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Word Count: 522
This is an old country Moreover one of the oldest most stable of the democracies It is not as they - whoever they are - keep telling us a new country New is a manipulative adjective which can be used by anyone who gets hold of power -- to make changes without reference to reality All of our situations all of our crises have already had several precedents Canada is a complicated place Almost too complicated The more politicians offer simple formulae about Canada being the best the more annoyed the citizenry become We revel in 400 years - 150 as a democracy - of complex religious linguistic racial and social relationships Elsewhere these situations have produced violence civil war Here we have had bad moments but have avoided those cataclysms The histories of our neighbours and allies in the West tell us that this is a great accomplishment How have we done it At our worst we affect superficial simplicity in order to avoid dealing with our reality Nevertheless Canada is an old country Because of that it needs to assume its full history in order to make use of its complexity In addition absorbing our history means accepting that it is built on a triangular foundation - aboriginal francophone and anglophone This is not an exclusive structure One would say that it is in fact inclusive This is the complex reality upon which we have added layer after layer after layer of ever-greater complexity with more immigration other regions developed ways of life altered The result A myriad of contradictions For example A ferociously anti-militaristic tradition at home in spite of great military adventures and losses in foreign wars On the other hand here we are the greatest of the northern nations However because most of us live in southerly cities we pretend that 95 of the country from which our riches come does not matter or exist We pretend
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