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In Memorium: Dominion Day - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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In Memorium: Dominion Day [Jul. 1st, 2009|06:05 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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On October 27, 1982, a minor crime was committed against Canada by 12 Members of our own Parliament (eight less than a quorum), for reasons that were and remain obscure to me. There was no debate and the law was passed in about 5 minutes.

As others have noted, "Canada Day" is about as banal a name for the celebration of a nation's (official — in most important ways, Canada is a great deal older than 142 years, but that's a rant for another time) coming-into-being as can be imagined.

The Americans have Independence Day, not America Day; the French, Bastille Day, not France Day; the Germans, Unity Day, not Germany Day ... I think those three examples alone serve to make the point.

Canada is short-form for this country's full name, the Dominion of Canada, a phrase of historical importance with a Biblical allusion and a certain poetic gravitas.

"Canada Day", by contrast, is a-historical, utterly prosaic and completely lacking in imagination, suggesting to me a weird kind of self-loathing that implicitly denies there is anything worth celebrating in a day that is meant to be, well, a celebration.

"Canada Day" is a name that should be retired as a first step towards reclaiming our history, towards facing both the good and the bad within it.

Still, 142 years of unbroken constitutional history that has led to one of the most interesting and ever-more dynamic cultures in the world. I'll raise a glass, whatever the nomenclature.

"A Mari usque ad Mare!"
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ellie_elephant
2009-07-01 11:52 pm (UTC)
I was bombarded with "Happy Canada Day!" by two Canadians this morning. It was totally strange to me since we Germans don't get very patriotic at all on Oct. 3 (Tag der Deutschen Einheit). We've had it since 1990 (obviously) and the principle of the thing is great, but people don't get into it at all. It's just another day off work. In fact, a couple of years ago there was talk of moving it to the first Sunday of October to improve the economy. The older generation (such as my Grandma) still get confused and celebrate on June 17th, which was also called Tag der deutschen Einheit, but spelled with a small "d" (which is actually grammatically correct.)
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-07-02 03:15 am (UTC)

That's funny, but you don't *look* Canadian ...

... oh wait, yes you do. Nevermind.

If the header and its follow-up seem obscure, it's because I picture you as "Oriental" (part Chinese? Thai? I forget) and I was riffing on a very old joke, that usually had someone Jewish as the person who didn't "look" whatever.

Hell, where was I?

Oh yes: why in the world would Canadian wish you a happy Canada Day, what with you not being, well, Canadian? Isn't that kind of like wishing other people a happy birthday when it's my birthday?

Half-drunk minds need to know.
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[User Picture]From: ellie_elephant
2009-07-02 05:32 am (UTC)

Re: That's funny, but you don't *look* Canadian ...

I am actually both part Thai and Chinese but nobody can ever tell where I'm from. I certainly don't "look" German, which confuses little old ladies on the bus who then always have to strike up a conversation about how great it is that us "foreigners" are finally so "integrated" and speaking fluent German :)

One of the Canadians wished me a happy Canada Day because she's one of those cutesy annoying people who thinks it's a sweet joke (and she's homesick, which I understand) and the other one was being more sarcastic but you could tell he was also homesick. They're both exchange students and have been here a year.
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[User Picture]From: paul_carlson
2009-07-01 11:54 pm (UTC)
Politicians are paid to meddle.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-07-02 03:17 am (UTC)

Yes, but ...

... that particular bill was bloody sneaky. I quote: "...eight less than a quorum...".

I was only 12 or 13 at the time, but even then I wondered how (and why!) it was actually passed into law.
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