Thursday, 16 October 2008

Canada. Wherever That Is

Canada is one of those countries that everyone knows although it doesn't really seem to do much.
It just seems to sit there quietly above its more gregarious neighbour and not bother anyone except when it starts whacking seals for a few weeks each year.
It's the second largest country, has a great looking flag, dress their police force in a blindingly bright red uniform, share a Queen with us Brits and play ice-hockey but otherwise it's mostly known for not being very well known.
Most of us over here think of the average Canadian as an American without the gun fetish but one thing Canada does seem to have taken a liking to is elections with the country just concluding their third in four years. This election was won by Stephen Harper of the Conservatives, the same outcome as in 2006 although it received virtually no coverage in the UK except for the briefest of mentions on the BBC news tagged onto the end of a 5 minute report on this evenings debate between Obama and that old guy who keeps hanging about.
So why is Canada not a force in the affairs of the World as its size suggests it should be? Winston Churchill said over 60 years ago that: "There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people" but little seems to be shaking up there in the top half of the North American continent.
The again, if i was responsible for inflicting Celine Dion on the World, i would keep my head down also.

13 comments:

David G said...

Canada, a country that I proudly lived in for three years, is the kind of nation that everyone wishes America was.

P.S. Canadians hate nothing more than when they are mistaken for Americans, believe you me!

Dismal Soyanz said...

Well someone has to make music that makes you appreciate the other quality out there like the Spice Girls, Take That and Wet Wet Wet.

Tui ad, anyone?

Cheezy said...

Personally, I've never met a Canadian that I haven't liked... granted I haven't met Bryan Adams though.

Lucy said...

I have a Canadian colleague david who is forever being mistaken for an American which amuses me no end as it drives him crackers.

No amount of Alanis or Sum41 will ever make up for Celine dismal or that horrible Crash Test Dummies mmm mmm mm mm song dismal. Granted us Brits should be flogged for unleashing the Spice Girls.

Thanks Cheezy, i have an excuse to slip in my favourite Bryan Adams joke from the 90s.

Jailer: Before your execution, any last requests?
Prisoner 1: I love music, so before I die could you play me 'Everything I Do' by Bryan Adams'
Prisoner 2: Kill me first

David G said...

Lucy, it has always amazed me how different Americans and Canadians are given that they live side by side on the same continent and are largely made up of immigrant stock (well, not the black slaves, of course).

Contrasting their different histories reveals some interesting facts (such as one is peaceful and the other certainly isn't) but doesn't really explain why they are about as similar as chalk and cheese.

Cheers.

Annie said...

my oldest friend is a canadian native. her family lived in san francisco for about 20 years, then retreated back to alberta when my friend was in high school.None of them have ever regretted retreating.obviously.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

There's nothing wrong with Canada being "quiet". Nobody reports peace and prosperity on the news anyways. And I know a fair share of heat-loving Canadians.


-Nog

Anonymous said...

David,

Everyone minus one. I don't want the U.S. to be like Canada. A lot of people or almost everyone would be more accurate...

Lucy, leave Canada alone. They aren't hurting anybody (unless you are a seal). Perhaps when David says everyone wants the U.S. to be like Canada he means many people wish that the U.S. would mind its own business - which is kinda what Canada does...

Q

Anonymous said...

David,

Wouldn't you say that Canada has a much larger French influence? Could that be a difference?

Q

Lucy said...

Not knocking Canada Q, apart from the annual seal cull, you never hear a bad word about the place or the people. Just wonder why the 2nd biggest country is not more of a player in the world.

David G said...

When I was there, Q, the French tended to keep to themselves and Quebec is almost like another country.

Perhaps one reason for the extreme difference is tied up with faith. Canadians are not as God-botherish as Americans nor as ultra-nationalistic.

Canadians are not as violent as Americans either (they had no Wild West or a Civil War and they did not engage in slavery). While in Canada, I was friendly with a couple of Americans both of whom slept with loaded pistols under their pillows which, in Canada at that time, seemed somewhat bizarre.

And Canadians in the main are modest people. That is something that most Americans aren't!

Cheers.

Stephen K said...

Yup, as a Canadian, I think David sums it up pretty well. Individual differences notwithstanding, of course. I am also very glad that if I get sick, I will not have to pay through the nose for my care.

Anonymous said...

stephen,

yeah you really sound modest...

Q