Why Canadian Unity Matters and Why Americans Care
Democratic Pluralism at RiskBook - 2001
Why is Canadian unity important to democratic pluralism worldwide?
Democratic pluralism is the ability of different cultural and language communities to find representation under a single set of democratic institutions, however configured. Although traditional liberal arguments at best ignored culture, in practise, out of a long struggle to eliminate gargantuan prejudices, errors and wrongs, the liberal tradition has created in democratic pluralism a dialectic of culture and liberal politics that resolves the theoretical conundrums so dear to both. Canadian democracy is a monument to success in its capacity to provide dignity, freedom, opportunity, and prosperity to its citizens throughout the polity. Secession, if it takes place in Quebec, puts these achievements at risk, raising the spectre that cultural-linguistic norms, not a mature liberal democracy, will fashion the kind of state that future generations will inherit.
Charles Doran examines why Canadian unity is important, what drives Quebec separatism in the American view, the concern that after Quebec succession the rest of Canada could unravel, and the nature of the historical era that has shaped and conditioned secessionist impulse.