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Old 09-19-2003, 06:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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It's not just the weather that's cooler in Canada

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From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


It's not just the weather that's cooler in Canada

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

You live next door to a clean-cut, quiet guy. He never plays loud music or throws raucous parties. He doesn't gossip over the fence, just smiles politely and offers you some tomatoes. His lawn is cared-for, his house is neat as a pin and you get the feeling he doesn't always lock his front door. He wears Dockers. You hardly know he's there.

And then one day you discover that he has pot in his basement, spends his weekends at peace marches and that guy you've seen mowing the yard is his spouse.

Allow me to introduce Canada.

The Canadians are so quiet that you may have forgotten they're up there, but they've been busy doing some surprising things. It's like discovering that the mice you are dimly aware of in your attic have been building an espresso machine.

Did you realize, for example, that our reliable little tag-along brother never joined the Coalition of the Willing? Canada wasn't willing, as it turns out, to join the fun in Iraq. I can only assume American diner menus weren't angrily changed to include "freedom bacon," because nobody here eats the stuff anyway.

And then there's the wild drug situation: Canadian doctors are authorized to dispense medical marijuana. Parliament is considering legislation that would not exactly legalize marijuana possession, as you may have heard, but would reduce the penalty for possession of under 15 grams to a fine, like a speeding ticket. This is to allow law enforcement to concentrate resources on traffickers; if your garden is full of wasps, it's smarter to go for the nest rather than trying to swat every individual bug. Or, in the United States, bong.

Now, here's the part that I, as an American, can't understand. These poor benighted pinkos are doing everything wrong. They have a drug problem: Marijuana offenses have doubled since 1991. And Canada has strict gun control laws, which means that the criminals must all be heavily armed, the law-abiding civilians helpless and the government on the verge of a massive confiscation campaign. (The laws have been in place since the '70s, but I'm sure the government will get around to the confiscation eventually.) They don't even have a death penalty!

And yet ... nationally, overall crime in Canada has been declining since 1991. Violent crimes fell 13 percent in 2002. Of course, there are still crimes committed with guns -- brought in from the United States, which has become the major illegal weapons supplier for all of North America -- but my theory is that the surge in pot-smoking has rendered most criminals too relaxed to commit violent crimes. They're probably more focused on shoplifting boxes of Ho-Hos from convenience stores.

And then there's the most reckless move of all: Just last month, Canada decided to allow and recognize same-sex marriages. Merciful moose, what can they be thinking? Will there be married Mounties (they always get their man!)? Dudley Do-Right was sweet on Nell, not Mel! We must be the only ones who really care about families. Not enough to make sure they all have health insurance, of course, but more than those libertines up north.

This sort of behavior is a clear and present danger to all our stereotypes about Canada. It's supposed to be a cold, wholesome country of polite, beer-drinking hockey players, not founded by freedom-fighters in a bloody revolution but quietly assembled by loyalists and royalists more interested in order and good government than liberty and independence.

But if we are the rugged individualists, why do we spend so much of our time trying to get everyone to march in lockstep? And if Canadians are so reserved and moderate, why are they so progressive about letting people do what they want to?

Canadians are, as a nation, less religious than we are, according to polls. As a result, Canada's government isn't influenced by large, well-organized religious groups and thus has more in common with those of Scandinavia than those of the United States, or, say, Iran.

Canada signed the Kyoto global warming treaty, lets 19-year-olds drink, has more of its population living in urban areas and accepts more immigrants per capita than the United States.

These are all things we've been told will wreck our society. But I guess Canadians are different, because theirs seems oddly sound.

Like teenagers, we fiercely idolize individual freedom but really demand that everyone be the same. But the Canadians seem more adult -- more secure. They aren't afraid of foreigners. They aren't afraid of homosexuality. Most of all, they're not afraid of each other.

I wonder if America will ever be that cool.

___________________________________________________

As a Canadian I found this quite amusing... I'm curious how Americans read this...
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Old 09-19-2003, 03:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great post,

i will have to save that one, or maybe post it on www.hollywoodhalfwits.com to rile up some some ultra right wing nutbar.
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Old 09-19-2003, 03:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well thanks Charlatan, we try our best.

Although personally I believe the reason we are so progressive recently is because our Prime Minister will not be running again come next election, and since he has declared that publically he has been making changes and sticking with his opinions with a lot more force. Personally I like it, it's nice to see a politician who doesn't sit fences and actually gets something done, and at the same time is liberal. The kind of real leadership a country needs.
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Old 09-21-2003, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I liked tht article and wonder the same thing, will the US ever be that cool?
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Old 09-21-2003, 06:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Damn right, can't beat living up here in the big white north. I'm slightly worried that Mr. Martin will turn around some of the legislation that has recently passed..I heard he has some very right wing plans (although I haven't read up on it).

On a side note..I found it kind of sad that the day that homosexual marriage was passed in the house, Canadian Idol was on the cover of the Toronto Star, and the new law only got a small box in the corner.
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Old 09-22-2003, 06:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Actually the gay marriage law hasn't passed yet. That was just a challenge by the Alliance (right wing party) to re-affirm the definition of gay marriage as one man and one woman... It wasn't a law they were voting on but a parlimentary "agreement" on the definition.

It would have made passing the new law all that much more difficult to pass if the vote had passed.
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Old 09-22-2003, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have one question from this article.

What's a ho ho??
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Old 09-23-2003, 09:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think they are kind of a chocolate twinkie... Just guessing...
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Old 09-23-2003, 09:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Interesting to note the "Scandinavian heritage" aspect of the article. One might find it worthy to note the political leanings of the people of the State of Minnesota, "Canada's Miami". Is there credence to this "Scandinavian heritage" theory?
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Old 09-23-2003, 11:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I didn't see that the article suggested there was "Scandinavian heritage" only that our policies are more closely associated with the Scandinavian countries than they are with the US (particularly with reference to the religious lobby in the US).
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Bump... just want to see if this still works as a piece.
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You bumped an article that you didn't have any commentary on?

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Old 12-13-2005, 02:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good article, Charlatan. This is my first viewing.
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Mine , too. That's really well put. I have to admit that it's just as true today as it was back in 2003. Also, I like Ustwo's signature. Hahahaha.
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Canada - The gay hippie pothead next door?
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
Mine , too. That's really well put. I have to admit that it's just as true today as it was back in 2003. Also, I like Ustwo's signature. Hahahaha.
Will, are you suggesting that it is just as true today as it was back in 2003?
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Awesome, its nice to know that my pot smoking habit is making some American think I'm cool.

Not really
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
Will, are you suggesting that it is just as true today as it was back in 2003?
Absolutely!
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hmmm, less crime, less poverty, standard of living comparable, a lesser percentage of infant mortality, cleaner cities, better respected worldwide, ....... hmmmmm you must be doing something right up there what's your secret?
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Reading the article apparently it's pot.
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:42 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
That was just a challenge by the Alliance (right wing party) to re-affirm the definition of gay marriage as one man and one woman...
Whuh...gay marriage is one man and one woman?

I prefer the United States' stances on foreign policy, economics, and gun control for the most part so I still prefer the U.S. significantly. Not a huge Kyoto fan, either. Then again, I never claimed to be cool.

The other stuff sounds good, though.
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:46 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Just to clarify, Canada is not entirely united on the issue of Kyoto, especially Alberta.
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Old 12-13-2005, 04:26 PM   #23 (permalink)
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BTW..... more and more television and movies are shot in Canada.

I thought they had "pot" bars in Vancouver and a couple other cities.

Amazing how just because you say pot is legal or less of a crime someplace, some people tend to believe everyone is smoking it and that your country, city, state, whatever is less successful and evil. I guess they prefer to keep it hidden and throw kids making a mistake in jail and giving them a police record affecting their futures.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Just like America, it doesn't take long until you see the dirt beneith the shine.

Racism is as rampant in Canada as it is in America.
Their country is constantly trying to split itself apart.
Taxes are high and heath care is having troubles with overloading.

Having lived in Canada for some time, these aren't problems I'm making up. Sure, I support marajuana legalization and gay marriage. And those are some of the good things about Canada.

However they also dont face many problems we face. Rampant immigration of the poor accross the borders (which scews the infant mortality rate/etc). The price tag of being labelled the world police (we didn't simply nominate ourselves afterall). It's easy to put money elsewhere when a whopping 2% of the budget goes to the military (they know no one will attack Canada with us as their only neighbor). And all that entails being the leader of the world.

Cute article, however it's not exactly unbiased and doesnt take into account most things.
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Hmmm, less crime, less poverty, standard of living comparable, a lesser percentage of infant mortality, cleaner cities, better respected worldwide, ....... hmmmmm you must be doing something right up there what's your secret?
I part of the secret is that they don't have to spend alot on their military
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:57 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
I part of the secret is that they don't have to spend alot on their military
We spend more on our military than all other countries combined. I'm not so sure that it is the best choice for our economy. Another "cool" point for Canada!

Last edited by Elphaba; 12-13-2005 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:31 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Yeah well Canada spends so little on their military that it has effectively fallen apart. If there were to be an attack on the great Canook stronghold of Canadia, they would certainly fall as they have no working navy or air force, and their army can't sustain itself in operations. They would need a lot of grit and determination, VC style!
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:57 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Well, the irony is the Canadian Army has recently started employing bicycles to it's infantry (I kid you not).

They cant afford new Armored Personel Carriers, and some of the old ones date to WWII. To think, we caught flack for not having our Hummers armor plated... they're riding into battle like armed 12 year olds.
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:02 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Just like America, it doesn't take long until you see the dirt beneith the shine.

Racism is as rampant in Canada as it is in America.
Their country is constantly trying to split itself apart.
Taxes are high and heath care is having troubles with overloading.

Having lived in Canada for some time, these aren't problems I'm making up. Sure, I support marajuana legalization and gay marriage. And those are some of the good things about Canada.

However they also dont face many problems we face. Rampant immigration of the poor accross the borders (which scews the infant mortality rate/etc). The price tag of being labelled the world police (we didn't simply nominate ourselves afterall). It's easy to put money elsewhere when a whopping 2% of the budget goes to the military (they know no one will attack Canada with us as their only neighbor). And all that entails being the leader of the world.

Cute article, however it's not exactly unbiased and doesnt take into account most things.
First off... the acticle is a commentary and not all that accurate. It takes a rather naive view of Canada.

Racism is present in Canada but I would argue that it is a different flavour than what is found in the US and as such is not as entrenched or as bad as I find in the US.

I wouldn't say that our nation is "constantly trying to split itself apart". There is tension in Quebec but they growing pains. I would remind you that the US had growing pains too, except they went to war... we use a ballot box.

Taxes are high. So what? We get services for those taxes. Different approach than the US. Get over it. It works for us.

As for health care... explore any of the number of the rebuttals throughout the TFP. The system is no where near as bad as you might think.

No they aren't problems you are making up... just exagerating or not understanding.

Rampant immigration? We have a much higher rate of immigration than the US. Granted we do not have to deal with as much illegal immigration.

World police? Granted. You brought it on yourself though.

As for the 2%... true but you know the aswer to that... the only nation that would ever (and ever has) invade(d) Canada is/was the USA.
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:37 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Well as for the military, gee..... who the fuck besides the US is going to even think about invading Canada? Nor is Canada a warmongering country like the US.

Want to say we're not war mongers then name two continuous decades since 1840 we have not been in a war. In fact, just name a 15 year period, or a 10.
-1840's - 50's Mexican Wars
-1860's - Civil War
-1870's - 1880's maybe if you don't count the war with the Indians.
-1900's - Spanish-American,
-1910's WWI,
-1920's and 30's sent a lot of men over to the Spanish Revolution (unofficially of course), (1920's and '30's maybe but we were in a depression and crime ran rampant.)
-1940's WWII,
-1950's Korea
-1960's-70's Vietnam
-1980's Lebanon, Grenada (even....lol)
-1990's parts of Africa, Bosnia, Desert Storm,
and this decade Iraq

Then we even have "wars" on other fronts...... "War on crime", "War on Drugs", 'War on Terror", "War on Poverty", "War on Racism", "War on Illiteracy","Cold War"....... we love to use the word "WAR"...... and according to the Right, we are a Christian nation, founded on Christian beliefs, but we look to "war" somehow..... we have spilt more blood (our own and others) in 230 years than most nations combined in that amount of time.

And out of those "Wars" on the homefront we have lost every single one of them except the "Cold War" and even that is debateable as only history will tell.

If things get much worse here, I've said it before I'd move to Canada. The only things stopping me right now is the weather (I think Ohio is cold.... brrrrrrrrr to Canada) my career and family. And I have a feeling I would make more of an impact in Canada and get better respect in my career than in the US, as the Right keeps pouring more and more funding into military and fucks the infrastrure (education, healthcare, social services) over.

The Canadian government also would probably keep their word and fix the levies in NO and get those people living in tents houses..... ah but the cameras are gone and so is Bush and his promises of money to help them rebuild..... he has a "War" and Haliburton to pay for.

BTW, noone dubbed us the "World Police", we took that position upon ourselves. And we sold the fuck out of Czechloslavakia, Poland, Romania, when they begged us for help we turned our backs and gave the USSR those countries, but we went on in to Korea and Vietnam without either country asking us to.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 12-13-2005 at 07:49 PM..
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:23 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Canada - The gay hippie pothead next door?
I'm upset no one quoted this.

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Old 12-13-2005, 08:56 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Taxes are high. So what? We get services for those taxes. Different approach than the US. Get over it. It works for us.
I don't understand. You post an article supposedly trying to show how much better Canada is than the US, but when someone has the audacity to disagree, you seem to get mad. As for our issues, all I can say is get over it, it works for us .

And honestly, after reading that article, I'm even more glad that I live in the US. Canada-A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. But I will admit Toronto is cool, and Windsor is great every once in awhile.
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Old 12-13-2005, 09:00 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Yes Pan we go to war a lot.

However would you prefer a country that sits idle while genocides happen? Or one that takes a stand.

No, we dont help out very often. Cambodia/Sudan/Congo/etc are black stains on us, and I hate that we didnt stop it. However I've always felt that the saying holds true, "The only thing evil needs to flurish is for good men to do nothing."

You might feel ok while people are raped/beated/killed, but I'd do whatever it takes to prevent that and/or stop those that do. And I love my country for when it finally DOES attempt to stop it.
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Old 12-13-2005, 09:29 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Yes Pan we go to war a lot.

However would you prefer a country that sits idle while genocides happen? Or one that takes a stand.

No, we dont help out very often. Cambodia/Sudan/Congo/etc are black stains on us, and I hate that we didnt stop it. However I've always felt that the saying holds true, "The only thing evil needs to flurish is for good men to do nothing."

You might feel ok while people are raped/beated/killed, but I'd do whatever it takes to prevent that and/or stop those that do. And I love my country for when it finally DOES attempt to stop it.
I have no problem with what you are saying Seaver, and yes when we are needed it is important to go when asked. Not just when there is an interest at stake.

I served gladly in the US Navy and am proud of it.

I just was commenting on the fact that people ridicule Canada for not puuting more into their military. They don't need to.

And the fact that we do tend to use the word "war" so much that I fear the true meaning is lost.

In our history we have fought great wars with purpose and truly deserved respect from other nations.... and we have fought some that we shouldn't have.

Overall this is the greatest nation on Earth, but the agression that makes us great (the technology we have brought, the freedoms, and so on) also hurt us at times.

Just like in life, all we can do as a country is hope that somehow we make the world a better place....... sometimes we lose that perspective and we split and divide ourselves and the world..... but then things settle down and the dust clears and we look back and try to do better.

That is the true beauty of the US..... what I worry about is whether we can continue or if someday we'll just keep going down that wrong road and not be able to recover.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 12-13-2005, 09:39 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
..."War on Illiteracy"
We lost 30 million people in that war.....
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Old 12-13-2005, 10:30 PM   #36 (permalink)
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My favorite moment with Canadians was on a fishing trip there.

It was in the late 80's or early 90's I forget the date, and the Worlds Fair or some such was in Paris (I could google to look up the date but thats not fun). Anyways they had a parade of nations thing and Canada was with the third world nations. (Some kid was dressed like a mounty and being held/danced with a woman in a big giant dress which I guess was suppose to represent the developed world or some such) Oh how the Canadian commentators were pissed at being lumped with the third world and did ‘not like it at all!’.

My second favorite bit was from about the same time. Prince Charles and Lady Diana were visiting and the news program was interviewing a ‘woman on the street’ about it and she said ‘Well in America they have Hollywood and Movie Stars, but in Canada we have royalty, eh?’

I’m really not sure if there is a point to this thread or not so perhaps it can be a place to share your fun Canadian stories.

The rest of my fun Canadian stories involve fish mostly.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:05 PM   #37 (permalink)
is awesome!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Well, the irony is the Canadian Army has recently started employing bicycles to it's infantry (I kid you not).

They cant afford new Armored Personel Carriers, and some of the old ones date to WWII. To think, we caught flack for not having our Hummers armor plated... they're riding into battle like armed 12 year olds.
Perhaps you're unaware of the 3rd Reich's extensive use of bicycles to move troops as a compontent of Blitzkrieg? Quite effective in places where you can't count on paved roads.

Then again they were invading France...
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Old 12-14-2005, 04:18 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Charlatan
Rampant immigration? We have a much higher rate of immigration than the US.
Yup, and most of our immigration now comes from the poorer countries of the world - Jamaica, Pakistan, various Asian and middle eastern nations - which makes for greater challenges.
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:06 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by highthief
Yup, and most of our immigration now comes from the poorer countries of the world - Jamaica, Pakistan, various Asian and middle eastern nations - which makes for greater challenges.
I think the key was we have rampant illegal immigration.

Also Loco, nice burn on the French.
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:51 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
I don't understand. You post an article supposedly trying to show how much better Canada is than the US, but when someone has the audacity to disagree, you seem to get mad. As for our issues, all I can say is get over it, it works for us .

And honestly, after reading that article, I'm even more glad that I live in the US. Canada-A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. But I will admit Toronto is cool, and Windsor is great every once in awhile.
Not mad in the slightest... just continuing the debate.

If you are ever back in Toronto, let me know. I'd love to meet you.
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