A few days ago, Candice Malcolm, writing in the Toronto Sun, quoted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from an interview he gave to the New York Times Magazine back in October …

tumblr_nz2og113hy1s5pbcjo1_1280“Late last year,” she reports, “Justin Trudeau told the New York Times that Canada is becoming a new kind of country, not defined by our history or European national origins, but by a “pan-cultural heritage” … [and] …“There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” Trudeau said, concluding that he sees Canada as “the first post-national state.”

In fairness, he did say, that “‘‘There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice.’’

But, really, that’s it? Is that all there is?

I don’t think so.

I have tried, over these last few months, to explain that we do have values. I have tried to condense them into some “headings:”

  • Anglo-Saxon
  • democratic
  • enlightened
  • liberal; and
  • secular.

I think that Prime Minister Trudeau’s “shared values” of openness, whatever that means, respect and compassion, which I see as two sides of the same coin, a willingness to work hard and, concomitantly, to be there for each other, and to search for equality and justice are all just subsets of the enlightened liberalism that we inherited, not uniquely, from our Anglo-Saxon forefathers. I think those values work best in a democratic and secular society.

So, no, Prime Minister, we are not “the first post-national state,” we are just one of a handful of very successful enlightened, secular, liberal democracies that owe their political traditions to England.

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