By John Ralston Saul
In Reflections of a Siamese dual, Saul turns his eye from a reinterpretation of the Western international to an exam of Canada itself. stuck up in crises-political, financial, and social-Canada keeps to flounder, not able to unravel or perhaps fairly establish its difficulties. as an alternative, we assert absolute variations among ourselves: we're English or we're French; Natives or Europeans; early immigrants or newly arrived, from the east or from the west. Or we bow to ideologies and deny all alterations within the identify of nationalism, team spirit, or equality. In a startling workout in reorientation, John Ralston Saul is smart of Canadian myths-real, fake, denied-and reconciles them with the truth of today's politics, tradition, and economics.
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Additional resources for Reflections of a Siamese Twin: Canada at the End of the Twentieth Century
However the nice double door which opened onto the West was once Montreal. The city’s wealth, its progress, its amazing tradition got here, from its days as a village and the start of the fur exchange the entire method as much as this present day, out of the function it performed because the front to all that lay farther west. Montrealers speak of holidaying in Maine or Florida, yet their urban was once equipped at the proceeds of achieving westward to northern Ontario and the prairies and Vancouver. This was once precise of the nice staple buying and selling companies, of banking, of a lot of the producing; but in addition of principles and ideas. we've got develop into used to artistic figures who mix level and dance exporting their principles from Montreal and Quebec urban to the area, simply as anglophone writers from Toronto and different towns do. yet francophone pondering on politics, economics and society mostly has been exported virtually exclusively in this east–west line, and is chargeable for a lot of the imagining of the way the remainder of Canada might functionality. There isn’t a lot signal of this highbrow strength having any effect on a north-south axis, any longer than I’ve spotted any specific impact of the Toronto political, financial and social mind on big apple or that of Vancouver on la. even with Montreal’s problem, the various east–west dynamism continues to be at the present time. businesses like Bombardier are actually as vital to Toronto as to Montreal. And for all of the protests that Quebec was once disregarded of the ultimate reformulating of the structure, its affairs and issues nonetheless dominate the east–west nationwide debate. although a lot the West protests in regards to the energy of the centre, it talks approximately Quebec. Newspapers commit loads of house overlaying the province intimately, in order that anglophones truly recognize rather a lot approximately what's taking place there, from politics to tradition. The Globe and Mail has 5 everlasting correspondents. this isn't a really convincing solitude. however, Quebec papers keep no newshounds past Ottawa. this can be stated to illustrate an absence of shared task and an absence of curiosity. yet there's huge, immense genuine shared activity—political, social and fiscal. The absence of francophone journalists from Quebec at any place past Ottawa—with the exception of French-language CBC—is for that reason extra a denial of truth than fact itself. The francophone élites learn English-language papers intimately and the clicking depend seriously on information companies. Radio-Canada makes an attempt to fill the space. and there's a quite excessive point of bilingualism, at any price within the Montreal zone. however, it can’t be denied that via refusing to hide the remainder of Canada at once, the élites who do learn the English-language press impose a synthetic isolation on those that don't. And this has a restricting influence at the skill of the anglophone provinces to provide an explanation for themselves to francophones. it's a state of affairs which represents now not lots a scarcity of east–west curiosity as a man-made political dilemma. in additional utilitarian parts equivalent to agriculture, the east–west approach is still kind of as very important because it has continually been.