This quote is, admittedly, out of context:
New South Wales likes to think of itself as Australia, but it isn’t. Back in 1887, the redoubtable Henry Parkes even proposed that the colony of New South Wales change its name to Australia – a move not unexpectedly opposed (and ridiculed) by the other colonies.
But the sentiment persists. The former prime minister John Howard was a typical Sydneysider (an early Victorian term for those who lived on the Sydney side of the Murray). He professed not to recognise state identities or loyalties; we are, after all, simply Australians.
The arrogance and insensitivity of such attitudes are deeply ingrained, and they are not without significance in that ongoing conundrum of our elusive national identity.
If you read the article in full, it quickly becomes apparent that New South Wales is not Ontario’s southern doppelganger – in it’s politics, and particularly the recent commandeering of the local “Tory” party, it is more like Alberta.
But let’s not worry about the details; it’s the trends that matter. Here in Canada, we don’t give enough thought to Australia (and I’m sure they return the favour). We may have more to share than we realize.