Confederation Collection: John A. Macdonald

Final Address

Hello.

It is the eve of my final, successful, election.

It was a massive landslide win, and I can only express my gratitude at being able to live such a worthy life of service to the people of this country.

My political rivals may be resentful, bitter, or even dishonest about my intentions for Canada, but it is simply their desperate attempt to regain support they failed to obtain during their rightful time.

Tonight, I have one announcement to make.

I come from a history, a family, of alcoholism.

I used to have days where I drank until I urinated whiskey

Drank until the problems of this nascent nation became something less than tangible for a little while

Spent so much time with blurry vision that it almost looked like there were no lines separating us

No walls to break down between populations

But here, now, I am seeing farther into the horizon than I ever have before

My mind grasping at threads of a woven tapestry started by our forefathers

There is the potential, in Canada, for greatness beyond measure.

The landmass of this country is the most beautiful on earth,

And we will proceed forward an international beacon of equality and liberty.

However…

I am at the end of a political career.

I am no longer burdened by the fear of not being re-elected, and so I can say things a candidate cannot,

and because my only concern is governance I will avoid falling into the bland morass of neutrality that most of my opponents reside in.

So let me say this once.

Let us be English or let us be French, but above all, let us be Canadian.

Let us be patriots that share a vision of permanent and equal rights of all.

I entreat you

To think of the future

And the children that will replace us

And the fact that externally we are seen as unified,

But internally there is still injustice.

In that Aboriginals, the first humans to discover and become one with this land,

Do not receive the same education as their fellow Canadians.

To rectify this most grievous of unbalanced institutions,

I am happy to announce my final piece of legislation before I leave this government:

We call it “Residential schooling,”

We will raise the poor Indian children up from their culture, and teach them how to be truly Canadian.

This promises to be the next in line of the many achievements by this great nation.

Thank you.

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Previous Blog Posts:

Pre-Conference.

Post-Conference.

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Tweets:

Debating the Pan-Aborginal Confederation with Tecumseh.

Discourse on Slavery with George Brown.

Throwing shade with George Brown.

Defending against smears with Rosalie L’Hirondelle.

Highlights:

 

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John A. Macdonald: “This won’t take long, they said…”

Canada, 1864.

God is surely clutching his head in frustration right now, as he gazed upon the quarrelling figures of politicians-turned-children.

Today was the first conference of confederation, held in Charlottetown, and how little we accomplished! It seems as though at every turn I was met with only resistance – these negotiations remind me of attempting to bring together a broken zipper. As soon as I think things line up, a participant derails me. As soon as I think I have addressed every complaint, another voice is raised in defence of their annoyingly impotent claims on rights, on land, on powers.

The French want equality. The Indians want liberty. The Atlantic Provinces want compensation. Minority groups of all kinds want representation, British nationalists advocate for colonialism and the shadow of America looms over us all. It is a situation with no easy way out, and I am being forced to forge ties with members of this community I despise.

But it will be worth it. I promised myself, over my father’s grave, I would see Canada independent, strong and free! This is not the time for hesitance, or for reservations. I alone have the will to act, in such a way that will unite these varied and hostile moving parts into a single entity.

Father, wish me luck.

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John A. MacDonald: Your Friendly Criminal Lawyer

“I am writing this letter to the editorial in the Frontier News to express love for a very special of a member in our community, John A. Macdonald…”

“…a prominent figure of this town through his work and contributions to law and policy…”

“…he defends the worst criminals, why does he do it?”

“To be fair, I respect that he does the things no one else will do.”

“How DARE he! That man deserved the death penalty, and that silver tongued lawyer got him off almost scot free…”

I never saw myself ending up as a lawyer. I never saw myself spending my days scrambling to protect who most consider the scum of society. I never saw myself ending up here.

“John, you are my son. My only son. You will grow up to be a strong man, a great man… and Law is where you will learn the skills you need to become the man I know you can be.”

“Dad…”

I never wanted to spend my days pushing paper and tearing up angry letters from grieving families. Unfortunately for me, my father is not a man to be refused. I swore to myself that I will one day be as much of a force of nature as he was in conversation.

“How do you propose, Mr. Macdonald, that this man, who murdered an entire family, escape the most final of judgements?”

“Your honour…”

I never realized how good I was in court. I never realized how much I hated losing. Most of all, I never realized exactly how flawed the system was, here in Canada. When I lose, and I often do, usually the accused is guilty. They’ve confided in me. But sometimes, I have to watch an innocent man go to jail, or worse, to death.

“Thank you John. You don’t know how much gratitude is in this mother’s heart for you, for sparing my son from a fate he did not deserve.”

Recently however, things have been changing. I haven’t lost a case in months, and I haven’t had an angry letter in weeks – to the contrary, in fact! I’ve had multiple letters expressing their admiration and support of my work.

There is a fire in me now.

I’ve seen first hand my own capacity for turning the tables on a court case.

I’ve seen first hand the many and terrible forms that injustice takes in my country.

I’ve seen first hand the ignorant and prejudiced laws that Britain enforces in our government, that I do not have the power to change.

That I do not have the power to change… yet.

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“As a criminal lawyer who took on dramatic cases, Macdonald got himself noticed well beyond the narrow confines of the Kingston business community. He was operating now in the arena where he would spend by far the greatest part of his life – the court of public opinion. And, while there, he was learning the arts of argument and of persuasion that would serve him all his political life.” – from Biographer Richard Gwyn.

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I love Canada with all my heart and soul. This land and it’s inhabitants are graced by God.

But we are in the shadow of Britain, and that I can no longer tolerate.

Here and now, I pledge that one day, I will see Canada free of it’s colonial chains to a far off island. Until that day, I will stand on guard for thee – for all of the patriots that share my vision for independence.