Wednesday, December 14, 2005

You Say Sovereignty, I Say Separation (updated)

Note: This was a cross-post from the CTV Weblog and since the only instruction they gave me at the beginning was to not say anything libelous, I danced around the point of this entry.
Which was:
The author of the letter to the Gazette had previously written some rather nasty Usenet posts and I thought it amusing (among other things) that they were all high and mighty about requesting RESPECT from William Watson.


On Sunday, a letter to the editor appeared in the Montreal Gazette, requesting that one of the Gazette columnists, William Watson, refrain from referring to Quebec separatists as "separatists" because they (the separatists) prefer the term "sovereignists".

So, I asked myself, what's the difference?

As always, google came to my rescue.

Sovereignty, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is defined as supreme authority within a territory.

Clear enough, and definitely accurate. This would be the goal of the separatists I mean sovereignists.

Separation, the act of dividing or disconnecting, then, would be the means toward the goal of sovereignty.

This distinction, which seems rather academic (pun intended) on the surface, is probably meant to influence the public's perception of the Quebec independence movement. (I called it that because I didn't know which S word to use.)

Sovereignty, after all, is a noble cause in our age especially in a democratic setting. Who would have the heart to deny a people their sovereignty?

Separation, on the other hand, can be messy.

Just ask any pair of conjoined twins.

So, it's a case of spin, whitewashing, Disney-ficiation, the end justifies the means, etc. etc. Whatever.

The author of the letter is correct in saying that respect is a two-way street; which is interesting, coming from a person who would describe me as an uptight anglo with sticks stuck up (her) backside who is either incapable or too closed minded and arrogant to understand the situation.

Gee, I thought that kind of language went out with Parizeau in 1995!

One really ought to watch what they say on Usenet. It can come back to bite you on the backside, my dear.