Monday, July 28, 2003

I'm by no means "patriotic". I don't like to define myself by what nation I live in, usually. But inexplicably, I find myself being proud of my country. An entry in got me thinking about things:

Much of my recent consternation is due to the current Presidential administration, of which I disapprove strongly. As I've said, I generally do not concern myself with national politics; I'm of the opinion that one President is the same as any other. Unfortunately, the current President is of an entirely different ilk. He stands against everything I believe; he seems a truly evil person. He has whipped the nation into a misguided nationalistic (not patriotic) bloodlust, and, while the people rage, he has quietly begun to whittle basic freedoms, to destroy essential programs, to steer the country toward bankruptcy. (But then most of you like him, so what do I know?)

Now, the Canadian government seems the complete opposite of this. American diplomacy seems to be "you have 48 hours to comply or we'll terminate you". You all know what I'm talking about; but how many people know at all what Canadian diplomacy entails? How do you think we have survived for 136 years with next-to-know military? Why is it that Jean Chretien has been called, arguably, the most powerful man (politically) in the world?

Canada helps people. And they don't seem to care about advertising this fact. It almost seems as if they do it just because it's the right thing to do. "What?" you must be screaming, "that's impossible." Yes, well, it is a stretch. The reason Canada does this is because it's a damn good way to gain favour with just about every nation in the world. Who's gonna bomb Canada? Exactly.

Canada sends missionaries to many countries. Not military personnel, and with no religious bias. These people aren't trying to convert people or spread propoganda. They're just helping people. And you know what? Countries appreciate things like this, believe it or not. They appreciate it even more than being constantly threatened with military armageddon.

This is just one of many things that make me proud of Canada. And yes, there are many things that make me ashamed of Canada (like the treatment of the Japanese during the 40's, and the various famed "hockey riots").

Anyway, that's my thoughts. Politics in general fail to excite me much anymore, and I do feel it's wrong to "be proud of" or indentify yourself by your nation. But I can't help but be proud when I unearth facts like these about "my" country.

Edit: Differences between the USA and Canada also include:

-Canadians say "eh?" whereas Americans say "huh?".
-Canadians say "chocolate bar" whereas Americans say "candy bar".
-Canadians say "pop" whereas Americans say "soda".
-Canadians beat the soviets in '72.

Similarities between the USA and Canada include:

-Neither of our national leaders can speak English very well.