Sunday, December 10, 2006

Let the Man Keep His Heritage Already

Dion should not be forced to renounce his French citizenship. Anyone who thinks he should should take a long, hard look at their attitudes towards the French - because nobody raised a peep about John Turner having dual citizenship with Britain, and John Turner was born there.

An aspect of this Tory-fabricated controversy that isn't getting mentioned enough is "What is citizenship?" In this case, Dion simply has a parent (mother) who was born in France. This means he has the ability to apply for a French passport and live in France. He does not have a French passport (I believe). He has never voted in France or paid taxes, as far as I know. He was not obligated to serve in the army there. He is a Canadian who has French heritage. ...Not that it would change the matter if he did have those connections, but I believe he doesn't.

I know something about dual heritage because I am a dual citizen of the United States. I haven't lived there since I was 7 years old, and I gave up my US citizenship when I became a Canadian at the age of 18. Renouncing my US citizenship was harder than I had realized it would be. I felt cut off from my roots. When the US changed the laws and allowed dual citizenship I applied for a US passport and felt enormously better. I cherish my US citizenship, not because it gets me anything or because I'd ever live in the US, but because it ties me to my ancestors in the US south and in Chicago; it means I am sure I can't be stopped at the border from visiting my relatives or going to a funeral; and because it's my heritage.

Demanding that someone renounce their citizenship is a huge deal. Asking Dion to renounce his French heritage is asking too much. For everyone who thinks this is an issue, I ask them to rethink it. Your slight unhappiness with his dual citizenship is nothing compared with his sense of connectedness to his mother and her native land.

Hey... Maybe Conrad Black is behind this... ;-)



Anonymous said...

I agree that Dion should not give his French Citizenship. But on a side note he did live in France when he completed his PhD in a French university.

Altavistagoogle said...

If Canadia had mobility agreements, most people wouldn't feel the need to have dual citizenship.

It is crasy that Canadians with a 20 year old marijuana conviction can't enter the USA without a visa. Dito for Americans with a DUI conviction entering by plane or bus.

The French citizenship is that much more valuable because it allows you admission to all member countries, to work, play and whatever else you can think of.

Classic said...

_I don't really consider this issue as an attack directed against Dion, but rather as part of a fair and open discussion of our modern post-9/11 society.
_Canada's formal ties with Britian are, or rather were, tighter than with any other nation. We fought two world wars - from day one as British subjects - plus in Korea without an individual flag or anthem. Like Dion, Turner has an unassailable civic record.
_It doesn't help matters when France is known for giving moral support to our separtists across the years.
_I'm impressed by the manner of Dion's answering of this issue. I doubt that hardly anyone would hold this against him but it is still an issue.

_It's also why I would want to see an eligibility requirement such as length of lifetime Cdn citizenship & residency (25 years) applied to the position of Prime Minister.

Yappa said...

To Anonymous -

Thanks for the factual correction. Shows I should do some research before shooting my mouth off. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I want a Prime Minister who is exclusively Canadian. Anyone who feels that they can be a citizen of one country while leading another is working with software the rest of us haven't subscribed to yet,(if ever). Dion may be great as a consultant but he is a bad fit for Prime Minister