatchewan is statistically the most ethnically diverse province in Canada. Even in immigration hotspots like BC and Ontario, overall in the provincial population peoples whose origins are in the British Isles form a larger proportion there than they do in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is a real Heinz 57 mix of Germans (the largest group there in fact), English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Ukrainian, Polish, French, Russian, Aboriginal, Dutch, Swedes, Finns, Norwegians, Danes, etc., with almost no single group close to forming more than 20% of the population. Yet, what must have been a fascinating salad bowl of humanity 100 years has today evolved into one of the most culturally homogenous provinces in the country (and the second-highest percentage of unilingual English speakers in Canada after Newfoundland). So just because there is lots of diversity now in Markham, Ontario or Richmond, BC, doesn’t mean that that diversity has “staying power”. Who is to say that 50 or 100 years from now these places won’t have completely evolved into something similar to what Saskatchewan is today, with tons of future anglophone Canadian hockey stars named Dave Wong and singers named Maggie Srivastava, in the same way we saw John Kordic and Chantal Kreviazuk emerge from the diverse West in previous generations?

    Also, I never said that citizens were “imported”, only that their languages and culture were. There is an important difference between the two. If I move to the U.S. and become a citizen, I have the same rights as an individual as anyone else, but as a French-speaking person, my language (and culture I suppose) won’t have its societal rights and privileges transported into American society automatically just because I have become an American citizen. I won’t have the right to public schooling for my kids in French, or to file my tax return in that language, etc. My language will be for the most part limited to the “private realm” of my existence, much like immigrant languages are in Canada, or anywhere else in the world.

    Acajack

    March 10, 2009 at 12:09 pm

  15. “Consider that the province of Saskatchewan is statistically the most ethnically diverse province ….et al”

    Yes, as you indicate SK is quite ethnically diverse. Important point to remember is that all the ethnic groups in this province appreciate the others and get along very well for a common good (in the beginning they had to get along to survive) . The various ethnic groups have kept up their cultures and language by independent means. That is why we have events such as the annual “folkfest” which features pavillions and cultures from all the ethnic groups for everyone to partake and enjoy (yes ACJ, the french included very prominently). We have Ukrainian museums and our Western Development Museums feature all the contributions of the various ethnic groups without any prejudice. I especially like the Ukrainian pavillion ( I like perogies and cabbage rolls with a hutzelhammer chaser) and their exciting dance groups that have been formed (Yevshan who have toured all over the world). The German pavillion is excellent and the Spanish pavillion with their dancers and sangria is a lot of fun. I enjoy them all as do all in attendance and we celebrate the cultures of all equally and without reserve. Well there is one, the Scottish pavillion where I tried some haggus and was told by my wife there would be no kisses that night :):) I guess I should have had “le tortiere”in lieu…(but almost the same ingredients I think). Bien sur, ma dames tortiere est mielleur, que elle fait bien.

    For what its worth de le garcon du SK.

    ABP

    abp

    March 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm

  16. ABP: “The various ethnic groups have kept up their cultures and language by independent means.”

    Well, it’s probably a stretch to say they’ve kept their cultures and language alive. Use of Ukrainian for example has declined by something like 90% in the past 20 or 30 years.

    “That is why we have events such as the annual “folkfest” which features pavillions and cultures from all the ethnic groups for everyone to partake and enjoy (yes ACJ, the french included very prominently). We have Ukrainian museums and our Western Development Museums feature all the contributions of the various ethnic groups without any prejudice. I especially like the Ukrainian pavillion ( I like perogies and cabbage rolls with a hutzelhammer chaser) and their exciting dance groups that have been formed (Yevshan who have toured all over the world). The German pavillion is excellent and the Spanish pavillion with their dancers and sangria is a lot of fun. I enjoy them all as do all in attendance and we celebrate the cultures of all equally and without reserve. Well there is one, the Scottish pavillion where I tried some haggus”

    All of this is nice and folkloric, and then everyone hops in their cars and listens to Alan Jackson or Beyoncé on the radio, then races home to catch American Idol or CSI on TV. Not many German-Saskatchewanians pay attention to Edel und Starck, I’d say.

    Nothing wrong with any of this, BTW. This is actually how you build a cohesive society in a modern world where immigration is the main driver of population growth. But let`s not pretend that Saskatchewan is some tower of Babel where all of these cultures are evolving and dynamic. Like most everywhere else, Saskatchewan has a ”culture of convergence” (the Anglo North American one of course.) We are often too caught up in our own zeitgeist to look beyond it, but the time will come when places like Toronto will be an urban variation on today’s Saskatchewan, perhaps with more variations in skin colour, but with a ”culture of convergence” all the same, and the numerous cultures represented so vibrantly today will be reduced to folkloric status that people trot out once a year for a festival of some sort.

    I repeat – there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this.

    Acajack

    March 10, 2009 at 9:05 pm

  17. “I repeat – there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this”

    I am happy you don’t find anything wrong with the culture of our convergence ACJ. You know very well that a country can not exist with 10, 20, 30 or more individual cultures all trying to be the dominant entity as this is a recipe for disaster. Here, we all contribute whatever we can to being “one” and all contributions are recognized and respected.

    As for jumping in the car and listening to “Beyonce or Alan Jackson or putting on a CD from Celine Dion or Charles Aznavour…there is nothing wrong with appreciating other musical genres, is there.

    ABP

    ABP

    abp

    March 10, 2009 at 9:31 pm

  18. “As for jumping in the car and listening to “Beyonce or Alan Jackson or putting on a CD from Celine Dion or Charles Aznavour…there is nothing wrong with appreciating other musical genres, is there”

    No worries, ACJ, I got the point you were trying to make.

    ABP

    abp

    March 10, 2009 at 9:42 pm


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