Politics As Conflict Management
To study politics is first and foremost to study conflict.
Compounded Crisis Threatening the Very Existence of Canada
Donald V. Smiley has identified three crises that threaten the very existence of
1) English-French conflict with francophones being swept up by Quebec
nationalism and, for some, separatism. Quebec as a “distinct society”
- Canada been bilingual country, francophone minority,
- Francohpon, anlaphone, allaphone
- Section 133, use of English and French language in courts, allowed
Canada to have own legal system
- Official language act 1969-
- Riel rebellions, conscription crises, bilingualism, FLQ crisis 1970,
sovereignty, referendums 1980-1995 seperation of quebec, Parti
Quebecois- predominace in French language, Bloc Quebecois
2) Conflict between the various regions of Canada, especially relations
between the “centre” or “core” and the “periphery”
- way population distributed
- Transcontinental railway, national policy, staples theory, Western
alienation, protest parties, Reform party
3) Relations with the United States and the threat of American domination of
Canada’s economy and culture
- United Empire Loyalists, foreign ownership, cultural nationalism,
external affairs (Viet Nam, Cuba, Communist China, Iraq, Afghanistan).
The existence of these continuing crises has been termed a “compounded crisis”
with three dimensions. As well, ideology and partisan politics put a stamp on
how each of these conflicts is resolved.
Other Crises Certainly do Exist
- concerns about the environment and global warming
- poverty and homelessness
But none of these threaten the very existence of Canada as a nation the way the
“compounded crisis” threatens the country.