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Who can speak for whom?: struggles over representation during the Charlottetown referendum campaign Kernerman, Gerald P. 1994

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WHO CAN SPEAK FOR WHOM?Struggles Over Representation During theC harlottetown Referendum CampaignbyGERALD P. KERNERMANB.A., The University of Toronto, 1992A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of Political ScienceWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1994©Gerald Paul Kernerman, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of_______________________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate Ap;I 2, /?9/IDE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTIn this study, I undertake a discourse analysis of struggles overrepresentation as they were manifested in the Charlottetown referendumcampaign. I utilize transcripts taken during the campaign derived fromthe CBC news programs The National, The Journal, and Sunday Report aswell as from The CTV News. The issue of (im-)partiality provides theanalytical focus for this study. Who can legitimately speak on behalf ofwhom, or, to what extent do individuals have a particular voice whichplaces limitations on whom they can represent? On the one hand,underlying what I call the ‘universalistic’ discourse is the premise thathuman beings can act in an impartial manner so that all individuals havethe capacity to speak or act in the interests of all other individualsregardless of the group(s) to which they belong. On the other hand, acompeting discourse based on group-difference’ maintains that allrepresentatives express partial voices depending on their group-basedcharacteristics. I argue that the universalistic discourse was hegemonic inthe transcripts but, at the same time, the group-difference discourse wassuccessful at articulating powerful counter-hegemonic resistance.Ironically, the universalistic discourse was hegemonic despite widespreadassumptions of partiality on the basis of province, region, language, andAboriginality. This was possible because the universalistic discoursesubsumed territorial notions of partiality within itself. In contrast, I arguethat assumptions of Aboriginal partiality will likely diffuse themselves toother categories, beginning with gender, in the future. I also describe thestrategies used by the competing discourses to undermine one another.The universal istic discourse successfully portrayed the group-differencediscourse as an inversion to a dangerous apartheid-style society where11individuals were forced to exist within group-based categories. Thegroup-difference discourse used the strategy of anomaly to demonstratethat individuals were inevitably categorized in the universalistic discourse;impartiality was a facade for a highly-partial ruling class. In examiningthese strategies, I demonstrate that the group-difference discoursejustified its own position by making assumptions about the operation ofpower and dominance in society. Thus, impartiality was impossible not forthe post-modern reason that inherent differences make representationhighly problematic, but because power relations hinder the ability ofrepresentatives to act in a truly impartial manner.111TABLE OF CONTENTS:ABSTRACT iiTABLE OF CONTENTS ivLIST OF FIGURES vACKNOWLEDGEMENT ViCHAPTER 1: Introduction 1-11CHAPTER 2: Analytical Framework 12-29A] Gramsci, Hegemony and DiscourseB] Categoric Systems and Hegemonic DiscourseC] The Universalistic and Group Difference DiscoursesCHAPTER 3: The Negotiations 30-46A] Federalism and the NegotiationsB] Aboriginality and the NegotiationsC] Gender and the NegotiationsD] “Other” Categories and the NegotiationsCHAPTER 4: The Referendum Campaign 47-73A] Federalism and the CampaignB] Aboriginality and the CampaignC] Gender and the CampaignD] “Other” Categories and the CampaignCHAPTER 5: The Charlottetown Provisions 74-98A] Federalism and the ProvisionsB] Aboriginal Self-GovernmentC] Gender Equality in the SenateE] “Other” Categories and the ProvisionsCHAPTER 6: ANALYSIS 99-117A] Locating the Categories on the ContinuaB] Hegemonic/Counter-Hegemonic OutcomesC] Strategies: Inversion and AnomalyBIBLIOGRAPHY 118-120ivLIST OF FIGURESFigure 1 25Figure 2 101VACKNOWLEDGMENTSI would like to thank the following people who assisted me in writingthis thesis. In particular, I had the privilege of being supervised byProfessor Alan Cairns whose patience and intellectual support provided mewith the stimulation and guidance necessary to complete this project.Professor Avigail Eisenberg, the second reader, was always enthusiasticand willing to give me the benefit of her insightful critiques. Lynne Hissey,of the Department of Communication Studies at S.F.U., was kind andgenerous enough to share her impressive knowledge of Gramsci andFoucault with me. The members of the Department of Political Science atU.B.C., Professors David Elkins and Donald Blake in particular, provided astimulating and supportive intellectual environment for me to complete myM.A.. My parents were always interested and willing to read and commenton this and other projects. And finally, I owe my greatest appreciation tomy partner, Leah Vosko, who inspired me throughout.viCHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTIONIn recent years, Canadians have witnessed a remarkably heatedstruggle within the public sphere over conflicting notions of representation.The rise of what is often referred to as “identity politics” or the “politics ofdifference” has transformed discourse in the media, academe, and theworkplace. There are many examples of this transformation within theCanadian context, including the appropriation-of-voice issue in the artisticand literary communities, the (anti-) “politically correct” movement whichcontinues to rage in the media and elsewhere, and the ongoing debatesover employment equity and affirmative action. In each of these discursivefields, the traditional liberal notion of the individual as universal citizen,unencumbered by group categorization, is coming under attack by acounter-discourse emphasizing group difference. This counter-discourseattempts to undermine and delegitimate the universalistic discourse byportraying it as a facade which masks the highly particularistic reality thatexists within liberal societies: for example, the universal citizen ischaracterized as white, male, and heterosexual. In place of this, the group-difference discourse puts forward a notion of representation and identitywhich is founded on the explicit categorization of individuals into groups onthe basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, or other groupings.The universalistic discourse responds by arguing that such categorizationsare unacceptable because they have a constraining and suffocating impacton individuals.The issue of (im-)partiality is a pivotal feature of this struggle;consequently, it will provide the empirical and analytical focus for thisstudy. Who can legitimately speak on behalf of whom, or, to what extentdo individuals have a particular “voice” which places limitations on whomthey can represent? On the one hand, underlying the universalisticdiscourse is the premise that human beings can act, and indeed often doact, in an impartial manner, and that all individuals have the capacity tospeak or act in the interests of all other individuals regardless of thegroup(s) to which they belong. On the other hand, the group-differencediscourse rejects the possibility of impartiality as long as relations of powerand domination are group-based.In this study, I undertake a discourse analysis of the struggle over(im-)partiality as it is manifested in Canadian constitutional politics becauseit is here that it receives an especially clear and powerful expression. Myintention is to determine which discourse is hegemonic and to measure thestrength of that hegemony and the degree to which the competingdiscourse represents a serious counter-hegemonic contender. In addition,I examine the underlying justifications on which these two discourses arebased, as well as the strategies which they use to undermine one another.1In order to do this, I utilize transcripts taken during the CharlottetownReferendum campaign derived from the CBC news programs The National,The Journal, and Sunday Report as well as from The CTV News. Includedin these transcripts are all the reports2that make any reference to theconstitution during the seven-and-a-half week period beginning September3, 1992, when the referendum date was officially announced, and endingon October 25, 1992, the day before the referendum vote was held.311 should note that while this study focuses on the tensions between these two competingdiscourses, there are other discourses the importance of which must not be underestimated. Forexample, one which may be labeled a “pre-liberal” discourse is explicitly racist, sexist, andhomophobic and has a very different attitude toward (im-)partiality.2 Including news stories, editorial essays, documentaries, interviews, debates, and “town hailmeetings’.3This amounts to fifty-two consecutive evenings of newscasts including 172 stories from JJjNational, 39 from The Journal, 36 from Sunday Report, and 181 from the CTV News. in total,2These transcripts represent a rich source for the study of people’sattitudes, beliefs, and assumptions on issues related to politicalrepresentation.In chapter two, I build a framework which is designed to measure therelative acceptance of the universalistic and group-difference positions on(im-)partiality within the referendum discourse. I begin by introducing theGramscian concept of hegemony, which deals with the consent whichpeople give to certain ideas, rules, and practices. Gramsci argued thathegemony is not static or fixed, but is instead in a constant state ofstruggle; he suggested that along with hegemony there is always thepossibility of resistance or counter-hegemony. Next, I describe the conceptof taxonomy (i.e. the science of categorization), by examining itshegemonic as well as counter-hegemonic implications. In particular, Idemonstrate how inversion and anomaly, two common features ofcategoric systems, may preserve hegemonic categoric systems but mayalso be used to challenge and undermine them.Finally, I undertake a preliminary categoric investigation of theuniversalistic as well as group-difference discourses so as to provide aframework for the more detailed discourse analysis that follows. I do thisby building two continua: the first measures the degree to which“referendum actors”4consider specific categories, such as gender, race,age, or province, legitimate grounds for partiality. This continuum rangesfrom a universalistic notion of impartiality on the one hand (where few if anyover fifteen thousand statements (a statement being defined as the communication of a singleidea) are included in the transcripts under study.l will use this term to denote all of the politicians, group leaders, commentators, analysts,experts, reporters, and members of the public whose voices appear in the transcripts. I use theterm “referendum discourse” to denote the collective input (i.e. words and actions) of all thereferendum actors.3categories are considered legitimate grounds for partiality), to the group-difference notion of partiality on the other hand. Since this first continuumis intended to be dynamic rather than static, I develop a second continuumwhich is designed to measure the degree to which the placement orlocation of various categories on the first continuum is a matter of struggleand resistance. I place categories whose position on the first continuum isnaturalized or unquestioned on the one side, and, on the other side, I placecategories whose location is a matter of vigorous contention.The body of this study is separated into examinations of theCharlottetown constitutional negotiations, the referendum campaign, andthe Charlottetown provisions, which represent chapters three, four, and fiverespectively. While referendum actors often make different assumptions of(im-)partiality depending on which of the three contexts they are concernedwith, my premise is that these assumptions are nevertheless connected ata deeper level in the three chapters. In addition, each of the three chaptersis arranged by category beginning with federalism (including treatment ofprovince, region, and language), and then Aboriginality, gender, and,finally, “other” categories. I should emphasize that I have no intention oftaking federalism nor the provincial partiality attached to it for granted (eventhough Canada is a federal society). Instead, I examine province, region,and language-based categories on the same terms that I examine gender,age, race, and (dis-)ability.In chapter three, I begin my discourse analysis by examining theCharlottetown negotiation process as reflected in the referendum texts.For institutional as well as other reasons, the negotiations were groundedin a strong form of partiality based on province, and an even stronger formof partiality based on the French language. While the existence of this4partiality is not surprising, what is notable is the degree to whichreferendum actors took the partiality of these categories for granted withinthe referendum discourse. In contrast, the inclusion of Aboriginalrepresentatives at the constitutional bargaining table was an importantlegitimation of race (on the basis of “Aboriginality”5at least) as a highlypartial category. What is interesting here is that very few referendumactors resisted this within the referendum discourse, although Aboriginalleaders had to struggle to achieve this inclusion in the first place. In termsof other categories, most were characterized by referendum actors ashighly impartial in the sense that all of the negotiators were expected torepresent all members of their provincial, language, or Aboriginalcommunities in an impartial manner, regardless of gender, sexualorientation, (dis-)ability group, class, age, or other category. In addition,with the important exception of gender, referendum actors expressed verylittle resistance to the impartiality of these categories within the referendumdiscourse. In the case of gender, women’s groups -- especially theNational Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) and the NativeWomen’s Association of Canada (NWAC) -- were fairly successful inputting forth their view that women must be represented by women inconstitutional negotiations. Nevertheless, this position failed to have asubstantial impact on the larger referendum discourse since mostreferendum actors portrayed the impartiality of gender in the negotiationsas legitimate.In chapter four, I examine the assumptions referendum actors maderegarding (im-)partiality in the referendum campaign. I focus on the vote5For lack of a better term, I will use the word Aboriginality to denote the Aboriginal/Non-Aboriginaldistinction in the same way that the word gender denotes the male/female distinction.5tabulation processes, the access to the media which various actors wereable to achieve, and the depiction of the public by the media. The degreeto which most assumptions of (im-)partiality during the campaign wererooted in the vote tabulation system, as well as the constitutional amendingformula on which that system was based, is quite notable. Generally,patterns similar to the negotiation process existed, although there was ageneral shift in the direction of greater partiality for most categories.Assumptions of partiality on the basis of province and language werepervasive during the campaign, although the latter type was more extremethan the former. However, language-based partiality was not as extremeas Aboriginal partiality, which was close to being absolute. In terms ofgender, referendum actors expressed a fair amount of partiality, althoughgender partiality met with considerable resistance throughout thecampaign. Finally, referendum actors portrayed the “other” groups in anextremely impartial manner and there was very little evidence of anyresistance to this portrayal.In chapter five, I examine parts of the referendum discourse whichrevolved around various provisions in the Charlottetown Accord, and thedegree of (im-)partiality which they reflected. To begin with, the presenceof provisions for Aboriginal self-government had clear implications forpartiality based on race, although there was forceful resistance to itamongst some referendum actors. What is especially important is that thispartiality was explicitly rooted in the historical maltreatment of Aboriginalpeoples in Canada. The premise was that the need to express Aboriginalpartiality was so great that a new order or level of government wasnecessary. However, the need for partiality was not portrayed as nearly asurgent in terms of the French language. For example, opponents of6language-based partiality attacked the twenty-five-percent floor for Quebecin the House of Commons, as well as other provisions. Interestingly, thereason they did this was not because these provisions were based on apartial notion of representation (considered legitimate within the federalcontext). Rather, it was because non-Quebecers wanted to express theirprovincial partiality as well, and they considered it unjust that Quebec begiven “special” powers to do so. What was at issue was whether or not allthe provinces would have an equal ability to express their own partiality.This issue was reflected in debates concerning the Senate as well. Inaddition, provisions which allowed for gender equality in the Senate werealso included in the Accord, and four Premiers announced that they were infavour of this option. In a sense, this represented a remarkable step in thedirection of a partial notion of gender. However, most referendum actorsmet the possibility of imposed gender equality in the Senate with massivecriticism. Indeed, there was hardly even debate on the issue before thegeneral consensus became that this type of partiality was unacceptable.Gender representation at least received debate, in contrast to “other”groups which the Chalottetown provisions portrayed as legitimate groundsfor an extreme degree of impartiality, by virtue of omission.In chapter 6, Analysis and Conclusions, I consolidate my findingsbased on the referendum transcripts, by locating the various categories onthe two continua set out in chapter two. I argue that the universalisticdiscourse was clearly hegemonic but, at the same time, the groupdifference discourse was successful at putting forward powerful counterhegemonic resistance. In the second part, I show that, ironically, theuniversalistic discourse was hegemonic despite the widespread partialityexercised on the basis of province, language, and Aboriginality. This7hegemony was possible because the universalistic discourse was able tosubsume territorial notions of partiality within itself. Referendum actorsportrayed the territorialization of the universal individual ascommonsensical; as a result, provincial partiality cannot be consideredcounter-hegerñonic. In contrast, however, I argue that the exercise ofAboriginal partiality does have profound counter-hegemonic potential,dependent upon the degree to which future constitutional discourseconstructs Aboriginal peoples as existing within the Canadian politicaluniverse. If they are constructed in this manner, the chances of Aboriginalpartiality diffusing itself to other categories, beginning with gender, will beincreased. The implications of the diffusion of partiality for Canadiandemocracy would be truly profound. In the third part, I discuss the use ofthe strategies of inversion and anomaly. On the one hand, theuniversalistic discourse successfully portrayed the group-differencediscourse as an inversion to a dangerous feudal-style society whereindividuals were forced to exist within group-based categories. On theother hand, the group-difference discourse used the strategy of anomaly todemonstrate that individuals were inevitably categorized in theuniversalistic discourse, even though they were not supposed to be, as aresult of power relations in society. In this way, impartiality was a facadefor what was really a highly-partial ruling class. In examining thesestrategies, I demonstrate that the group-difference discourse justified itsown position by making assumptions about the operation of power anddominance. Thus, impartiality was impossible not for the post-modernreason that inherent differences make representation highly problematic,but since power relations twist and manipulate the ability of representativesto act in a truly impartial manner.8At this point, several caveats are in order. First, it is misleading tothink of the transcripts I analyze as a representative sample of thediscourse which takes place in the Canadian public sphere. To begin with,the news media and the public sphere are far from equivalent, even thoughthey are intricately connected.6 In addition, only national news -- asopposed to local or regional -- is included, and all of this is in English.7Finally, and perhaps most important, all of the texts are directly related to avery specific arena: constitutional politics. Thus, the referendum texts havea very particular set of dynamics which are not necessarily generalizable tothe larger arena of Canadian politics and society. For these reasons, it isbest to consider these texts as representing a “rough slice” of theCanadian public sphere, which has very particularistic qualities of its own.Second, given the descriptive flavour of this study, I bracketnormative questions wherever possible. In other words, it is not my aim toexamine the theoretical or epistemological validity of either theuniversalistic or group-difference discourse -- or any other discourse forthat matter. This is not to suggest that such questions should not, orcannot, be asked. Instead, my position is that such normative questionsmust be founded on a practical understanding of theoretical concepts inoperation. Since it is this kind of understanding that I intend to provide, Iview this study as a preliminary stage of a larger theoretical project.The third caveat has perplexing methodological implications. Giventhat the concept of (im-)partiality is so central to this study, where do Isituate my own voice as discourse analyst? There is an important6 For an article which discusses these connections, see John Durham Peters and Kenneth Cmiel,“Media Ethics and the Public Sphere,” Communication 12 (1991) 197-215.It is true that both the CBC and the CTV provide extensive coverage in Quebec and oftentranslate speeches and interviews which are originally in French. But this does not mean thatthey necessarily capture the Quebecois perspective.9connection between the degree of (im-)partiality which I assume in studyingthe text and the conflicting assumptions regarding (im-)partiality which theuniversalistic and group-difference discourses make. Viewed in this light,by locating myself on the former methodological continuum I am making avalue judgment which corresponds to a specific position on the latteru niversalistic/group difference continuum. Inevitably, setting out mymethodological position is akin to “taking sides” in the debate which I amtrying to analyze. Logically, one cannot remain completely “neutral” inone’s perspective even if one attempts to be.Generally, I tend to be fairly sympathetic to the difference discourseand its perspective on (im-)partiality. However, the fact that I am carryingout this study is itself a sign that I do not completely disregard thepossibility of impartiality. Clearly, one can only move so far towardspartiality and subjectivism before it becomes impossible to carry out anyresearch within the social-science tradition. While I maintain that whatfollows is a partial reading of the text, this is not the same thing as claimingthat it is no better or worse than any other reading. Nor does it mean thatmy reading cannot be placed within a comparative context along with otherreadings carried out by researchers with different backgrounds andperspectives. What it does mean is that, to a considerable degree, myparticular voice, which is a white, male, heterosexual, and able-bodiedvoice, is an integral part of the study which follows.10CHAPTER 2: ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORKThose who champion such profligate pilferage tend to call itinterdisciplinary research, whereas others may view it as simplyundisciplined. I prefer to think of it as actively and aggressivelyanti-disciplinary, for I understand and intend my practice to be aform of resistance to and an act of sabotage against, atendentious taxonomy of knowledge and its legitimatingdiscourses.-Bruce Lincoln8In this chapter I build an analytical framework which I will use toexamine the struggles over (im-)partiality which occurred in the referendumtranscripts. I begin by describing the Gramscian concept of hegemony,which will provide the theoretical foundation for this framework. I thenintroduce the concept of the categoric system, looking specifically at itshegemonic and counter-hegemonic implications within the context of theuniversalistic and group-difference discourses. Finally, I conclude thechapter by clarifying some methodological issues concerning myinterpretation of the texts.A] Gramsci. Hegemony and DiscourseAntonio Gramsci wrote his most influential work while he was apolitical prisoner in an Italian fascist prison from 1929 to 1937, Thesewritings’0touch on a wide range of (often obscure) topics in bewilderingdetail. While Gramsci frequently uses the term hegemony, he does not useit in a systematic manner; in fact, he never explicitly undertakes a8 Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies in Myth. Ritual, andClassification (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989) 172.To make matters worse, the prison conditions were horrible and Gramsci’s health was poor atthe best of times. He died at the age of forty-six, almost immediately after his prison termexpired.10 They are collected in Selections from the Prison Notebooks, trans., and eds., Quintin Hoareand Geoffrey N. Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1992).11sustained theoretical description and analysis of hegemony. Nevertheless,a more general theory of hegemony is ever-present in Gramsci’s thought,even if merely implicit.11 Rather than analyze this theory in any detail,12 Iwill embark upon a more focused and practical encounter with Gramsci’sthought by drawing out those aspects that are particularly suited to thepurposes of this study. This seems fitting, given Gramsci’s tendency toprivilege practice over theory.Gramsci defines hegemony as a historically-specific situation inwhich the ruling class elicits the “spontaneous consent” of the “greatmasses” to its rule.13 But this consent does not occur in the same way as apolitical party and its political platform gain the “generic and vague”consent of the people by virtue of winning the most seats in an election.14Rather, hegemony is about leadership based on political, philosophical,and moral education. While the state and its actors play a significant rolein the exercise of this leadership, the expression of hegemony runs muchdeeper, to the point where it permeates society. According to Gramsci:Since all men [sic] are ‘political beings’, all are also‘legislators’... Every man, in as much as he is active, i.e. living,contributes to modifying the social environment in which he develops(to modifying certain of its characteristics or preserving others); inother words, he tends to establish ‘norms’, rules of living and ofbehaviour.. 15In this way, the exercise of hegemony is infused into the everydaypractices of the masses through mechanisms of civil society such as the11 According to some, Gramsci’s theory of hegemony” is far from comprehensive and containsinternal discrepancies. Perry Anderson, “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci,” New Left Review100 (1976-7).12See: Robert Bocock, Hegemony (Chichester: Ellis Horwood Ltd., 1986).13Gramsci, 12.14Gramsci, 259.15Gramsci, 266.12education system, organized religion, the family, and the media. Whilethese mechanisms are “legally neutral” since they operate...without ‘sanctions’ or compulsory ‘obligations’,...[they] neverthelessexert a collective pressure and obtain objective results in the form ofan evolution of customs, ways of thinking and acting, morality, etc.16Thus, for Gramsci, hegemony implies nothing less than the developmentand/or maintenance of a social, political, and economic culture. As such, itmay be thought of as a “type or level of civilization” formulated by the rulingclass.17By definition then, hegemony is a form of domination, yet it is neveran absolute domination. Rather, transformation is inherent within theoperation of hegemony -- it occurs by way of internal struggles andcounter-hegemonic resistance. Hegemony is an evolutionary process, onethat is living and lived through. It is not a solid, concrete structure; itemploys no fixed-rule book. According to Raymond Williams: “It hascontinually to be renewed, recreated, defended, and modified. It is alsocontinually resisted, limited, altered, challenged by pressures not at all itsown.”18 Hegemony is never finally and ultimately “won”. Indeed, it involvesconstant struggle, a contest without end.Thus, hegemony has to be flexible and adaptable. Its successdepends to a large extent on its ability to incorporate or appropriate varyingchallenges. Ideas and concepts from challenging discourses are oftenabsorbed in such a way that they appear consistent with the logic of thehegemonic order. As Gramsci notes: “Undoubtedly the fact of hegemonypresupposes that account be taken of the interests and the tendencies of16Gramsci, 242.17Gramsci, 247.18Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 113.13the groups over which hegemony is to be exercised...”19That hegemonytends to incorporate changes in such a way that the fundamentalhegemonic logic is left intact means that hegemonic compromise or evensacrifice is allowed, sometimes even encouraged. But this never occurs atthe expense of those in whose interests the hegemonic order operates.Hegemony bends -- sometimes considerably -- but only to guard againstsnapping. Still, snapping does occur because not all hegemonic ordersdisplay the required skill when challenged. Some may become brittle byresisting change while others may melt from the friction whichtransformation generates.Gramsci’s project is explicitly directed toward overturning hegemonicorders. Accordingly, he states:If the ruling class has lost its consensus, i.e. is no longer ‘leading’ butonly ‘dominant’, exercising coercive force alone, this means preciselythat the great masses have become detached from their traditionalideologies, and no longer believe what they used to believepreviously.. 20In fact, Gramsci’s work can be read as a manual for those attempting tobring about such a situation, because counter-hegemonic action must befounded on a deep understanding of the manner in which hegemony isachieved and maintained. Central to this action is the insight thathegemony occupies only one of the seats in a kind of see-saw system, withcoercion and force maintaining the balance. The more weighty thehegemonic order, the less need there is to apply coercion or force. Insome such situations, Gramsci says, “[i]t is possible to imagine thecoercive elements of the State withering away by degrees, as ever-more19Gramsci, 161.20Gramsci, 276.14conspicuous elements of regulated society (or ethical State or civil society)make their appearance:’21 it is this situation which makes resistanceespecially difficult, but it also points to the route which resistance musttake. As Gramsci makes clear:A social group can, and indeed must, already exercise ‘leadership’before winning governmental power (this indeed is one of theprincipal conditions for the winning of such power); it subsequentlybecomes dominant when it exercises power, but even if it holds itfirmly in its grasp, it must continue to ‘lead’ as well.22For this reason, the sudden seizure of state power by way of force andrevolution, even if successful, is rarely long-lasting. Those who seek powermust first prepare a path by winning the consent of a significant proportionof the population.There are two central reasons for utilizing the concept of hegemonyin this study, even though it was originally developed by Gramsci in thecontext of fascist Italy. One important advantage is that hegemony isepistemologically and normatively neutral.23 That is, there is no inherentvalue in Gramsci’s use of the term. For example, from Gramsci’sperspective some hegemonic orders are clearly destructive and perniciouswhile others may be utopian; the term hegemony may be suitably appliedto either. As a result of this neutrality, hegemony is particularly useful as adescriptive tool.24 Furthermore, the use of hegemony does not preclude21Gramsci, 263. According to the literary theorist, Terry Eagleton, “...in capitalist society inparticular, the ratio between consent and coercion shifts decisively towards the former...”Ideology: An Introduction (London: Verso, 1991), 116.22Gramsci, 57-58.23 This is in contrast with the term ideology, which often carries a highly negative connotation.For further discussion on this point, as well as the epistemological foundation of the termdiscourse, see Michele Barrett, The Politics of Truth: From Marx to Foucault (Stanford: StanfordUniversity Press, 1991) and John B. Thompson, Ideology and Modern Culture (Stanford:Stanford University Press, 1991).24This is not to say that value judgments cannot be made of specific hegemonic orders. In fact, itis essential to ask certain questions, such as: In whose interest is hegemony operating?15individual or group agency. For example, Gramsci stresses that “.. .the willand initiative of men [sic] themselves cannot be left out of account.. “25 Asa result, it is easy to understand how the resistance to hegemony which isso central to Gramsci’s thought may come about -- through human actionand leadership. The issue of agency is especially important whencomparing Gramsci with the post-modernist, Michel Foucault.26 Like mostpost-modernists, Foucault denies the possibility of individual or groupagency,27 making it difficult to imagine how resistance can occur.28 Yet thepossibility of resistance is just as central to Foucault’s thought as it is toGramsci, and it is probably one of the main reasons why Foucault’stheories have achieved such prominence. As a result, the struggles understudy cannot be considered post-modern since resistance through group-based agency is integral to the group-difference discourse in theory as wellas in practice.B] Categoric Systems and Hegemonic DiscourseIn the previous section, I set out a general theoretical frameworkbased on the Gramscian notion of hegemonic and counter-hegemonicdiscourse within which I will examine the findings of this study. However,since Gramsci never developed the tools necessary to undertake such an25Gramsci, 244.261 make this comparison because it is often assumed that the group-difference discourse isrooted in the post-modern ideas of scholars such as Foucault.27 See, for example, The History of Sexuality. Volume I (New York: Vintage Books, 1990) part 4,ch. 2, and Power/Knowledge (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980) 97-98.28l is a flaw which has received a great deal of attention. See Nancy Fraser, Unruly Practices:Power. Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory (Minneapolis: University ofMinnesota Press, 1989) ch. 1; Charles Taylor, “Foucault on Freedom and Truth,” in Foucault: ACritical Reader David Couzens-Hoy, ed. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), and Eagleton, 47, for asampling of the criticism which follows this line of argument. Also, see Jana Sawicki, DiscipliningFoucault: Feminism. Power. and the Body (New York: Routledge, 1991) who attempts toillustrate the possibilities for resistance in Foucault.16examination, I borrow from the methodological approach developed byBruce Lincoln. His work is especially suitable for my purposes since it hasa Gramscian flavour.29 Lincoln is able to draw out the hegemonic as wellas counter-hegemonic struggles that take place in a diverse group ofdiscursive fields. Following Foucault,3°Lincoln puts forward the concept oftaxonomy (what I shall refer to as a “categoric system”) as an importanttype of discourse that serves an epistemological function by sorting andcategorizing the information that people amass. Such categorizations arean integral part of our daily attempt to understand the world and render itlivable. But, as Lincoln demonstrates, categoric systems, also haveimportant hegemonic implications, since every category is to aconsiderable degree socially determined. Thus, categoric systems do nothold a position of neutrality, but instead tend to reproduce and reaffirm thehegemonic systems of which they are a product.31 This is because existinghierarchies are coded, stabilized, and secured as categoric systemsintegrate them. As Lincoln says,.categorizers come to be categorized according to their owncategories. Taxonomy is thus not only a means for organizinginformation, but also -- as it comes to organize the organizers -- aninstrument for the classification and manipulation of society.. 32This is not to imply that the importance of a categoric discourse is limited toits reflective and determined nature. While it is true that such discoursesare rooted in existing social formations to a considerable extent, they havethe potential to reconstruct, recreate, and realign those formations. ThisInterestingly, while Lincoln cites Gramsci in several instances, his debt to Gramsci remainsimplicit.30MicheI Foucault, The Order of Thinys: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York:Vintage Books, 1973).31Lincoln, 8-9.32Lincoln, 137.17most often occurs in a way which serves the interests of hegemonic orders,but categoric systems can also be used as tools of resistance bydestabilizing, undermining, and even overturning such orders.Categoric discourse can take many forms. Sometimes, it is fullydiscernible to those whom it categorizes. However, it is far more likely toremain implicit, masked, or even invisible to them. Sometimes categoricdiscourse is clearly a human invention, yet it is also common for it to beperceived as natural, eternal, and ahistorical. As Lincoln puts it:More than legitimate, arbitrary social hierarchies are thusrepresented as if given by nature, and agitation against theirinequities -- which tends to come from those who have beensubordinated and marginalized by these systems -- is made to seembut the raving of lunatics.Categoric systems often operate according to a series of rankedbinary oppositions based on one or more categories such as age orgender.34 What a particular culture deems a “category” depends on therelative importance of certain attributes and characteristics within thatculture.35 Thus, in a racist society, the colour of one’s skin would be acategory of the highest order, but would not necessarily be the case insocieties where skin colour has little social or political importance or isuniform.In this study, I portray the universalistic and group-differencediscourses as competing categoric systems. They are categoric systemsin that each is rooted in a particular method of categorizing human beings.I portray them as competing because the categoric systems on which theyare based are fundamentally in conflict with one another. While theLincoIn, 141.34Lincoln, 139, n. 13.LincoIn, 133.18universalistic discourse eschews most group-based categories, the group-difference discourse, as its name suggests, views group-based categoriesas essential.In addition to the categories themselves, there are two other featuresof categoric discourse that are especially helpful in understanding thestrategies which the universalistic and group-difference discourses use.These features are “inversion” and “anomaly”. Inversion involves areversal or overturning of a categoric system. When carried out properly,inversion can have important counter-hegemonic implications, but it canalso be utilized to maintain hegemonic orders. As I will demonstrate, theuniversalistic discourse was very successful at using inversion by depictingthe group-difference discourse as a risky and dangerous inversion to a preliberal era where individuals would be oppressed as a result of their group-based characteristics. Unlike inversion, anomalies are far more likely tothreaten a hegemonic order than to serve it. There is nothing inherent inan entity to make it anomalous. Rather, whether it is or is not consideredso is dependent upon the effectiveness and strength of the categoricsystem in question. On the one hand, a specific entity may appear to defythe rules of a particular categoric system, causing it to be disregarded,marginalized, distorted, and considered deviant. On the other hand, theexistence of such an anomaly may demonstrate the arbitrary nature of acategoric system so that it is adjusted accordingly or abandonedaltogether.36The main strategy of the group-difference discourse is to pointout anomalies in the universalistic discourse. For example, the groupdifference discourse attempts to demonstrate the degree to whichindividuals are in fact grouped within the universalistic discourse according36Lincoln, 165.19to their location in the structures of power and domination in society. In thisway, through the use of anomaly, the group-difference discourse has thepotential to undermine the universalistic discourse. According to Lincoln,“...just as taxonomy can encode and legitimate, indeed, help constructsociopolitical and economic orders, so conversely can anomaly be used tode-legitimate and deconstruct those same sociotaxonomic orders.”37C] The Universalistic and Group-Difference DiscoursesAt this point, I undertake a preliminary categoric examination of theuniversalistic and group-difference discourses. In subsequent chapters, Idemonstrate that the universalistic discourse was hegemonic and thegroup-difference discourse counter-hegemonic in the referendumtranscripts. However, my purpose here is simply to provide a basic map forthe more detailed investigation that fotIows. To begin with, theuniversalistic discourse is based on the liberaP premise that all individualsmust be politically equal. All individuals are representationally and legallyof equivalent value with the result that no individual may have any officialrights or privileges that other individuals lack. Thus, there is a uniformity ofpolitical worth (e.g. one person, one vote). Furthermore, the grouping ofindividuals -- in terms of rights, voting, or political worth generally -- isunacceptable since this is believed to have a constraining and limitingeffect on them. Thus, those groups which do exist within society are37Lincoln, 166.lnstead of surveying the rich body of theoretical literature related to these discourses, I will relyon the texts under study for guidance. Thus, I am interested in the discursive struggle as itoccurs in practice as opposed to theory, although I acknowledge that there is a connectionbetween the two.lt should be emphasized that not all universalistic discourses are based in liberalism. Forexample, many forms of Marxism and neo-Marxism (as represented by Jurgen Habermas) havea strong universalistic flavour. What is important is that, within the Canadian context, theuniversalistic discourse is liberal.20considered politically insignificant. At the root of this attitude toward groupsis an assumption regarding the potential impartiality of individuals.40Groups are politically insignificant because it is entirely possible forindividuals to make decisions which are in the interests of the entirecommunity, no matter what group they belong to. At the root of this is theassumption that individuals have an inherent capacity to empathize withone another. Thus, there is nothing in the “nature” of individuals whichrestricts them from acting in the interests of any other individual.41 Rather,there is an intrinsic commonality in all people so that anyone can potentiallyspeak for anyone or even everyone. In this way, the impartial-individualsubject is the fundamental unit -- in fact, the only unit -- within the universaldiscourse on representation. This creates a dilemma, at the very least, inattempting to think of this discourse in categoric terms. After all, ifcategoric systems are intended to categorize people, then surely theuniversalistic discourse must, by definition, be acategorical because in theuniversal discourse there is only one category, and all members of thecommunity are placed firmly, explicitly, and unequivocally within it.Conversely, the group-difference discourse challenges the universaldiscourse by arguing that groups must be allowed to express themselves.Individuals experience the world in fundamentally different waysdepending, to a considerable extent, on the group(s) to which they belong.As a result, there is no universally-impartial individual who can makedecisions on behalf of all others. Regardless of group affiliation, all voicesare partial. This is not to say that all voices are necessarily or inherently4° The significance of the notion of impartiality is discussed in Iris Marion Young, Justice and thePolitics of Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) ch. 4.41Th,s does not mean all individuals wilt in fact make decisions in the interests of individuals whobelong to other groups. Rather, whether they do or not is generally seen to be unrelated to theirown group identity.21partial, but that they are partial because power relations in society arepartial or group-based. Thus, even if it is the case that individuals have aninherent capacity to empathize, this capacity is manipulated and twisted asa result of these power relations. According to the group-differencediscourse, the universal discourse “brackets” existing relations of powerand domination to the point that politics becomes, in essence, apolitical.While the universal discourse is explicitly based on a polity which is blind tocategories such as class, race, gender, and sexual orientation, the group-difference discourse considers this assumption incongruent with theexisting operation of power and domination which, to a large extent, “seesthe world” along these categoric lines.It is important to emphasize, as I did when comparing Gramsci withFoucault, that despite similarities the group-difference discourse is notrooted in post-modern assumptions. Certainly, the distinction betweenpost-modern and group-difference discourses is more easily made intheory, where there are fundamental philosophical differences betweenthem, than in practice. However, while relations of group power anddomination are of central importance to the group-difference discourse,they are often considered derivative in post-modernism. Since thetranscripts demonstrate that relations of power and domination are theprimary motivation behind those putting forward claims of partiality,especially on the basis of Aboriginality and gender, it is fair to conclude thatthey are not acting on the basis of post-modern assumptions.42In order to analyze the universalistic and group-differencediscourses, I will proceed to develop the two continua which provide the42 In addition, representation of any sort is considered highly problematic within post-modernism.See Pauline Marie Rosenau, Post-Modernism and the Social Sciences (Princeton: PrincetonUniversity Press, 1992) oh. 6.22analytical focus of this study. The first continuum is designed to measurethe extent to which specific categories43were considered legitimate (orillegitimate) grounds for political partiality within the referendum discourse.Note that I am interested in the assumptions of (im-)partiality which existedat the root of discussions revolving around both elected and unelectedforms of political representation.44 That is, what assumptions were madeabout whether men could and/or should speak or act for women, adults forchildren, Ontarians for Albertans, non-Aboriginal peoples for Aboriginalpeoples, right-handers for left-handers, and so on? For example, acategory such as “shoe size” could not be considered partial since it wasobviously illegitimate to suggest that a person with small feet must berepresented by other people with similarly small feet, at least in Canadianpolitical discourse. However, a category such as territory was far morelikely to be considered a legitimate basis for partiality because manypeople considered it unacceptable for an individual in one region to speakon behalf of an individual in another region. My central aim is to locate thevarious categories along a continuum: on one side, I place all categoriesthe partiality of which was legitimized in the referendum discourse; on theother side, I place all categories the partiality of which was consideredillegitimate within the referendum discourse (See the horizontal axis ofchart 1).43The list of categories I examine includes: gender, sexual orientation, race, Aboriginality,language, religion, class, education, age, (dis-)ability, province, and region.44Both the universalistic and the group-difference discourses operate on the democraticassumption that political representatives must be elected.23FIGURE 1 MORE STRUGGLECONTINUUM 2CONJINUUM>LEcIITIMATEC)LESS STRUGGLEINJATIJRALIZEI))Even if a category was legitimately partial, however, it may exist alongsideanother category in any particular individual. In other words, the morelegitimately partial a category is, the more likely that category will exhaust agiven individual’s political identity. For example, on the one hand, Idemonstrate that while provincial partiality was entrenched in thereferendum discourse, it was only a moderate brand of partiality in thesense that the provincial identity of most individuals was offset by otheridentities such as a pan-Canadian identity. However, on the other hand, Ishow that Aboriginal partiality was more extreme because it usuallyconsumed more of an Aboriginal person’s identity in terms ofrepresentation. Thus, when I speak of a partial category, I do notnecessarily mean that all of an individual’s political needs were exhaustedby that category.24One of the common weaknesses of continua is that they tend to bestatic in operation, leading to difficulties when they are used to measurephenomena dynamic in character as are those under study here. In thecase of the first continuum, there was often a lack of consensus in thereferendum discourse as to whether or not a specific category representedsuitable grounds for partiality. In order to capture this, I will use a secondcontinuum to attempt to measure the degree to which the location ofspecific categories on the first continuum was a matter of struggle withinthe referendum discourse (See the vertical axis of Chart 1). To put itanother way, I will try to determine whether the status of a specific category(i.e. legitimately or illegitimately partial) was a matter of contention andresistance. Thus, on the top end of this continuum I place all categorieswhose status (whether legitimately or illegitimately partial) was a matter ofgreat debate. Gender would likely fall somewhere in this category, since itwas a matter of tremendous struggle. On the bottom end of the continuumI place all categories whose status was portrayed as natural, unquestioned,or a matter of common sense. Shoe size is located here since its status asan impartial category was not challenged in any way in the referendumdiscourse.My premise is that by examining the placement of all of thesecategories along the horizontal continuum, I will be able to make a moregeneral statement about the relative hegemony of the universalistic andgroup-difference discourses in the transcripts. For example, the greaterthe number of categories located on the illegitimate side of the continuum,the more hegemonic the universalistic discourse would be. In addition, Iwill also be able to measure the extent to which the hegemonic discoursewas being resisted; the greater the number of categories placed on the25upper end of the vertical continuum, the more vigorous thehegemonic/counter-hegemonic struggle.Some further methodological considerations are necessary at thisjuncture. My analysis is based on a thorough and comprehensive readingof the referendum transcripts. Thus, it is by no means statistical orquantitative in design, even though I began this study with the expectationthat I would utilize statistics derived from a content analysis undertaken bythe National Media Archives on the same transcripts. However, I soonrealized that the statistics were not suited to measuring the kind of strugglethat I focus on even though they yielded some interesting information.’Thus, I undertake a discourse analysis, as opposed to a content analysis,in this study. Since the arguments I make are explicitly based on thetranscripts, I will quote from them wherever possible. In fact, there aretimes when I will include especially long excerpts in order to demonstrate aparticular point.Still, to undertake a discourse analysis is anything but a simplematter. This is largely a result of a very large array of methodologicalapproaches from which one might choose. Notwithstanding their diversity,it is possible to distinguish between two general schools of discourseanalysis.46 The first is distinctly linguistic in nature, and takes as itspremise the idea that language does not simply communicate meaning butis itself a creator and constructor of meaning. The study of the textbecomes an end in itself according to this approach, which is often highlyformalistic and technical in nature.47 A second approach is the one putI make a minor exception to this in chapter 4, where I cite these statistics briefly.‘ As Michele Barrett does, 124-1 27.47See Roland Barthes, “Myth Today,” in Mythologies (London: Paladin, 1972) 117-1 74.26forth by Foucault;49 it is explicitly anti-formalistic in the sense that it insiststhat discourse be analyzed within its social and political context.49 Here,the focus is placed on the “what” of discourse rather than the “how”.5°The approach I shall utilize is eclectic. I do not limit myself to asingle technique but instead borrow methodological tools from a variety ofsources. While my analysis is dependent on an intensive and detailedreading of the transcripts, it is far from linguistically formalistic in nature.Rather, it is set firmly within the context of recent Canadian constitutionalpolitics in particular, and Canadian politics and society in general. As such,I align myself far more with the contextual than the linguistic approach,although the latter is the inspiration for several aspects of my analysis.51However, I should emphasize that I distinguish myself from both thelinguistic and the contextual schools of discourse analysis in that I do notsuggest that discourse should always be privileged or favoured overmaterial realities such as poverty or violence -- especially as these arerelated to the operation of power and domination.52Thus, while I focusexplicitly on the discursive level, I do so with caution. My premise is thatdiscourse has a profound influence on many aspects of social, economic,and political life, and is worth studying for this reason.My aim, then, is to locate, describe, and explain manifestations ofwhat referendum actors viewed as natural and obvious. Rather than takefor granted what they took for granted, I will instead question what they49See, for example, The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language (New York:Pantheon Books, 1972) Appendix.49For an attempt to bridge the two approaches by placing discourse analysis firmly within itscontext, see Thompson, ch. 6.5°Barrett, 126.51 semiotics, as put forward by Barthes.52Among the most notable examples of this approach (especially given their Marxist roots) areErnesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (London: Verso, 1992).27viewed as commonsensical and reasonable. Rather than accept thebehaviour of referendum actors as simply habitual and routine, I seek todecipher and deconstruct their customs and norms. Rather than assumethat such ideas, attitudes, and behaviours are intrinsic to the Canadianway, I operate under the assumption that there is nothing inherentlynatural, commonsensical, or obvious about the Canadian way. Takentogether, these aspects of the Canadian way are often the signposts ofhegemony in operation. Thus, the reader may sometimes find the resultsof my analysis odd or disconcerting, but, let her or him be assured, this isprecisely the point.28CHAPTER 3: THE NEGOTIATIONS.We have a national proposal that is genuinely a Canadaround. It’s been decided at the most inclusive negotiating tableever in Canadian history, and we need the reaction of the publicto it. -Joe Clark, Federal Constitutional Affairs Minister53The negotiation process undertaken in pre-Charlottetown rounds ofconstitutional talks became a potent and effective target for many citizenswho were disillusioned with Canada’s democratic institutions in general andexecutive federalism in particular. For example, process-related criticismsplayed a pivotal role in the decline of the Meech Lake Accord, and there islittle doubt that many of these criticisms shaped the Charlottetownnegotiation process. I begin my analysis of the referendum transcripts inthis chapter by examining the latter process in order to uncover theassumptions of (im-)partiality that were rooted in it. I am especiallyinterested in the degree to which those assumptions were portrayed aslegitimate (or illegitimate) in the ensuing referendum discourse. Althoughprocess-related issues were not as prominent during the Charlottetownreferendum campaign as they were during the Meech Lake ratificationperiod, they were still a source of vigorous struggle and contention.Unfortunately, since the transcripts begin a week after the negotiationsended, much of the initial process-related reaction and discussion was notrecorded in them. Nevertheless, as with Meech Lake, certain process-related issues lingered on well after the negotiations ended. I focus myattention on these issues.5453The Journal, September 3, 1992, Placement 1.I limit my analysis to the negotiations and not the constitutional conferences which precededthem, because there was very little discussion of these conferences during the referendumcampaign.29A] FEDERALISM AND THE NEGOTIATIONS1. ProvinceThe negotiation process at Charlottetown was rooted in partialassumptions of provincial representation. To begin with, each leaderpresent55was chosen by a territorially-defined group of people (i.e. peoplebased in a specific province). Presumably, the people of each provincewould select someone who was “one of their own”, someone sharing acommon set of values and perspectives with them.56 It was also taken forgranted that the role of each leader was to ensure that the particular needsand interests of his or her province were expressed and protected when itcame to the constitutional negotiations. In this way, all of the conditions ofpartiality would be met; a group of people chose one of its own membersto represent its interests, Of course, the Premiers had to concernthemselves with the national interest as well, but each Premier wasexpected to express the national interests from the explicitly partialperspective of his or her own province. Thus, the Premier of Manitoba, asa Manitoban, was expected to express a “Manitoban” vision of Canadaduring the negotiations rather than to portray himself as speaking for, ormaking decisions on behalf of, any other province.Even though many forms ot partiality were vigorously challenged inthe referendum discourse, referendum actors rarely expressed concernover the existence of provincial partiality in the negotiations. Granted,there was considerable debate over whether or not the Premiers were55My analysis here is limited to the ten Premiers and the two territonal Government Leaders, whoI will refer to as the “Premiers. I discuss the inclusion of Aboriginal leaders below.At Charlottetown, nine of the eleven Premiers were born in the province or territory in whichthey were elected. The other two, Mike Harcourt (born in Alberta) and Don Getty (born inQuebec) have each spent virtually all of their adult lives in British Columbia and Albertarespectively.30expressing too partial a vision, either separately or collectively, to the pointwhere they were losing sight of national interests. While severalreferendum actors made such assertions, in doing so they assumed that acertain degree of partiality was legitimate and even expected from thePremiers. They only challenged the extent of the partiality which thePremiers expressed, assuming that this would be largely offset by theimpartial and universal vision expressed by the Prime Minister. In otherwords, referendum actors took for granted a mixture of provincial partialityand impartiality.The existence of this type of territorially-defined partiality is not, initself, particularly notable. After all, Canada’s entire federal system isbased on it. The constitutional amending formula, which shaped thenegotiation process to a considerable degree, is in turn rooted in thisfederal system.57 Provincial partiality represented an anomaly for theuniversalistic discourse’s position on impartiality. At least, it was ananomaly in theory; in practice, the referendum transcripts indicate that theexistence of partiality based on the provinces appeared natural. Its statusas an anomaly remained unacknowledged because it was taken forgranted that the universal citizen must also be a territorialized citizen or afederal citizen. The transcripts depict provincial partiality not as ananomaly or an exception to the universalistic discourse but as a matter ofcommon sense, as the way things had always been and would continue tobe. Rather than weakening the universalistic discourse, this form ofpartiality seemed integral to its existence.5However, the inclusion of representatives from the Northwest Territories and the Yukon was notrooted in the amending formula since neither territory had a constitutional veto.31Interestingly, while the negotiation process reflected powerfulassumptions of provincial partiality, regional partiality received only limitedexpression. Generally, whether or not regional partiality was expresseddepended on the issue under negotiation. For example, on certain issuesthe four Western Premiers were expected to speak or act “as Westerners”,and the same was true for the Atlantic Premiers. But, for the most part,regional partiality was drowned out by provincial partiality. This isunderstandable given that the amending formula is rooted in assumptionsof provincial, as opposed to regional, partiality.2. Language and QuebecWhile assumptions of provincial partiality were quite evident in thenegotiations, far more extreme and dramatic assumptions of language-based partiality were exercised by Premier Bourassa of Quebec. He wasexpected to express the voice of Quebecers in the negotiations and,furthermore, it was incomprehensible that another Premier would attemptto do so. Although Prime Minister Muironey, as a Quebecer, was able toplay a moderately partial role in the negotiations, this partiality was far lessextreme than that exercised by Premier Bourassa. The people of Quebecdemanded to have a Quebecer at the negotiations who was elected onlyby, and accountable exclusively to, Quebecers.Quebec’s expectations of partial representation were most obvious inthe decision by Premier Bourassa to boycott all constitutionalnegotiations.59 Of course the Quebec National Assembly would haveeventually had to give its consent to any major constitutional changeln this section, as well as in similar sections in chapters 4 and 5, I discuss language-basedpartiality as it is connected with the provincial partiality expressed by Quebec. While I realize thatthese two forms of partiality are not necessarily equivalent, I draw a strong connection betweenthem because referendum actors usually conflated the two.59This boycott lasted from the fall of the Meech Lake Accord to July 30, 1992.32because of the need for unanimity in the amending formula. Even so, therewas a vacuum in the negotiations which preceded Premier Bourassa’s reentry and at no time was there any sense that it could be filled by anyPremier, or even by the Prime Minister, speaking for, or making decisionson behalf of, Quebecers. Rather, these leaders could only come to atentative agreement on behalf of the rest of Canada, which they could thenpropose to Quebec. Once again, only when someone was at thenegotiations who represented, explicitly and with partiality, Quebec’sinterests could Quebecers be sufficiently satisfied.B] ABORIGINALITY AND THE NEGOTIATIONSLeading up to Charlottetown, Aboriginal leaders held a number ofpublic rallies to gain support for their inclusion in the negotiations.6°These public rallies were deemed necessary because Aboriginal leadershad been demanding inclusion in constitutional negotiations for well over adecade prior to Charlottetown. They could not safely assume that therenewal of these demands would result in their being met leading up toCharlottetown. The eventual inclusion of Aboriginal leaders in theCharlottetown negotiations marked a legitimation of the group-differencediscourse and its partial position on representation. Many Canadiansbelieved that the process utilized in pre-Charlottetown constitutionalrounds, whereby the First Ministers were collectively thought to representall Canadians regardless of Aboriginality, was no longer acceptable. Theinclusion of Aboriginal people demonstrated that the First Ministers were nolonger perceived to be the true representatives of all Canadians inconstitutional matters, even though they were Canada’s foremost elected60The Journal, October 13; Placement 1.33leaders. The message -- only Aboriginals could represent Aboriginals --was a clear acknowledgment, and indeed a legitimation, of the group-difference discourse.As it turned out, Aboriginal inclusion came only after a vigorousstruggle between several key constitutional actors. Most notably, PremierBob Rae of Ontario actively supported Aboriginal inclusion, and his positioneventually prevailed. Still, Federal Constitutional Affairs Minister Joe Clarkwas a vociferous opponent, so much so that Ovide Mercredi, Grand Chiefof the Assembly of First Nations said, ‘What surprised me was not ourinclusion ultimately, but Joe Clark’s passion for our exclusion.”61 Themotivation behind Clark’s resistance was especially critical, because it wasfounded on largely practical, as opposed to philosophical, concerns -- or, atleast, this was how he portrayed it. Clark, as well as other constitutionalactors, argued that increasing the number of negotiators would decreasethe chances of reaching an agreement. And, Quebec Premier RobertBourassa felt that Aboriginal representation would so diffuse the focus ofthe negotiations that Quebec’s concerns would receive less attention.It is difficult to say exactly why the First Ministers eventuallyconsented to Aboriginal inclusion, except that it may have been ananticipatory response to the impending creation of a third-order ofgovernment run by Aboriginal peoples. What is important is that neitherClark nor Bourassa expressed particular unease with the shift towardpartiality which Aboriginal inclusion represented. Nor did they give anyattention to the subsequent reduction in the potential for First Ministerimpartiality which that shift logically entailed. After all, the inclusion ofAboriginal leaders meant that only they, and not the First Ministers, could61 The Journal. October 12: Placement 1.34legitimately speak and act on behalf of Aboriginal peoples. At the sametime, the voice of the First Ministers became partial because, as a result ofAboriginal partiality, they could only represent non-Aboriginal peoples inconstitutional negotiations. Thus, the universal discourse, which condemnsthe expression of partiality, was surprisingly weak and ineffective in thiscontext. The need for Aboriginals to speak for themselves, to express theirown partial voice, clearly prevailed in the discourse surrounding theCharlottetown negotiations. Furthermore, the inclusion of Aboriginalleaders in the negotiations was widely publicized and celebrated during thereferendum campaign.While the clear distinction made on the basis of Aboriginalitythroughout the Charlottetown negotiation process represented anendorsement of the group-difference discourse, the process went beyondexpressing this kind of partiality. It demonstrated the legitimacy of intraAboriginal partiality as well. In what follows, I discuss intra-Aboriginalstruggles over (im-)partiality, yet I do not claim to be in a position to fullyunderstand the intricacies of these struggles. The transcripts merelyrecorded these struggles as they took place within the mainstream media,not as they were manifested within Aboriginal communities. During theCharlottetown negotiations, four Aboriginal groups -- the Assembly of FirstNations, the Inuit Tapirisat, the Native Council of Canada, and the MetisNational Council62 -- were included, since they felt that no single Aboriginalleader could legitimately speak or act with impartiality for all Aboriginalpeoples. Each of the four groups demanded and received the right to haveits own voice heard in the negotiations. Despite this, there continued to be62The negotiators were Ovide Mercredi of the AFN, Rosemarie Kuptana of the Inuit Tapirisat,Ron George of the NCC, and Marc LeClair representing the MNC.35deep tensions amongst the leaders for fear that one group (especially theAFN) would threaten the ability of the others to represent themselves inand outside of the negotiations.While the four Aboriginal groups were apprehensive about beingsilenced by one another, similar concerns emerged from within Aboriginalsub-communities as well. This was most pronounced within the Status-Indian community, and Ovide Mercredi expressed noteworthy ambivalenceover it. On the one hand, the following excerpt illustrated Ovide Mercredi’sdiscomfort with the burden of representing the entire Status-Indianpopulation during the negotiations:I can’t represent all the Indian people. It’s impossible and I don’twant to be put into a position of being the person who compromisedthe rights of my people. I want to make sure there’s ten, fifteen,thirty other people who’ll be there.63On the other hand, Mercredi was not always supportive of demands forpartiality coming from within the Status-Indian community. Quite theopposite; he would often speak in terms of “my people” or, “the people Irepresent” as if Status-Indians were a homogeneous entity. The followingexchange between Mohawk chief Billy Two Rivers and Mercredi as thenegotiations were taking place is an illuminating example of this:CHIEF BILLY TWO RIVERS: “It’s not good for the Mohawks.”CHIEF OVIDE MERCREDI: “It’s good for the Mohawks.”TWO RIVERS: “No sir, you can’t say that, Ovide, because you don’thave the authority or the jurisdiction to say that for the Mohawkpeople.”The Journal, October 12, 1992, Placement 1.36MERCREDI: ‘1 will say it.”TWO RIVERS: “Ovide, you can’t say that.”MERCREDI: “I will say it.”TWO RIVERS: “... all this, because you don’t have the mandate tospeak on behalf...”MERCREDI: “I have the mandate. I have the mandate.”TWO RIVERS: “Oh no!”64Thus, Mercredi frequently displayed a universalistic attitude towardsAboriginal peoples.Mercredi also took a universalistic position on the basis of gender,since he was consistently unwilling to make distinctions according to thiscategory. As far as Mercredi was concerned, he could legitimatelyrepresent both Status-Indian men andwomen. This attitude was reflectedin the following statement by Mercredi:The Assembly of First Nations represents Indian people, regardlessof their gender, men, women, and children, and at the table werepresent the interests of all our people....The Assembly of FirstNations as an organization, represents all these people and thewomen who belong to our societies can participate in that processand that’s how we conducted our affairs so far.65The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), however, putforward strong opposition to this assumption of gender impartiality bytaking legal action to stop the referendum vote from taking place. Thisaction received considerable coverage on both the CBC and the CTV. TheCTV first reported it as follows: “...Aboriginal women say they will go toThe Journal, October 14, 1992, Placement 1.Sunday Report, October 18, 1992, Placement 10.37court to try to stop the vote. They say the agreement people are voting onis illegal because Native women were not allowed to participate directly inthe constitutional talks.”66 Furthermore, MaryEberts, one of NWAC’s lawyers, stated:They [NWAC] were given a court order August 20th, saying theywere entitled to participate, they have been ignored since then by theFederal government, and we say that the violation of their rightscontinues down to the present day.67Throughout the referendum campaign, NWAC was successful at infusingtheir demand for gender partiality into the referendum discourse.An interesting feature of the NWAC protest was that it was madedespite the presence of two Aboriginal women at the negotiation table;Rosemarie Kuptana represented the Inuit Tapirisat and Nellie Cournoyeathe Northwest Territories. However, NWAC must have felt that neitherKuptana nor Cournoyea could legitimately represent Status-Indian womensince each had specific communities which they were representing. Aswell, the presence of both Kuptana and Cournoyea was rooted in animpartial notion of gender representation. Neither individual was selectedto sit at the negotiations because she was a woman. It was a partial formof representation that NWAC was demanding so as to ensure that theinterests of Status-Indian women would be protected.C] GENDER AND THE NEGOTIATIONSWhile the NWAC protest achieved a fair degree of prominence, theextreme gender imbalance amongst all of the negotiators (fifteen men and66The CTV News, September 17, 1992, Placement 9. A similar report aired on The National,October 13, 1992, Placement 3.67The National, October 13, 1992, Placement 3.38two woman) only arose as an issue periodically. This lack of debate overgender representation was a notable departure from Meech Lake, wherethe all-male negotiation process provided a target for women’s groups andothers. It was also surprising since NAC had actively campaigned for itsown inclusion in the negotiations and it appeared at times that its demandsmight be granted. There were several reasons for the lack of gender-based criticism of the process. To begin with, there was a concerted effortamongst politicians and others on the “YES” side to emphasize that theprocess was open and inclusive.68 The presence of Aboriginal peoples atthe negotiations was often used to demonstrate this inclusiveness. Butmore than anything, the presence of two women at the negotiations servedto pre-empt most gender-based criticisms of the process. The followingstatement by Judy Rebick demonstrates the impact this marginal femalerepresentation had for those struggling for a partial vision of genderrepresentation:The elitist method we have of amending the constitution doesn’twork. You know, those mostly men in that closed-door situationdon’t reflect or understand very well, I think, the realities of mostCanadians lives.. 69Clearly, the phrase “mostly men” was unlikely to rouse the same kind ofreaction as did the all-male process at Meech Lake.While gender-based criticisms of the process were not prominent inthe referendum transcripts, it is nevertheless useful to distinguish betweentwo types of criticisms which referendum actors did express. First, most ofthe criticisms sprang from the belief that the lack of female representation68The quotation at the top of this chapter reflects this. The Journal, September 3, 1992,Placement 1.69The Journal, September 15, 1992, Placement 1.39demonstrated the existence of systemic gender biases in Canada’sdemocratic processes. The point, then, was to ensure that more womengained access to political power, but it was not necessarily to place theminto a partial construct based on their gender once they got there.Therefore, this position was moderately partial because it assumed that itwas unacceptable for women to be underrepresented since there was adistinctive women’s voice which only women could express. But it was notan entirely partial position because it did not assume that only womencould speak for women once gender imbalances were addressed.There is a subtle, but important, distinction between this and asecond more extreme position which referendum actors expressed lessfrequently. The more extreme position was that women had to have anequal opportunity to attain political office and there also had to beprovisions to ensure that there were women elected by women and, mostimportant, that their actions explicitly reflected the concerns of women.The following account of an exchange between NAC president Judy Rebickand Federal Fisheries Minister John Crosbie more than halfway into thecampaign reflected this position:KEVIN NEWMAN: “...Judy Rebick was asked at a forum in Halifaxlast night why she’s so worried about women’s rights in theCharlottetown Agreement, so Rebick referred to the chat with JohnCrosbie, and how he explained why women’s groups weren’t at thenegotiating table.”REBICK: “He says, ‘Well, you know, he says we can’t have womenthere representing women, then we’d have to have cripples andcoloured people’.. .And I told this story as an example of why we don’ttrust politicians to defend our equality rights.”40...CROSBIE: 9 mean, you can only describe it as deplorable,inaccurate, vicious in their intent.”NEWMAN: “An enraged Crosbie accused Rebick of twisting what hethought was a private explanation of why he thinks constitution-drafting is the work of elected politicians.”CROSBIE: “Special interest groups such as those involving crippledpeople or coloured people or ethnic groups could hardly be expectedto be invited to a constitutional conference. The proper people to bethere are the people elected to represent all of the public.”70What is relevant to this discussion is not the allegations of sexism, racism,and ableism that Rebick made nor Crosbie’s initial defense, but theconflicting theoretical assumptions regarding (i m-)partiality whichunderpinned their positions. Rebick was not simply targeting the under-representation of women in the negotiations. She was going one stepfurther to suggest that the negotiations must include women’s groups sinceit was necessary to have women’s interests represented by women. Onlythen could women challenge existing relations of domination. In this way,Rebick was putting forward a partial view of gender representation.Crosbie had two criticisms of this position. First, politicians couldlegitimately and impartially “represent all of the public” since everyoneelected them. The same could not be said of Judy Rebick who was notelected, at least not in the parliamentary sense.71 But Judy Rebick’s verystruggle largely resulted because there were not enough womenrepresenting women in politics. Institutional structures to enable thissituation to change did not exist, and it was precisely these sorts ofstructures that Rebick was agitating for.70The National, October 9, 1992, Placement 2 A similar report aired on The CTV News, October9, 1992, Placement 3.71 The issue of NAC and who it represented receives extensive treatment in the section ongender in chapter 4.41Second, and far more important, Crosbie’s position represented anattack on the notion of partiality as it pertained to gender as well as raceand (dis-)ability. Not only was there the issue of election, but there wasalso the problem of including negotiators rooted in a partial notion ofrepresentation. Thus, politicians were not just elected, they were alsoimpartial in that they were expected to represent all citizens who electedthem. Judy Rebick was not simply unelected, she also expressed aninherently partial vision. It followed that women’s groups would still not bewelcomed at constitutional negotiations because of their partiality even iftheir leaders were elected in the traditional sense. While this secondcriticism is distinct from the first, Crosbie was able to conflate the two and,in doing so, he was successful at undermining the group-differencediscourse on gender partiality.The negotiation process and the discourse which surrounded thatprocess indicated that gender was still considered impartial grounds forrepresentation. It was also a sign that the status of gender as an impartialcategory was deeply embedded in the democratic process which electedCanada’s First Ministers. Fifteen of seventeen negotiators were male, andrarely did referendum actors express concerns that the constitution wouldbe amended by a group consisting mostly of men. Certainly, if thenegotiations had been held a year or so later, there might have been afemale Premier and/or Prime Minister at the negotiations. But, even if thishad been the case, their presence would have stemmed from an impartialconception of gender representation. In other words, the scope of awoman First Ministers’ representation would not have been determined byher gender-based characteristics. While an Albertan or a Status-Indianwould be there to represent Albertans or Status-Indians respectively,42regardless of gender, the referendum actors did not accept that a womanshould be present if her role was to represent only women.D] “OTHER” CATEGORIES AND THE NEGOTIATIONSThus far, I have demonstrated the partial status of the territorial,language, and Aboriginal categories and the generally impartial status ofthe gender category. The referendum discourse portrayed all of the “other”categories under study in an extremely impartial fashion. Aside from theirterritorial diversity, and with the exception of NWT leader Nellie Cournoyea,the First Ministers at Charlottetown were a remarkably homogeneousgroup of people. All were able-bodied white heterosexual men of the samegeneration,72ofeither a Protestant or a Catholic background, and at least ofupper middle-class status.73 In addition, they were far better educated thanmost Canadians, averaging two university degrees each.74 The fact thatthey did not at all represent the population demonstrated that thereferendum discourse assumed an impartial notion of representation sincereferendum actors made no distinctions concerning their ethnicity/race,sexuality, age, class, (dis-)ability, or religion. They obviously viewed thesecharacteristics as politically irrelevant since they did not explicitlycategorize the First Ministers according to any of them.What is especially notable here is that the discourse surrounding thenegotiations did not reflect very much resistance to this extremeassumption of impartiality. This is not to say that such resistance did notoccur outside of the transcripts, only that those resisting did not gain72Their ages ranged from forty-four to fifty-nine.73This is not to say that they were necessarily brought up in middle-class homes.74A11 have at least one degree and two have three degrees.43access to the national television media with their objections. However,there was a single instance where a referendum actor was able to expressresistance to group-based impartiality. This occurred on a CBC seriesentitled “My Vote”, where “average” citizens were given an opportunity toexpress their views. In one segment of that series, Lillian Allen, a dubpoet,75 made several comments. I cite these comments at considerablelength not because they reflected a common or typical position depicted inthe mainstream media but, on the contrary, because they represent a rareexpression of a perspective which is central to this study. Allen stated:[READING]lndifference passes through the wind, the wind thatreigns and you breathe, breathe a new passion of inaction, theinaction of politicians, the art of avoiding issues. The issues ofculture, the culture of exclusion, the exclusion of the political and thepowerlessness. BONG BONG, BONG BONG, BONG BONG;somewhere in this our country, in our government chambers, awatershed of in delight of muted niceties, unctuous, CLICK, CLICK,CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, CLICK ETCETERA. (END OF READING) ...My vote is a vote of courage. It’s a‘NO’ vote.. .It’s a vote of no confidence in the process, and noconfidence in the political leadership of this country. Being a blackperson in Canada, being an artist, and being part of the group orgroupings that have traditionally been excluded from power, therewas some kind of hope that with a kind of knowledge that we have,and the kind of strides that we have been making, that more andmore people would be brought to the table, that the whole processwill be inclusive, that the constitution will at least acknowledge therealities and the aspirations of various communities. After MeechLake, we were promised an open process. We were told that thingswould not be done in the same old way. Well, a process started, andat some point it was closed off.. •7675Dub poetry is a highly political form of poetry, emanating from the Caribbean, which is oftenaccompanied by a beat and/or music.76The Journal, October 8, 1992, Placement 4.44Lillian Allen’s statement was a powerful expression of group-basedpartiality. She denied the possibility of the race-based assumptions ofimpartiality which the negotiations implied. In doing so, she attempted toplace the entire discourse of impartiality in question. Furthermore, shebased her challenge in the relations of power and domination which exist insociety by implicating impartiality in the operation and maintenance ofthose power relations. Thus, in order to overcome dominance andoppression, the discourse of impartiality also had to be eradicated; one fedthe other.Nonetheless, as mentioned above, Allen expressed a kind ofresistance which was extremely uncommon in the transcripts. Theuniversal discourse position on representation clearly prevailed to the pointwhere the transcripts portrayed the impartiality of these “other” categoriesas natural and commonsensical. The referendum actors were persuadedthat these categories were not politically relevant, whereas territory,language, Aboriginality, and, in some cases, gender, were.5] CONCLUSIONThe Charlottetown constitutional negotiations reflected diverseassumptions of both impartiality and partiality, depending on the categoryin question. The amending formula was an important factor in theseresults. For example, provincial partiality was almost certainly reinforcedas a result of the unanimity rule. That is, Premiers were allowed to expressprovincial partiality because the approval of each province was necessaryin order for an agreement to be reached. In the same way, the impartialityof gender and “other” categories was likely influenced by the of lack of anyveto power which would have allowed these categories to express45themselves. However, the (im-)partiality of a specific category cannotsimply be reduced to the amending formula. For example, regionalconcerns had no veto, yet regional partiality existed, and the same is evenmore true for Aboriginal partiality. Both these types of partiality evolvedoutside the context of the amending formula. In the next chapter, I apply asimilar analysis to the discourse surrounding the referendum campaignprocess. I demonstrate that assumptions of partiality were somewhatstronger for most categories as compared to the negotiations.46CHAPTER 4: THE CAMPAIGN PROCESS:My fear is that too many of us are going to be voting as littleCanadians...What do I mean by little Canadians? I’m talkingabout little English Canadians, little French Canadians, littleNative Canadians, little new Canadians, little any kind ofCanadians...Everybody is missing the forest for the trees andindeed in many cases, I’m not even sure they see the trees.They see a little bush that represents their special vestedinterests and they’re kind of saying, ‘What’s in this for me or mygroup’, not what’s in it for Canada.-John Crispo, Professor of Economics77The purpose of this chapter is to examine assumptions of(im-)parLiality from which the processes of the Charlottetown referendumcampaign evolved. I base this examination on the premise that the publicsphere is an integral component of Canadian democracy, and that thereferendum campaign is a notable example of the public sphere inoperation. As such, it is essential to explore how the referendum actorsstruggled over representation in the campaign. For example, who wasrepresented in the campaign and on what basis did the referendum actorsjustify that representation? In order to answer these questions, I analyzeseveral aspects of the campaign process, such as the implications of thevote-tabulation system and the media portrayal of politicians, leaders, andmembers of the public who gained access to it.The CTV News, October 4, 1992, Placement 6.47A] FEDERALISM AND THE CAMPAIGN:1. Province:To a considerable degree, provincialized processes were evident inthe referendum campaign. Instances of provincial partiality -- whether invoting, the activity of politicians, or the media coverage -- flavoured manyaspects of the campaign. This is not to say that provincial partiality wasextreme or absolute, since assumptions of pan-Canadian impartiality werealso prevalent. What it does mean is that provincial partiality was deeplyingrained in the campaign discourse.The media’s portrayal of politicians and their audiences was anexample of the provincial partiality which infused the campaign. Notsurprisingly, this was most often the case with provincial politicians whousually limited their audiences to their provincial constituents. Even whenthey made national appearances, they clearly did so from an explicitlypartial provincial perspective. Nevertheless, in several instances, thePremiers attempted to move beyond the bounds of provincial partiality inorder to express an impartial and distinctly national vision. Perhaps ClydeWells, the Premier of Newfoundland, illustrated this best when he left hisprovince to sell Charlottetown. During the Meech Lake ratification process,Wells was viewed by many as a protector of the pan-Canadian rights ofindividuals entrenched in the Charter of Rights. This was reflected in thefollowing report:BRENDA CRAIG: “Two years ago, Wells was a lighting rod in theMeech Lake debate, the iron Premier who galvanized opposition tothe Accord, demanding equality for all people, all regions, allprovinces, and special status for none.”48CLYDE WELLS: “And we will put our country first.”78It seemed appropriate, therefore, that as the Charlottetown referendumprogressed Canadians would call for Wells to express his support for theagreement across Canada.While Wells’ actions were derived from an impartial (or at least, anon-provincialized) vision, it is a matter of some interest that commentatorsconsidered this so notable. That is, there was a feeling that because hemoved beyond Newfoundland into other provinces, this was somewhatirregular or problematic because of his otherwise partial provincial voice.B.C. Liberal leader Gordon Wilson, in reacting to the actions of Wells andother premiers, stated: “I found it a little offensive to have a whole troupe ofEastern Premiers come into British Columbia to tell British Columbianswhat we ought to have.”79 In this way, criticism met the attempt by Wells toact impartially in the larger Canadian sense since he was also acting froma partial provincial perspective.While the activity of politicians and spokespeople was a focal point ofthe campaign, the media also attempted to capture the attitudes, beliefs,and reactions of the public, and these attempts also reflected provincialpartiality. For example, journalists often reported on the mood in a “typical”Canadian setting such as a factory, a marketplace, or a street corner, and“typical” Canadians were asked to comment on various aspects of thereferendum. Thus, there was a sense of individualistic randomnesssurrounding these stories, as if the media chose members of the public tospeak by lottery. Still, to the extent that these people were chosenrandomly, this obviously occurred within clear provincial boundaries.78The National, September 24, 1992, Placement 11.79The Journal, October 20, 1992, Placement 3.49Reporters did not simply go to just any factories, market places, or streetcorners. Rather, they went to an “Ontarian” factory, an “Albertan”marketplace, or a “New Brunswick” street corner. And, in tapping into themood of randomly chosen individuals, reporters were usually moreinterested in making provincial generalizations so as to capture theessence of a provincial vision. For example, Peter Mansbridge introduceda report as follows:The politicians are spanning the length of the country, campaigningfor the ‘YES’ or ‘No’ teams in the referendum. But, what they’ll findfrom one end to the other are some drastically different visions of theagreement reached in Charlottetown. We have two stories tonight,the first one from the west, from the small, rural town of Hanna,Alberta.8°After the story from Alberta, Mansbridge introduced the next storysaying:It’s an entirely different picture to the East, in the Maritimes in NewBrunswick, some see it [the referendum] as a matter of their ownsurvival, a view that’s found across the spectrum from students toSenior citizens.81This last comment is especially important; in terms of cohesive politicalidentities, group attachments were less important than provincialaffiliations. Instead, referendum actors emphasized provincial identities,provincial cultures, and provincial attitudes. The following report,introduced by CBC anchor Knowlton Nash, further demonstrated thisemphasis:80The National, September 28, 1992, Placement 10.81The National, September 28, 1992, Placement 11.50On the surface, it’s a simple enough choice -- ‘YES’ or ‘NO’. But,when Canadians make that choice their reasons will be as diverse asthe country itself. In British Columbia, polls consistently show theprovince leaning toward a ‘NO’ vote. That’s made it a keybattleground in this referendum, and to a certain extent, a uniqueone. The province is growing at a very fast pace. It’s unemploymentis below the national average. And its trade is heavily offshore.Those factors and others have helped shape the way B.C. thinks,and it thinks very independently. The CBC’s Joe Schlesinger reportstonight on the mood in the province, a place that’s increasinglylooking West.JOE SCHLESINGER: “The buzz of success: this mill at Chemainus,on Vancouver Island, has been prospering.. .It has no customers inCanada East of the Rockies. In that, the mill reflects the province.Neither is dependent on its business with the rest of Canada andthat’s part of the reason why, when it comes to the referendum, B.C.is different... Distinct or not, B.C. is certainly distinctive. It does nothave the deep historic wounds of the prairies, yet it voices many ofthe same resentments.”82In this way, referendum actors portrayed the provinces as cohesive politicalunits with “distinctive” mind sets and unified visions. In addition, theyportrayed the categorization of individuals by province as not onlyreasonable, but also politically essential. This provincialization also carriedover into the polling coverage. With few exceptions, the media broke downpolls by province. For example, in describing the results of a poll, CTVanchor Lloyd Robertson stated: “A new poll today shows that Quebec andBritish Columbia will be the main battlegrounds for the referendum.”83Only rarely did the media categorize polls in non-provincial ways. Thus,the media consistently depicted public opinion in a provincially partialmanner.82The National, October 16, 1992, Placement 17.The CTV News, September 16, 1992, Placement 3.51Much of this provincialization was a result of the system used totabulate the referendum vote. The potential for Canadians to express auniversal political voice via voting was effectively nullified since each votewas, in effect, counted as a provincial vote. According to Craig Oliver ofthe CTV, “It’s a disaster for them all if one province, particularly Quebec,defeats this referendum, then we’re back to square one.”84 Here, anindividual’s vote mattered only to the extent that it impacted on theoutcome of provincial tabulations. Joe Clark described the mechanism forsuch tabulations in the following exchange:BILL CAMERON: “I’m not quite sure how we score this? Do youhave to win it all, everywhere, ten provinces out of ten?JOE CLARK: “I think that would be the ideal, and certainly, we wantit to be clear that we wouldn’t try to use a national referendum resultin a particular province. So our goal will try to be to get support forthis agreement everywhere.”85For Clark, “everywhere” was limited to all of the provinces since non-provincial categorizations of individuals were not politically relevant with theexception of Aboriginality.As a result, it was a Canadian’s provincial identity (as opposed toany other identity) which obtained priority in the voting system. There islittle doubt that the amending formula played a pivotal role in theprovincialization of the referendum campaign. The fact that each provincehad to consent to the Charlottetown Accord for it to pass meant that eachvote was, in essence, a provincial vote. Both the vote tabulation system,and the amending formula on which the vote tabulation system was based,were derived from the explicitly partial assumption that provincializedThe CTV News. September 8, 1992, Placement 3.85The Journal, October 8, 1992, Placement 1.52voices were of primary importance and had to express themselves. In thisway, the amending formula was itself the product of a provincializedconstitutional culture. Not surprisingly then, neither the amending formulanor the provincialization of the campaign were seen as particularly notableissues during the campaign. Neither issue represented a point of struggle;referendum actors portrayed both as natural components of thereferendum process.2. Language and Quebec:Language-based partiality in the context of Quebec was moreextreme and even more extensive than the provincial partiality describedthus far. Of course, the transcripts did not include any of the French-language media, which makes it difficult to examine the campaign onlanguage-based grounds. However, this factor underlines the extent towhich many Canadians experienced the campaign differently on the basisof language.An interesting institutional feature of the campaign in Quebec wasthat Quebec subjected the referendum vote to different rules andregulations than the “Rest of Canada”. This difference was evident in thefollowing comment by reporter Alan Fryer: “...but the referendum won’t beon sovereignty. Quebecers will vote on the same day as the rest ofCanada, on renewed federalism.”86 Despite the commonality inscheduling which Fryer was attempting to point out, there was a strongassumption of difference underlying his comment. The image was of twoseparate nations attempting to co-ordinate a process through which eachwould decide their future relationship with one another. It followed that86The CTV News, September 3, 1992, Placement 253partiality, on the basis of language, had to be a critical element of such aprocess.Beyond Francophone-based partiality, the uneasy relationshipbetween Francophones and ethnic minorities was one of the major themesin the campaign. One of the most dramatic examples of this uneaseinvolved a controversy over how votes would be tabulated in Quebec.During the campaign, Bernard Landry, President of the Parti Quebecois,asserted that fifty-percent of Quebec Francophones would have to vote‘YES’ in order for the Charlottetown Accord to pass in Quebec. Hiscomments, which were widely publicized, went as follows:NEIL MACDONALD: “What would it take for a ‘YES’ victory nextmonth? Would 50-percent plus one be enough? Quebec’s premierwon’t be any more specific than this:”ROBERT BOURASSA: “I will respect democracy.”MACDONALD: “But democracy is a fluid concept, not always 50-percent plus one.”BERNARD LAN DRY: “The ‘YES’ side to win something legitimatemust have about 58 to take into account the block vote of what wecall, respectfully, ‘Anglo-Allo.”MACDONALD: “By that, Landry meant Anglophones and otherminority groups, most of whom are expected to vote ‘yes’. Landrybelieves their votes should not count in deciding who truly won.Because to truly win, Landry says the ‘YES’ side must have amajority of the Francophone vote. Nationalists made the sameargument during the last referendum. But Jacques Parizeau says hewasn’t one of them.”8787The National, September 24, 1992, Placement 2.54These statements illustrated the vigor with which Quebecers struggled overlanguage-based (im-)partiality. Still, most Francophones as well asAnglophones reacted highly critically to Landry’s comments. For example,Parti Quebecois leader Jacques Parizeau distanced himself from Landry bystating: “1 say 50-percent plus one, that is the rule of referendums. That’show it works.”88 These and other comments illustrated that Quebecersconsidered the extreme notion of language-based partiality put forward byLandry unacceptable and illegitimate.Despite this, the media often focused on ethnic minorities in Quebec,as in the following report:NEIL MACDONALD: “The motives of Quebec’s ‘NO’ coalition are asdiverse as its members. But it’s fair to say that most share onemother tongue -- French, and one colour -- white. And that’s goingto be a problem for them, at least in Montreal. Because this isMontreal, hundreds of thousands of ethnic voters; make thathundreds of thousands of probable ‘YES’ votes. Polls suggest thatby far the majority of ethnic Quebecers are strongly federalist.”Man: [speaking French]NEIL MACDONALD: “As a visible minority,’ says this man, ‘I’m very,very, very frightened of a sovereign Quebec.’ Not everyone isfrightened, but there is concern...In this way, ethnic minorities in Quebec gained widespread access to themedia during the referendum campaign. Furthermore, this access evolvedon the basis of a partial notion of ethnic representation. That is, ethnicitywas integral to the voices that were heard. What is especially noteworthyis that virtually all of the explicit displays of ethnically-partial voices wereThe National, September 24, 1992, Placement 2.89Sunday Report, September 13, 1992, Placement 2. See also, The CTV News, October 17,1992, Placement 5.55set firmly within the context of Quebec, with the exception of Acadians andAboriginal peoples. Whereas ethnic minorities outside of Quebec onlyrarely gained access to the media as ethnic minorities, those in Quebecreceived a significant amount of coverage. The message here is thatindividuals might be forced to express partial voices when a larger partialframework stunts or constrains their individuality. Thus, the expression ofethnic partiality in Quebec was a legitimate reaction to the demands of thelarger Francophone community to express its partiality. Furthermore,Canadians outside Quebec did not stunt ethnic minorities in this manner,and thus did not force them to assume the role of impartial universalcitizens. As a result, ethnic partiality in Quebec was legitimate within theuniversalistic discourse because its purpose was to challenge the partialitywhich Quebec Francophones were attempting to express.B] ABORIGINALITY AND THE CAMPAIGN:In chapter three, I demonstrated how the referendum actors treatedAboriginal representation in a partial manner in the negotiations. Aboriginalpartiality also carried over into the referendum campaign to the extent thatspecial vote tabulation procedures were developed. A week into thecampaign, the CBC announced that:Voting on Indian reserves will be counted separately in thereferendum. That’s a victory of sorts for Ovide Mercredi. He’s thehead of the Assembly of First Nations, and he says it’s important toknow whether Aboriginal People accept or reject the package.Today, Elections Canada decided to go along.9090Knowlton Nash, The National, September11, 1992, Placement 4. Also, The CTV News,September 11, 1992, Placement 4.56Since many Aboriginal people do not live on reserves, Elections Canadaacknowledged that this tabulation procedure could only provide a roughmeasure of Aboriginal voting patterns. As a result, Elections Canada madeefforts to surmount this practical difficulty. In particular, it attempted todevelop a system which would allow them to separate the votes ofAboriginal people living off reserve from non-Aboriginals.91As it turned out,this was not possible. Nevertheless, what is critical here is the unequivocaldiscursive support referendum actors gave to separate Aboriginal votetabulation. This support was an acknowledgment that the democratic voiceof Aboriginal peoples must receive distinctive treatment for the identicalreason that Aboriginal people must be represented by Aboriginals inconstitutional negotiations.In addition to separate vote tabulations, the referendum discoursecontained numerous assumptions of Aboriginal partiality. For example, themedia took great care to ensure that Aboriginals were included in virtuallyall the discussions on Aboriginal issues.92 When an Aboriginal person wasincluded in a discussion, the obvious premise was that he or she spoke asan Aboriginal person and not as an unattached individual. The followingstatement by Katherine Sorbey of the Native Council of Nova Scotia wasan example of this partiality:I’m a Migmo person from the Atlantic region. I have to say that afterthe ‘NO’ vote, it really doesn’t much matter to our Migmo people.They’re gonna go on with their lives. Yes, I’m speaking as a Migmo,91 CTV News, September 11, 1992, Placement 4.92Thjs is not to suggest that non-Aboriginals were excluded from all discussions revolving aroundAboriginal issues. Rather, when they were included, they were assumed to speak from a nonAboriginal, and hence partial, perspective.57not as a politician nor representative of anyone. I’m speaking strictlyfor myself as a human being with a different culture.93Aboriginal opinions, beliefs, and concerns were thus almost exclusivelyconveyed through Aboriginal voices, implying that non-Aboriginals whopurported to speak on behalf of Aboriginal peoples did so with considerablyless legitimacy. This was reinforced in many instances when a person’sAboriginal identity was clearly labeled when they were introduced for aninterview or discussion in the media. For example, the CBC made thefollowing introduction: “...Mary Ellen Turpel, legal advisor to the Assemblyof First Nations.. .she is also part Cree.”94 This information was particularlycritical in this case because it would not be at all clear that Turpel had thelegitimacy to portray herself as a “true” Aboriginal representative in themedia discourse without the explicit labeling. Ironically, although Turpel ispredominantly of European descent, the label “part Cree” successfullyidentified her voice as an Aboriginal voice.95Furthermore, rarely, if ever, did an Aboriginal individual speak as ifhis or her Aboriginal background did not create a distinctive voice for him orher. In other words, Aboriginals did not attempt to participate in thecampaign simply as universal Canadians without regard to their Aboriginalbackground. In this way, the infusion of Aboriginal partiality into theCharlottetown process was complete; the democratic voice of Aboriginalswas a different voice distinct from other, non-Aboriginal, voices in all93Sundav Report, October 18, 1992, Placement 10. Interestingly, Sorbey also locates her voicein territorial terms here.The Journal, October 7, 1992, Placement 1.The racial or ethnic identity of William Johnson, the person with whom Turpel was about todebate, was left unmentioned. The assumption here, and in other similar cases, is that a nonAboriginal voice is otherwise universal within the non-Aboriginal community because it is leftuncharacterized.58aspects of constitutional politics. Previously, this kind of distinction usuallyprevailed only in terms of province and language.Reminiscent of the negotiation process, there were strong tensionsamong the main Aboriginal communities during the campaign. Forexample, some Aboriginal communities insisted on separate votetabulations, and Ovide Mercredi eventually supported them. As the CTVreported “....Mercredi...said he will support those Native leaders who wantto hold their own vote on the Accord. The important thing is to ensure thatNative people express their opinions.”96Further tension was reflected in thefollowing segment taken from the CBC:ERIC RANKIN: “..Other Aboriginal leaders who negotiated the dealare dismayed at the public attention focused on the Assembly of FirstNations. Mary Simon is the Native member of the National “YES’Committee.”MARY SIMON: [lnuit Tapirisat]”The AFN is portrayed as thespokespersons for Native Peoples in Canada, and it’s not accurate.AFN does not represent Inuit of Canada at all, in whatever form at alland that’s -- and that’s something that isn’t coming out across. It’s --I’m not blaming the media, it’s just not getting out there.”97Simon’s concern was not without cause. The media were often careless oreven negligent when it came to making intra-Aboriginal distinctions, despitethe tact that they were careful to draw distinctions on the basis ofAboriginality.I described the success of NWAC in challenging the exclusion ofStatus-Indian women from the negotiations in chapter three. Nevertheless,this success was muted as a result of the claim that NWAC was itself96The CTV News, September 25, 1992, Placement 3.97The Journal, October 21, 1992, Placement 1.59acting illegitimately in bringing forth its protest, on the basis that it could notspeak for all Status-Indian women.99 According to the CTV:”...there areother Aboriginals who say the Native Women’s Association does not speakfor the traditional Native women,”99 and on the CBC, Wendy Grant, Chief ofthe Musqueam Nation stated: “...the Native Women’s Association, althoughthey have concerns, do not speak on behalf of the traditional women withinour societies.”10°These assertions are ironic given that they portrayedNWAC as doing exactly what it was criticizing the AFN for doing, that is,professing an impartial position.It is debatable whether NWAC was ever attempting to speak for allNative women, or even for all Status-Indian women. However, it is worthdelving deeper into this struggle over gender partiality. Rather thanstimulating debate over whether the negotiations should have includedNWAC to act on behalf of Aboriginal women, the NWAC protest resulted ina struggle over who could legitimately represent Aboriginal women duringthe referendum campaign. As a result of the resistance to NWAC thatsome Aboriginal women put forward, the very notion of partiality wasinverted. A very different type of partiality offset the initial demand forgender partiality that NWAC put forward. The women resisting NWACrefused to bound themselves within the gender-based constraints whichcharacterized NWAC. Thus, these women, as Status-Indians, consideredOvide Mercredi a far more legitimate representative of their interests thanNWAC.A final aspect of the NWAC protest offers additional perplexingimplications. As often as not, non-Aboriginal women represented NWAC inThe situation with NAC was similar, as I will demonstrate below.99Lloyd Robertson, The CTV News, October 13, 1992, Placement 6.°°The National, October 13, Placement 3.60putting forth its protest in the media. Mary Eberts, a prominent feministlawyer, and Anne Bayefsky, a constitutional-law professor, both non-Aboriginal, spoke on behalf of NWAC on several occasions. This wasclearly a counter-intuitive situation. In putting forth their claim to partialitybased on gender, one would assume that NWAC would also exercise itsclaim to partiality based on race. It is possible that NWAC used Eberts andBayefsky because few other women lawyers or constitutional expertsenjoyed the respect and prominence which both Eberts and Bayefsky had,whether Aboriginal or otherwise. Another possible explanation is that thedominant voice of a group like NWAC changes depending on the context.Thus, in constitutional politics, gender may be a more important categorythan race for NWAC, so that it felt more comfortable being represented bynon-Aboriginal women in the Charlottetown discourse than by OvideMercredi. This may be a result of NWAC’s position on the Charter, whichconnected it with the non-Aboriginal feminist community. However, NWACmight be more adamant about being represented only by Aboriginal womenin other contexts, a feminist conference for example.C] GENDER AND THE CAMPAIGN:The referendum campaign was replete with assumptions of gender-based partiality just as it was with Aboriginal partiality. This was evident inthe wide array of women’s organizations which gained access to thereferendum discourse. Most of these groups were active on the “YES” sideand were created specifically to take part in the referendum campaign.Two of the groups were introduced in the following excerpts: “In anotherpart of the country, there was another example of upbeat symbolism insupport of the “YES” campaign. Women from Quebec and Ontario met on61a bridge linking the two provinces.. “1 01 and “They call themselves‘Women for the YES’ but these aren’t just any women. They’re politicalwives: Mila Mulroney, Andree Bourassa, and Helene Chretien...”102 Inaddition, many other groups of a more permanent nature expressed theirviews on the Accord, including a group representing Quebec businesswomen,103 and The National Federation of French Canadian WomenOutside of Quebec.104 The single element connecting the activities of all ofthese groups was that they were all composed of women expressingthemselves as women.Underlying much of this gender-based activity was the assumptionthat women represented a distinctive, yet very diverse, political voiceduring the referendum campaign. Women figured prominently in allaspects of the referendum discourse, but they were particularly active inthe more substantive discussions. It was often quite evident that theirparticipation in a particular part of the discourse was connected with theirgender. Not surprisingly, this was especially the case on issues whichwere in some sense of more direct concern to women than men. Forexample, women dominated discussions and debates on gender equality inthe Senate and the “hierarchy of rights” in the Canada Clause. Men onlyhad minimal access to the media discourse on these issues whether theywere politicians, academics, or “average” citizens. In this way, thelegitimacy of a commentator was often directly tied to his or her gender.Only rarely would a man claim to know what was in the best interests of101Sandy Rinaldo, The CTV News, October 3, 1992, Placement 2.102Tonda MacCharles,The National, October 15, 1992, Placement 2.103The National, September 25, 1992, Placement 3.104Sunciay Report, September 27, 1992, Placement 4.62women, and when men did speak on women’s issues they did so clearly asmen.Of all the women’s groups which gained access to the media duringthe referendum, NAC was by far the most prominent. In fact, Judy Rebick,the leader of NAC, was the most prominent “NO” spokesperson in theentire referendum transcripts, and the fourth most prominent spokespersonoverall.105 On the “NO” side, Rebick gained more access to the mediathan Preston Manning of the Reform Party or former Prime Minister PierreTrudeau. How does one best explain the prominence of NAC? As notedabove, women founded NAC quite explicitly on a partial notion of genderrepresentation; it is an organization run explicitly to represent women.Therefore, underlying the tremendous access which NAC achieved was anassumption on the part of the media and others that was derived from apartial notion of gender representation. This assumption was that in thereferendum discourse women had to have the opportunity to expressthemselves as women. The presence of several female politicians whoachieved prominence during the campaign, such as Kim Campbell, SharonCarstairs,106 Sheila Copps, and Audrey McLaughlin, reinforced thisassumption. Since the discourse indicated their gender as an importantfactor (e.g. they would usually speak on “women’s” issues), the question is:why was NAC given so much exposure when there were several femalepoliticians available to speak on both sides of the referendum debate?One possible explanation was that Canadians expected elected women todisplay a far more impartial position on gender representation than105 These assertions are based on statistics derived from a content analysis performed on thereferendum transcripts by the National Media Archives. NMA, National Referendum SummaryData.106 Campbell was the third most prominent individual in the referendum transcripts whileCarstairs was seventh. Carstairs was the third most prominent NO” spokesperson. NMA.63someone like Judy Rebick. That is, politicians represented “all Canadians”(sometimes, with certain territorial limits) while NAC was exclusivelyconcerned with the interests of women. The inclusion of NAC wastherefore an acceptance of its extremely partial position on genderrepresentation.Interestingly, while on the one hand NAC was given large-scalemedia access because it was rooted in a partial notion of genderrepresentation, on the other hand referendum actors often portrayed it asa selfish “interest” group for the same reason. The following excerpt fromthe CTV, dealing with the “problems” of interest-group activity, focusedspecifically on NAC:...CRAIG OLIVER: “Not often does the NDP Premier of Ontariodisagree with the militant women’s organization, but he says theiranalysis is flawed.BOB RAE: “I regret very much their decision, but look it’s a freecountry. It’s the public that’s going to decide. It’s the common senseof ordinary citizens, not governments, not interest groups.”CRAIG OLIVER: “Constitutional Affairs Minister Joe Clark warns thatif interest group politics takes over the referendum campaign, it’s introuble.”JOE CLARK: “The problem with an interest group is that it focusesso narrowly on its narrow interests, that it can lose sight of thecountry. In my view, that is what NAC has done here.”107The implication was that while NAC voluntarily limited itself tostruggling for women, Joe Clark and other politicians were able to maintainthe interests of all Canadians equally. That is, they were able to make107The CTV News, September 15, 1992, Placement 5.64decisions in an impartial manner without regard to group-basedcharacteristics such as gender, even if they were almost all men. Whileemphasizing that politicians were impartial in the gendered sense, Clarkfailed to point out that many politicians were expected to express visionswhich were explicitly partial in the provincial sense. Thus, the form ofpartiality based on gender was selfish and “narrow” while the form ofpartiality based on territory was legitimate and reasonable.Ironically, referendum actors often challenged NAC, just as theychallenged NWAC, on the grounds that it could not legitimately representall women. The following report was characteristic of this challenge:PETER MANSBRIDGE: “The ‘YES’ forces in the referendumcampaign are reflecting tonight on a setback. The National ActionCommittee on the Status of Women, a group they’d like to have onside, will instead be an opponent. NAC is voting ‘NO’. The groupannounced its decision yesterday. But a lot of people wonder justwho NAC speaks for, and how much influence it might have in thecampaign.”...KATHLEEN MAHONEY: “I don’t think it’s a bad deal for women. Ithink it could be better.”KAREN WEBB: “Some women, such as law professor and feminist,Kathleen Mahoney, say NAG doesn’t speak for them on this issue.She says although the deal could be better, its problems aren’t bigones.”KAREN WEBB: “It’s not clear NAC can deliver the votes of the halfmillion Canadians it says it represents. It has the organization, butvery little money. And many well-known feminists, including those inthe major political parties, appear to be lining up on the otherside.”108°8Sunday Report, September 14, 1992: Placement 2.65Similar reports, asking who NAC speaks for aired throughout thereferendum campaign. In virtually every case the media asked women toanswer that question, and many prominent women did just that. Some ofthose answers were given as follows:PETER MANSBRIDGE: “NDP Leader, Audrey McLaughlin...[wasadvising] Vancouver high school students to support the ‘YES’campaign. McLaughlin challenged feminists who oppose thepackage.”AUDREY MCLAUGHLIN: “It I believed in any way, that this Accordwere a step backward for women, I would not be supporting it.”109And in another instance:KEVIN NEWMAN:...[Sheila Copps] also defended the agreement’sprotection of women’s rights.”SHEILA COPPS “Why is lona Campagnolo supporting it? Why isJune Callwood in favour of this agreement? Because we think thatthis agreement provides the framework for us to get on with realissues.”110Clearly, the prominent women and women’s groups described above(i.e., the women crossing the bridge and the “political wives”, etc.)expressed vigorous resistance to NAC. While it is certainly doubtful thatNAC attempted to represent all women during the referendum, what isclear is that it was an organization run by women, for women, and explicitlyinterested in the conditions of women’s lives. Many women challenged thenotion that their gender should define their relationship to the politicalworld. Others disagreed with the manner in which NAC defined thatrelationship. For the most part, it was not that NAC was not partial enough109The National, September 24, 1992, Placement 3.10The National, October 9, 1992, Placement 2.66for these women -- far from it -- it was that NAC was too partial. For thisreason, many women preferred that elected politicians, whose basis ofrepresentation they viewed as impartial with respect to gender, representthem.Still, one cannot interpret all challenges to NAC in this manner. Afew challenges to NAC were derived from an even more extreme form ofpartiality. According to this view, the problem with NAC was that ituniversalized the category “women” instead of breaking it down accordingto other categories such as race, class, language, sexual orientation, andso on. The following excerpt is an example of this view:KAREN WEBB”...other groups, like New Brunswick’s AdvisoryCouncil on the Status of Women, aren’t so certain [about whetherNAC represents them]. Jeanne D’Arc-Gaudet likes much of theAccord’s guarantees of minority language rights, important for thewomen of New Brunswick, so her group will wait to canvass itsmembers.”D’ARC-GAUDET “We’re looking as women, francophone women orNative women, part of the culture...”111However, it is extremely unlikely that this kind of position was at the root ofmost of the challenges to NAC. Rather, most challenges developed from arejection of the gender partiality on which NAC was based.D] “OTHER” CATEGORIES AND THE CAMPAIGN:In this section, I shift my focus away from gender toward othermodes of categorization such as disability, ethnicity, age, and class. All ofthese categories were portrayed with varying degrees of impartiality duringthe referendum campaign. None were considered particularly relevant inReport, September 14, 1992: Placement 2.67terms of campaign representation and access. Still, each of these sourcesof group-identity were discussed in the context of representation over thecourse of the campaign.1. (Dis-)ability:Throughout the campaign, there were several short news reportsdepicting disabled people protesting their exclusion from the provisionsoutlined in the Canada Clause. The following excerpt was a dramaticexample of this:JOE SCHLESINGER: “In the Commons, where the constitutionalaccord has for once brought cozy agreement among the three majorparties, the first shots of dissent were heard.”VOICE FROM THE GALLERY: “Why are the people at thisassembly...?SCHLESINGER: “Unheeded by MPs, its source ignored by thecameras, the voice from the visitor’s gallery protested the exclusionof the rights of the handicapped from the constitutional deal. Theman behind the voice, John Feld, who has multiple sclerosis, wasquickly hustled out.”112When disabled groups gained access to the media during the referendumcampaign, such access originated primarily in protests over their lack ofinclusion in the Canada Clause. Furthermore, while their exclusion fromthis clause was frequently discussed during the campaign, suchdiscussions usually took place amongst able-bodied politicians andcommentators. The following statement by Premier Bob Rae of Ontariowas typical of this:112The National, September 9, 1992, Placement 3.68The Canada Clause that’s there.. .when you read it in the context ofthe Charter of Rights, which is, which is now in place, in my view,does not at all take away from the rights of, of Disabled people. Infact, when it refers to the individual and collective freedoms of allCanadians, I think quite specifically it’s referring to people withdisabilities.113This was an example of an able-bodied person making impartialstatements on behalf of disabled people. As a result of the lack of directmedia access for disabled people, this assumption of impartiality on thepart of Rae and others dominated the referendum campaign. Thus, in themedia, disabled people did not have an opportunity to express their ownjudgments on the Accord.2. Ethnicity:Ethnicity was another categorization which received little mediatreatment.’14 Ethnic voices only gained access to the campaign as ethnicvoices in a few instances. For the most part, such access was limited tobrief announcements made by several ethnic organizations. For example:“The Canadian Ethnocultural Council, which says it speaks for 37 ethnicgroups, will support the constitutional deal.”115 This statement suggeststhat ethnic minorities in Canada presumed to speak from a somewhatpartial voice; otherwise such announcements would be unnecessary. Still,the “37 ethnic groups” were still subsumed under the single identity “ethnic”by the Canadian Ethnocultural Council.113The National, October 19, 1992, Placement 4.114 That is, aside from the extensive discussion surrounding the issue of ethnicity within Quebecdiscussed above.115Peter Mansbridge, The National, September 17, 1992, Placement 4.69In addition to straight-forward announcements, there were severalshort reports that depicted ethnic minorities expressing their support forCharlottetown. For example, according to Knowlton Nash of the CBC:As demonstrations go, this one was definitely on the small side.Rakesh Khasha got all decked out and went solo for eight hourstoday through the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth. He says oneperson can have an impact.RAKESH KHASHA: “Because I think that people like to see ordinaryCanadians, ordinary people with a cause to go somewhere andwhen they see people walking, walking hurts, and they think thatperhaps there is something good in this. That’s why this fellow isdoing it.” 116What is relevant about this report was that Rakesh Khasha, despitebelonging to an ethnic minority group, portrayed himself as an “ordinary”Canadian. This does not mean that his ethnicity was unimportant to thereport; on the contrary, it was integral to its very objective, which was todepict an individual from a minority group attempting to downplay his groupmembership by adopting a universalistic tone. Thus, far from identifyinghimself as a member of a group with a partial vision, Khasha emphasizedhis desire to express an impartial view of Canada instead.3. Age:As was the case with ethnicity, there was little sense during thecampaign that age was a category which should legitimately receiveattention to the media. In fact, the voices of senior citizens and youthswere largely absent. This was even the case when an age-relatedcontroversy erupted in Quebec. According to CBC anchor Wendy Mesley:6The National, October 16, 1992, Placement 6.70The ‘NO’ side in Quebec apologized today for remarks made at arally last night. Actress Diane Jules suggested elderly people wouldside with the ‘YES’ campaign out of fear. Quebec Premier, RobertBourassa, said today the ‘NO’ forces were showing contempt forseniors. Jules says she was misinterpreted. But she’s sorry ifanyone was offended.117Although both networks covered this controversy, at no time did eitherstation include any direct reaction from a senior citizen to the statementmade by Diane Jules. Rather, the media showed numerous middle-agedpoliticians condemning the statement. Generally, similar silence existedwhere the voices of youths were concerned. The following introduction to aCTV report was an exception to this:This will be the first chance to take part in a national vote [for thoseunder 22]. CTV’s Mike Duffy went back to class, to a leading big cityhigh school to get the views of students on the constitutionalagreement...as a younger generation debates the country’s future.118Aside from this report, the referendum discourse portrayed age as a largelyimpartial category.4. Class:Class-based identifications were also treated as legitimately impartialduring the referendum campaign with few exceptions. Class simply wasnot an issue where representation was concerned. When issues of povertyor inequality did arise, referendum actors almost always expressed themvia other group-based categories such as gender or Aboriginality. Oneexception to this concerned voting. In pre-referendum elections, manyhomeless people were defacto disenfranchised because Elections Canada7Sunday Report, October 3, 1992, Placement 8.8Lloyd Robertson, The CTV News, October 15, 1992, Placement 10.71did not attempt to enumerate them. Leading up to the referendum,Elections Canada made attempts to overcome this problem, as thefollowing report suggests:PETER MURPHY “For the first time, homeless people are beingenumerated. In Vancouver’s Downtown East Side, enumeratorsvisited 20 locations such as the central city mission. The responsewas enthusiastic and indicated that the program will be asuccess.”119In another report, several homeless people gained access to the media sothat they might express their feeling about voting:IAN HANAMANSING: “Until now, Robert Laroche had never beenregistered for an election.”ROBERT LAROCHE: “It’s my first time I vote...So I don’t know howto do it. I know nothing.”HANAMANSING: “What are you going to do to get ready to vote?”LAROCHE: “I don’t know.”HOMELESS PERSON: “I’ve gotta get a little bit more informationabout it, yeah.”HANAMANSING: “Where are you gonna get the information from?”HOMELESS PERSON: Maybe paper or something or pamphletsomewhere.”HANAMANSING: “But some say they’re so used to having theiropinions ignored they can’t imagine why anyone would care abouttheir vote.”HOMELESS PERSON: “Why should it, you know, make anydifference?”119The CTV News, October 2, 1992, Placement 4.72HANAMANSING: “So you don’t think it’s important for you to bevoting?”HOMELESS PERSON: “Well I’m gonna vote, oh yeah, but it’s notgonna make any difference.”12°This report represented virtually the only instance where poor peopleexpressed their voices explicitly from the perspective of their poverty.Beyond this, the voice of the poor was invisible during the campaign.5. Prison Inmates:121While it would have been difficult for a homeless person to vote priorto Charlottetown, it would have been impossible for prison inmates, sincethey were prohibited from doing so. This changed prior to theCharlottetown vote, as the following reports illustrated:SANDIE RINALDO: Ballot boxes were set up in jails andpenitentiaries so that almost 30,000 inmates could have their say. LastFebruary, courts ruled that to prohibit inmates from voting would be aviolation of the Charter of Rights. Some said they were voting not forthemselves, but for the future of their children.”1And, in another report:Knowlton Nash: “Prison inmates in many parts of Canada votedtoday. It’s a right they earned in a challenge before the SupremeCourt of Canada.”INMATE: “I am proud actually to still vote as a Canadian, because Iwas born in Canada, so I feel I still have that right.”123120The National, October 2, 1992, Placement 5.121 Prison inmates may also be evaluated within the larger categorization of class since it isindisputable that crime and imprisonment are class issues.The CTV News, October 16, 1992, Placement 6.The National, October 16, 1992, Placement 5.73In the cases of both homeless people and prison inmates, the governmentterminated a situation where certain individuals were officially or unofficiallyunable to exercise their democratic rights. Thus, the political worth ofcertain individuals was equal to that of all other individuals whetherhomeless or imprisoned. The result was that homeless people andprisoners were set within an impartial and universalistic framework, wheretheir group-based identities were no longer considered relevant in thecontext of voting.As with the categorizations considered here, impartiality was the ruleduring the referendum campaign for other sources of identity such assexual orientation, religion, and education. The referendum discourseportrayed all of these categories as legitimately impartial; none wereconsidered important enough, in terms of political representation, to meritexplicit access to the referendum discourse.El CONCLUSIONOf the three contexts examined in this study, assumptions ofpartiality were most prevalent during the referendum campaign. As withthe negotiations, the amending formula was an important factor in leadingto provincial, regional, and language-based partiality, because the votetabulation system was based on the unanimity requirement in theamending formula. Thus, provinces were portrayed as partial because amajority of voters in each province had to vote ‘YES’ for the Accord to pass.But, once again, the amending formula did not contain the expression ofother types of partiality such as those based on Aboriginality and, to alesser extent, gender. In the next chapter, I examine assumptions of74(im-)partiality in the Charlottetown provisions. In doing so, I demonstratethat similar patterns existed although partiality was less prevalent.75CHAPTER 5: THE PROVISIONSWe should have one Canada, indivisible, in which everyCanadian is equal to every other Canadian regardless of theirrace, colour, creed, language, religion, gender or the province inwhich they live.-Gordon Wilson, B.C. Liberal leader124Had the Charlottetown Accord passed in the referendum vote, itwould have prompted a significant transformation in the operation ofCanadian democracy. Most notably, the Senate would have beenthoroughly revamped, and a new order of government operated byAboriginal peoples would have emerged. In this chapter, I examine thediscourses surrounding these provisions as well as other provisionsconcerning the House of Commons.125 I should emphasize that I am farless interested in the provisions themselves than in revealing certainassumptions of (im-)partiality which exist at their foundations.Furthermore, I am interested in assumptions rooted in the referendumdiscourses which surrounded these provisions.A] FEDERALISM AND THE PROVISIONSIn chapters three and four, I demonstrated the extent to which theCharlottetown negotiations and the referendum campaign encompassednotions of provincial and language-based partiality. Similar assumptions ofpartiality provided the foundation for many of the substantive provisions inthe Charlottetown Accord. In this section, I focus on several of the most124The CTV News, October 7, 1992, Placement 1.125i should emphasize that I am only interested in provisions related to Canada’s democraticinstitutions. Thus, I omit many provisions from this analysis, including those contained in theCanada Clause, even though these provisions may have received wide discursive treatment.76widely debated Charlottetown provisions, including provincial equality in theSenate, the double-majority rule on French-language issues, and the 25%minimum for Quebec in the House of Commons.1. Provincial Equality in the Senate:During the campaign, referendum actors spent considerable timedebating the proposed “Triple-E” Senate; much of that debate centered onits potential effectiveness in checking the powers of the House ofCommons. However, referendum actors also discussed other Senateprovisions including the provision guaranteeing each province equalrepresentation.126 Constitutional scholar Peter Meekison justifiedprovincial equality in the Senate on the following grounds:.Now what does equal mean? It means that we haverepresentation from across Canada. The west will now have 40% ofthe seats which they do not have today... Representation bypopulation is a reasonable thing [in the House of Commons]. Butrepresentation by equality of provinces in the Upper House I think ismore important.127Although it was traditionally an important aspect of most proposals forSenate reform, representation by province was a significant departure froma universalistic notion of representation by population where eachCanadian vote was expected, more or less, to have equal political weight.In the proposed Senate, the province rather than the individual would bethe fundamental political unit. In this way, Charlottetown would havethoroughly provincialized an individual’s political identity to the extent that126Section 21 of the Charlottetown Accord states “(1) The Senate shall consist of sixty-twosenators of whom (a) six shall be elected from each province.. .(b)one shall be elected for eachterritory... (c)[Aboriginal Representation].” The number of Aboriginal representative would bedecided at a later time. Draft Legal Text, October 9, 1992.127The Journal, October 8, 1992, Placement 1.77the Senate would have been an important component of it. An individual’spolitical voice would, in effect, have been a partial provincial voice.As such, the provisions designed the proposed Senate was designedso as to offset the more universalistic, and provincially impartial,assumptions underlying the House of Commons. Interestingly, referendumactors did not resist provincial partiality in the Senate.128 One exceptionto this was the desire on the part of some people to replace provincialpartiality with regional partiality through a regionally-elected Senate. Still,what was most important was that referendum actors rarely challenged theneed for some form of territorial partiality -- whether provincially orregionally-defined.While referendum actors did not challenge provincial partiality, they diddiscuss the extent of provincial partiality which Senators would express.The following exchange between interviewer Bill Cameron and historianMichael Bliss was one example:BILL CAMERON: “...Michael, the American Senate is regionallybased. There are two Senators per state. But they don’t wind upbeing regionally loyal. Now, how’s it gonna work here?”MICHAEL BLISS: “We don’t know. Because we don’t know whetherthe Senators will identify with the province and the region from whichthey come, or whether they’ll identity with political parties.”129It is debatable as to how provincially-partial Senators would have behavedit the Accord had passed. Nevertheless, it is indisputable that the Senateprovisions assumed that Senators would express a largely partial provincialvoice. Otherwise, on what basis did the struggle to ensure equal provincial128This is in contrast with the strong resistance to gender partiality in the Senate which I discussbelow.The Journal, October 6, 1992, Placement 1.78representation rest? Those demanding an equal Senate justified theirdemands on the ground that explicitly partial provincial voices had toexpress themselves at the federal level.2. Double Majority on French Language Issues:In addition to provincial partiality, the proposed Senate alsocontained provisions rooted in language-based partiality. A double-majorityvote in the Senate would decide all issues of material concern to Frenchlanguage and culture. Thus, on top of the normal majority of Senatorsrequired to pass legislation, a majority of Francophone Senators would alsohave to give its assent.13° Clearly, the double-majority rule was anextreme example of language-based partiality, but not because it wouldlead Francophone Senators to vote as Francophones -- people assumedthat they would do so anyway. Rather, what was especially interesting wasthat these Francophone votes would represent a collective veto overAnglophone votes on certain issues. The message was that nonFrancophones could not purport to represent Francophones on issueswhich were of particular concern to the latter.To the extent that referendum actors debated the double-majorityrule, there was very little extreme reaction in favour or in opposition to thisproposal. Sandy Rinaldo, anchor for the CTV, first announced the creationof the provision as follows:[The Accord] could mean in effect that some Canadians would havemore democratic rights than others. ..the legal text will require adouble majority of Senators and French-speaking Senators to130Section 36 (1) of the Charlottetown Accord states: “A bill that materially affects the Frenchlanguage or culture in Canada must, in order to be passed by the Senate, be approved by amajority of senators voting and a majority of French-speaking senators voting”Draft Legal Text,October 9, 1992.79approve legislation materially affecting French language andculture.131Rinaldo’s initial phrase is interesting in that it assumed a universal normwhere all Canadians had the same, or should have had the same,democratic rights. In this way, she implicitly portrayed the double-majorityrule as a disturbing departure from this norm.Beyond this kind of tacit resistance, only rarely did critics challengethe provision on the grounds that it was derived from a partial notion oflanguage representation. Rather, referendum actors were far more likely todispute the provision on more practical grounds. For example, after beingasked whether he liked the double-majority provision, constitutional lawyerBrian Schwartz responded: “No. My anxiety is that there’s gonna be someimportant bills which will get caught up with this double majority.”132 Inaddition, the question of how a Senator qualified as French-speaking wasanother practical problem, as the following exchange suggests:133JACQUES FREEMONT: “[there needs to be a majority] ofFrancophones or Senators who declare themselves asFrancophones. There’s a tricky little problem about who is aFrancophone Senator.”BILL CAMERON: “Well, if I ran for the Senate, could I declare myselfFrancophone which I’m certainly I’m afraid I’m not?”JACQUES FREEMONT: “You’ll have to speak French, at least.”134131 CTV News, October 9, 1992, Placement 1.32The Journal, October 6, 1992, Placement 1.33According to section 36B(1) of the Charlottetown Accord, senators are “French-speaking ifthey identify themselves to the Speaker as French-speaking on first taking their seats in theSenate.”Draft Leçial Text, October 9, 1992.1The Journal, October 6, 1992, Placement 1.80It is important to note that the rules designating who qualified as aFrancophone Senator, as proposed in the Charlottetown provisions,reflected language-based and not provincial partiality. Otherwise, therewould have been a requirement for a majority of Senators to be fromQuebec, instead of the requirement for a Francophone majority ascontained in Charlottetown. But a Francophone Senator was notnecessarily a Quebec Senator, according to the Charlottetown provision(although it is assumed that most often he or she would be). This was animportant distinction because the provision acknowledged that language-based partiality existed beyond the provincial (i.e. Quebec) boundary whichwas often set for Francophones in Canada.3. 25% Minimum for Quebec in the House of Commons:Some referendum actors saw the provincial partiality inherent withinthe proposed Senate as an attempt to offset the universalism of the Houseof Commons. However, the discourse surrounding the substantiveprovisions on the House of Commons demonstrated significant problemswith this view. This was because the structure and composition of theHouse of Commons also evolved from significant provincial and language-based partiality as reflected in the debates over their proposedmodification. Thus, the relevant question was: to what extent was theHouse of Commons truly universalistic?The provision in the Charlottetown Accord which guaranteed Quebeca minimum of 25% of the seats in the House of Commons135was one ofthe issues referendum actors most vigorously debated during the entirecampaign. Furthermore, commentators were far more likely to criticize the135Section 51A(2)(b) of the Charlottetown Accord states “Quebec shall always be entitled to anumber of members in the House of Commons that is no fewer than twenty-five per cent of thetotal number of members in the House of Commons.”Draft Legal Text, October 9, 1992.81provision than to support it. I distinguish between two general types ofcriticism. First, many commentators objected to the provision because itwas antithetical to the notion of representation by population on which theHouse of Commons was based. This objection is apparent in the followingexchange, where a member of the public was asked about the Quebecguarantee of seats:JERRY THOMPSON: “First-aid attendant, Eileen Bonagaro likes 90-percent of the deal and wants to vote ‘YES’.. .But, there are thingsshe really doesn’t like. She says Quebec should not be more equalthan the rest of Canada.”EILEEN BONAGARO: “I feel very strongly that each person inCanada should have exactly the same say in the government, and atthe moment with Quebec getting 25-percent of the collective votes,the person in Quebec at the moment has more say than I do, and Idon’t think that anyone, regardless of their nationality, creed,whatever, should have any more say than anyone else in Canada,whether they be French or Indian or German or Japanese, orme.”136The representation-by-population position that Bonagaro took was apowerful reflection of the universalistic discourse. All individuals had to bepolitically equal. In response, those supporting the provision argued thatCanada has never really had true representation by population. The caseof P.E.I. and its historical over-representation in the House of Commons inrelation to its population was consistently used to support this claim.137Thus, the guaranteed minimum for Quebec was legitimate because it didnot depart from prior practice.136The Journal, October 2, 1992, Placement 2.137The Journal, October 2, 1992, Placement 2.82The second line of criticism was grounded in the argument thatQuebec’s guarantee of seats was simply unfair. This criticism emanatedmost noticeably from B.C. For example, in the following report, twomembers of the public from B.C. were asked to comment on the provision:LAWRENCE BELLMORE: “I think B.C here is getting the rotten endof the stick.”ALISON SMITH: “Why is that?”LAWRENCE BELLMORE: “Why is that? Well, why should Quebecget 25-percent of the representatives? What’s so special aboutthem?”BOB BOBACK: “I don’t like what Quebec’s trying to get out of thedeal, about that 25-percent representative, that’s not fair to me.”...ALISON SMITH: “In a province that’s growing quickly, many peoplewant to be able to flex the political muscle they believe should comewith growth. And many are still trying to decide if the constitutionalagreement assures them of that.”138The last comment by reporter Alison Smith illustrated why some peopleconsidered the Quebec guarantee unfair. The point was not that there wasanything inherently wrong with Quebec MPs expressing a partial vision, butthat these MPs had an artificially-enhanced ability to express that partialvision which British Columbian MPs lacked.A similar attitude was expressed by B.C. radio commentator RafeMair, a prominent spokesperson for the “NO” side:Quebec has got special status.. .The 25% for Quebec in the House ofCommons, that means something very much to people in BritishColumbia. We see ourselves in the next 25 or 30 years as being as138The National, October 13, 1992, Placement 11.83big as Quebec, and the fact that we have not got the same seats oranywhere near the same seats in the Commons is a problem.139Thus, Mair was demanding that B.C. be given the ability to express its ownpartiality in accordance with its increasing size and prominence. Whereasthe first criticism based on representation by population was rooted in auniversalistic or individualistic claim, the second criticism was thoroughlyprovincialized. According to Mair, there was no inherent problem withQuebec partiality. Problems emerged for him when Quebec’s opportunityto express its partiality was greater than that of other provinces.In response to this second argument, many referendum actorscommonly defended the provision on the grounds that Quebec’s culturewas fragile and thus in need of protection in a way that distinguished it fromother provinces such as B.C. As Prime Minister Mulroney put it: “If you donot have these kinds of arrangement in a confederation, French Canadiansinevitably will become Cajuns and they don’t want to become dancers inLouisiana, with Banjos.”14°Some of the most notable arguments bothfavouring and opposing the Quebec guarantee appears in the followingexchange between Jim Nielson, former B.C. politician, and the then federalJustice Minister Kim Campbell:JIM NIELSEN: “I think it would be dreadfully wrong for the country tointroduce a system whereby the provinces and the people of thecountry are not to be treated equally...”KIM CAMPBELL: “But they’ve never been treated equally...Thewhole, the whole principle of Canadian confederation.. .is that wetreat people differently to ensure that they can be equal. And that isthe great fallacy in this debate, that somehow equality is sameness.It’s not sameness.”139The Journal, September 17, 1992, Placement 2.140The CTV News, October 19, 1992, Placement 2.84JIM NIELSEN: “Of course it’s not sameness, it’s...”KIM CAMPBELL: “If you treat me the way you are treated, as awoman.. .the result will be that I will be unequal in many, manycircumstances.”JIM NIELSEN: “No, I appreciate that, but we have to be practical too.We can’t obviously give someone a distinct advantage. We andother parts of the country are distinct too.”141In his first statement, Nielson managed to subsume provincial partialitywithin the rubric of universalism. He did this by equating the equality ofindividuals with the equality of provinces. In this way, provinces become alegitimate unit within the universalistic discourse even though, theoretically,the fundamental unit, indeed the only unit, is the individual. As a result, justas it was considered problematic when one individual was given morepolitical weight than another, Nielsen was able to portray a situation when aprovince received more political weight than another as equallyproblematic. Campbell responded to Nielsen by employing a clear group-difference argument. Her point was that if Quebec was treated the sameas the other provinces the results would disadvantage Quebec.Consequently, Quebec deserves additional representation; otherwise itsdistinctiveness could be jeopardized. What Nielsen viewed as acompetition of interests in which everybody had to be treated equally,Campbell saw as a situation where power relations meant that such equaltreatment would lead to unequal outcomes.What is interesting is that individuals arguing for the equalrepresentation of all the provinces were most likely to come from Albertaand B.C., two of the “have” provinces. The premise was that their relatively141 Journal, October 16, 1992, Placement 2.85strong economies and great potential for growth should reflect their abilityto represent themselves. This latter position attained much greaterprominence in the referendum debates than the position put forward byCampbell.B] ABORIGINAL SELF-GOVERNMENTIn chapters three and four, I delineated a shift toward partiality on thebasis of origin in both the negotiations as well as in the referendumcampaign. In this section, I examine the discussions which revolvedaround the Charlottetown provisions on Aboriginal self-government.142Aboriginal self-government was, by definition, an extreme expression ofpartiality. The term “self” is crucial here; Canadians could theoretically callthemselves “self”-governing to the extent that each individual has ademocratic voice. Nevertheless, it is only the universalized andindividualized voice, albeit also territorialized, which is intended to gaindemocratic expression in Canada. Aboriginal self-government wasdifferent in that it involved an explicitly group-identified voice, an “Aboriginalself”. As a result, Canadians would be categorized according toAboriginality in addition to being categorized according to province orlanguage. It follows that the possibility of impartiality on the basis ofAboriginality would be negated just as it was now often negated on thebasis of province or language.In supporting self-government during the referendum campaign,Aboriginals invariably emphasized the need to express their partiality.142Section 29 (1) of the Charlottetown Accord states: “The Aboriginal peoples of Canada havethe inherent right of self-government within Canada.’Draft Legal Text, October 9, 1992. Notethat there are many other substantive provisions which are rooted in Aboriginal partiality. I limitmy analysis to Aboriginal self-government.86Typical of this emphasis was the following excerpt from an interview with aCree man: “We have the self-government in place, I think we can do betterin looking after ourselves.”143 In another instance, Mary Ellen Turpell,advisor to the Assembly of First Nations, argued on The Journal that “self-government is the only way you can empower people to begin to solveproblems.”144 A further example aired on The National, where Blain Favel,chief of the Poundmaker reserve in Saskatchewan, stated:What the Constitution does for our people is it provides us with ashield, not a sword, a shield which we can [use to] protect ourculture, so that we can determine and develop our own lawsaccording to our culture...A lot of this stuff has happened becausewe haven’t had the right to say, ‘look, we have the right to control ourlives on the reserve.145This type of argument was repeated numerous times throughout thereferendum campaign. For Aboriginal people, Aboriginal self-governmentwas about the kind of political power that came from being able to speakand act for oneself or one’s group.It is well known that Aboriginal communities gave mixed reviews toself-government; support from within the Status-Indian community wasespecially weak. Except in rare circumstances, this lack of support did notevolve because Aboriginals did not want self-government. Rather,Aboriginal people expressed concern that the process moved too quicklyand did not allow enough time for rigorous study of the complex issuesinvolved.146 Thus, there was the kind of hesitancy one might expect whensuch important decisions were made under pressure. A more commonThe CTV News, October 2, 1992, Placement 3.1The Journal, October 7, 1992, Placement 1.1”The National, October 19, 1992, Placement 5.146 For this reason, Elijah Harper advised Aboriginal people not to vote. Also, The CTV News,October 2, 1992, Placement 3.87criticism was that the Charlottetown provisions did not go far enoughtoward the road to self-government, that the provisions were too weak. Forthe purpose of this study however, what was important was that at no pointwas there any indication of concern on the part of individual Aboriginalsthat their political voice would be constrained within the category“Aboriginal” as a result of self-government. At no time did an Aboriginalperson suggest that a universalistic or impartial framework whereAboriginals would be politically identified simply as “Canadians” or“Albertans” would be preferable to the partiality of which self-governmentwas an expression.The notable exception to this was the criticism of Aboriginal self-government put forward by some Native women, and NWAC in particular,as demonstrated in the following excerpts:LLOYD ROBERTSON: “Well, will there even be a vote on October26th? The one group representing Native women launched legalproceedings today to block the referendum. The Native Women’sAssociation says it is concerned that parts of the proposed unity dealwill allow male-dominated Aboriginal governments to overridesections of the Charter of Rights.”MARY EBERTS [NWAC LAWYER]: “The framework for negotiatingAboriginal Self-Government is being set up at this time and thatframework does not accept equality principles and does not includerepresentation from Aboriginal women.”147In another report, problems with Aboriginal self-government were portrayedas follows:KAREN WEBB: “Zellah MacDonald is an Aboriginal woman, whosays her experience with the Native justice system has convincedher that Self-Government could be bad for women. She says she147The CTV News, October 13, 1992, Placement, 6.88was told by Native men to forget about laying a sexual assaultcharge. She’s afraid that if Self-Government perpetuates thatattitude, women like her could lose their legal rights to Canadianjustice.”ZELLAH MCDONALD”...and if we make the choice that we want itthrough the criminal justice system of Canada, as it pertains toeveryone else in Canada, that’s our choice.”Elsewhere in the same report:GAIL STACEY-MOORE [NWAC] “For Aboriginal women, theprotection of the Charter is essentiaL”KAREN WEBB: “The Native Women’s Association says that male-dominated Aboriginal organizations can’t be counted on to protectwomen’s rights.. •“l 48These Aboriginal women argued that the provisions for Aboriginal self-government would jeopardize the protections they had in the Charter ofRights. In a sense, they were suggesting that the Aboriginal partialitywhich would result from Aboriginal self-government would threaten theability of Aboriginal women to express their own partiality. Thus, it was notthat NWAC opposed Aboriginal peoples being able to speak and act forthemselves per Se. Rather, they implied that any adequate model for self-government had to include provisions which allowed Aboriginal women tospeak and act for themselves within the Aboriginal community. Theassumption underlying this argument is critical. NWAC was arguing thatthe real problem with Aboriginal self-government was the potential thatAboriginal men would dominate Aboriginal women. The implication wasthat the ideal situation would be a system of Aboriginal self-governmentwhich would guarantee women’s representation, although this was never1The National, September 22, 1992, Placement 3.89explicitly proposed in the transcripts. Otherwise, Aboriginal women wouldrather rely on notions of individual impartiality where the Charter wouldprotect them. Thus, they felt as if they would have a more powerful voicewithin the court system in the era of the Charter than they would in an eraof Charlottetown-style Aboriginal self-government.Amongst non-Aborigi nals however, Aboriginal self-governmentreceived tremendous support during the Charlottetown referendumcampaign.149 It is informative to examine the major assumptions whichunderlay that support. Throughout the campaign, proponents defended theneed for Aboriginal self-government on grounds of justice, as the followingexcerpts showed:CRAIG OLIVER: “As he left the event, Mulroney was told by awaiting bystander that Self-Government for Natives is a mistake.”BRIAN MULRONEY: “You want to say “NO” to justice for Aboriginalpeoples? I don’t think you should.. .The Aboriginal peoples havefought for justice for 125 years, and now it’s their turn.”150In addition:KEN ERNHOFER: “Canada’s Aboriginal People’, he [Mulroney] says,‘have suffered a litany of tragedy, from suicide to alcoholism underFederal authority. They couldn’t do worse under Self-Government.”151During the campaign, several referendum actors referred to the need forjustice for Aboriginal peoples as if it were obvious, a simple matter ofcommon sense. For example, during an interview, Peter Mansbridge,149Even Parti Quebecois leader Jacques Parizeau said that “...recognizing Native SelfGovernment is of fundamental importance.”The CTV News, October 9, 1992, Placement 4.150The CTV News, September 21, 1992, Placement 1.151 CTV News, October 5, 1992, Placement 7.90anchorperson on The National, phrased part of a question in the followingmanner:I think if there’s one thing.. .that we’ve witnessed over these past fewyears, especially since the death of Meech Lake, the realization onthe part of most Canadians that the Native Canadian population hasbeen the most oppressed in the country...152There was also a consensus in the discourse that this oppressiondeveloped, to a large extent, as a result of the presumed impartiality ofnon-Aboriginals who spoke and acted on behalf of Aboriginals, and thuscontrolled most aspects of their lives. According to the then JusticeMinister, Kim Campbell:.the Charlottetown Accord.. .empowers people, it brings people fullyto the table of participation in Canadian governance, It provides anopportunity for Native people for the first time to do what otherCanadians have been doing for a long time, mainly governingthemselves, and I can tell you as a, you know, former Minister in theDepartment of Indian Affairs, the existing paternalistic relationshipbetween the government of Canada and Aboriginal people is onethat is a complete anomaly in this day and age and is demeaning toboth parties.153In this way, Campbell made the point that Aboriginal peoples had alwaysbeen treated distinctly in Canada. The following exchanges also reflectedthis attitude:PETER MANSBRIDGE: “I live next door, say, to Elijah Harper. Will he have diffeiagreement than I do? Does he live under a different set oflaws...?”52The National, October 11, 1992, Placement 11.The Journal, October 22, 1992, Placement 1.91IAN SCOTT: “.. .The thing to note about Elijah Harper is that for 200years his people have been living under a regime of different rightsand lesser rights than we’ve had...”.154And Brian Mulroney made a similar point:BILL CAMERON: “...you have to say it’s [Aboriginal self-government]anything but, “everybody’s being treated the same”. Do you havetrouble balancing it?”BRIAN MULRONEY: “The Native Package -- this is an historicadvance for the Aboriginal people, a genuinely historic advance. It’sabout time -- when you consider the 95% unemployment rates onsome reserves, alcoholism, conjugal violence, more young Natives injail per capita than anywhere, or any other group in our society. Thisis a disgrace for Canada, and we now have an opportunity to beginthe process of rectifying that, by saying ‘YES’ to Ovide Mercredi andhis genuinely impressive efforts on behalf of his people.”155In both exchanges, the interviewer asked a question which had a“but isn’t difference dangerous” tone to it, and both respondents arguedthat Aboriginals had always been subjected to special laws and conditions.The difference with Aboriginal self-government was in who would wieldcontrol. Thus, the need to express a partial Aboriginal voice developed asa result of the historical oppression and silencing of that voice, and was notsimply a matter of group difference, of Aboriginals having a “differentvoice”. Rather, it was a matter of power, of oppression, and the way inwhich representation was linked to power and oppression. This isespecially interesting because it is something which the universalisticdiscourse was usually unwilling to acknowledge.The group-difference discourse was certainly hegemonic in thecontext of Aboriginal self-government, but the universalistic discourse did1The National, October 11, 1992, Placement 11.155The Journal, October 19, 1992, Placement 1.92express strong resistance to the self-government provisions on severaloccasions. While this resistance took diverse forms, arguments deeplyrooted in the assumptions of the universalistic discourse kept reappearing.The following excerpt from the historian Michael Bliss was a notableexample:It’s an enormous leap of faith to establish an order of governmentwhich is clearly in part based on race, and that bothers those of uswho’ve worried about the idea of using race as a basis for somethingin a way, you know, South Africa went into the homelands.Later, in the same interview, Bliss goes on to say:Does our feeling that the Natives of Canada have had a bad dealjustify us making this kind of leap, and do we have the faith and thetrust necessary, or, are we gonna wake up 40 years from now andfind out that we’ve got an order of government based on race, thatAboriginal people are more separate than ever before. It’s a very,very, tough call and the problem with this whole document is that youhave to keep constantly making these leaps and filling in the gapsand not knowing.156A similar argument was made by the newspaper columnist, WilliamJohnson:.rather than do away with the colonialism of the Indian Act, what it[Aboriginal Self-Government] does is it perpetuates forever a form ofapartheid and a form of colonialism where the different laws, differentgovernments, only now it’s natives who are giving the orders anddoling out the welfare.157Certainly, this kind of argument was a clear expression of the universalisticdiscourse and reflected most of the resistance to Aboriginal self-government put forward by non-Aboriginals.158What was especially56The Journal, October 5, 1992, Placement 1.57The Journal, October 7, 1992, Placement 1.1At no point was such an argument put forward by an Aboriginal person in the transcripts.93striking was the way both Bliss and Johnson utilized inversion to underminethe group-difference discourse of which Aboriginal self-government was areflection. By making a connection between Aboriginal self-governmentand apartheid, they were able to portray the group-difference discourse asa dangerous inversion to “pre”-liberalism. Bliss and Johnson depicted it asa throwback to an era when individuals were forced into group categorieswhich subsequently restricted, constrained, and oppressed them. Thus, asa result of Aboriginal self-government, an Aboriginal person would beunable to express his or her full individuality. Consequently, theuniversalistic discourse portrayed itself as attempting to “save” theAboriginal individual from being oppressively forced to express his or herpolitical identities within this category.While the universalistic discourse put forward several effectivearguments, notions of partiality on the basis of Aboriginality neverthelessdominated the discussions surrounding Aboriginal self-government just asthey did in the negotiations and the referendum campaign. Theuniversalistic discourse resisted this partiality in several areas, but wasunable to gain acceptance for impartiality. In chapter six, I move on toexamine the implications of Aboriginal partiality in the context of the largerstruggle between the universalistic and group difference discourses. Ianswer the question: to what extent does Aboriginal partiality represent areal counter-hegemonic challenge to the universalistic discourse?C] GENDER EQUALITY IN THE SENATEIn this section, I explore the discourse surrounding the genderequality provisions in the Charlottetown Accord. According to these94provisions,159the Premiers would be in a position to institute rulesguaranteeing gender equality for their province in the Senate if they sodecided. Four provincial governments, Ontario, Nova Scotia,Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, had already expressed a desire to dothis before the referendum campaign officially began. Interestingly, whilethere was a considerable amount of pre-referendum campaign debate onthis issue, it was brought up only sporadically once the campaign began.Nevertheless, to the extent that it was discussed, it was far more likely tobe criticized than supported and, as the campaign progressed, the mediacharacterized the gender-equality provision as having been thoroughlyrejected by the public. The CTV reported, “[Premier Harcourt’s]suggestion that B.C.’s six Senate seat should be split by law between menand women brought a storm of protest”,16°and the following statementwas made on the CBC:.then came Harcourt’s announcement that voting ‘YES’ in thereferendum would mean voting for a guarantee that half of B.C.’sSenators would be women. Again, criticism was swift and strong,and the Premier appeared to back off the Senate plan.161Thus, while criticism of the gender equality provision was frequent andharsh, instances of active support were rare and usually confined towomen’s groups like NAC and to several female politicians. Indeed, one ofthe few major discussions on gender equality in the Senate during thereferendum campaign took place between Senator Pat Carney and NovaScotia NDP leader Alexa McDonough. I focus my attention on excerpts159Section 23 (2) of the Charlottetown Accord states: “Subject to this Act, the legislature of anyprovince or the legislative authority of any territory may provide for (b) any special measures toprovide for equal representation of male and female persons...” Draft Legal Text, October 9,1992.60The CTV News, September 17, 1992, Placement 8.161 Ian Hanomansingh, The National, September 18, 1992, Placement 5.95from their discussion as it was characteristic of the larger discourse on thisissue:CARNEY: “I don’t like it [the gender equality proposal] because I findthe whole idea of quotas is repugnant to me, a quota system forwomen confines women, restricts women. It ensures that peoplethink that women couldn’t get there on their own and, you know, I’veserved as a member of parliament in the House of Commons. Itnever occurred to me that I was the woman MP or that, even sittingin the Senate that I’m the woman Senator.”MCDONOUGH: “[first]...surely what’s unfair to women is to continueto have them severely under-represented. Secondly.. .there is a wayto ensure that every voter has not one choice, not no choice, butactually two choices. They’ll get to vote on two ballots. There’ll be aballot with the male candidate running, a ballot with the femalecandidates running.”CARNEY: “I think one of the biggest thrills in public life is theknowledge when the votes are counted that people voted for you...not your opponents, men or women and one of the aspects of thatthrill is that you know you were chosen to represent them,everybody, not just men or women...”MCDONOUGH: “But may I ask you, and I don’t intend this to bedisrespectful, do you actually think that the personal thrill of beingchosen by men and women outstrips the right of women to havebetter representation in this country? I mean, surely it would be asthrilling to be elected as one of two candidates from yourconstituency, alongside a man who was elected, both being chosenby men and women?...”CARNEY: “Well, the personal thrill is the foundation of ourdemocracy, because our democracy is founded on freedom ofchoice, that the voter has the right to choose the best person.. .1personally wouldn’t care to serve in a Senate where I had to run onthe ‘B’ list. One thing that comes from that is the inference thatwomen deal with so-called women’s issues and men deal with thehard macho issues like finance. If I am running for the Senate, I96want to run as a British Columbian. I want to represent BritishColumbia, men and women. I want to represent all of the variousethnic communities in my province. I do not want to run, and I neverhave run, as a woman.”162These excerpts were interesting for several reasons. First, underlying thegender equality provision, and McDonough’s support of it, was theassumption that the Senators could not be completely impartial.Otherwise, the fact that approximately eighty-seven percent of them weremale would have been irrelevant in terms of representation. It would notreally matter if most Senators were male if they had shown that they couldrepresent both genders impartially. Nevertheless, the gender equalityprovision did not necessarily imply an extreme position on gender partialityeither. This was because the provision did not ensure that women wouldbe elected by women to represent only women. Second, for Carney, theimportant question was whether or not gender should have been a relevantcategory in the context of representation. She argued that instituting “. . .aquota system for women confines women, restricts women.” In this way,she took the universalistic position of portraying the group-differencediscourse on partiality as a dangerous inversion to pre-liberal times. At thesame time, McDonough responded with the group-difference position byimplying that women are grouped, whether they liked it or not, as a result oftheir extreme under-representation in the Senate. Thus, she brought theissue of power relations into the discussion over representation; thepurpose of the gender equality provision in the Senate was to changethese power relations so as to make the grouping of women unnecessaryin the future.162The Journal, September 10, 1992: Placement 3.97Third, on the one hand, Carney was adamant about not limiting thescope of her potential electoral success. She could only respect herself asa politician if she had an opportunity to run against the “best person” andthe voter, in turn, deserved this kind of contest. On the other hand, shewas willing to limit herself, as well as the voters, on the basis of herprovincial status. She says, “I want to run as a British Columbian. I wantto represent British Columbia, men and women.” However, as a candidatefor a British Columbian seat in the Senate, Carney only had the opportunityto run against a small part of the Canadian population. In other words, shewould not necessarily have been able to run against “the best” in the largerCanadian context. Nor would British Columbian voters have had anopportunity to vote for “the best”. So, while she was fiercely opposed toquotas on the basis of gender, she took for granted provincial quotas in theSenate.A similar point was made in the following statement by JuneCallwood, novelist and Co-Chair of the YES Committee:I’m somewhat uneasy about all this pressure for gender equality,which deals only with genitalia and not with content. I’ve knownsome anti-feminist women, lots of them, and I’ve known some reallyfine pro-feminist men. There’s something simplistic about thinkingthat one’s gender defines character.. .I’ve always found my provincialgovernment is more responsive than the federal government it’scloser to the people, closer to the issues of the communities in whichI live.163This represented another strong criticism of the group-difference discourse.Like Carney, Callwood was willing, even eager, to place herself within a163The CTV News, September 27, 1992, Placement 7.98provincial category. At the same time, however, she was “somewhatuneasy” about doing the same thing on the basis of gender.While many women attacked the gender-equality provisions, JudyRebick was one of very few people cited in the referendum transcripts whosupported gender equality in the Senate on the basis of a partial view ofgender representation. Another exception was Lillian Allen, the dub poetquoted in chapter three. She stated:If we’re reforming the Senate.. .why don’t we do it properly? Whydon’t we do it right? Why don’t we ensure representation of women?Why don’t we ensure representation that will reflect the diversity ofCanadian society? Why don’t we include people from the variouscommunities, the Black communities, the Asian communities, and allthe people that have been presenting their views? The document isbased on exclusion and the time has come for us to rejectexclusion...164Here, Allen is demanding partiality on the basis of gender and race. If aparticular group was not explicitly represented in the Senate (i.e. womenrepresenting women), then “the document is based on exclusion”. Thiswas an example of an extreme position of partial representation. What isnotable, however, is that it was rarely expressed in the referendumtranscripts.D] “OTHER” CATEGORIZATIONSAs in the negotiations and the campaign, the Charlottetownprovisions were derived from extremely impartial assumptions regardingrepresentation on the basis of “other” categories. That is, there was littlemention of categories such as (dis-)ability, age, ethnicity, sexualorientation, education, religion, and class in the context of164The Journal, October 8, 1992, Placement 4.99representation.165 The Charlottetown provisions did not design or modifyany of the major representative bodies such as the Senate or the House ofCommons with any of these categories in mind. Perhaps even moreimportant, with the exception of the comments made by Lillian Allen, therewas virtually no resistance to this during the referendum campaign. Thus,impartiality on the basis of “other” categories was taken for granted.E] CONCLUSIONHad the Charlottetown Accord passed, it would have altered severalof Canada’s most important democratic institutions. In doing so, it wouldhave perpetuated the expression of provincial partiality, increased thepotential for language-based partiality, and allowed for the expression of anextreme form of Aboriginal partiality. At the same time, it would have put inplace provisions allowing for the expression of gender partiality in theSenate. However, in terms of “other” categories, only impartiality wasevident in the provisions and the discussions surrounding them. With mydiscourse analysis now complete, I shift to an analysis of the findings in thefinal chapter.165 Certainly, some of these categories were mentioned in the Canada Clause.100CHAPTER 6: ANALYSISI began this study by building an analytical framework based on theGramscian concepts of hegemony and counter-hegemony, and I concludeby examining the findings with these concepts in mind. First, I summarizeand consolidate the findings for each category by incorporating them intothe two continua developed in chapter 2. I follow this with a discussion ofthe hegemonic and counter-hegemonic implications of these findings, withparticular emphasis on provincial and Aboriginal partiality. Finally, Iexamine the main strategies which the universalistic and group-differencediscourses use to undermine one another.A] LOCATING THE CATEGORIES ON THE CONTINUAIt is appropriate to begin by consolidating the results of the discourseanalysis in order to integrate them into the two continua set out in chaptertwo. To reiterate, I use the first continuum to evaluate each category (i.e.province, gender, ethnicity, etc.) according to whether referendum actorsportrayed it in an impartial or partial manner in the referendum transcripts.That is, what assumptions did referendum actors make about eachcategory in the context of the negotiation process, the referendumcampaign, and the Charlottetown provisions? I use the second continuumto evaluate the degree to which the location of a particular category on thefirst continuum was a matter of struggle and resistance. In other words, didreferendum actors take for granted the location of a category (whetherlegitimately impartial or partial) in the referendum transcripts, or did theyresist it? In this way, I distinguish between those categories whoseposition was portrayed as more or less natural and static and thosecategories whose position involved some degree of struggle.101Since I have examined three very different contexts in this study: thenegotiations, the referendum campaign, and the provisions, a briefmethodological statement is in order before completing these continua.Referendum actors made varying assumptions of (im-)partiality in each ofthese three contexts. For example, their assumptions of partiality weremost evident in the campaign and least evident surrounding thenegotiations. These differences are partly a result of the greater number ofinstitutional barriers to partiality in the negotiations as compared with thecampaign. In addition, whereas many conventions had developed aroundconstitutional negotiations, fewer conventions existed for referenda. Theresult is that the referendum campaign was more flexible where theportrayal of (im-)partiality was concerned. Despite these differences,however, what is significant is that each context reflected remarkablysimilar patterns of (im-)partiality for the various categories. Thus, I am ableto take a rough average of these assumptions of (im-)partiality across thethree contexts. What is especially important, then, is not so much whereeach category is located on the continua, but rather where it is located inrelation to the other categories.1. ProvinceIn designing this study, I could have taken federalism for granted bysimply acknowledging that Canada is a federal society; I could have thenput federalism aside with the aim of concentrating on other categories,such as Aboriginality, gender, or ethnicity. However, instead ofsequestering federalism from other categories on the basis that federalismis a Canadian reality, I compared and contrasted the main categories withinfederalism (i.e. province, region, and language) on the same terms as other102categories. In other words, I attempted to “level the playing field” wherefederalism was concerned.Having said this, from the perspective of this “level playing field”, thefact that referendum actors assumed so much provincial partiality in thereferendum discourse is quite striking; Charlottetown had a thoroughlyprovincialized flavour to it, and this provincialism prevailed throughout thetranscripts. Still, although it was pervasive and striking, it is clear thatprovincial partiality was not extreme. Instead, referendum actors assumeda moderate brand of provincial partiality in the sense that they oftenbalanced or intermingled it with impartiality as well. In other words, mostCanadian voices had both provincial and pan-Canadian components tothem, and most referendum actors appeared comfortable with that balance.This comfort level meant that referendum actors did not resist provincialpartiality very much; rather, they portrayed it as a natural feature of theCanadian way of “doing politics”. Therefore, to resist or challengeprovincial partiality was to misunderstand the Canadian way. It was toimpose upon Canada a construct which was foreign and unsuited to it. Ofcourse, this is not to say that provincial partiality had always been depictedin this manner, but merely that it had reached this stage at Charlottetown.Nor is it to suggest that the extent of the partiality which referendum actorsexpressed was not challenged at all, only that a certain amount ofprovincial partiality was a given. Thus, as a result of the moderate butcomprehensive degree of provincial partiality and the minimal resistance toit, I place the provincial category near the bottom-right quadrant of thechart(See chart 2).1032. RegionalThe expression of regional partiality was also fairly common duringthe campaign. For the most part, however, regional partiality was usuallyovershadowed and smothered by expressions of provincial partiality. Still,to the extent that regional partiality was expressed, it met with very littleresistance in the transcripts. For these reasons, I place the regionalcategory to the left of the provincial category on the chart.3. Language and QuebecLike provincial partiality, language-based partiality pervaded mostelements of Charlottetown. However, it was far more extreme thanprovincial partiality and it was also the target of extensive struggle andresistance from those putting forward a universalistic perspective.Language partiality was more extreme in the sense that it was less likely tobe balanced by strong notions of impartiality, but language was notFigure 2 MORE STRUGGLEGENDER LANG UAGEIntro-ABORIGINALPARTIALITYLESSLEGITIMATEABORIGINALITYPARTIALITYMORELEGITIMATEPROVINCEREGIONALLESS STRUGGLE(NATIJRAI,IZED)104completely partial. In addition, while referendum actors resisted it morethan provincial partiality, they did this only to the extent that Quebec’sexercise of language-based partiality overstepped the bounds of partialitywhich other provinces traditionally exercised. Referendum actors thusheavily debated demands for extreme language-based partiality. For thesereasons, I place language toward the top-right corner of the chart.4. AboriginalityWhile language-based partiality was extreme, partiality on the basisof Aboriginality was near-complete. Certainly, it was the most absoluteform of partiality expressed of any category in the referendum transcripts.There can be little doubt that this represented a dramatic shift, or at leastthe culmination of a such a shift, in the way Canadian political discourseconceived of Aboriginality and representation. For the first time, Canadiansaccepted the inherent right of Aboriginal people to self-government,acknowledging that past practices of impartiality were directly implicated inthe relations of power and dominance that led to the historical oppressionof Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Therefore, the development of Aboriginalpartiality was the beginning of a form of liberation from that oppression, ameans of empowerment. And, the degree to which both Aboriginals andnon-Aboriginals welcomed and celebrated the exercise of Aboriginalpartiality was quite remarkable. In fact, a number of commentatorsobserved with surprise the degree of support Canadians gave to this issue.Still, while Aboriginal peoples supported partiality almost entirely, and whilenon-Aboriginals supported it for the most part, there were several small butpowerful pockets that resisted it as well. As a result, I place Aboriginality tothe right of the language category on the continuum.5. Intra-Aboriginal105Beyond Aboriginal partial ity, several referendum actors expressedintra-Aboriginal partiality as well, especially where Aboriginality and genderwere concerned. However, these expressions were most often a reactionto the universalism and impartiality which many referendum actors from thelarger Aboriginal community exhibited. For example, several Aboriginalcommunities and groups challenged Ovide Mercredi because he attemptedto incorporate them within his scope of representation. Thus, whileexpressions of intra-Aboriginal partiality were not as strong as Aboriginalpartiality, there was considerable resistance to it amongst many Aboriginalpeople. For this reason, I place intra-Aboriginal partiality toward the top ofthe resistance continuum and just right-of-centre on the (im-)partialitycontinuum.6. GenderIn most respects, referendum actors made fairly strong assumptionsof gender impartiality in the transcripts. Still, several of them expressedpowerful resistance to this impartiality, favouring gender-based partialityinstead. The provision allowing for guaranteed gender-equality in theSenate, despite its dramatic rejection, evolved out of a gender-partialvision. Thus, gender was clearly one of the major sites of struggle overrepresentation in the referendum transcripts. For this reason, I placegender toward the top of the resistance continuum and just to the left-of-centre on the (im-)partiality continuum.7. “Other” Categorizations:While there were some emerging assumptions of partiality on thebasis of gender, no such assumptions were evident in terms of sexualorientation, ethnicity, (dis-)ability, age, class, and education. To varyingdegrees, referendum actors portrayed all of these categories as extremely106legitimate bases for impartiality, because none were politically relevantwhere representation was concerned. Virtually all aspects of Charlottetownreflected this, and what is perhaps even more important is that mostreferendum actors did not express any misgivings about the existence ofthis type of impartiality. Those who did resist were merely faint sparks in asea of impartiality which most referendum actors accepted ascommonsensical and natural. Thus, I place the entire “other” category inthe bottom left-hand corner of the Chart.B] HEGEMONIC IMPLICATIONSWith the continuum complete, it is now feasible to analyze thefindings of this study in the context of the theory of hegemony outlined inchapter two. To reiterate, a set of ideas, rules, and norms are hegemonicwhen the people over whom they operate give their consent to them. Myaim in this study has been to show the nature of these hegemonic ideas asthey pertain to political representation. I utilized the concept of (im)partiality as a tool to enable me to understand what are in reality acomplex and diverse range of phenomena. By examining the assumptionsthat were made about (im-)partiality, I was able to show how I couldconceive of the struggle between the universalistic and group-differencediscourses in hegemonic terms.The universalistic discourse was hegemonic in the referendumtranscripts because referendum actors broadly and comprehensivelyconsented to notions of universalism rather than of group-difference.Universalistic assumptions of representation were deeply ingrained in theprocesses, activities, and behaviours of Canadian political institutions andactors, so much so that their existence remained unquestioned and107unchallenged by most people most of the time. Thus, it was the taken-forgrantedness of the universal discourse that reinforced its hegemony.Certainly, the universalistic discourse was not completely hegemonic in thereferendum discourse, because counter-hegemonic resistance in the formof the group-difference discourse had a significant presence as well.Nevertheless, the universalistic discourse was stronger because theassumptions on which it was based clearly prevailed over group-differenceassumptions in the active struggle over consent which took place.The universalistic discourse, and not the group-difference discourse,was hegemonic in spite of the assumptions of provincial, regional,language, and Aboriginal partiality that were so widespread in thereferendum transcripts. How is this possible? To begin with, theuniversalistic discourse has no fundamental objection to theterritorialization of individuals when it comes to representation. Quite thecontrary, virtually every manifestation of universalism is limited to someextent by a territorial boundary which defines which individuals exist withinit and which individuals do not. For example, it is usually the case that onlythose living within a country are allowed to participate in what mayotherwise be a universalized system of representation. However, it wouldbe considered strange, even outlandish, to portray such a country’s systemof representation as rooted in partiality. It is taken for granted thatuniversal notions of representation, where they do exist, are limited to suchnational boundaries.In terms of the referendum discourse, the provinces wereconstructed as political universes in their own right. Canadians were notjust Canadian citizens, but provincial citizens as well. As such, it wasentirely natural and legitimate for political representation to be limited to108individuals residing within the borders of a particular province. This is thereason why strong assumptions of provincial partiality were justified andtaken for granted during the referendum. Viewed in this light, referendumactors did not see provincial partiality as partiality at all in much the sameway that Canada does not see itself as partial when it resists Americaninfluence. This is simply a matter of territorial common sense. Provinceswere not just groups or interests. Rather, they were discrete entities,“Small Worlds” existing within the larger Canadian political universe, whichin turn existed within a still larger political universe, and so on.This portrayal explains how it was possible that referendum actorscriticized gender, language, or other forms of partiality, while at the sametime taking provincial partiality for granted. It explains how Pat Carney,Gordon Wilson, and Preston Manning were able to assert their demandsfor universal notions of representation, while failing to question their ownassumptions of provincial partiality. They spoke of the representationalequality of all Canadians on the basis of race and gender, yet theyasserted the need for equality of the provinces at the same time. Whilethey believed that representation must be blind to race and gender, theyalso presumed individuals were “equal” according to, and based on, theirprovincial status. Thus, they gave equal treatment to the provinces and notto individuals. For example, equal provincial representation in the Senateis much different from representation by population where individualsreceive equal political weight. Thus, provincial representation rested oncompletely different assumptions than those put forward by the groupdifference discourse in the referendum transcripts.At least this was the portrayal. But there was nothing natural aboutthis portrayal. The depiction of the provinces as political universes was a109discursive construction, and the incorporation of provincial partiality into theuniversal discourse a historical condition. There were no innate differencesbetween provincial partiality and other forms of partiality. Rather, suchdistinctions were constructed. They were constructed through practice,through the development of customs, and the operation of institutions.They were fabricated by people through the evolution of norms and belief-systems, through the creation of a political logic, and the unfolding ofpolitical and social “truths”.These truths unfolded within the context of relations of power. As aresult, they privileged some struggles while marginalizing others. Theyensured that some sources of identity, culture, and oppression weregranted institutional expression while others were silenced and steeredtoward the political periphery. This is why I refused to take federalism forgranted. To do so would have been to reinforce its privileged status as arelevant mode, in fact the relevant mode, of political struggle in Canada.Instead, I have attempted to break down the artificial distinctions that havebeen constructed between federalism and non-territorial categorizations.Due to the existence of this construct, the universalistic discoursewas hegemonic despite such deeply-entrenched provincial partiality.Territorial categorizations were seen as legitimate within the universalisticframework whereas non-territorial categorizations were not. Provincialpartiality did not weaken the universalistic discourse in the counterhegemonic sense, it operated within it. It was not counter-hegemonicbecause it did not and could not resist the constructed reality. On thecontrary, provincial partiality was itself integral to the continued operation ofthat reality.110Aside from provincial partiality, I have also demonstrated thatlanguage-based partiality was expressed in the transcripts. This wascounter-hegemonic to the extent that it spilled over the traditional bounds ofprovincial partiality. In other words, demands for a certain degree ofFrancophone partiality were viewed as legitimate since Quebec, like allprovinces, was expected to express some element of partiality. This wasreflected in comments like “Quebec may be distinct or special, but so arewe (i.e. Alberta or British Columbia)”. Thus, the existence of language-based partiality was not, in itself, counter-hegemonic. Only when itextended beyond the partiality which other provinces were supposed toexercise did language-based partiality have counter-hegemonicimplications. A limited degree of language-based partiality was acceptableand legitimate within the universalistic discourse as long as it was suitablydisguised under the banner of provincial or Quebec partiality. Clearly,Quebec’s demands for partiality made such a disguise impossible. Thisexplains why the issue of Quebec partiality was so volatile in thereferendum transcripts. Quebec partiality undermined the prevailing notionof a Canada based on ten “Small Worlds”, and attempted to replace it witha Canada encompassing two language-based nations.While many referendum actors resisted language-based partiality inthe referendum transcripts, most of them consented to expressions ofAboriginal partiality. The question is, to what extent does this partialityrepresent a major threat to the universalistic discourse? Or, to what extentis it really counter-hegemonic? The answer is that whether or notAboriginal partiality is counter-hegemonic depends on the way in whichfuture Canadian political discourse constructs Aboriginal peoples aspolitical entities, and how it defines Aboriginal relationships with other111Canadians. Of course, it is impossible to predict this outcome untilinstitutional measures are developed which allow for the expression ofAboriginal partiality, such as Aboriginal self-government. Nevertheless,this relationship is likely to take one of two major paths, each having verydifferent implications for the universal discourse.First, future Canadian political discourse could portray Aboriginalpeoples as a collective “other’ in the sense of representing a distinct polity,just as if they were provinces or nations. In this way, as First Nationspeople Aboriginals would form their own political universe or set ofuniverses. It is likely that Aboriginal partiality was accepted by referendumactors with this first path in mind. Aboriginal self-government wouldbecome integrated into an existing system which already allows for theexpression of provincial and language-based partiality. This path wouldhave little counter-hegemonic impact since the universalistic discoursewould be able to appropriate Aboriginal partiality within itself, just as it nowappropriates provincial partiality.A second path would ensue if the actual exercise of Aboriginalpartiality did not result in the creation of separate Aboriginal nations, butinstead involved the expression of Aboriginal partiality within currentnotions of the Canadian polity. Here, Aboriginals would express a lessextreme, but nevertheless partial, vision while living amongst otherCanadians. In this case, Aboriginal partiality would represent a majoranomaly for the universalistic discourse which would be less able toaccount for it. This is because, while Aboriginal partiality is easily justifiedwithin the context of nation status, it is far more difficult to justify it when itis expressed by a group of citizens within a nation.112If the first path materializes, it is unlikely that Aboriginal partialitywould diffuse itself to other categories such as gender, ethnicity, or class,since these would be characterized in very different terms. In other words,none of these other categories are ever going to express their ownpartiality through distinct levels of government as Aboriginals would. Forthis reason, the first path is unlikely to have counter-hegemonicoutcomes.1 It is precisely for this reason that the universalistic discoursewill attempt to ensure that this path is followed, to construct Aboriginals as“others”, so that it can incorporate Aboriginal partiality into its own logicwithout weakening its hegemonic position.However, the second path is a more probable outcome than the firstsince the creation of Aboriginal peoples as a separate territorial “other” isunlikely given the non-territorial flavour of Aboriginal partiality. Aboriginalpeople will have to express their partiality, to a considerable degree, withincommunities which are often shared with non-Aboriginals. In addition,Aboriginal people themselves are an extremely heterogeneous group; thus,they are unlikely to allow themselves to be placed within a single,homogeneous entity such as an Aboriginal “nation”. For these reasons,one truly separate and distinct nation is unlikely to develop.If the second path does materialize the counter-hegemonicimplications would be profound. Here, Aboriginal partiality would representa major aberration within the operation of the universalistic discourse andwould thus place the entire foundation of that discourse in question. Thelegitimation of Aboriginal partiality would serve to challenge the existenceof impartiality for other categories such as gender or ethnicity. Aboriginal1Note that, for the same reason, language-based partiality will not have very important counterhegemonic implications since its expression is generally confined to the territory of Quebec, andis easily integrated into a nation-status.113partiality could potentially devastate the universalistic discourse by causingsimilar notions of partiality to spread to other non-territorial categories.Since the distinction between Aboriginal partiality and other forms ofpartiality would not be as strong if this second path were taken, thediffusion of partiality would be more likely to occur throughout the Canadianpolity. This diffusion would almost certainly begin with gender since genderpartiality was already emerging in the transcripts. In turn, gender partialitywould encourage other forms of partiality to develop.C] STRATEGIES: INVERSION AND ANOMALYWhether or not this diffusion of partiality occurs also depends, to aconsiderable degree, on the future struggles between the universalistic andgroup-difference discourses and, in particular, on the strategies which eachuses to undermine the other. For this reason, it is appropriate to concludewith an examination of these strategies. The universalistic discourseportrays itself as representing an emancipatory project grounded in theelimination of all group-based categories since such categories inevitablyconstrain and oppress individuals; hence, it is blind to group-basedcategories.167 At the same time, it portrays the group-difference discourseas representing a potentially dangerous inversion to a pre-Ilberal (i.e.feudal or apartheid-style) society. The group-difference discourse is abackward step, an inversion of the universalistic discourse. This isbecause the universalistic discourse was itself once counter-hegemonic: itstruggled against political systems where individuals were essentiallyslotted for life into a definitive position in the hierarchy of power as a resultof being born into certain groups. The universal discourse resisted this167As I have shown, territorially-defined categories are usually exempt from this belief.114system, and eventually overcame it by demanding that individuals nolonger be categorized in this way. Given this context, the universaldiscourse undermines the difference discourse by portraying it asequivalent to these hierarchic systems of the past, as a return to a timewhen individuals were explicitly and officially unequal. As Bruce Lincoln soeloquently puts it: “To be sure, it is a powerful act to turn the world upsidedown, but a simple 180-degree rotation is not difficult to undo. An ordertwice inverted is an order restored, perhaps even strengthened as a resultof the exercise.”1 It is precisely this kind of restoration that the group-difference discourse is accused of undertaking. The use of inversion in thisway by the universalistic discourse has indisputable discursive potential.The group-difference discourse also has a powerful discursivestrategy. According to the universalistic discourse, all individuals areviewed as politically equivalent and hence uncategorizable -- at least intheory. However, the group-difference discourse points to a majoranomaly in the operation of the universalistic discourse in practice. For, inpractice, many individuals continue to occupy a disadvantaged position inthe social and political hierarchy depending, to a considerable extent, ontheir gender, race, sexual orientation, and so on. Framed in this way, thegroup-difference discourse does not instigate the categorization ofindividuals. Instead, it reacts to a reality where individuals are alreadycategorized. The group-difference discourse prompts the question: ifindividuals are supposed to remain uncategorized, why is it that politicalrepresentatives are consistently drawn from an extraordinarily smallsegment of the population? In addition, it points out that those groupswhich are consistently underrepresented are virtually always the most1LincoIn, 159.115marginalized and oppressed groups in society. The notion of theuniversalistic individual is thus portrayed as a front for an individual who iswhite, male, heterosexual, middle-class, educated, and able-bodied.Although the universalistic discourse is rooted in an impartial notion ofrepresentation in theory, in practice, men are shown speaking for women,middle class people for poor people, white people for people of colour, andso on. The group-difference discourse is able to show that impartiality isone of the tools with which the ruling class maintains its privilege and, inthis way, it implicates the universalistic discourse. Thus, the group-difference discourse uses the strategy to great effect in the context ofAboriginal representation and, to a lesser extent, with genderrepresentation.In examining the strategy of anomaly, the underlying justification forthe group-difference discourse becomes clear: its demands for partialityare based on the premise that real impartiality is impossible as long asrelations of power and dominance are group-based. This is because suchrelations inevitably manipulate and distort the ability of people to act withreal empathy for one another. This is critical because it demonstrates thatthe group-difference discourse does not assume the existence of inherentand intrinsic differences between people, that is, it is not a post-moderndiscourse. Nor does it accept the relativism which inevitably springs fromsuch assumptions.This explains how it is possible for referendum actors such as OvideMercredi to demand Aboriginal partiality on the one hand, but resist similardemands for gender partiality from Aboriginal women on the other hand. IfMercredi were acting on post-modern assumptions, he would clearly becontradicting himself. By stifling demands for partiality which Aboriginal116women put forward, he would inevitably be undermining his own demandsfor Aboriginal partiality. After all, why would he acknowledge the need forpartiality in one context and not in another? However, since Mercredi is notpost-modern, this contradiction vanishes; instead, his actions areconsistent with his own location within existing relations of power anddomination. Where he is a member of an oppressed group (i.e.Aboriginals), Mercredi demands to express partiality; where he is himself amember of a ruling group (i.e. men), Mercredi refuses similar demands forpartiality put forward by women.Thus, the purpose of the group-difference discourse is to ensure thatpartial representation is exercised wherever power and domination arelikely to distort attempts at impartiality. The question then becomes: is thegroup-difference discourse inherently an oppositional discourse? Must italways be counter-hegemonic to the extent that its fundamental purpose isto enable groups to overcome dominance and oppression? At first, itappears that the answer can only be yes. However, it is possible toimagine the group-difference discourse in a hegemonic position where ithas gained consent for the following principle: whenever some groups insociety are oppressed, these groups must be given an opportunity toexpress their political vision in an explicitly partial manner within democraticinstitutions. This mechanism would be continually renewed and updatedas relations of power and domination evolved or were modified. In thisway, the entire system of democratic representation would be politicized.In addition, this principle would need to be hegemonic, in the sense ofoperating with the consent of the people. However, at the same time, theprinciple would carry with it powerful counter-hegemonic implicationsbecause its fundamental purpose would be to struggle against other117hegemonic ideas, rules, and norms which sustain relations of power anddomination.In conclusion, the future of the hegemonic struggle overrepresentation largely depends on the way in which the strategies ofinversion and anomaly are played out. Thus, the universal discourse willcontinue to draw comparisons between the group-difference discourse andapartheid and the group-difference discourse will continue to depictimpartiality as a cover for domination and oppression. The outcome of thishegemonic struggle over representation will likely rest on the future abilityof the competing discourses to use these strategies and to develop others.Such outcomes are critical because the direction this struggle takes willhave enormous implications for the future of Canadian democracy.118BIBLIOGRAPHYAlthusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (NotesTowards an Investigation).” Lenin and Philosophy and OtherEssays. London: New Left Books, 1971.Anderson, Perry. “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci.” New Left Review.100 (1976-7):Bocock, Robert. Hegemony. Chichester: Ellis Horwood Ltd., 1986.Barrett, Michelle. The Politics of Truth: From Marx to Foucault. Stanford:Stanford University Press, 1991.Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. London: Paladin, 1972.Canada. Consensus Report On the Constitution: Final Text.Charlottetown. August 28. 1992. Victoria: Queen’s Printer for BritishColumbia, 1992.Draft Legal Text. October 9, 1992.Cairns, Alan C. “Constitutional Minoritarianism in Canada.” Canada: TheState of the Federation. 1990. Eds. Ronald Watts and DouglasBrown. Kingston: Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, Queen’sUniversity, 1990.Eagleton, Terry. Ideology: An Introduction. London: Verso, 1991.Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality. Volume I. New York: VintageBooks, 1990.Power/Knowledge. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980.The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. NewYork: Vintage Books, 1973.The Archaeology of Knowledge & the Discourse on Language.Pantheon: New York, 1972.119Fraser, Nancy. Unruly Practices: Power. Discourse and Gender inContemporary Social Theory. Minneapolis: University of MinnesotaPress, 1989.Globe and Mail. Canadian Parliamentary Guide. Toronto: Globe and MailPublishing, 1993.Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from the Prison Notebooks. eds. and trans.Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey N. Smith. New York: InternationalPublishers, 1992.“Some Aspects of the Southern Question.” Selections from thePolitical Writings (1921-1926). Tran. and Ed. Quintin Hoare.London: Lawrence and Wishart.Habermas, Jurgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere:An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. trans. ThomasBurger and Frederick Lawrence. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press,1992.Hall, Stuart, Bob Lumley, and Gregor McLennan. “Politics and Ideology:GramscL” On Ideology. London: Hutchinson, 1984.Jeffrey, Brooke. Strange Bedfellows. Trying Times: October 1992 and theDefeat of the Powerbrokers. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1993.Kari m, Kari m H. “Constructions, Deconstructions, and Reconstructions:Competing Canadian Discourses on Ethnocultural Terminology.”Canadian Journal of Communication. 18 (1993): 197-21 8.Laclau, Ernesto, and Chantal Mouffe. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy.London: Verso, 1992.Lincoln, Bruce. Discourse and the Construction of Society: ComparativeStudies in Myth. Ritual, and Classification. Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress,1 989.National Media Archives. National Referendum Code Book. Vancouver:MNA, 1992.120• National Referendum Rule Book. Vancouver: MNA, 1992.National Referendum Summary. Vancouver: MNA, 1992.Peters, John D., and Kenneth Cmiel. “Media Ethics and the PublicSphere.” Communication 12 (1991): 197-215.Phillips, Anne. Engendering Democracy. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991.Rosenau, Pauline Marie. Post-Modernism and the Social Sciences.Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.Sawicki, Jana. Disciplining Foucault: Feminism. Power. and the Body.New York: Routledge, 1991.Taylor, Charles. “Foucault on Freedom and Truth.” Foucault: A CriticalReader. Ed. David Couzens-Hoy. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986.Thompson, John B. Ideology and Modern Culture. Stanford: StanfordUniversity Press, 1991.Williams, Raymond. Marxism and Literature. Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress, 1977.Young, Iris Marion. Justice and the Politics of Difference. Princeton:Princeton University Press, 1990.Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays in Feminist Philosophy andSocial Theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.121

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