Thursday, December 04, 2008

O Canada

As an American, I seem to be buffeted from all sides about how great Canada is. (And I love visiting there, I do, and love my Canadian friends.) But hearing about all the good things (One year paid maternity leave! Free health care! Hockey Night in Canada! Timbits!) can kind of wear you down after a while.

That's why reading this piece, on the plusses of the US political system over Canada's, is kind of a relief, to be honest. I do love my country, and despite all its flaws, I'll continue to visit the Great White North, not make plans to move there.


Robin said...

Hmm...see, I actually prefer our Canadian system. If we had the U.S. system, after the election I would have been stuck for four years with a corrupt Prime Minister that the majority of the voting population had not actually supported, and an opposition that had no chance of keeping him in check.

BHL said...

What you also need to know is that the Globe and Mail is our right-wing national paper (as opposed to the National Post which is our EXTREMELY right wing national paper)

The Globe is not mentioning that Stephen Harper triggered this crises by trying to strangle the opposition with sweeping changes to our parliamentary system which would leave him in supreme power.

It is also not mentioning that Stephen Harper tried to do the exact same thing when HE was the opposition to a minority government with the Quebec Seperatists. The only reason why it did not work was because he couldn't get the NDP onside.

By the very argument in that article, Stephen Harper's failure is that he can't develop a broad-based coalition across the political spectrum which is exactly what has happened with three opposing parties.

The other thing not mentioned in that article is that Stephen Harper's reaction to the broad-based coalition (which represents between 60% and 70% of our national vote, incidentally), has been to shut down parliament entirely for 7 weeks, leaving us rudderless in the midst of a crises.


Anonymous said...

Sorry Gael, while Canada may be facing a government debacle on a grand scale, the last time this happened was 91 years ago. Free maternity leave, health care, a violent crime rate 65% lower than the US and the friendliest residents in the world. Canada may just be the greatest country in the world. (Canadians just let Americans think the US is because they're so darn polite!)

Mike said...

It should also be noted that the same 60 to 70% of our national vote that the coalition represents are the same 60 to 70% who are now saying they'd rather have an election than the coalition.

AND it should be similarly noted that Canadians love wholeheartedly to bitch about our government without actually mobilizing to change it, so whatever ends up happening in this competing set of power plays, we'll still be miserable about it in six months.

But I'd never leave it. This place is too lovely.

Anonymous said...

This is actually grossly misinformed and unnecessarily insulting. You may not believe it, but this is still democracy.