02 Dec

Canadians vs Americans: Going opposite directions

Canadian and American cultural values are diverging, with Canada moving further left while the United States moves further right. It certainly does seem as if the US is getting more and more frightening (from my liberal perspective), which is one of the reasons why it has not been uncommon lately among many of the people I know to discuss emigration. Certainly I find the average Canadian perspective on many things much more sensible than that of the average American.

15 thoughts on “Canadians vs Americans: Going opposite directions

  1. Bit of a UK – or at least Scottish – point of view on this…

    You can’t have failed to notice the nervousness with which Europeans look at the United States these days…But ask any European about where Canada lays, politically speaking, and you will just get blank stares…

    For me Canada is a bit of a ‘sleeping giant’ – I cannot understand why it does not make more of an impact on the international stage than it does, especially as a neighbour of the United States…

    Many in Europe say that they look to the UK and Tony Blair as the juggler who keeps the balance between the United States and Europe. But really I would have thought Canada was the perfect candidate as a political interface between the left leaning ‘old world’ and a U.S.A. which has – seemingly – becoming ever more right wing.

    …AND…Canada is much BIGGER than the UK ~ why is Canadian influence disproportionate to it’s size (…or you could ask why is the UK’s influence disproportionate to it’s size)?

    I am glad there is a Canada – through her Europeans can dream about ‘what could be’ ~ that is neither to say that Canada is perfect or that American is so bad, but just that the Atlantic Ocean is not a political divide between left and right…That socialist and liberal views are alive and well in North America. Which I think is a source of great hope.

  2. I wish we could get some Canadians to weigh in on this topic.

    Canada is far bigger than the UK in size, yes, but it’s mostly empty. I don’t know how the population size compares. Maybe that is bigger, too, though.

    Jake, that is something to think about. Do you stay here and try to improve things, or go elsewhere for the selfish reason that you want a better life for yourself? I think part of what makes me consider emigration is that I feel that I have been here voting on a regular basis since I was 18 (yes, I voted even at the age when a lot of people don’t bother), and sometimes contributing in other ways, too, but things just keep getting worse — and now I’m 38, and it feels as if nothing will turn around while I’m young enough to enjoy it. And what’s worse, is that I fear becoming old in an American society with no safety net whatsoever, which is the direction we are heading. Ten, eleven years ago I honestly thought we would have health care reform in this country, and maybe we would be able to get closer to single-payer Canadian-style coverage. But now it seems impossibly remote.

    I don’t know. Right now we have it pretty good. A house, and Jason has a great job. (So we have insurance, too.) Those are the things that make me wary about moving.

    At the moment it’s just a possibility, but we are researching it and thinking about it.

  3. Well I am donating my time and money to help elect Howard Dean President and to take back out government from corporate controlled representatives. I do have serious fears about the destruction of American democracy and the establishment of a permanent one party system and the merger of corporate interest and public policy.

    I don’t think that moderates, Jews, gays and intellectuals that left Germany in the early 30s left because of lack of patriotism but due to the political rise of a mad man.

  4. Do you think that Dean can win, or if he does that he will make a difference?

    I would like to think so (though I wouldn’t say I’m on the Dean bandwagon yet), but I have gotten awfully cynical about these things.

  5. Electing Dean would help to make a difference, but you have to remember that there are two other branches of government with which to deal. Also, I’m sure a president Dean would have his own shortcomings. (I’m still ticked that Clinton supported NAFTA–grumble, grumble)

    I think being politically effective is possible, but it takes a lot of work. One has to become informed, get the attention of lawmakers and convince them to follow your view on the issue. And then you run the risk of having everything pulled out from under you by a bunch of yahoos who vote on the basis of the most convincing television commercial. But every now and then a bum gets tossed out and you can enjoy a tiny victory. 🙂

  6. Yeah, the whole NAFTA thing still makes me mad. I have had arguments with friends in the last few weeks about free trade; I think that it is not working. (And while NAFTA supposedly drops the trade barriers, I still can’t just go to Canada and live and work. So the barriers aren’t down for individuals, unlike within the EU.)

    It seems sometimes that I have had only a few of those tiny victories in my whole voting life.

  7. Ok, you have a true Canadian here.

    What is it that you’d like to ask?

    We are a large country with a small population.

    We have a pompous dictator by the name of GW Bush living next door, and we get shafted through NAFTA.

    We are well respected throughout the world. Our military is one of the best trained you will ever find however, our equipment is poor thanks to our government.

    We try to play by the rules, but we are often bullied by our neighbours to the south.

  8. I dont know why people critizize other people, i’m onley 12 but I think I should take a stand and be brave enough to say stop. That sounds weird I know but I dont think God ment for the world to be this way.I think that we should just be friends (canada and america) and not try to be better than the other.

  9. Jacqueline, the only thing I really want to ask a Canadian right now is for a Canadian job so I can emigrate. 😉 I think we got shafted by NAFTA too, and I certainly don’t condone any American bullying.

    Sammali, you are right. I wish it could be that way, but it probably isn’t human nature. :/

  10. I’m a Canadian living in the United States and yes, trust me, Canada is the place to be compared to this country. Despite my belief that I was coming to the “greatest country” there is, my hopes of finding just that have been dashed. Here is a people who live in fear every day of their lives…it’s all over them. They seem of the mentality that “everyone” who is not “them” is the enemy. Their government is not “for the people” but rather for the greediest politician, who by-the-way runs their asses and they passively allow it. Let me see the Canadian Gov. try this in Canada and get away with it LOL Good luck!

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