I've written often about how unstable a civic nationalism is. If you claim that your national identity is defined not by a shared ethnicity but by a shared commitment to liberal political institutions, then why shouldn't those institutions go global if you think there is a managerial advantage in them doing so?
As it happens, you have to doubt the claims about global regulation made by Paul Martin in his speech. He assumes that the Western nations are well regulated and that the threat to the international economies comes from the newer players such as China and India. But not only are these countries unlikely to accept Western regulation of their economies, the most recent failures have come from Western countries anyway.
Here is a transcript of Paul Martin's speech:
One more thing on this question of sovereignty. Very difficult for a large country to accept that someone is going to come in, like the United States or the Europeans, and is going to say “You’re not doing your regulation in a proper way”.
But what’s going to happen when China and India are economies as powerful as the United States or Europe? And what’s going to happen when there’s a mortgage meltdown in India? What’s going to happen when a Chinese hedge fund goes under? And the results of that tsunami don’t stop at the Chinese or Indian border? But that you find them at Idaho and Iowa and California? Who’s going to deal with that?
Unless we’re prepared to understand that in fact we’re all going to have to give up a little bit of our sovereignty in order to make the world work.
I think that we are really at the beginning of a very different era. 1944 the great minds of the world Dexter White, John Maynard Keynes and a bunch essentially laid the foundations for the Bretton Woods institution and the United Nations. And they built a system which functioned for over 50 to 60 years.
I think that it’s time to renew that vision. A very different world than one that (?) and independent nation states simply came together but could ignore what was essentially going on inside those countries. That day is over thanks to (?) I think we’ve got to take it one step further and we’ve got to say that in fact countries have responsibilities to their neighbours. And their neighbours are in every nook and cranny of the world. And I believe that that is going to become the debate of our generation.
Paul Martin was replaced as Canadian PM by the Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper. He made similar comments in a speech of his own ("there is going to have to be global governance"). So the policy seems to be one that Canadian political leaders are determined to pursue.