Alberta reminds Canada of its past and its future
In Calgary, we have met the Other
(and found only ourselves)
|Traditional Canadian values: Calgary's mayor-elect Naheed Nenshi in victory.|
|Traditional Canadian values: Québec Premier Jacques Parizeau in defeat.|
On Tuesday, the people of Calgary elected to the mayorship a brown man — the first time a Moslem has been handed the keys to a major Canadian city.
15 years ago next week, the people of Quebec very narrowly opted to hold their province within the Canadian political experiment; the second time Quebecers voted for Canada in repudiation of their homegrown Indépendatistes.
At first glance, you might not think the two events, separated by a generation in time and half-a-continent in space, have much to do with one another.
What does a narrow defeat for the forces of a defeatest tribal isolationism 15 years ago have to with an apparent victory by the forces of tolerance, progress and pluralism today?
Quite a lot, actually.