Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Rebel Yell

This Magazine Staff

Sitting in the salon this evening (hair that is, not my charming Edmonton pied a terre) and between US Weekly and an out of date People magazine (Angelina to adopt again, come.ON.) is the January 23 edition of Macleans…featuring the National column by our own Andrew Potter. I could barely contain my excitement and am ready to return to that direct mail package I just received and subscribe away.
Andrew has really interesting things to say about branding nations and delightfully, it’s available online. What made it serendipitous, is that I had just had a conversation, not 10 minutes before, about branding cities. Maybe Potter will tackle that sometime for us — I’d love to hear him take on Bruce Mau. Best part of the piece (for those of us in the how-do-they-do-that set) is his breakdown of the essential components of successful nation branding:
…the architects of these countries also had heavier tools to work with. For serious national-identity engineering, there are four major instruments:
– an official-language policy
– rules for immigration and the acquisition of citizenship
– the setting of school curricula, especially civics education and the teaching of history
– peacetime compulsory military service

That, and the shout out to girlcrush Beckie Scott. Great stuff! And the plot twist? Seems Gilles Duceppe is the only one with his head screwed on straight on this issue.

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