Sunset Sketches of a Little Country

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

United Canadian Loyalists - are you one yet?

My, my, I can see why this televisioning squawk-box IS all the rage - so much entertainment -right in your living room (parlour is an out-dated term, I've been informed).

Each night, well-groomed men & women explain all sorts of bad news in every place you can imagine. If there's no bad news locally, they'll bring you some from America or the Phillipines or Antarctica if they have to.

Edward says it's always been that way.

I suppose it's the same philosophy as with the newspapers- tell people how 'bad' some other feller has it and you'll make the one's reading feel better about their own state of affairs.

"Whew!, I'm glad that didn't happen to me!" they'll say inside (but not out loud, or perhaps the other folks in the same room'll think the speaker is self-centred and uncaring, all the while the 'other folks' are thinking the exact same thing)

Anyway, as I get more familiar with the way Canadians carry on in these modern super-technological days, I get to see some of the things, the comforting things, that seem to have been lost in the shuffle.

After the Great War, Canadians felt special and felt they WERE something special - no matter where they lived.

BEING a Canadian was a way of thinking and doing, not just a place to live.

Pride, I guess you'd call it. Pride IN the place and pride in being PART of it, MAKING IT WHAT IT WAS.

The people WERE Canada and the only time they thought of government was when they went to the post office or when the Prime Minister spoke on the radio.

Nowadays -perhaps the election's got something to do with it- everyone's got a complaint -a local complaint or a personal copmplaint, some wrong that needs righting that they want fixed up BY the Canadian government.

When did the government get so rich? get so all-involved in people's everyday lives?

Must have been in those 1960's everyone seems to remember so fondly - everything then got challenge & changed or challenged and ignored from then on.

Which brings me 'round to my thought - whatever happened to the U.E.L. designation? Ordinary folks with a family history of loyalty to the British Crown could jot those three letters after their names, United Empire Loyalist, and everyone knew that they picked where they were living ON PURPOSE and were happy there and happy to let everyone know it.

The British Empire seems to have faded now and the only Imperialists left are at Esso stations and MENTIONED in anti-American press releases.

So why not renew an old thing in a new way - United Canadian Loyalist - U.C.L.

Institute a "Title" for just plain folks from Canada. A 'club' that's open to all who feel just fine about BEING a Canadian, warts and all.

No matter where you (or your people) came from, or no matter what provinces or region or town you live in and no matter your race or colour or religion or sex or age or mental/physical state.

The only qualification being that you are pretty darn happy with Canada and happy to let everyone know about it.

I think having a goodly number of members in that kind of a self-identified 'club' would be good for all of us and probably affect people's thinking about their country a great deal more than citizenship.

Think on it.

Stephen.Leacock U.C.L.