If the Story of Islam Was Told to Me In a Pub
A NOT SO BRAVE NEW WORLD
At the heart of the Canadian Federation is the Council of Prime Ministers. After The Fracture the Premiers began calling themselves Prime Ministers and acting as such. In reality, before the break-up of the Confederation they had been provincial leaders or Premiers’ in name only; the provincial more descriptive of a way of thinking than anything else.
The position of First Prime Minister of the Council of Prime Ministers of the Canadian Federation is assumed by one of the Prime Minister for two years on a rotational basis. The Council of Prime Ministers meet every four months in the provincial capital of the First Prime Minister. Ottawa is the new nation's capital in name only.
The business of the Council of Prime Ministers, since The Fracture, has been taken up with trying to develop a common foreign policy and negotiating free trade agreements among themselves. So far, they have not agreed on a common foreign policy or reached any substantive agreements on trade issues. They also have been unsuccessful in deciding on a new flag; the Maple Leaf having been found inadequate to represent the Federation with La Republic Québecquoise having more maple trees than all the leftover provinces combined.
One thing that the Council of Prime Ministers have been able to agree on is that the administration of the Federation would remain in Ottawa. The much reduced Federal bureaucracy is clustered around the old Parliament Hill. There is no more Parliament, but what is left of the former Canada finally has its elected Senate. It is modeled on the United States’, with the exception that each province sends six senators to Ottawa instead of two.
The Senate's role in the new Canada is not unlike that of the United Nations Security Council; it is there to stop disputes between the former provinces from escalating out of control. The top bureaucrat in Ottawa goes by the title of Secretary-General to the Federation. He is appointed by the Senate and serves at the pleasure of the Senators.
After the Minarets and Steeples War, which led to Québec's independence, there was an exodus of Muslims and Jews from the former province. Most Muslims left the province because they were no longer welcomed (too many citizens blown to bits will do that) and the Jews because the new constitution bans private religious schools.
The new French republic, which goes by the name of La Republic Québecquoise, repudiated Trudeau’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and returned, perhaps surprisingly, to a form of constitutional government that pays homage to British Common Law. The new country has done away with the former Canada's un-modifiable constitution and the straightjacket of The Charter which transformed judges into lawmakers.
Québec's Declaration of Independence and the Statement of Principles contained within re-affirms what the old Canada denied, that it is the will of the people that is supreme and that all are equal before the law. It borrows a phrase from the French Constitution of 1989.
Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes.
The new republic does not ban religion as the refugees from the former province of Québec would have you believe, but it does put it in its proper place — back into the hearts and the homes where the Gospel of John says it belongs.
The apostle John believed that our relationship with God is a personal one and so do the fathers of La Republic Québecquoise. Not so with the Federation. They still abide by Trudeau’s Charter which gives precedence to religious obligations over human rights.
The citizens of English-Canada were spared much of the violence that Québecquers experienced. English politicians, as they usually did when denying that Québecquers had a culture that was worth fighting for, are patting themselves on the back for this dubious accomplishment. It is, they claim, because of English-Canada's openness to other cultures, other religions, that the breakup of Canada was such a near painless, almost peaceful transition for their constituents.
In the sequel to Canada - The Fractured Nations Interviews, begun the flood of mainly religious refugees from the former province of Québec will test the limits of English-Canada’s un-thinking tolerance.
The sequel begins with Johnny limping into his favourite pub.
How our hero got his limp made the news. The minimum you need to know, if you have not read The Interviews, is part of the news segment that is being shown on television as Johnny walks up the stairs.
This conversation is a meandering one. It's in a bar, what did you expect?