Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nationalism and moral autonomy

According to today's pre-election Speech from the Throne delivered by the Honourable Ed Roberts, this government plans to "achieve self-reliance by becoming masters of our own house."

The speech outlines lots of rhetorical flourishes that flirts with separatist sentiment but the most ambitious of any government plan anywhere is outlined in the part where this government:
"Will harness the desire among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to cultivate greater cultural, financial and moral autonomy vis-à-vis Ottawa."
Moral autonomy? Who knew the people of this province was yearning for a system of morality that was distinct and unique to this province? And I thought Quebec was a distinct society but here, is seems, we have a morality all our own!

And government approved to boot!

Instead of the Ten Commandments, we will have the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Official Moral Guidelines as developed by the Department of Morals and Ethics (Hon. John Hickey, Minister).

The process will start with a moral due diligence piece and drill-down through a cross-jurisdictional survey examining best moral practices across Canada.

Then there will be the Public Consultation on Provincial Moral Autonomy. I'm looking forward to that so I have have my input on what morals I'd like to see included (or excluded, for that matter).

I'm sure moral enforcement will be a controversial issue but I bet the RNC is up to the job.

At the end of the process there will be the obligatory Morals glossy brochure sent to every household in the province.

You'll know it's official by the little triffid logo on the cover; official, government-developed, government-branded, provincially distinct morals autonomous from those moral imperialists in Ottawa.

Who would have thought.

"Thy shalt have no other Gods before me" indeed.


Maîtres chez nous! (Masters of our own house!) was the rallying cry of Quebec Premier Jean Lesage and his ruling Liberal party in 1962 when he called for the nationalization of all 11 privately owned electric power companies in Quebec. Does that foreshadow planks of the provincial energy plan? Time will tell.

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