Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A Canadian Perspective on Canada Bashing.

After French-bashing, it seems that Canada-bashing has been a great sport played by some die-hard Conservatives in the United-States as you can read here, here or here. So we have decided to give a voice to Canada.

Guest Blogger I.C.:

To give an official response from a Canadian who has extensive connections to the US :

Canadians have a love/hate relationship with the US. We love to hate the US. Prime Minister Paul Martin knows this, and is shamelessly using an anti-american stance to promote his chances in the upcoming election. Canada is a peace-keeping nation, so when our politicians' popularity is struggling, unlike the US we can't go out and invade some poor middle-eastern country to get the voters back on side. However, we can pick a small fight with our large neighbour to the South. This happens fairly regularly - Lumber issues, Mad Cow issues, not participating in the Iraq invasion, etc. The main difference this time is that the US media is paying a small bit of attention to this tiff.

Like everything else in the US, the media, and particularly the right-wing media can't take any sort of criticism without hitting back below the belt. Saying that the US lacks a global conscience for disregarding the Kyoto Protocol, while during an election campaign is not what I would call particularly inflammatory, given that the US has been roasted about this many times from other sources. In response to this, however, for Tucker Carlson to comment that Canada is like a "Stalker", or a "retarded cousin", and that "everyone intelligent has left Canada for New York" shows that he obviously cannot handle a real discourse using fact-based arguments, and is content to drag the discussion down to a base trading of insults. I would expect nothing less from a former host (and I use the term lightly) of Crossfire, possibly the worst example of partisan, shock-jock political commentary that I have ever had the displeasure of watching. The brain drain that Canada is facing is a serious issue, and not one to be bandied about lightly by morons such as Tucker. Until Canada figures out how to make it easier for the middle class to get ahead, the brain drain will continue. I am a living example, however, not for the reasons that he cites.
The only US news show that has retained any sense of sanity, and which hasn't turned each and every global tragedy into a slogan (such as CNN's "War on Terror", "Tsunami of Death", etc.), is Jon Stewart's show on Comedy Central. For anyone who hasn't seen it, please do at comedycentral.com, and also check out his visit to the Crossfire show - www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2652831. It is a bit old, and still painful to watch, but very good in how he calls them to task for promoting division and partisan politics in the US, and cheerleading for the politicians & corporations. I still can't believe he's American, but oh wait, he's on cable...

In any case, this issue between Canada and the US will blow over, because the US is truly not interested in having a meaningful dialogue with Canada. We're just too small to warrant it. Which in some ways is fine with Canada, as if they did, we'd have to grow up and learn how to play with the big boys. And we're still not ready for that... Canada may not be a retarded cousin (and I'll leave the comments about Tucker Carlson's family background for another day...), but we are still the mouse next to the elephant...

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