The apparent crisis in national unity that confronts Canada. Some surprising results from two national polls on Canadians' reaction to the Meech Lake Agreement. Some analysis on how an issue with such "humble beginnings" (results of the polls, one taken in June of 1987 immediately after the deal was signed, found a high level of public disinterest in the entire constitutional process) "was transformed into one which, according to some, now threatens the end of Canada as we know it." How "the millions of average Canadians who initially watched this story with the disinterest of window shoppers on a Sunday afternoon were transformed into an ugly mob ready to torch the store, and with it, perhaps each other." Understanding how this transformation occurred, and what it means for the future. A belief that it is ultimately the "outsiders" who make up the Canadian population who will determine how these issues are settled. Three reasons why this is so. An examination of public opinion and the national unity debate: is there room for compromise and negotiations? Examining the roots of our present troubles to answer this question. Actions from 1989 that set in motion a shift in the public mood; actions that had an opposite effect to their intention. A look at the consequences of those actions. A review of the current public mood. A national sample from one week ago, giving Canadians four options as to how they felt about Canada, with the results and an exploration of those results. Further questions and results. Finding several reasons for hope or at least optimism after sifting through the data. Some suggestions of approaches or routes to take. A window of opportunity for Canada to undertake significant changes that are required to keep this country together. Some personal optimism from the speaker.
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