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  • Canada: Trying to Make Friends Without Losing The Arrogance

    Posted by James R. Rummel on September 18th, 2004 (All posts by )

    Whine and Jeez has given us the heads up to an excellent blog, The Diplomad.

    The authors claim that they’re US State Department employees that have to keep their identities secret in order to protect their jobs. I don’t know if that’s true, but they certainly sound like disgruntled members of the Diplomatic Corps.

    My favorite post is this one. An excerpt……

    As the evening wore on, the Canadians put on a slide show of “Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Canadian.” The usual suspects were there: Lorne Greene, John Kenneth Galbraith, Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Howie Mandel, Pamela Anderson, and others we can’t remember. (snip)

    It proved an odd event, one which seemed to give Canadians great joy. Diplomad asked a Canadian host what the point was of this show and got, “We want people to know Canada’s contributions. We don’t want them to think that only Americans have talent.” Diplomad, of course, noted to himself that the show should have been titled, “Smart and Talented People Who Had to Flee Canada to Employ Their Brains and Talent.” He, unfortunately, failed to mention that the vast majority of the people whose faces were flashing by had given up their Canadian nationality and become Americans. All he said was, “I guess it would have been a pretty short show if it had been about people known to be Canadian and still in Canada.”

    There’s more good stuff, and I strongly urge you to go and read the post. But there’s one point that The Diplomad makes that illustrates, in my opinion, Canada’s decline.

    On one thing, however, the Canadian diplomats are “manly-girl” rock solid: detesting the United States. And while Hollywood considers Canada a cheap backlot copy of the USA — and a place where the likes of Martin Sheen get a respectful hearing — Canada is not at all like the USA, to Canada’s detriment.

    Canada has become for all intents and purposes a Third World country: Egypt with snow. It whines; it cries; it takes the UN seriously; it hopes that the terrorists will leave them alone, in other words that Moloch will eat them last. All symptoms of a country torn apart by insecurity and not really sure that 10-15 years from now Canada will still exist.

    No one says that a country has to follow the example set by the United States to become a success. It does seem that the course Canada has chosen, to reject everything if it’s tainted by America even if it’s a good idea, is madness of the highest order.

     

    6 Responses to “Canada: Trying to Make Friends Without Losing The Arrogance”

    1. Sandy P Says:

      I STILL say make Alberta an offer it can’t refuse.

    2. Richard A. Heddleson Says:

      Agreed, Sandy. Interesting that the same thing seems to have happened with Australia and New Zealand. A second country sort of complex.

    3. tony Says:

      I shall continue shocking my Canadian friends by praising the US every chance I get. They think I’m nuts but they will see………

    4. Steven Den Beste Says:

      I wrote this a couple of years ago:

      One of the problems with Canada is that it’s never really been clear what it was. Canada is defined by what it is not: it is everything north of the Rio Grande which didn’t revolt from the UK in 1776 and didn’t get absorbed into the US during the great Manifest Destiny push to the west in the 19th century. Canada’s not the US; Canada is everything in non-Spanish-speaking North America which was left over from the European colonial period.

      We Americans have a strong national identity. We disagree about a lot, but there’s even more we all deeply agree on. But there’s no equivalent agreement up north.

      And perhaps that’s why if you ask an American what it means to be American, he will talk about the Constitution and our shared values. If you ask a Canadian what it means to be a Canadian, he’ll talk about all the ways Canada is different from the US.

      In particular, he’ll talk about socialized medicine. Or so I was told later.

      Mapchic wrote this:

      I was a student at the London School of Economics in an international program. One evening after going out for dinner I was waiting for a bus with two friends from the program. Igor was from Russia, Dan from Canada, and all American me.

      Apropos of nothing Igor suddenly asked, I never understood what is the difference between Canada and America?

      This was like putting a quarter into Dan, my Canadian friend. He spoke at length about the cultural, political and historical differences between Canada and America. I just smiled as Dan went on until he took a moment for a breath. Igor turned to me and asked Is Dan right?

      I responded that while I am sure that Dan is technically correct about what sets Canada apart from America, he missed the real answer to the question. Whats that? asked Igor.

      I responded, Canadians like to think that Canada is a different country and America lets them.

      Cue hysterical laughter from Igor and offended commentary from Dan.

      In their quest to become “a different country”, Canada has embraced European-style “Third-way Social Democracy”. The result has been exactly the same as in Europe: economic stagnation and brain drain.

      But at least Canada really is different now from the US. I guess that makes it all worth while.

      Will Canada still exist in 15 years? I’m not even sure Canada exists now in any meaningful sense. Canada isn’t really a nation, in the hearts and minds of Canadians.

    5. Lex Says:

      SDB wrote: “Canada isn’t really a nation, in the hearts and minds of Canadians.”

      I think this is a little too strong from Steven. There are scholars like J.L. Granatstein and John English who see the damage that two generations of stupid policies have done to Canada, especially to its military, and who want to turn things around. To an honorable minority, Canada is a nation with a heritage to be proud of, a free, peaceful, orderly society worth preserving. So what SDB points to is certainly a trend, probably a majority position, but not a final resting point. Or so I hope. Maybe even Canada can one day get its head screwed on correctly.

    6. Lex Says:

      One more thing on Canada. This article, Canada’s Global Role: A Strategic Assessment of its Military Power, from the current issue of Parameters, is very good. It provides a fact-based assessment of Canada’s politico-military decline. Best thing I’ve read on Canada recently. Worth reading.