Transcript: Host segments | Dec 02, 2006

[Theme music plays]

The opening sequence rolls. The logo of "Big Ideas" featuring a lit lamp bulb appears against an animated green slate.
Then, Andrew Moodie appears in the studio. The walls are decorated with screens featuring lit lamp bulbs, and two signs read "Big Ideas."
Andrew is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He's wearing a gray jacket over a black sweater.

He says HELLO I'M
ANDREW MOODIE AND WELCOME TO
"BIG IDEAS," WHICH ONLY TODAY
AND ONLY AS A RARE EXCEPTION WE
ARE GOING TO DABBLE IN NEWS
COVERAGE, KIND OF.
TODAY IS DECEMBER 2ND AND THE
LIBERALS ARE ELECTING THEIR NEW
NATIONAL LEADER IN MONTREAL.
NOW ACCORDING TO THE LATEST
POLLS IT'S GONNA BE EITHER RAE
OR IGNATIEFF.
TO BE HONEST, THE POLLS I'M
TALKING ABOUT ARE ALMOST THREE
WEEKS OLD.
YOU SEE THAT'S WHEN THIS
INTRODUCTION WAS TAPED.
AH, THE MAGIC OF TELEVISION YOU
SAY.
FOR ALL WE KNOW BOTH RAE AND
IGNATIEFF MIGHT HAVE DROPPED
OUT AND GIVEN THEIR SUPPORT TO
MARTHA HALL FINDLAY.

He laughs and continues AHEM,
HOWEVER, IF THEY ARE STILL IN
THE RACE THERE IS A FAIR CHANCE
THAT EITHER ONE OF THEM WILL
WIN.
THE REASON WHY I'M SO FOCUSED
ON RAE AND IGNATIEFF IS BECAUSE
WE HAVE THEM ON TAPE.
RAE'S TALK WAS TAPED LAST JUNE
JUST BEFORE HE ENTERED THE
RACE, BUT IGNATIEFF'S GOES BACK
TO 2002.
WHO KNOWS IF HE ALREADY THAN
THOUGHT ABOUT THROWING HIS HAT
INTO THE LIBERAL RING?
THE ONLY QUESTION NOW IS WHO'S
TALK DO WE PRESENT FIRST?
WOULD WE SHOW BIAS IF WE PLAYED
ONE BEFORE THE OTHER?
WELL, TO AVOID SUCH PITFALLS IN
A DAY WHEN LIBERALS ACROSS THE
LAND ARE SUFFERING FROM
HEIGHTENED SENSITIVITY, HERE IS
MY SOLUTION.
OKAY, IGNATIEFF, HEADS, AND RAE TAILS.

He tosses a coin and gets tails.

He says AH, SO FIRST UP IS BOB RAE.
THE MAN WHO IS CONSTANTLY
ACCUSED OF BEING THE UNLUCKY,
UNFORTUNATE PREMIER OF ONTARIO.

A clip plays in which Bob Rae stands in a university classroom and addresses an audience. He's in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and red tie.

He says MY WIFE, ARELENE
AH, ONCE DESCRIBED ABOUT TWO
WEEKS AFTER I WAS DEFEATED, THE
GOVERNMENT WAS DEFFEATED AND I
WAS NO LONGER THE PREMIER AND
SHE WAS ASKED BY A FRIEND TO
FIND OUT YOU KNOW TO SAY, WELL
HOW'S HE DOING?
AND SHE SAID WELL LET ME GIVE
YOU THE DEFINITION OF A
DEFEATED PREMIER.
IT'S SOMEBODY WHO GETS INTO THE
BACK SEAT OF A CAR AND NOTHING HAPPENS.

[Audience laughing]

Bob continues LET ME START WITH A
SIMPLE PROPOSITION AND THAT IS
THAT THERE IS THIS REALITY
CALLED GLOBALIZATION, WHICH IS
SOMETHING WE CAN'T GET AROUND
OR AVOID OR GET AWAY FROM.
WE LIVE IN AN INCREASINGLY
COMPETITIVE WORLD IN WHICH NOT
ONLY OUR NEIGHBOUR TO THE
SOUTH, BUT GREAT NEW ECONOMIES
IN CHINA, IN INDIA ARE GROWING
AT AN, AT AN INCREDIBLE PACE.
AND WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
GLOBALIZATION WE'RE REALLY
TALKING ABOUT TWO OR THREE
THINGS, WHICH GO TOGETHER.
ONE IS THE FACT THAT THE WORLD
IS SIMPLY GETTING SMALLER.
THAT THE COMMUNICATION LINKS,
THE TRANSPORTATION LINKS, AH,
IN THE WORLD ARE BRINGING US
MUCH, MUCH CLOSER TOGETHER AND
THEY ARE SPEEDING UP THE PACE
OF CHANGE AND THE PACE AT WHICH
ECONOMIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL
CHANGE SIMPLY HAPPENS.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Bob Rae. Federal Liberal Leadership Candidate. Originally aired: May 29, 2006."

Bob continues IF YOU THINK ABOUT
IN OUR LIFETIME HOW MUCH HAS
ALREADY HAPPENED AND HOW
DRAMATIC IT IS, SOMETHING AS
ABSOLUTELY FUNDAMENTAL AS THE
INTERNET WASN'T A FACTOR IN OUR
LIVES 20 YEARS AGO.
30 YEARS AGO, I
MEAN NOBODY HAD EVEN HEARD OF
IT, AH, BECAUSE PERHAPS BECAUSE
AL GORE HADN'T INVENTED IT YET.
BUT FOR WHATEVER, WHATEVER
REASON, BUT THAT'S JUST AN
EXAMPLE.
SOMETHING THAT OUR KIDS AND OUR
GRANDCHILDREN TAKE FOR GRANTED
AND JUST ASSUME IS PART OF THE
WORLD AROUND THEM, IS SOMETHING
AS WE WERE GROWING UP AND AS WE
WERE GOING THROUGH LIFE IS, IS
WAS NOT THERE.
I MENTION THIS BECAUSE THERE'S
TWO QUOTATIONS THAT I OFTEN
POINT TO AS A WAY OF TRYING TO
KIND OF SUM UP WHERE WE ARE.
MARSHALL MCLUHAN WHO WAS A
GREAT THINKER AND A GREAT
THINKER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO HAD ONE, WONDERFUL
EXPRESSION, WHICH I'VE ALWAYS
CARRIED WITH ME SINCE I HEARD
HIM SAY IT, DARE I SAY IT, 40
YEARS AGO.
AND THAT IS THAT WE GO THROUGH
LIFE LOOKING THROUGH A REARVIEW
MIRROR.
THAT IS TO SAY WE ARE ALWAYS
CARRYING WITH US THE PICTURES
AND THE IMAGES OF THE WAY
THINGS USED TO BE, RATHER THAN
THE WAY THINGS WILL BE IN THE
FUTURE.
AND THIS IS, THIS IS, THIS IS
HUMAN NATURE IN MANY RESPECTS
BECAUSE WE CAN'T AVOID CARRYING
OUR MEMORIES AROUND WITH US.
AND THE WAY WE THOUGHT THINGS
WERE, THE WAY WE WERE USED TO
THINGS GROWING UP.
AND AT THE SAME TIME, WE, WE
HAVE TO BE THINKING ALL THE
TIME ABOUT WHAT REALLY DOES LIE
AHEAD AND THAT REQUIRES AN
EXTRA EFFORT.
AN EXTRA BIT OF ATTENTION PAID
TO WHERE WE'RE GOING AS OPPOSED
TO WHERE WE'VE BEEN.
ONE OF THE CHALLENGES OF
POLITICS IS THAT PEOPLE ARE
ALWAYS, THERE OPINION WHICH
WALTER LIPMAN THE SECOND
QUOTATION WHICH I'LL USE, USED
TO DESCRIBE PUBLIC OPINION AS
THE PICTURE IN PEOPLES HEADS.
THAT'S WHAT, THAT'S WHAT PUBLIC
OPINION IS.
WHAT IS THE PICTURE IN YOUR
HEADS?
IF YOU PUT LIPMAN AND MCLUHAN
TOGETHER IN A LITTLE FORMULA
WHAT YOU GET IS THAT THE
PICTURE IN OUR HEADS, PUBLIC
OPINION ALWAYS REFLECTS ON WHAT
WAS RATHER THAN WHAT WILL BE.
AND THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS
WHY WHENEVER I'M CONFRONTED
WITH A POLL, AND WHENEVER I
USED TO BE CONFRONTED WITH A
POLL AND WHENEVER I AM NOW
CONFRONTED WITH A POLL, YOU
ALWAYS HAVE TO REFLECT ON THE
FACT THAT IT INEVITABLY
REFLECTS THE WAY THINGS WERE
RATHER THAN THE WAY THINGS WILL
BE, BECAUSE THE PUBLIC IS NOT
NECESSARILY IN AN, IN AN
UNANTICIPATED WAY THINKING
ABOUT WHAT MIGHT BE.
THEY'RE THINKING ABOUT WHAT
EITHER WHAT IS OR WHAT WAS.
AND SO THAT SNAPSHOT THAT YOU
SEE IN POLLS AND CONSTANTLY IN
THE, IN, IN THE WORLD WE LIVE
IN PEOPLE LOOK AT THESE THINGS
AS GODS.
AS IF SOMEHOW THE ICON, THERE'S
AN ICON CALLED PUBLIC OPINION
NOT RECOGNIZING OF COURSE THAT
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE
REALLY KNOW ABOUT PUBLIC
OPINION IS THAT IT CHANGES.
ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I'M
HERE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN IS
BECAUSE PUBLIC OPINION CHANGED
IN 1995.

(Audience laughs)

Bob continues AND IT WILL CHANGE
AGAIN.
AND IF YOU DON'T THINK IT'S
GONNA CHANGE YOU'RE, YOU'RE IN
FOR, YOU'RE IN FOR TROUBLE.
AND I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE,
ONE OF THE THINGS WE, WE REALLY
HAVE TO REFLECT ON AS WE, AS WE
LOOK AT THE CHANGES THAT ARE
UNDERWAY IN THE WORLD.
SO THE DRAMATIC IMPACT OF
GLOBALIZATION IS SOMETHING THAT
WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE BECOMING
EVEN FASTER, MORE RAPID, MORE
DRAMATIC IN THE FUTURE THAN IT
WAS IN THE PAST.
PUBLIC SPEAKERS WOULD NEVER
HAVE SPOKEN, WOULD NOT LIKELY
HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU TEN YEARS
AGO ABOUT THE IMPACT OF
INDUSTRIALIZATION AND
TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT IN
INDIA AS A FACTOR THAT WE HAVE
TO CONSIDER AS WE LOOK AT WHAT
HAPPENS TO OUR ECONOMY AND OUR
SOCIETY IN THE FUTURE.
BUT NEVERTHELESS, THAT'S A
REALITY WE HAVE TO CONTEND WITH
TODAY.
AND WHEREAS, THERE MIGHT HAVE
BEEN A TIME IN OUR OWN PAST
WHEN WE COULD SAY WELL WE CAN
PUT UP TARIFF WALLS OR WE CAN
SOMEHOW PROTECT OURSELVES FROM
THESE CHANGES.
OR WE CAN SOMEHOW ALLIE
OURSELVES TO FORCES THAT WILL
IN FACT SLOW THESE CHANGES DOWN
AND MAKE US IMMUNE FROM THEM.
THE REALITY IS THAT CANADA
CAN'T REALLY DO THAT.
THAT WE'RE MUCH TOO
INTERCONNECTED AS PART OF THIS
WORLD.
WE CAN'T SORT OF STOP THE WORLD
AND TRY TO GET OFF.
IN EFFECT WE ARE, WE ARE BOUND
AND LINKED BY VIRTUE OF WHO WE
ARE.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE TO
RECOGNIZE AS CANADIANS IS THAT
UNLIKE OUR NEIGHBOURS TO THE
UNITED, TO THE SOUTH AND UNLIKE
SOME OTHER PLACES IN THE WORLD,
OUR ECONOMY IS HUGELY TIED TO
WHAT GOES ON IN THE WORLD.
FAR MORE OF OUR
WEALTH, OF WHAT THE ECONOMISTS
CALL OUR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT
IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO THE GOODS
THAT WE TRADE, THE GOODS AND
SERVICES THAT WE TRADE IN THE
WORLD, RATHER THAN THE ONES
THAT WE SELL TO EACH OTHER.
WE DO, MORE THAN HALF OF OUR
ECONOMY IS BASED ON WHAT WE
TRADE OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY,
RATHER THAN WHAT WE SIMPLY
EXCHANGE BETWEEN OURSELVES AND
CANADA.
SO THE IDEA FOR
EXAMPLE THAT WE COULD BE
OBLIVIOUS TO OR NOT BE FOCUSED
ON OR NOT BE AWARE OF THE
DRAMATIC EFFECT OF THESE
CHANGES IS, IS IS NONSENSE.
LET'S TAKE FOR EXAMPLE THE
INDUSTRY THAT IS QUITE
FUNDAMENTAL TO ONTARIO AND TO
CANADA AS A MANUFACTURING
INDUSTRY.
I'M SPEAKING OF COURSE OF THE
CAR INDUSTRY.
WE ARE A HUGE MANUFACTURER OF
CARS IN THIS PROVINCE IN, IN
WORLD TERMS.
WE'VE NOW SURPASSED MICHIGAN AS
A MANUFACTURER OF CARS.
WE, WE HAVE VIRTUALLY EVERY
MAJOR SUPPLIER IN THE WORLD
THAT IS YOU KNOW USING ONTARIO
IN PART AS A BASE FOR, FOR ITS,
FOR ITS PRODUCTION.
BUT THINK FOR A MOMENT OF HOW
DRAMATIC THE CHANGES IN THAT
INDUSTRY ARE GOING TO BE WHEN
INDIA AND CHINA START PRODUCING
CARS FOR THE WORLD MARKET.
THEY HAVEN'T DONE IT YET,
REALLY.
THEY'RE PRODUCING FOR THEIR OWN
MARKET AND JUST THIS YEAR AT
THE DETROIT AUTO SHOW WAS THE
FIRST YEAR THAT THERE WAS IN
FACT A CHINESE CAR ON EXHIBIT.
BUT WE WILL ALL REMEMBER
CERTAINLY IN THE 1970S THE
DRAMATIC IMPACT THAT THE
PRODUCTION OF JAPANESE CARS HAD
ON US AND ON, AND ON OUR
INDUSTRY.
AND YOU ALSO RECOGNIZE YOU KNOW
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN, WHEN THERE
WERE THE CHEAPER CARS FROM
EASTERN EUROPE STARTED COMING
IN.
THE AND, AND SOME OF THEM
LASTED AND SOME OF THEM DIDN'T
LAST.
BUT THAT HAS TRANSFORMED OUR
INDUSTRY.
WE'RE ABOUT TO GO THROUGH
ANOTHER MAJOR CHANGE, ANOTHER
MAJOR REVOLUTION.
AND THAT'S WITHOUT EVEN TALKING
ABOUT THE ISSUE OF HOW THE CAR
FITS INTO THE WORLD OF CLIMATE
CHANGE AND GLOBAL WARMING,
WHICH IS A SUBJECT I WANT TO
COME TO IN A MOMENT.
MY POINT IS THIS, WHETHER YOU
TAKE THE CAR, WHETHER YOU TAKE
THE CAR INDUSTRY, WHETHER YOU
TAKE THE GARMENT INDUSTRY,
WHETHER YOU TAKE THE PRODUCTION
OF COMPUTERS, WHETHER YOU TAKE
THE PRODUCTION OF SOFTWARE AND
SERVICES AND WHATEVER, WHATEVER
IT MAY BE.
WE DO NOT EXIST IN ISOLATION
FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.
WE EXIST VERY MUCH AS PART OF A
WORLD THAT IS CHANGING VERY,
VERY QUICKLY.
AND INEVITABLY THIS MAKES US A
LITTLE INSECURE AND WONDERING
WELL, EXACTLY HOW ARE WE GONNA
MAKE OUR WAY IN THE WORLD?
WE, WE, WE CAN'T EXPECT OUR
INDUSTRIAL WORKERS TO WORK FOR
THE SAME WAGE THAT PEOPLE MAKE
IN CHINA OR THE SAME WAGE THAT
PEOPLE MAKE IN INDIA.
WE CAN'T COMPETE, WE CAN'T EVEN
COMPETE IN SOME CASES WITH
STATES, SOME STATES IN THE U.S.
OR CERTAINLY WITH MEXICO, IT
TURNS OUT WHEN WE LOOK AT THOSE
BASIC ISSUES.
SO WHAT THAN DO WE DO?
I READ LAST YEAR A WONDERFUL
BOOK WHICH I RECOMMED HARDILY,
TO, TO ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY BY
A MAN CALLED ARTHUR HERMAN.
AND THE BOOK IS CALLED "HOW THE
SCOTS INVENTED THE MODERN
WORLD."
NOW IT'S A SOMEWHAT
PROPAGANDISTIC WORK IN SOME
SENSE.

(Audience laughs)

Bob continues BUT, BUT REALLY
NOT.
I'M ONLY KIDDING.
IT'S NOT.
IT'S QUITE A REMARKABLE BOOK,
BECAUSE WHAT IT'S REALLY ABOUT
IS THE POWER OF THE WORD.
AND WHAT DR. HERMAN DOES, WHO
WORKS AT THE SMITHSONIAN
INSTITUTE IN WASHINGTON IS
DESCRIBE HOW THIS VERY POOR
COUNTRY WITH A VERY ILLITERATE
POPULATION AT THE END OF THE
MIDDLE AGES, WHOSE PEOPLE LIVED
IN, IN DEEP POVERTY.
HARDLY A GEOGRAPHICAL SHANGRI-
LA SHALL WE SAY.
SCRABBLE ROCK, BAD FOR
AGRICULTURE, VERY TOUGH
CIRCUMSTANCES, HOW THAT COUNTRY
LITERALLY TRANSFORMED ITSELF
INTO THE EDUCATION AND LITERACY
CAPITAL OF THE INDUSTRIAL
WORLD.
THAT OVER TWO, THREE CENTURIES
REALLY FROM THE 1400S TO THE
1700S SCOTLAND BECAME, WENT
FROM BEING THE, ONE OF THE
LEAST LITERATE PARTS OF THE
WORLD TO THE MOST LITERATE
PARTS OF THE WORLD, AND THAN
HAD A DRAMATIC IMPACT ON THE,
ON THE WORLD SINCE THAT TIME.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
WELL, A COUPLE OF REVOLUTIONS,
ONE GUTENBERG, WHICH AGAIN
MCLUHAN TALKS ABOUT.
AND THE SECOND THE REFORMATION,
WHICH MCLUHAN ALSO CONNECTS TO
THE GUTENBERG, WHAT HE CALLS
THE GUTENBERG GALAXY, THE
GUTENBERG REVOLUTION.
THE INVENTION OF THE PRINTING
PRESS MCLUHAN REMINDS US WAS A
HUGELY DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENT,
BECAUSE WHAT IT DID WAS ALLOW
FOR THE MOST POPULAR AND WIDELY
UNDERSTOOD TEXT OF THE, OF THE
TIME TO BE LITERALLY
DISTRIBUTED IN THE MILLIONS.
I'M REFERRING OF COURSE TO THE
BIBLE.
AND WHAT THE
DISTRIBUTION OF THE BIBLE MEANT
WAS THAT INDIVIDUALS NO LONGER
HAD TO GO THROUGH THE PRIEST OR
THE BISHOP TO HAVE THERE
COMMUNION AND THERE
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
THEY COULD HAVE A DIRECT
RELATIONSHIP BY READING THE
BOOK AND BY BECOMING PEOPLE OF
THE BOOK.
AND THEY COULD HAVE
THAT DIRECT RELATIONSHIP
WITHOUT THE INTERMEDIARY.
SO ALL SORTS OF THINGS
HAPPENED.
AUTHORITY WAS CHALLENGED, AH,
HIERARCHY WAS CHALLENGED.
ALL SORTS OF OLD DISCIPLINES
WERE CHALLENGED AND IT, IT, IT
BROUGHT ABOUT THE REFORMATION.
IT FORCED THE REFORM, REFORM OF
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THROUGH THE
COUNCIL OF TRENT AND ALL THE
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS THAT TOOK,
THAT TOOK, THAT TOOK PLACE.
SO SCOTLAND BECAME AS WE ALL
KNOW, IT WENT FROM BEING A
LARGELY CATHOLIC COUNTRY TO
BEING PRINCIPALLY A PROTESTANT
COUNTRY.
BUT THERE'S STILL LARGE
ELEMENTS OF CATHOLIC POPULATION
IN SCOTLAND STILL TODAY.
BUT ESSENTIALLY WHAT HAPPENED
IS THAT IT WENT FROM BEING A
HIGHLY ILLITERATE CULTURE TO
BEING A HIGHLY LITERATE ONE.
AND WHERE EDUCATION QUICKLY
BECAME THE PREDOMINANT SOCIAL
AND ECONOMIC POLICY OF ITS
GOVERNMENT.
THE GOVERNMENT DETERMINED THAT
THE ONE THING THEY WERE GOING
TO DO WAS TO ENSURE THAT THE
PEOPLE COULD READ AND WRITE.
AND THAT, THAT WAS GOING TO BE
A BASIC TEST AND TOOL FOR THE
PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND.
AND SO IT'S NO ACCIDENT THAT IN
EFFECT SCOTLAND BECAME ONE OF
THE, ONE OF THE GREAT CENTERS
OF WORLD LEARNING AT THE END OF
THE, IN THE 18TH CENTURY.
THAT IN FACT THE, THE ENGINEERS
AND SCIENTISTS WHO, WHO
CONTRIBUTED SO MUCH TO THE
BREAKTHROUGHS OF THE INDUSTRIAL
REVOLUTION TO A REMARKABLE
DEGREE CAME FROM SCOTLAND.
NOT EXCLUSIVELY, NOT ONLY, BUT
CERTAINLY MADE A HUGE
CONTRIBUTION, WAY ABOVE AND
BEYOND OF WHAT ONE WOULD EXPECT
FROM A POPULATION OF THIS, OF
THIS SIZE.
AND THAN OF COURSE WE HAD THE
GREAT EXPLORERS AND GEOGRAPHERS
AND ALL THE OTHER ELEMENTS.
AND, AND NATURALLY THE GREAT
CANADIANS WHO CAME HERE AND
WERE SUCH A KEY PART OF THE,
THE EARLY PIONEER DAYS OF, OF,
OF CANADA.
NOW I DON'T SAY THIS BECAUSE MY
NAME IS RAE AND BECAUSE I'M
SIMPLY TRYING TO ENGAGE IN AN
EXERCISE, A LONG EXERCISE OF
ETHNIC SELF, SELF-IMPORTANCE,
NOT FOR AN, FOR AN INSTANT.
BUT I SAY IT BECAUSE I BELIEVE
THAT CANADA HAS TO MAKE
EDUCATION AND LITERACY ITS
PRIMARY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC
POLICY OF THE 21ST CENTURY AND
THIS REQUIRES A CHANGE.
BECAUSE IN A SENSE WE'VE TAKEN
EDUCATION FOR GRANTED.
WHAT WE THINK OF EDUCATION IS
THAT PUBLIC EDUCATION WAS A
GREAT BREAKTHROUGH OF THE 19TH
CENTURY RIGHT.
EGERTON RYERSON WE THINK OF AS
BEING ONE OF THE GREAT PIONEERS
OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN CANADA.
HORACE MANN, THE GREAT PIONEER
OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE
UNITED STATES.
PRIMARY EDUCATION BEING SPREAD
BY THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY.
EVERYBODY WENT TO SOME KIND OF
PRIMARY SCHOOL.
AND SO WE SORT OF IN A WAY,
WE'VE KIND OF TAKEN EDUCATION
FOR GRANTED AS SOMETHING THAT
WE, WELL, WE'VE ALL, YOU KNOW
WHY WOULD YOU MAKE IT SUCH A
BIG DEAL?
WHY WOULD YOU WORRY ABOUT IT?
WELL I WORRY ABOUT IT BECAUSE I
BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT, THAT THE
WAY IN WHICH WE WILL
PARTICIPATE MOST EFFECTIVELY IN
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IS IF WE
REACH HIGHER AND HIGHER LEVELS
OF LEARNING AND LITERACY AS A
COUNTRY.
AND BY LITERACY I DON'T JUST
SIMPLY MEAN LEARNING HOW TO
READ AND WRITE.
BUT I MEAN BECOMING LITERATE IN
THE WAYS OF THE WORLD AND THESE
BECOME MORE COMPLEX.
70 percent OF THE, OF THE NEW JOBS
THAT ARE BEING CREATED IN
CANADA TODAY REQUIRE SOME KIND
OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SOME KIND
OF POST-SECONDARY TRAINING.
NOW THAT INCLUDES
APPRENTICESHIP.
LET ME BE VERY CLEAR.
I'M NOT SIMPLY TALKING ABOUT
CLASSROOM LEARNING.
I'M TALKING ABOUT SOME FORM OF
POST, HIGH SCHOOL TRAINING,
WHETHER IT'S APPRENTICESHIP.
WHETHER IT'S THE SKILL TRADES,
WHETHER IT'S COMPUTER SCIENCE,
WHETHER IT'S SCIENCE, WHETHER
IT'S ARTS, WHATEVER IT MAY BE,
SOME KIND OF POST-SECONDARY
TRAINING IS REQUIRED.
RIGHT NOW ABOUT 50 percent, BETWEEN 45
AND 50 percent OF OUR STUDENTS IN
CANADA ARE ENGAGED IN SOME KIND
OF THAT ACTIVITY.
SO WE'RE, THERE'S A GAP IN
TERMS OF WHAT NEW JOBS ARE
BEING CREATED AND WHERE WE ARE.
AND WE HAVE A WAYS TO GO.
WE, WE DEFINITELY HAVE A WAYS
TO GO.
ONE OF THE GREAT LESSONS THAT I
LEARNED IN GOVERNMENT WAS THAT
THERE ARE FAR MORE GOOD IDEAS
THAN THERE IS MONEY.

(Some laugh)

Bob continues AND WHEN YOU HEAR
PEOPLE YOU KNOW TALK ABOUT
POLICY AND YOU KNOW IDEAS.
THIS WOULD BE A GOOD, WOULDN'T
IT BE GREAT IF, WOULDN'T IT BE
WONDERFUL IF.
I'M CONSTANTLY THINKING ABOUT
BECAUSE I REMEMBER I MEAN, I'M
JUST I MEAN I GOVERNED AT A
TIME WHEN YOU KNOW WE DIDN'T
HAVE BIG SURPLUSES TO, TO WORRY
ABOUT HOW ARE WE GONNA
DISTRIBUTE THE SURPLUS?
IN FACT WHEN I, I FEEL A LITTLE
BIT LIKE JACK NICKLAUS FEELS IN
DESCRIBING TIGER WOODS' GOLF
GAME.
WHEN HE SAID HE PLAYS A GAME
WITH WHICH I AM NOT ENTIRELY
FAMILIAR.

(Audience laughs)

Bob continues BUT NEVERTHELESS
I'M SURE I CAN GET USED TO IT
FOR A WHILE.
BUT WE, WE DO HAVE TO RECOGNIZE
THAT THERE ARE GONNA BE, THERE
ARE GOING TO BE PRIORITIES TO
BE SET AND CHOICES TO BE MADE
AS WE GO FORWARD.
SO IN SHORT, THE FIRST PRIORITY
THAT I WANT TO MENTION TO YOU
AND EMPHASIZE TO YOU IS THE
IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION.
THE PRIORITY OF
EDUCATION, AND HOW IT WILL
REQUIRE AN ADJUSTMENT FOR ALL
OF US AS WE REFLECT ON THE
CHOICES THAT WE'RE MAKING.
IT ALSO RAISES ISSUES FOR ME AS
A FATHER OF THREE DAUGHTERS
WHO'VE ARE JUST GOING THROUGH
UNIVERSITY AND COMPLETING IT,
OF WHAT I CALL
INTERGENERATIONAL JUSTICE.
NOW I CAN RECALL IN
THE LAST, NOT THIS LAST
ELECTION BUT THE ELECTION
BEFORE SOMEBODY SAID I THINK IT
WAS MR. MARTIN IT DOESN'T
MATTER, SAID THE BIGGEST ISSUE
IN THE ELECTION IS WAITING
LISTS, HOSPITAL WAITING LISTS.
AND ONE OF MY DAUGHTERS SAID TO
ME WATCHING IT, SHE SAID DAD
AND LOOKED AT ME WITH ALL MY
WHITE LOCKS KNOWINGLY SHE SAID,
THAT MAY BE A BIG ISSUE FOR
YOU.
BUT I WONDER IF YOU THINK IT'S
A BIG ISSUE FOR EVERYONE?
DOES MR. MARTIN THINK IT'S A
BIG ISSUE FOR, FOR ALL PEOPLE?
IS IT THE BIGGEST ISSUE?
AND I DON'T THINK SHE WAS
PUTTING FORWARD A, A NARROW
VIEW.
I THINK SHE WAS JUST SAYING YOU
KNOW FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE THERE
MIGHT BE OTHER ISSUES THAT
WOULD BE OF GREAT CONCERN.
STUDENT DEBT MIGHT BE A BIGGER
ISSUE OR ACCESS TO COLLEGE AND
UNIVERSITY MIGHT BE A BIGGER
ISSUE OR YOU KNOW WHATEVER,
WHATEVER.
AND I THINK WE, THE BABYBOOMERS
TEND TO EAT UP A LOT OF AIR IN
THE ROOM AS WE REFLECT ON YOU
KNOW THE THINGS THAT WE NEED.
AND I THINK WE REALLY HAVE TO
REALLY REFLECT ON THAT AS A, AS
A COUNTRY.
AGAIN THESE ARE NOT EASY,
THEY'RE NOT POLITICALLY EASY TO
DEAL WITH.
AND PERHAPS SOMEBODY WHO
ASPIRES TO HIGHER OFFICE
SHOULDN'T EVEN BE DISCUSSING
THEM.
BUT THEY HAVE TO BE DISCUSSED
BECAUSE THEY, WE DO HAVE TO
FIND A WAY OF, OF GETTING TO
THESE BALANCES.
YOU KNOW WHEN I WAS A HISTORY
STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO WE USED TO GET, WE USED
TO HAVE LECTURES ON WHAT WAS
CALLED THE WHIG VIEW OF
HISTORY, THE LIBERAL VIEW OF
HISTORY, WHICH WAS THAT
EVERYTHING'S GETTING BETTER.
AND BY LIBERAL, ONE HAS TO, I'M
NOT TALKING ABOUT A LARGE L
HERE.
I'M JUST TALKING ABOUT, THINGS
ARE IMPROVING.
SCIENCE IS IMPROVING AND THAT
WAS REALLY THE VIEW THAT
PERTAINED UNTIL THE SORT OF,
THAT TOOK LIGHT IN THE 19TH
CENTURY AND JOHN STUART MILL
AND EVEN KARL MARX THEY ALL HAD
THE VIEW THAT THINGS ARE JUST
GOING TO GET BETTER AND BETTER
AND BETTER.
WHATEVER FORM THAT BETTER TOOK
WOULD BE A, A SOURCE OF
DIFFERENCES OF OPINION.
BUT THINGS WOULD JUST GET
BETTER.
WHAT WE DISCOVERED IN THE 20TH
CENTURY WAS THAT THAT'S NOT
ACTUALLY, DIDN'T ACTUALLY
HAPPEN.
THINGS DIDN'T GET BETTER.
IN FACT POPULATIONS WERE
CAPTURED BY TERRIBLE IDEOLOGIES
WITH HORRENDOUS VALUES,
INCREDIBLY POWERFUL
DICTATORSHIPS TOOK OVER,
ENSLAVED PEOPLE, MURDERED
PEOPLE.
YOU KNOW TENS OF MILLIONS OF
PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN CONFLICTS
IN THE FIRST AND SECOND WORLD
WAR.
POST-1945 WHAT'S REALLY QUITE
COMPELLING IS THAT MOST OF THE,
OF THE BATTLES IN THE WORLD
TOOK PLACE NOT BETWEEN
COUNTRIES, BUT WITHIN
COUNTRIES.
IT DOESN'T MAKE THEM ANY, ANY
NICER.
IN FACT IN SOME CASES IT MAKES
THEM EVEN MORE DIFFICULT.
BUT IT'S REALLY QUITE DRAMATIC.
SO FOR EXAMPLE THE CIVIL WAR IN
SUDAN, WHICH WE HARDLY EVER
HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT.
EXCEPT NOW WE'RE JUST HEARING
ABOUT DARFUR AND BEGINNING TO
UNDERSTAND A LITTLE MORE ABOUT
IT.
BUT BEFORE DARFUR THERE WAS A
CIVIL WAR BETWEEN THE NORTH AND
THE SOUTH IN WHICH 2,000,000
PEOPLE WERE KILLED, MAINLY IN
THE SOUTH.
THE AFRICAN POPULATION IN THE
SOUTH WITH AN ANIMIST AND
CHRISTIAN RELIGION DIFFERENT
FROM THE, FROM THE MUSLIM AND,
AND ISLAMIC CAPITAL OF KHARTOUM
AND THE, AND THE BATTLE TAKING
PLACE AND THE DESTRUCTION BEING
ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS.
WE KNOW NOW THAT IN, THAT IN
CENTRAL AFRICA JUST SOUTH OF,
OF, OF THAT SCENE, AGAIN
ENORMOUS DESTRUCTION, BATTLES.
CIVIL WAR WITHIN THE CONGO
ESTIMATE AT LEAST A MILLION
PEOPLE KILLED.
NEARLY A MILLION PEOPLE KILLED
IN THE, IN THE HOLOCAUST
BETWEEN THE, THE, THE TRIBES
IN, IN, IN RWANDA.
IN SRI LANKA WHERE I SPEND A
BIT OF TIME, TAMILS AND
SINHALESE IN CIVIL WAR KILLING
AT LEAST 100,000.
CREATING NEARLY A MILLION
REFUGEES OF WHOM 250,000 CAME
TO TORONTO, AND CANADA BUT
LARGELY TO TORONTO OVER THE
LAST, TWO, 20, 20 YEARS.
WHAT YOU KNOW I SAID EASTERN
EUROPE, THE BALKANS, ONE COULD
GO, GO DOWN THE LIST AND
DESCRIBE THE DESTRUCTION AND
THE EXTENT OF THE WAR.
SO THAT'S, THAT'S IN PART THE
NATURE OF THE CONFLICT WHICH
WE'RE FACING IN THE WORLD
TODAY.
WE'RE ALSO FACING A WORLD IN
WHICH, JUST AS I DESCRIBED THE
POPULATION EXPLOSION IN THE, IN
THE, IN THE ABORIGINAL
POPULATION IN CANADA.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENTIRE
ISLAMIC WORLD YOU HAVE A
SIMILAR SITUATION, WHERE A
MAJORITY OF THERE POPULATION
ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18.
AND WHERE UNEMPLOYMENT RATES
AMONG THE WHOLE POPULATION ARE
AS HIGH AS 15 OR 20 percent AND WHERE
UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE
IS AS HIGH AS 50, 60, 70 percent.
SO IN A SENSE THAT BECOMES THE
DRY GRASS IN WHICH THESE CRAZY,
FUNDAMENTALIST IDEAS TAKE HOLD
AND SEIZE A POPULATION.
JUST THE WAY EUROPE WAS SEIZED
BY THESE CRAZY IDEOLOGIES IN
THE DEPRESSION BY NAZISM AND BY
STALINISM.
WE SEE THE SAME FORCES AT WORK
TODAY.
NOW THIS IS, THIS IS A
DIFFICULT WORLD THAT WE LIVE
IN.
IT'S NOT AN EASY WORLD THAT WE
LIVE IN.
IT'S NOT A WORLD IN WHICH
EVERYONE IS THE SAME.
IT'S NOT A WORLD IN WHICH ALL
OUR VALUES ARE THE SAME.
IT'S NOT A WORLD IN WHICH ALL
OUR STANDARD OF LIVING IS THE
SAME.
IT'S THE WORLD IN WHICH WE, WE
PRAY DIFFERENTLY, WE, WE
WORSHIP DIFFERENTLY, WE SPEAK
DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, WE HAVE
DIFFERENT RELIGIONS AND, AND
IT'S A VERY, DIFFICULT WORLD IN
WHICH TO MANAGE.
NOW PRIOR TO 1989, THE MAIN
PREOCCUPATION THAT WE HAD AS
CANADIANS IN TERMS OF OUR
SECURITY WAS THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE WEST AND THE EAST,
BEING THE SOVIET BLOCK.
AND THE COLD WAR LASTED FROM 45
TO, TO 90.
IT LASTED FOR 45 YEARS.
AND IT WAS THE, IT WAS THE
UNIVERSE IN WHICH WE, WE, WE
LIVED FOR A LONG TIME.
AND I SUSPECT MOST OF US IN THE
50S AND 60S AND 70S AND 80S,
FULLY EXPECTED AND ANTICIPATED
THAT, THAT WOULD BE THE WORLD
IN WHICH WE WOULD SIMPLY LIVE
FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.
SUDDENLY THAT WORLD ENDED AND
THAN WE WERE CONFRONTED NOT
WITH A HUGE PEACE DIVIDEND AS
WE THOUGHT WE MIGHT BE.
BUT IN FACT WITH A WORLD THAT
WAS, THAT IS EVERY BIT AS
INSECURE, BUT INSECURE IN A
DIFFERENT WAY.
AND RATHER THAN
TALKING AS THE, AS THE NUCLEAR
EXPERTS TALKED ABOUT A SO-
CALLED BALANCE OF TERROR
BETWEEN THE WEST AND THE EAST,
WHERE, WHERE THERE WAS SUCH A
HUGE ARMOURY ON BOTH SIDES
BEING BUILT UP IN RELATIVE
BALANCE, THAT IT WOULD
INCONCEIVABLE THAT ANYONE WOULD
BE THE FIRST TO PULL THE
TRIGGER.
WHICH WAS THE WORLD
IN, WHICH WE ALL GREW UP IN, IN
THE, IN THE COLD WAR.
WE NOW LIVE IN A WORLD IN,
WHICH WE REALLY DON'T KNOW
BECAUSE THE SOURCES OF
INSTABILITY ARE SO GREAT.
WELL, WHAT SHOULD CANADA BE
DOING IN THIS SITUATION?
WE'RE A SMALL COUNTRY.
WE'RE 30,000,000 PEOPLE.
WE'RE NOT, WE'RE NOT A HUGE
SUPER POWER.
I GUESS I HAVE A VERY, SIMPLE
VIEW.
I MEAN NOT SIMPLE, BUT I, BUT I
HOPE VERY, DIRECT VIEW.
THE FIRST ONE IS WE ARE
IMPLICATED IN THIS WORLD.
WHATEVER, WHATEVER SORT OF
LATENT DESIRE THERE MAYBE
INSIDE OUR SELVES TO SAY LET'S
NOT GET, INVOLVED.
IN FACT WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT
TO GET INVOLVED, BECAUSE WE ARE
INVOLVED.
FIRST OF ALL BECAUSE CANADA HAS
BECOME THE WORLD.
WITH GREAT RESPECT TO THIS
AUDIENCE, THIS AUDIENCE IS NOT
TYPICAL OF THE TORONTO THAT I
SEE ON THE SUBWAY.
IT'S A VERY, DIFFERENT WORLD.
AND WE HAVE BECOME A
MULTINATIONAL, MULTICULTURAL,
MULTIRACIAL COMMUNITY AND
THAT'S WHAT WE ARE AND WHO WE
ARE.
WE ACCEPT MORE IMMIGRANTS PER
CAPITA THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD.
WE ACCEPT MORE THAN THE
AUSTRALIANS, MORE THAN THE
AMERICANS, EVERY YEAR.
AND WE DO SO AS A REPLENISHING
STREAM FOR OUR ECONOMY AND FOR
OUR LIVES.
AND IT IS WHAT WE ARE AND WHO
WE ARE.
THAT'S WHAT AND WHO WE ARE AS A
COUNTRY.
THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE BECOME.
AND I, I PERSONALLY DON'T THINK
THAT THERE'S, THAT THERE'S ANY
POLITICAL PARTY THAT'S GONNA
SAY STOP THAT.
WE WANT TO STOP THAT FOR ALL
TIME.
IT'S NOT DOABLE.
IT'S NOT VIABLE.
SO WE'RE, WE'RE PART OF THIS
WORLD.
AH, WE IT SEEMS TO ME ARE A
PART OF IT IN ANOTHER WAY.
OUR NEIGHBOUR TO THE SOUTH WAS
ATTACKED IN 2001.
NO OTHER WAY TO DESCRIBE IT.
THAT'S WHAT, THAT'S WHAT 911
REPRESENTED.
SO I HAVE A SIMPLE VIEW.
AS I SAID, WE HAVE TO BE
PREPARED TO BE TOUGH ON
TERRORISM BECAUSE OF THE THREAT
THAT IT POSES TO THE SECURITY
OF OUR COUNTRY.
WE ALSO HAVE TO BE TOUGH ON THE
CAUSES OF TERRORISM AS WE
UNDERSTAND THEM AND AS WE COME
TO UNDERSTAND THEM.
AND WE HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD,
PRIMARILY OUR ROLE BEING THAT
OF PEACEKEEPER AND PEACEMAKER.
AND WE HAVE TO TAKE OUR ROLE IN
MEDIATION SERIOUSLY IF WE'RE
GOING TO BE ABLE TO SUCCEED.
SO THIS IS A DIFFICULT TASK.
I THINK PRIME MINISTER CHRETIEN
WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT WHEN HE
SAID THAT CANADA WOULD NOT
PARTICIPATE IN THE INVASION OF
IRAQ.
I THINK THAT WAS A SOUND
DECISION.
IT WAS A COURAGEOUS DECISION.
PEOPLE I THINK SOMETIMES
UNDERESTIMATE HOW DIFFICULT
THAT DECISION WAS, AND HOW MUCH
PRESSURE HE WAS UNDER TO DO
SOMETHING ELSE.
AND HE DIDN'T WANT TO DO
SOMETHING ELSE BECAUSE AS I
DISCUSSED IT WITH HIM ON MANY
OCCASIONS, HE FELT THAT IT WAS
ILLEGAL AND THAT IT WAS
INAPPROPRIATE AND THAT IT
WOULD, AND THAT IT WOULD AND
BECAUSE IT WAS ILLEGAL AND IN
THAT SENSE ILLEGITIMATE, IT
WOULD END UP NOT BEING
SUCCESSFUL IN THE WAY IN WHICH,
PEOPLE WHO WERE CARRYING IT
OUT, THOUGHT IT COULD BE
SUCCESSFUL.
I THINK HE WAS RIGHT.
HOWEVER WE ARE, WE ARE IN
AFGHANISTAN, DIFFERENT,
DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES.
WE'RE THERE AT THE INVITATION
OF THE GOVERNMENT OF
AFGHANISTAN.
WE'RE THERE TOGETHER WITH OUR
ALLIES IN NATO, AND WE'RE THERE
BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT OF
AFGHANISTAN SAYS IT NEEDS HELP
IN EXTENDING THE RULE OF LAW TO
THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
AND I THINK THAT'S
A MISSION THAT CANADIANS NEED
TO UNDERSTAND.
AND I THINK ALL OF US ALSO NEED
TO SAY TO OUR SELVES LET'S BE
VERY CLEAR ON WHAT THAT MISSION
IS, ON HOW WE CAN ACCOMPLISH
IT.
AND ON THE FACT
THAT WE SHOULDN'T DELUDE
OURSELVES INTO THINKING THAT
WE'RE GOING TO SOMEHOW SINGLE-
HANDEDLY ALONE, BE ABLE TO
CARRY ON SOME KIND OF FIGHT OR
WAR AGAINST THE TALIBAN IN, IN,
IN AFGHANISTAN.
THIS IS, THIS IS SOMETHING
WHERE WE NEED TO REFLECT A
GREAT DEAL AS A COUNTRY ON
MAKING SURE THAT THE MISSION IS
SOMETHING WE ALL UNDERSTAND.
THAT WE UNDERSTAND AS CANADIANS
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO BE
PART OF THE ATTEMPT TO CREATE
STABILITY IN, IN COUNTRIES
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
BUT WE SHOULD ALSO BE FOCUSING
OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN,
ON OUR CAPACITIES AS MEDIATORS
AND OUR CAPACITY AS
PEACEKEEPERS.
SO FOR EXAMPLE WHEN THE
MINISTER OF DEFENSE SAID
YESTERDAY WELL, WE CAN DO THAT,
BUT WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING ELSE,
I'M NOT SURE THAT'S WHAT
CANADIANS REALLY WANT TO HEAR.
I THINK WHAT
CANADIANS WANT TO SEE IS THIS
MISSION IS IN PERSPECTIVE.
IT'S A DIFFICULT MISSION.
THE LIVES OF OUR TROOPS ARE,
ARE, ARE AT RISK.
AND WE HAVE TO
SUPPORT THEM IN EVERY WAY THAT
WE CAN.
WE ALSO HAVE TO BE WORKING WITH
OUR ALLIES TO INSURE THAT THE
OBJECTIVES OF THE MISSION ARE
CONSTANTLY BEING ASSESSED AS WE
TRY TO, TO MEET THEM IN A
REALISTIC FASHION.

The clip ends, and Andrew reappears in the studio with a caption that reads "Andrew Moodie."

He says THAT WAS BOB
RAE AND NOW THE MAN WHO WAS HIS
FORMER ROOMMATE.
THE MAN WHO
IS CONSTANTLY REMINDED THAT HE
WAS AWAY FROM CANADA FOR FAR
TOO LONG.
AND OR FOR HAVING BEEN IN
FAVOUR DOING AWAY WITH SADDAM
HUSSEIN BY FORCE.
HERE ARE EXCERPTS FROM A TALK
GIVEN BY MICHAEL IGNATIEFF IN
2002 ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS FOR A
SOCIETY TO LIVE IN TRUTH.

A new clip plays in which Michael Ignatieff stands behind a wooden lectern in an auditorium and addresses an unseen audience. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt and red tie.

He says I'VE
ASKED A DIFFICULT QUESTION.
HOW MUCH TRUTH CAN A SOCIETY
STAND?
AND WONDERED WHAT I COULD HAVE
MEANT AS I POSED THIS QUESTION
AS THE TITLE OF MY TALK.
I THINK I MEANT HOW MUCH SHARED
TRUTH IS POSSIBLE IN A SOCIETY.
A SLIGHTLY, DIFFERENT QUESTION.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Michael Ignatieff. Federal Liberal Leadership Candidate. Originally aired: April 7, 2002."

Michael continues AND I
WANTED TO START BY TALKING A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT VATSLAV HAVEL,
A GREAT PRESIDENT OF THE CZECH
REPUBLIC WHO FAMOUSLY ENJOINED
US AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS
MEMBERS OF A SOCIETY TO LIVE IN TRUTH.
AND I'VE
ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT, THAT WAS A
VERY CHALLENGING, DEMAND, BOTH
ON INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES,
AND I WANTED TO THINK ABOUT
WHAT IT MEANT TO LIVE IN TRUTH.
IN HAVEL'S CASE IT MEANT
SOMETHING VERY, SPECIFIC AND
IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT
THIS WASN'T JUST RHETORIC.
IN HAVEL'S CASE HE LIVED OUT OF
AN HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE IN
WHICH A SOCIETY, HIS SOCIETY,
CZECH SOCIETY HAD ENDURED 50
YEARS OF TWO QUITE SPECIFIC
LIES.
THE FIRST LIE WAS THAT THE
DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT
WAS EQUAL TO DEMOCRACY.
AND THE SECOND LIE WAS THAT
STATE OWNERSHIP OF ALL THE
MEANS OF PRODUCTION AMOUNTED TO
EQUALITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE.
AND THESE WERE NOT MERELY
ILLUSIONS.
THEY WERE LIES IN THE QUITE
SPECIFIC SENSE THAT THEIR,
HISTORICAL, THEIR, THEIR
FALSITY WAS DEMONSTRATED BY
HISTORY.
THESE ILLUSIONS TURNED OUT TO
BE MORE THAN ILLUSIONS.
THEY TURNED OUT TO BE LIES, AND
FOR HAVEL THAN THE BUSINESS OF
CHARGING A FUTURE FOR THE CZECH
FREE OF THOSE LIES HAD REAL
CONTENT.
HE DISCOVERED THAT IT WAS
POSSIBLE FOR A SOCIETY TO LIVE
ACCORDING TO TWO PROPOSITIONS,
WHICH WERE NOT REALLY ILLUSORY,
BUT THEY WERE LIES.
THEY WERE LIES IN THE SPECIFIC
SENSE THAT REALITY AND HISTORY
CONTRADICTED THEM, AND THE
CONSEQUENCES FOR THE SOCIETIES
WERE CATASTROPHIC.
SO HAVEL'S MESSAGE WAS A
SOCIETY BUILT ON LIES CANNOT
LAST, NOT MERELY SHOULDN'T,
LAST.
IT ACTUALLY DOESN'T LAST.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE SOCIETY
THAT LIVES A LIE, I WENT TO
SOUTH AFRICA IN 1996 TO SPEND A
MONTH WATCHING THE TROOPS IN
RECONCILIATION COMMISSION WORK.
AND THERE YOU COULD SEE A
SOCIETY CONFRONTING ANOTHER LIE
AND THE LIE WAS THAT SEPARATE
DEVELOPMENT FOR THE RACES WAS
BEST FOR EACH RACE.
THE ACCOMPANYING LIE THAT A
MINORITY HAD A RIGHT AND A DUTY
TO RULE A MAJORITY.
AND THIS SOCIETY, SOUTH AFRICA
NEARLY DIED FROM THAT LIE,
NEARLY PERISHED IN CIVIL WAR.
AND MANAGED TO AVOID IT ONLY BY
THE STATESMAN-LIKE FOREBEARANCE
AND LEADERSHIP OF THE MAJORITY.
NOW ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A
SOCIETY THAT PERISHED BY A LIE,
NAZISM.
THE SOCIETY THAT BELIEVED AS A
SERIOUS PROPOSITION THAT
CERTAIN RACES WERE SUPERIOR TO
CERTAIN OTHERS.
THAT CERTAIN PEOPLE WEREN'T,
DIDN'T DESERVE TO BE MEMBERS OF
A NATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THAN
DIDN'T DESERVE TO LIVE AT ALL.
THIS IS A SOCIETY THAT PERISHED
AND IT TELLS YOU SOMETHING
INTERESTING ABOUT THE CENTRAL
RELATIONSHIP OF TRUTH TO THE
POSSIBILITY OF POLITICS AND TO
THE POSSIBILITY OF SOCIAL ORDER
ITSELF.
SO THAN YOU HAVE TO ASK TWO
QUESTIONS.
ONE QUESTION YOU MIGHT ASK TO
WHAT I JUST SAID IS, ARE THESE
LIES MERELY IN TERMS OF AN
ASSUMPTION THAT HISTORY ONLY
REWARDS LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES,
AND REWARDS THE KINDS OF
CONVENTIONAL, LIBERAL
SOPHISTRIES, THAT SOMEONE LIKE
MICHAEL IGNATIEFF CHOOSES TO
ENGAGE IN.
AND MY ANSWER TO THAT WOULD BE,
NO, I'M NOT JUDGING THE USED TO
BE LIE AS SIMPLY IN TERMS OF
WHAT I THINK IS NORMALLY
DESIRABLE.
THESE LIES WERE JUDGED BY
HISTORY ITSELF.
THESE SOCIETIES FAILED
HISTORICALLY.
HISTORY PASSED A JUDGEMENT ON
THEM.
THEY LIVED A LIE, THEY LIVED A
LIE, AND THEY DIED FROM DOING
SO.
SO THAT WOULD BE MY ANSWER TO
QUESTION ONE.
QUESTION TWO WOULD BE A
QUESTION, IF SOME PROPOSTIONS
LIKE DICTATORSHIP OF THE
PROLETARIAT, THE RACIAL
SUPERIORITY OF THE GERMANS,
APARTHEID ARE LIES, WHICH WILL
DESTROY SOCIETY THAN WE GET TO
WHERE I WANT TO GO.
WHAT DEGREE OF TRUTH, WHAT
DEGREE OF SHARED TRUTH MUST THE
SOCIETY LIVE IN IF IT IS TO
COHERE AND ENDURE?
THAT'S THE KIND OF HOPELESSLY,
LARGE, QUESTION THAT I'VE MADE
A PROFESSION OF TRYING TO
ANSWER WITHOUT NOTABLE SUCCESS.
BUT SOMETIMES ASKING VERY LARGE
AND DIFFICULT QUESTIONS IS
USEFUL.
UM, AND LET ME GO AT THIS
QUESTION BY NOW ASKING ANOTHER
SET OF QUESTIONS.
DON'T DESPAIR.
SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS AT
LEAST ARE GONNA BE ANSWERED.
BUT I WANT TO TAKE US DOWN INTO
THE LABYRINTH.
THE DIFFICULTY HERE A LITTLE
BIT.
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT DIFFICULT
QUESTIONS LIKE THAT WE OFTEN
THINK THAT A SOCIETY MUST BE
JUST LIKE AN INDIVIDUAL.
AND IT'S THAT EQUATION BETWEEN
THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE SOCIETY
THAT I WANT TO TEASE OUT JUST
FOR A MINUTE.
DO SOCIETIES NEED JUSTICE THE
WAY INDIVIDUALS NEED JUSTICE?
I'VE SAT IN THE TRUTH AND
RECONCILIATION HEARINGS IN
SOUTH AFRICA AND ACTUALLY SEEN
WHAT IT MEANS FOR PEOPLE TO
NEED JUSTICE, TO HUNGER FOR
JUSTICE.
TO FEEL THEIR MODEL WORLD,
BROKEN IN TWO UNLESS SOMEONE
CAN GIVE THEM JUSTICE.
CAN GIVE THEM A SENSE OF
REPAIRING THE TEAR, THE RIP IN
THEIR MORAL WORLD AND BRING IT
TOGETHER.
I'VE SEEN INDIVIDUALS HUNGER
FOR JUSTICE.
JUSTICE IS A NEED OF THE SPIRIT
IN A DEEP WAY FOR INDIVIDUALS.
SO THAN THE QUESTION IS, IF
IT'S A NEED FOR INDIVIDUALS AND
I'VE SEEN THAT IS IT A NEED FOR
SOCIETY AS A, AS A WHOLE?
CAN WE SAY THE SAME THING ABOUT
TRUTH?
WE, WE HAVE A SENSE FROM FREUD
ONWARDS THAT YOU CAN, THAT IF
YOU LIVE A LIE YOU CAN BE MADE
SICK BY A LIE.
WE NEED TO LIVE IN SOME
RELATIONSHIP OF TRUTH TO
OURSELVES, IN RELATION TO TRUTH
TO OTHERS.
SO WE SENSE THAT INDIVIDUALS
NEED TRUTH AND THEY NEED
JUSTICE AND WE'RE NOT QUITE SO
SURE ABOUT THE SENSE IN, WHICH
SOCIETIES, THE COLLECTIVITIES
WE, WE LIVE IN NEED THESE
THINGS.
ANOTHER WAY TO SUB, SUB PARS
THAT QUESTION IS TO SAY WHEN
INDIVIDUALS GET JUSTICE AND
WHEN INDIVIDUALS GET TRUTH, DO
THE SOCIETIES THEY BELONG TO
ALSO GET IT?
THAT'S THE BASIC QUESTION
YOU'RE ASKING WHEN YOU LOOK AT
A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
COMMISSION, CAUSE IT'S RETAIL
JUSTICE, RIGHT?
THIS WOMAN WANTS TO FIND OUT
WANTS TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED
TO THIS CHILD, WHO'S TAKEN AWAY
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
SHOT IN THE BACK IN THE HEAD,
BURNED ON A BARBECUE.
YES, BURNED ON A BARBECUE AND
20 YEARS LATER SHE GETS TO FIND
OUT.
NOW SHE GETS SOME TRUTH AND SHE
GETS SOME JUSTICE.
WHAT EXACTLY DOES SOUTH AFRICA
GET FROM THAT PROCESS?
VERY, VERY MYSTERIOUS, SOUTH
AFRICA WATCHES.
SOUTH AFRICA TURNS IN.
BUT WHAT'S, WHAT IS IT THAT
SOUTH AFRICA AS A SOCIETY TAKES
AWAY FROM THIS EXCRUTIATING,
RETAIL DISCLOSURE OF TRUTH AND
JUSTICE TO AN INDIVIDUAL?
LET'S FLIP IT ON ITS HEAD.
WE ALSO KNOW, AND THIS IS WHERE
IT GETS PAINFUL AND DIFFICULT
THAT WE CAN ALL OF US AS
INDIVIDUALS CAN ONLY STAND SO
MUCH TRUTH.
I MEAN
MARRIAGE IS THE MOST TERRIBLE
ORDEAL OF TRUTH.
THAT'S JUST NOT TRUE ABOUT ME!
HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?

(Some laugh)

Michael continues I CAN'T
STAND TO STAND IN THE SAME ROOM
WITH YOU IF YOU BELIEVE THAT
ABOUT ME, ETCETERA, RIGHT?
I'M NOT
GONNA...

[Audience laughing]

Michael continues I'M NOT
GONNA GET WILDLY
AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL BUT EVEN...

[Audience laughing]

Michael continues EVEN,
EVEN THE LITTLE SOUP SONG
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OUGHT TO MAKE YOU
UNEASY, CAUSE IT SURE MAKES ME
UNEASY.
BUT IT'S HOW MUCH, TRUTH CAN WE
STAND TO LIVE WITH IN OUR
PRIVATE AND PUBLIC LIVES?
TRUTH IS VERY PAINFUL.
IF IT'S PAINFUL FOR AN
INDIVIDUAL IT MUST ALSO BE
PAINFUL FOR A SOCIETY TO LIVE
IN TRUTH.
SOCIETIES LIVE WITH COMPETING
TRUTHS.
SOCIETIES LIVE DIVIDED BY RACE,
BY CLASS, BY GENDER, BY
INTEREST, BY REGION, BY
LANGUAGE, BY ETHNICITY.
WE ARE INWARDLY DIVIDED AS
INDIVIDUALS, YES?
EGO, ID, SUPER EGO, PARTS OF ME
THAT DON'T SPEAK TO OTHER PARTS
OF ME ALL THE TIME.
WE ARE INWARDLY DIVIDED, YES.
BUT WE'RE NOT, WE ARE JUST NOT
AS DIVIDED AS SOCIETIES ARE
DIVIDED.
ALL OF ME SPEAKS ENGLISH AS IT
HAPPENS.
NIGHT AND DAY IN MY DREAM AND
WAKING, BUT IN CANADA WE HAVE I
DON'T KNOW HOW MANY NATIONAL
LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN THIS
COUNTRY.
I MEAN TWO BIG ONES AND THAN 90
OTHER ONES.
SO EVEN IF YOU ASSUME THAT,
INDIVIDUALS ARE DIVIDED AND
SOCIETIES ARE DIVIDED THAT THE
LEVEL, DEGREE, COMPLEXITY AND
LAYERING OF SOCIAL DIVISION IN
A SOCIETY IS JUST INCONCEIVABLY
GREATER THAN AN INDIVIDUAL.
SO A SOCIETY CAN CONTAIN A
MUCH, GREATER RANGE OF
INCOMPATIBLE OR INCOMMENSURABLE
TRUTHS EACH HELD WITH DIFFERENT
DEGREES OF INTENSITY BY THE
DIFFERENT GROUPS, RACES,
ETHNICITIES, IDENTITIES THAT
MAKE UP.
SO A SOCIETY IS NOT LIKE AN
INDIVIDUAL.
A SOCIETY CAN COHERE AT A MUCH,
THIS IS MY POINT.
THE SOCIETY CAN COHERE AT A
MUCH GREATER LEVEL OF COGNITIVE
DISSIDENCE, INNER TURMOIL,
INNER DEBATE, OVER, CONFLICT
THAN AN INDIVIDUAL CAN POSSIBLY
CAN.
SO LET'S BE VERY AWARE OF THE
DANGER OF THINKING ABOUT
SOCIETIES AS IF THEY WERE
INDIVIDUALS.
LET'S START WITH A SIMPLE IDEA
THAT SOCIETIES ARE MUCH, MORE
COMPLICATED, AND MUCH, MORE
CONFLICTUAL.
AND THIS MAKES A WHOLE ISSUE OF
ASKING WHAT KINDS OF SHARED
TRUTH ARE POSSIBLE?
VERY DIFFERENT THAN WHEN YOU'RE
THINKING WITHIN AN INDIVIDUAL
FRAME.
IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S I
THINK WE GET WRONG, WHEN WE
THINK ABOUT CONFLICTUAL
SOCIETIES LIKE SOUTH AFRICA
GOING THROUGH THESE PROCESSES,
IS WE HAVE A SLIGHTLY
CONDESCENDING AND PATERNALIST
VIEW OF THESE PLACES.
AS IF WE POSSESSED TO SHARE A
TRUTH.
WE'VE POSSESSED TO RECKONING
WITH THE TRUTH.
WE'VE POSSESSED A SOUND
RELATION TO OUR PAST AND THEY
SOMEHOW DIDN'T.
AND SO THEY HAD TO PASS THROUGH
THIS ORDEAL IN ORDER TO GET TO
WHERE WE ARE.
IN FACT WHEN YOU, WHEN YOU WENT
TO SOUTH AFRICA YOU HAD A MUCH
MORE TROUBLING THOUGHT.
THAT THEY WERE GOING THROUGH A
PROCESS THAT WE DIDN'T EVEN
BEGIN TO HAVE THE COURAGE TO
FACE UP TO.
UM, MY POINT IN ALL THIS IS NOT
MAKE US FEEL GUILTY.
THAT'S NOT THE DEAL.
THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY.
WE SHOULD BE SO LUCKY THAT WE
DIDN'T HAVE SOME OF THE HORRORS
THAT SOUTH AFRICA HAS HAD TO
CONFRONT.
BUT WE HAVE OUR PROBLEMS.
WE HAVE OUR PROBLEMS.
AND WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE
ISSUE ABOUT HOW MUCH TRUTH WE
CAN STAND, THE ISSUES I THINK
ABOUT ARE ABOUT HOW MUCH SOCIAL
TRUTH WE CAN STAND IN CANADA,
RIGHT HERE AT HOME, IN OUR OWN
SOCIETY.
AND I DON'T THINK WE'VE THOUGHT
QUITE ENOUGH AS HISTORIANS, AS
CITIZENS, ABOUT THE PUZZLE OF
HOW THIS COUNTRY COHERES IN THE
FACE OF RADICALLY,
INCOMMENSURABLE, COMPETING
VISIONS OF THE NATIONAL STORY.
THE CENTRAL, MORAL AND
POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL
NARRATIVES OF THIS COUNTRY ARE
NOT SHARED.
THEY ARE NOT SHARED.
AND THE INTERESTING QUESTION
THAN IS HOW DO WE KEEP GOING?
WE DO WE KEEP IN THE SAME ROOM?
HOW DO WE KEEP THIS SHOW ON THE
ROAD?
I FIND THIS A MUCH, MORE
INTERESTING QUESTION.
I FIND CANADA THEREFORE
THEORETICALLY AND PRACTICALLY
AS A CITIZEN, MUCH MORE
INTERESTING BECAUSE IF YOU LOOK
AT TWO EXAMPLES, AND YOU KNOW
WHICH EXAMPLES THEY ARE.
SOMETHING LIKE A FIFTH OF OUR
FELLOW CITIZENS, WELL SOMETIMES
IT'S A FIFTH.
SOMETIMES IT EDGES UP TO A
THIRD OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS
BELIEVE THAT CONFEDERATION WAS
AN ACT OF DOMINATION, WHICH
OPRESS THE CULTURE, LANGUAGE
AND RIGHTS OF FRENCH SPEAKING
CANADIANS.
WHO BELIEVE THAT THE CONQUEST
WAS A DISASTER AND A
CATASTROPHE FOR FRENCH-SPEAKING
CULTURE IN NORTH AMERICA.
WHO BELIEVE THAT THE STRUCTURE
AND ORGANIZATION OF OUR COUNTRY
IS SYSTEMATICALLY BIASED
AGAINST THE INTERESTS AND LONG
TERM, EVEN THE LONG TERM
SURVIVAL OF THE QUEBECOIS
PEOPLE.
IT'S BETWEEN A FIFTH AND
SOMETIMES IT GOES UP TO A THIRD
AND IT'S A PERAMANENT, ENDURING
FEATURE OF THIS POLITICAL
SYSTEM AND WE DON'T THINK ABOUT
THE FACT THAT WHAT THAT IMPLIES
IS THAT THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO
COMPETING TRUTHS ABOUT THE MOST
BASIC PREMISES OF OUR NATIONAL
UNITY AS A COUNTRY.
AND WE DON'T THINK ABOUT THIS
AS COMPETING ACCOUNTS OF TRUTH.
WE JUST THINK OF IT AS A
POLITICAL CONFLICT.
OR WE THINK OF IT AS AN ETHNIC
CONFLICT.
OR WE THINK OF IT AS AN
HISTORICAL CONFLICT.
BUT IT'S A CONFLICT OVER TRUTH.
AND IT RAISES THE QUESTION
ABOUT HOW POLITICAL SOCIETIES
COHERE WHEN THEY DON'T SHARE,
THEY DO NOT SHARE COMMON
HISTORICAL NARRATIVES?
FOR LIBERAL, ENGLISH, CANADIANS
LIKE MYSELF, CONFEDERATION WAS
A PACT AMONG EQUALS.
FOR QUEBEC NATIONALISTS, THE
DICTATED UNION WHICH THREATENED
AND CONTINUES TO THREATEN THE
IDENTITY OF THE QUEBECOIS
PEOPLE.
NOW, TWO THINGS ARE TRUE.
THIS DISAGREEMENT OVER
HISTORICAL TRUTH CONTINUES TO
JEOPARDIZE OUR POLITICAL
FUTURE.
THERE'S NO ONE IN THIS ROOM WHO
CAN BE SURE THAT OUR COUNTRY
WILL EXIST IN A CENTURY FROM
NOW OR IN 50 YEARS FROM NOW.
THIS IS A VERY UNUSUAL ASPECT
OF BEING CANADIAN, BUT DESERVES
TO BE MORE REMARKED ON.
BECAUSE WE DO NOT SHARE, SHARE
TRUTH, WE DO NOT SHARE AN
ABSOLUTELY UNBROKEN VISION OF
WHERE WE ARE GOING TOGETHER
INTO THE FUTURE.
IT BREAKS THE POSSIBILITY, NOT
MERELY THE SHARED PAST.
BUT IT RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT
THE POSSIBILITY OF A SHARED
FUTURE.
IT JEOPARDIZES OUR POLITICAL
STABILITY, BUT IT'S
INTERESTING, WHAT'S INTERESTING
ABOUT THIS STORY IS THAT BY
CONTINUED EFFORT, BY CONTINUED
BARGAINING, BY CONTINUED
TALKING, BY CONTINUED
NEGOTIATION ABOUT WHICH WE'RE
ALL PARTLY SICK.
THE NATIONALIST VERSION OF THE
NATIONAL STORY NEVER GETS ABOVE
30 TO 35 percent OF THE ELECTORATE.
SO AS LONG AS THE NATIONAL
STORY THAT IS THE RENE, IS A
RENEGADE NATIONAL STORY, IS
BETWEEN THE FIFTH AND THE
THIRD, THE ELECTORAL VOTE IN
QUEBEC, IT DOESN'T GET ABOVE 40.
WE'RE IN
BUSINESS.
AND THAT'S WHAT THE POLITICS OF
TRUTH IN OUR COUNTRY ACTUALLY
COMES DOWN TO, MANAGING THAT
PERCENTAGE AND IT'S AN
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT EXERCISE.
SECOND
EXAMPLE, PERHAPS MORE PAINFUL
AND THAT'S THE NATURE, THE
CLAIM THAT ABORIGINAL PEOPLES
IN CANADA, FIRST NATION PEOPLES
ARE MAKING ON THE VERY NATURE
OF THE HISTORICAL NARRATIVE
WHICH WE'RE SUPPOSED TO SHARE.
IN MANY WAYS THIS IS THE MOST
FUNDAMENTAL CHALLENGE.
AN EVEN MORE DIFFICULT
CHALLENGE IN CERTAIN WAYS THAN
THE CHALLENGE FROM THE QUEBEC
VERSION OF OUR NATIONAL STORY.
AN UNKNOWN, WE DON'T KNOW, AN
UNKNOWN PERCENTAGE OF 1,000,000
CANADIANS OF ABORIGINAL ORIGIN
BELIEVE A DIFFERENT VERSION OF
A NATIONAL STORY, THAN MANY BUT
NOT ALL NON-ABORIGINAL
CANADIANS DO.
IN PLACE OF A STORY OF
SETTLEMENT, A STORY OF
CONQUEST.
IN PLACE OF A STORY OF
PROGRESS, A STORY OF
DISPOSSESSION AND CATASTROPHE.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
DEVELOPMENTS OF MY LIFETIME AS
A CITIZEN IN THIS COUNTRY IS
OVER THE 40 YEARS SINCE I WAS A
YOUNG UNDERGRADUATE IN THIS
PLACE, THE ABORIGINAL TRUTH,
THE MINORITY TRUTH HAS SIMPLY
TRANSFORMED THE NATIONAL STORY.
WE SIMPLY DO NOT BELIEVE AS A
NATIONAL COMMUNITY WHAT WE
BELIEVED IN 1960.
SOME OF IT HAS TO DO WITH THE
PIONEERING WORK OF HISTORIANS
IN THIS ROOM AND HISTORIAN'S
WHOSE MEMORY I REVERE.
SOME OF IT HAS TO DO WITH THE
COURAGE AND POWER, RHETORICAL
MORAL POWER OF ABORIGINAL TRUTH
TELLERS.
SO THAT NOW IN SCHOOL CURRICULA
PUBLIC DEBATE, THE CONSTITUTION
DEBATES ITSELF, THE
CONSTITUTIVE ROLE OF FIRST
NATION PEOPLES IS BEGINNING TO
BE ACKNOWLEDGED.
AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE
NATIONAL STORY IS BOTH A STORY
OF PROGRESS, A STORY OF
SETTLEMENT, AND A STORY OF LOSS
AND DISPOSSESSION IS NOW PART
OF OUR SHARED UNDERSTANDING.
BUT LET'S NOT GET SENTIMENTAL
ABOUT WHAT WE SHARE.
THE RANGE OF DISAGREEMENT, THE
RANGE OF DIVISION OVER THE
NATURE OF THAT IS VERY GREAT,
AND IT'S NOT CLEAR TO ME THAT
WE ACTUALLY DO SHARE A SINGLE,
NATIONAL STORY.
AND WHAT WE AS CANADIANS HAVE
LEARNED ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS
ARGUMENT IS LIVING IN TRUTH
MEANS LISTENING TO WHAT YOU
DON'T WANT TO HEAR.
LIVING IN TRUTH MEANS LISTENING
TO WHAT YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO
HEAR.
I MEAN SO MUCH THAT YOU DON'T
WANT TO BE IN THE ROOM TO HEAR
IT, IT HURTS YOU SO MUCH, BOTH
SIDES.
LIVING IN TRUTH MEANS CHANGING
WHAT YOU ONCE BELIEVED.
TRUTH IS NOT JUST A SET OF
ABSTRACT PROP-PROPOSITIONS.
WHAT WE BELIEVE TO BE TRUE
BECOMES PART OF WHO WE ARE.
WE INVEST IDENTITY CLAIMS IN
TRUTH.
THEY'VE BEEN LITERALLY, PART OF
WHO WE CLAIM WE ARE.
THE VISION WE HAVE OF THE WORLD
BECOMES WHO WE ARE.
TO CHANGE THAT, TO CHANGE THAT
VERSION OF THE STORY IS TO
CHANGE SOME VERY FUNDAMENTAL
PART OF OURSELVES.
SO LIVING IN TRUTH MEANS
CHANGING WHAT WE ONCE BELIEVED,
CHANGING WHO WE ONCE WERE.
BUT LIVING IN TRUTH ALSO
DOESN'T MEAN LIVING IN
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.
THERE HAS BEEN SOME SENSE IN
WHICH, BECAUSE WE HAVE TRUTHS
THAT ARE NOT SHARED WE'VE
PAPERED OVER THE GAP BETWEEN
ONE VERSION AND ANOTHER VERSION
WITH A LOT OF POLITICAL
CORRECTNESS, A LOT OF
POLITENESS.
WE WANT THE SHOW TO GO ON.
WE DON'T WANT TO HAVE VIOLENCE.
WE'VE COME VERY CLOSE.
WE COULD COME TO VIOLENCE
AGAIN.
TO MANAGE THIS COMPETITION
BETWEEN TRUTHS WE'VE DONE A LOT
OF PAPERING.
WE'VE SHUT UP A LOT OF TIMES
WHEN WE DIDN'T AGREE.
WE'VE KEPT THINGS QUIET, AND
THERE'S A KIND OF INSTEAD OF
SHARED TRUTH, WE OFTEN ON MANY
CRUCIAL ISSUES HAVE A
CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE.
WE HAVE A GUILTY VERSION OF THE
TRUTH, WHICH REMOVES AGENCY
FROM ABORIGINAL PEOPLES.
ONE OF THE WAYS WE PAPER IT
OVER IS TO, IS TO TAKE ON GUILT
FOR EVERYTHING.
IT WASN'T A STORY OF PROGRESS.
IT WASN'T A STORY OF
SETTLEMENT.
IT WAS A STORY OF DISPOSITION,
EXPLOITATION, VIOLENCE AND
HORROR AND WE ARE THE HEIRS OF
IT AND WE ARE UNIFORMLY GUILTY
OF IT.
ONE OF THE VIRTUES OF A GUILTY
NARRATIVE IS THAT IT ROBS THE
OTHER SIDE OF ALL AGENCY.
THEY WERE THE CREATORS OF THE
STORY TOO.
THEY MAY THINK IT'S NICE TO
MAKE WHITE FOLKS GUILTY, BUT IT
DOESN'T ACTUALLY WORK OUT TO BE
SUCH A SMART THING TO DO FOR
THEM OR FOR US, SPEAKING IN
THIS CASE AS A SWATIZONE WHITE
PERSON.
SO BOTH SIDES MADE THE HISTORY
WE'VE INHERITED.
NOT AS EQUAL PARTNERS.
THE DIS, THE DISPROPORTION OF
POWER WAS TERRIBLE.
BUT BOTH SIDES MADE THAT
HISTORY.
BOTH SIDES HAVE TO LIVE IT.
BOTH SIDES HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
IT.
BOTH SIDES HAVE TO DO THE
HARDEST THING IN HUMAN LIFE,
WHICH IS TO WALK A MILE IN
SOMEONE ELSE'S SHOES.
BOTH SIDES HAVE TO DO THE
BUSINESS UPON WHICH CITIZENSHIP
ITSELF DEPENDS, WHICH IS
EMPATHY, NOT SYMPATHY, EMPATHY.
THE BUSINESS OF LEAVING YOUR
OWN BRAIN, GETTING INSIDE
ANOTHER CITIZEN'S BRAIN.
LISTENING, HEARING, FEELING,
SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH THEIR
GOGGLES, TERRIBLY, TERRBILY
PAINFUL.
BUT LIVING IN TRUTH DOES
INVOLVE THAT PULLING OUT OF
YOUR SELF INTO ANOTHER SET OF
SKINS, AND FINALLY A LIVING
TRUTH MEANS TAKING
RESPONSIBILITY.
THIS IS OUR STORY.
THIS IS OUR COUNTRY.
THIS IS OUR TRUTH.
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT,
TAKING OWNERSHIP.
SAYING IT'S MINE.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ABORIGINAL
FIRST NATION PEOPLES IS MY
STORY.
PART OF MY STORY, PART OF MY
LIFE, PART OF MY TRUTH.
WE KNOW POSITIVELY WHAT THE
NORMATIVE CONDITIONS FOR A LIFE
OF PLURAL TRUTH IS, AND THAT IS
THAT SIMPLY NO ONE IS EXCLUDED
BY VIRTUE OF RACE, BIRTH,
GENDER, ETHNICITY.
THE CONDITION OF GENERATING A
COMMON NATIONAL NARRATIVE IS
THAT ALL CITIZENS BELONG.
EVERYBODY IS AT THE TABLE.
EVERYBODY'S TRUTH IS
INTRINSICALLY ENTITLED TO THE
INITIAL CONDITION OF BEING
LISTENED TO, THE INITIAL
CONDITIONS OF RESPECT.
THAT'S THE POSITIVE STUFF.
THAT'S WHY THAT KIND OF
NATIONAL BELONGING IS SO
IMPORTANT.
THAT'S WHY WHEN PEOPLE ARE
EXCLUDED WE LOSE, ALL OF US
LOSE.
BUT THERE'S ANOTHER THING THAT
CAN BE SAID THAT'S SLIGHTLY
SHARPER.
THERE IS A SMALL RANGE, IF WE
CAN'T HAVE SHARED TRUTH, FULLY
SHARED TRUTHS, IF THE TRUTHS
WILL ALWAYS COMPETE THERE ARE A
VERY SMALL, FINITE RANGE OF
IMPERMISSABLE LIES THAT NO
SOCIETY CAN ENTERTAIN AND
MAINTAIN DEMOCRATIC CIVIL
DISCOURSE AMONG EQUAL CITIZENS.
AND THAN THE TASK IS TO FIND
THE RANGE OF IMPERMISSABLE LIES
AND KEEP THOSE OUT OF THE
POLITICAL DISCOURSE.
MANAGE THEM SO THEY DON'T
POISON EVERY WELL OF DEMOCRATIC
SPEECH.
I'VE CITED SOME IMPERMISSABLE
LIES ALREADY.
THE NAZI LIE, THAT SOME HUMAN
BEINGS ARE SUPERIOR TO OTHERS.
THAT SOME PEOPLE COUNT AS
CITIZENS AND HUMAN BEINGS AND
OTHER PEOPLE COUNT AS SO MUCH
RUBBISH.
THAT'S A PRETTY OBVIOUS
EXAMPLE.
BUT WE'VE BEEN THROUGH THE
EXPERIENCE OF HOLOCAUST DENIAL
IN THIS COUNTRY.
AND ONE OF THE REASONS THAT
HOLOCAUST DENIAL IS SO INFERNAL
IS THAT IT'S NOT A MERELY LIE,
AND AN EASILY DEMONSTRABLE LIE
AS A, AS A STATEMENT ABOUT
HISTORICAL FACTS.
BUT IT'S A LIE THAT DEFAMES
WHOLE COMMUNITIES.
IT DEFAMES THE LIVING AND IT
DEFAMES THE DEAD.
IT'S AN OFFENSE AGAINST FELLOW
CITIZENS.
IT'S ULTIMATELY AN OFFENSE
AGAINST ALL OF US.
THAT'S AN IMPERMISSABLE LIE.
A LIE THAT MUST BE STOPPED IN
DEMOCRATIC DISCOURSE OR IT
POISONS ALL THE POSSIBILITY OF
MUTUAL TRUST.
IN SOUTH AFRICA ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT I WATCHED HAPPENING
AND ONE OF THE REASONS I, ONE
OF THE WAYS I THOUGHT ABOUT THE
TRUTH, RECONCILIATION PROCESS
WAS IT WASN'T ABOUT
ESTABLISHING SHARED TRUTH.
IT WAS DOING SOMETHING VERY
DIFFERENT.
IT WAS DEFINING TWO
IMPERMISSABLE LIES AND SAYING
LET'S GET THOSE OUT OF THE
POLITICAL SYSTEM, AND IF WE CAN
GET THOSE OUT OF THE POLITICAL
SYSTEM WE'VE GOT A CHANCE AS A
DEMOCRACY.
AND THE TWO LIES WERE APARTHEID
WASN'T SO BAD.
IT WASN'T REALLY SO BAD.
THERE ARE A FEW, BAD APPLES, A
FEW BAD COPS, A FEW SADISTS.
BUT BASICALLY IT WASN'T SO BAD,
RIGHT?
THAT WAS AN IMPERSSABLE LIE.
IT WAS VERY, VERY BAD.
IT WAS BAD ALL THE WAY DOWN,
RIGHT.
THE TRC DEMONSTRATED THAT,
TERRIBLY IMPORTANT FOR THE
WHITE COMMUNITY BECAUSE IT
CLOSES A POLITICAL DOOR.
IT CLOSES THAT INFANTALIZING
NOSTALGIA THAT YOU SEE, YOU SEE
IN POST-YELTSIN RUSSIA.
STALIN, MUCH MISUNDERSTOOD, NOT
SUCH A BAD GUY, MADE THE TRAINS
RUN ON TIME.

(Some laugh)

Michael continues WE WERE A
SERIOUS, GREAT COUNTRY, RIGHT?
STALIN WAS BAD ALL THE WAY DOWN
RIGHT?
A SOCIETY THAT DOESN'T
UNDERSTAND THAT IS LIVING NOT
MERELY AN ILLUSION, BUT IN AN
IMPERMISSABLE LIE HUH.
SECOND LIE IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN
CASE ALL'S FAIR IN A JUST
STRUGGLE.
THE ANC WAS FIGHTING A FORM OF
PURE, METAPHYSICAL EVIL.
ANYTHING THE ANC DOES IS
PERMITTED.
THAT'S AN IMPERMISSIBLE LIE.
IT MEANS THAT THE SUCCESSOR
GOVERNMENT BELIEVES IT'S
PERMITTED ANYTHING.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT KIND
OF THINKING ARE PRESENT IN
ROBERT MUGABE'S STRUGGLE TO
MAINTAIN POWER.
ALL IS PERMITTED ME BECAUSE I
FOUGHT A JUST STRUGGLE AGAINST
WHITE OPPRESSION.
THAT'S A LIE THAT IS COMING
CLOSE TO KILLING AN AFRICAN
DEMOCRACY, RIGHT.
IT MUSTN'T KILL SOUTH AFRICAN
DEMOCRACY.
IT'S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
HERITAGES OF THE TRC, TO SHUT
THAT OFF.
WE HAVE TO THINK AND IT'S NOT
FOR ME TO SAY, WHAT ARE THE
IMPERMISSIBLE LIES IN OUR
SOCIETY?
THE ONES THAT MENACE US, THE
POSSIBILITY OF CIVIL PEACE AND
MUTUAL RESPECT.
AND THERE ARE SOME ABOUT
ABORIGINAL PEOPLES AND THERE
ARE SOME ABOUT OUR NATIONAL
LIFE AND I LEAVE YOU TO FIND
THEM FOR YOURSELF.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Andrew says IT'S UNLIKELY
THAT THE VOTING IN MONTREAL IS
OVER.
BUT I'M SURE THAT NONE OF THE
DELEGATES HAD TIME TO WATCH
TELEVISION.
AND SO THE LIKELIHOOD THAT "BIG
IDEAS" INFLUENCED THE VOTE IS,
IS FAIRLY SLIM BECAUSE GOD
FORBID SOMEONE SHOULD ACCUSE US
OF BIAS.
BUT WE ARE NOT SHY ABOUT TRYING
TO PERSUADE YOU TO ADD YOUR
NAME TO OUR EVER, GROWING
MAILING LIST.
PLEASE SEND US AN e-mail AT bigideas@tvo.org;
THIS WAY YOU'LL KNOW WHAT'S COMING UP ON
THE PROGRAM FROM WEEK TO WEEK.
I AM ANDREW MOODIE AND WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

[Theme music plays]

The end credits roll.

bigideas@tvo.org

416-484-2746

Big Ideas. Producer, Wodek Szemberg.

Producers, Lara Hindle, Mike Miner, Gregg Thurlbeck.

Logos: Unifor, Canadian Media Guild.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2006, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

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