A great deal of talk has centered around the dual citizenship of Canada’s newly elected leader of the Liberal Party, and his role as the Official Leader of the Opposition.
To most Liberal thinkers, not only is this not a problem, it is something that should be celebrated. To more Conservative political thinkers such as myself, I see it as an extremely serious problem.
It seems that Stephane Dion, the Liberal’s new leader and Canadian Prime Minister wannabe, is a citizen of France by virtue of his mother’s national citizenship.
To hear it from Dion, his French citizenship is really no big deal, since he is 100% loyal to Canada. But to my way of thinking, if his French citizenship is no big deal, then neither is his Canadian citizenship.
To me, being a citizen of any country carries great obligations and loyalties. After all, if one isn’t loyal to the country that provides nurture, security and belonging, what’s the point?
Or, does Stephane Dion believe that citizenship is so trivial, that it does not merit special commitment? If that’s the case, he is the last person who I want to see leading my country.
To illustrate the importance of citizenship, the EU (European Union) is trying to establish a European Oath of Allegiance, which would be common to all members. But, all members, including countries like England and France are not about to surrender the allegiance of “their” citizens to their specific countries.
If this effort to create a European Union Oath of Allegiance were to be pushed too far, countries such as England would prefer to walk away from the EU, then to surrender their Oath of Allegiance to their Queen.
When it has been suggested that an oath could be sworn to both the Monarch of England and the EU, the British didn’t think the proposal merited even as much as a response in the negative. It was simply a non-starter.
Loyalty to your country is indeed no little deal as Stephane Dion and others like him, especially on the Left, would like us to believe. In my opinion, loyalty to one’s country is paramount as an indication to one’s commitment.
I look upon single citizenship as I do upon marriage. It’s all right to screw around and play the field if you’re comfortable without committing yourself.
But, once you’ve taken the step to make that commitment to just one person. That should be that.
There isn’t room in an honest marriage for a mistress or a lover on the side. Just as there isn’t room for a commitment of loyalty to any country other than to one.
If citizenship does not require a commitment of loyalty, then it is worth nothing. And if Stephane Dion’s citizenship to France is worth nothing, then I don’t see where the problem lies in his denouncing it.
HOWEVER, on the other hand. If Dion’s citizenship to France does indeed have some meaning (as it should), then even more the reason for him to renounce it, especially if he wants to be the Prime Minister of Canada.
But, even if he never becomes the Prime Minister of Canada, just being the Leader of the Loyal Opposition gives Dion extremely privileged information and access to information and world leaders that no one with divided loyalties should have.
If anyone thinks there are no divided loyalties amongst people who hold more than one citizenship, I have to wonder how they could be so certain, since citizenship is a very serious matter indeed.
Someone who recently called an Ottawa radio talk-show asked which other countries would allow its leader to be a citizen of another country?
The radio talk-show host came back very quickly with Australia, as an example.
He also mentioned that John Turner was a British citizen (by way of birth) when he was Canada’s Prime Minister. And that didn’t seem to bother anyone.
But, like too many appeasing and politically correct Left leaning radio talk-show hosts, this guy missed the point entirely.
The caller failed to mention that Canada’s official and legal Head of State is her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England, to whom all member’s of Parliament swear their Oath of Allegiance, and who is Canada’s military Commander and Chief through her Governor General who resides in Ottawa.
The same applies for Australia and most other Commonwealth countries.
Even Quebec’s Separatist Bloc Quebecois Members of Parliament swear their Oath of Allegiance to the Queen. So England is not a good example.
The other argument I hear from people who oppose dual citizenship for our Prime Minister is: What would happen if Canada and his other country of citizenship (France) were to go to war?
How would we know to which country he would be loyal?
That’s an extreme hypothetical question that clouds the issue more than clarifies it. In today’s global economy, decisions are made every day that sets one country’s fiscal interests and social agenda against all or some others.
This is indeed an important non hypothetical issue that begs loyalty from our leaders.
Would Dion be willing to screw over France in order to offer maximum financial and social benefits to Canada?
If this were the case, would making a premeditated decision that would hurt France, not make Dion a traitor to his French citizenship?
I can’t see how it would not, since citizenship must have at the very least an obligation of the citizen to do what is best for the country of his or her citizenship.
To intentionally do less, would be a display of disloyalty, especially when that decision would benefit another country.
Citizenship in this day and age has lost its true meaning and purpose. I hear politicians and the media describe people who live in a city, a province or a state as citizens of that city, province or state.
How can this be since citizenship applies only to one’s country? Can you have a city, provincial or state passport that is internationally recognized? Not that I know of.
The problem with people who are either ignorant or blasé about the obligations of citizenship, is that they have no idea of the value and obligation that citizenship encompasses.
I firmly believe that all people who serve in my government should be obligated to be citizens of my country, and only my country.
I also believe that anyone who wishes to become a citizen of my country should be obliged to take an Oath of Allegiance that states they renounce all past citizenships, and will abide exclusively to the tenets of Canada’s Laws, Constitution, and Charter of Rights with no exception, at the risk of losing their Canadian citizenship if they behave in any manner contrary to their oath.
That’s how much I think Canadian citizenship should be worth.
If you want to be a citizen of Canada, or participate in the Canadian government at any level, it should be an all or nothing proposition. Otherwise, our country becomes nothing more than a passport of convenience.
Anything less is not a foundation upon which we can build and preserve a great nation for its citizens.
One Canada. One Flag. One Citizenship. One Loyalty.