A question for Canadian politicians who insist that Quebec’s status as a nation is an incontrovertible fact:
Do I belong to this Quebec nation?
I was not born in Quebec, but have lived here for nearly four years. I live in the most anglophone, most federalist corner of the province. I understand French but speak it imperfectly.
If the answer is yes, I belong to this nation, then the definition of this Quebec nation is so amorphous that anyone can belong to it, and is therefore meaningless. I am, after all, much the same person I was four years ago when I lived in Ontario, and if I have changed since then, I would submit that it has not been as a result of my newfound québécoisitude.
If the answer is no, I do not belong, then you will have to explain why a taxpaying, voting, healthcare-using citizen of Quebec is excluded from this nation. What, then, are the criteria? Because if residency and citizenship are insufficient, then the nation is not civic, and this is not civic nationalism.
Which is what I’ve always believed to be the case.