My wife asked me why I'm so down on Canada lately.
I told her the same thing I'm going to say here. First, I'm getting cabin fever being locked inside under quarantine.
Secondly, Canadians project this idea that Canada is a "better" United States, and while I agree that many policies are better, other policies are not better. Canada is a real place full of real people, and some of those people are wonderful and others are... not as wonderful.
Canada is a real place, not a utopia.
English Canadians have a longstanding insecurity regarding the United States. "What's the difference between a Canadian and an American?" -- I have an answer that satisfies me, but many Canadians are not sure what would be the right response. And so we harp on small differences and treasure even small wins. Must put that Maple Leaf badge onto the backpack when travelling out of the country. Sometimes the insecurity manifests itself in foolish anti-Americanism or in smugness.
Honestly, this is probably my biggest gripe with Canada, a country I genuinely love being in and could imagine even settling down in- the anti-Americanism.
And there are reasons for it, largely historical, but most Canadians refuse to call it what it is, nationalism. As It Happens does this *all the time*, blaming anything bad happening in Canada on the US and holding the US to a double standard.
I am extremely critical of the US, but it's not the root of all evil.
Without claiming the US always does the right thing (obviously not the case), nevertheless I condemn knee-jerk anti-Americanism, as well as smugness.
But if my analysis is correct -- if these behaviours are rooted in the insecurity of living next to the world's cultural, economic and political superpower, and having many resemblances -- then maybe one should be forgiving.
Yes, I agree that being next to another country the size and power of the US would make anyone... critical.
But the fact is that I've found anti-Americanism to be more prominent among liberals than conservative Canadians, and I didn't understand this until I watched a youtube video by a conservative on the topic (I can supply the url if you like).
On a trip to Toronto many years ago, I was chided about US politicans, US policies, etc, all of which I'd been against...
...and they refused to acknowledge that the PM at the time was Steven Harper, saying "We didn't vote for him!", and that the former mayor of Toronto was Rob Ford, again because "We didn't vote for him."
Yet somehow I was deserving of derision because of GW Bush, who wasn't the president at the time.
There's plenty wrong with US politics, but that experience left me genuinely frustrated.
@emacsen I'd be interested in the URL.
I'm a Canadian Tory myself, so I don't feel the need to constantly attack the US from the left. My identity is secure so long as we have the monarchy ;) . And anyway no one would ever think Québec is the US.
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