Canada's View on Social Issues Is Opening Rifts With the U.S.
Ian Andrew Bell
fork at ianbell.com
Wed Dec 3 10:57:04 PST 2003
Why? I think there's something fundamental about the way Canada
contains and respects dissent, vs. the US. The bread/bible belt in
Canada is actually far more socialist than it is right wing... the NDP
have dominated provincial politics in Saskatchewan and Manitoba for
quite some time. The coasts tend to be more economically conservative.
I think that there's a real, functional libertarianism that was
embodied by Pierre Trudeau ("the government has no business in the
bedrooms of the nation") and his Canadian Charter of Human Rights And
Freedoms, which is an excellent read even outside of its legislative
I believe, having lived in both places, that the difference is
tolerance vs. fear. In Canada you may not >like< someone's choice to,
say, smoke pot on the steps of the courthouse or marry someone of the
same sex. You will not, however, attack them or their ideals because
of that. You might lobby to get a law created, etc. but you do not
attack them directly.
In the United States there seems to be a compelling belief that when
someone else's choice, whether it's a choice to don a swastika and
march through town on Hitler's birthday or whether it's a choice by a
man to kiss another man in public, disagrees with your own mores and
values that that choice is offensive and must be stopped at any cost.
Perhaps because there's less faith in the legislative process, people
resort to various degrees of vigilantism (ranging from cat-calling and
nasty talk shows to beatings, shootings, etc.) to effectively stamp out
that which is offensive to your beliefs. People seem to feel that
those things with which they disagree MUST be stopped, and that the
only way to deal with those things effectively is to enforce action
directly upon the offenders.
Hey, look up, America. There's a thriving democracy right above you.
(Ironic, considering that there's effectively been one party in power
in Canada for 85% of the last 140 years).
On 3-Dec-03, at 10:35 AM, Joseph S. Barrera III wrote:
> Ian Andrew Bell wrote:
>> More than just borders separate Canada and the US, and that gulf is
>> widening. The question is, are Canadians becoming more compassionate
>> and libertarian? Or are Americans becoming more self-interested and
> If you look state/province (let's just say province) by province,
> I'm sure there's more diversity among provinces than among
> the two countries as a whole, with a lot of commonality among
> the coasts vs. the midwest. So this sort of Americans vs. Candadians
> article is kind of infuriating to me.
> - Joe
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