[FoRK] National Identity - Canada

Owen Byrne owen
Sun Oct 16 13:31:00 PDT 2005


Well as a Canadian who doesn't think much of the usual Canadian 
stereotypes - as I'm from the eastern part that most "eastern" Canadians 
seem to forget about, I came across this random quote today which I 
thought was funny.
"Just think, Canada could have had American technology, English culture 
and French cuisine.
Gad, they ended up with American culture, English cuisine, and French 
technology."

I could quibble with just about every point below, but mostly just the 
bare-faced boosterish tone of it (almost) makes me wish  to be an American.
For starters it was the British that burned down the White House - of 
which we were a colony, and that parts of Canada remained British 
colonies till the 1950s. Our national icon, The Royal Canadian Mounted 
Police have a long history of brutality against unions, immigrants, and 
aboriginals. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms that you trumpet didn't 
even exist until 1982, and wouldn't have come into force at all if it 
wasn't for the "Notwithstanding clause" - which says 
(http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/):
 
 *33.* (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly 
declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may 
be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a 
provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.

I.e. we have these wonderful rights which the government can cancel any 
time they feel the urge.

> When I was living in Israel, I used to print and sell these t-shirts 
> which proclaimed in 7 different languages "I am not American".
>
> Canadians were the best buyers.

Thats because as far as most of the world is concerned - there is no 
actual difference.
Owen



>> Hackneyed writers often assert that Canadians have no national  
>> identity other than that which separates them from Americans.  Of  
>> course, there is a lot that separates us from Americans, but who  
>> cares?  I think that those hackneyed writers are wrong.  Among other  
>> things:
>>
>> Canada is a nation of incredible diversity, built largely by  
>> immigrants within the last century.  This means that within our land  
>> there is a cacophony of cultures asserting themselves, their  
>> holidays, their traditions, their forms of expression, and their  
>> beliefs.  These inform the lawmakers of the country, they seep 
>> subtly  into the music you hear on the radio and the programming you 
>> see on  television, and they are evidenced in the many different 
>> faces from  different lands that you'll see as you walk any street in 
>> any city in  Canada.  We are an open society which respects the 
>> rights of the  individual above those of the corporation (there is no 
>> charter of  rights and freedoms for companies, but there is for 
>> people).  Yes,  many of us (OK most of us) like hockey, we enjoy the 
>> outdoors, and  many of us suffer gladly through brutal winters (but 
>> then again, so  do many Americans).  We are fiercely proud of our 
>> most successful  products, often in the form of athletes, actors, and 
>> directors.  In  fact, there are 500,000 of us living in Los Angeles 
>> making LA  Canada's 6th largest city.  We believe in compassion, as 
>> expressed  through our politics and our charitable contributions to  
>> organizations like UNICEF.  We actively practice the separation of  
>> church and state, which is a lucky thing since there are so many  
>> denominations actively practised in various churches in Canada that  
>> combining the two would be impractical.  Our country was born in  
>> diplomacy, not war, and this has been our speciality ever since,  
>> though when called upon we went in force early, without waiting to 
>> be  attacked, to two wars in Europe and one in Korea to push back  
>> oppressors, and we are proud (rightly so) of this heritage too.  The  
>> one time we were attacked, we not only drove the invaders across the  
>> border but we pushed them back beyond their own capital city and  
>> burned down their White House.  We are a proud and moral nation, and  
>> we can hold our heads high when we travel anywhere in the world.
>>
>> And we should.
>>
>> -Ian.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 15-Oct-05, at 3:37 PM, Albert Scherbinsky wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Canadians often define themselves as how they are
>>> different from Americans. This alone goes to show just
>>> how similar we are. Canadians go out of there way to
>>> assert their distinctness and even superiority to
>>> Americans, which goes to show just how insecure
>>> Canadians are about their national identity.
>>> Personally, I prefer to just accept what I am, one
>>> heck of lot like our neighbors to the south. Of
>>> course, I'm one heck of a lot more like somebody from
>>> Illinois or New York, than I am like someone from
>>> Texas or Mississippi or Quebec(I don't speak French).
>>> National identity is an interesting thing. People want
>>> to belong to something bigger than themselves, but
>>> something that reflects their culture and values.
>>> This, I guess, is why many Quebecers want their own
>>> seperate national identity and why the South wanted to
>>> separate from the U.S.
>>>
>>> What if the leaders of your country do things that are
>>> entirely inconsistent with your values? How does that
>>> affect your national identity?
>>>
>>> Albert
>>>
>>> --- Albert Scherbinsky <albert at softwarepress.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>> Quebecers = Canadians Lite,(just kidding, sort of)
>>>>
>>>> Both Quebecers and Americans would do well to be
>>>> more
>>>> Canadian, Eh. :)
>>>>
>>>> --- "Stephen D. Williams" <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Here here.  (Hear hear?)
>>>>>
>>>>> Canada = America Lite, sort of. (just kidding. ;-)
>>>>>
>>>> )
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I love canadians too, although I mostly have come
>>>>>
>>>> in
>>>>
>>>>> contact with
>>>>> Qu?b?cois / Quebecers, AFAIK.
>>>>>
>>>>> I go to Montreal at the end of November.
>>>>>
>>>>> sdw
>>>>>
>>>>> Albert S. wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> ...
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Democrats and Republicans at each other's throats
>>>>>> heartens this Canadian. When they are in
>>>>>>
>>>> agreement
>>>>
>>>>>> some country is about to get the crap kicked out
>>>>>>
>>>> of
>>>>
>>>>>> it.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Perhaps it's unsafe for me to admit this in
>>>>>>
>>>> public,
>>>>
>>>>>> but I love America, and the American people. I
>>>>>>
>>>> love
>>>>
>>>>>> them because Canadians are so darn much like
>>>>>>
>>>> them,
>>>>
>>>>> and
>>>>>
>>>>>> to hate them is to hate myself. To admit this is
>>>>>> political suicide in Canada. Fortunately I am not
>>>>>> running for office.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Albert
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> FoRK mailing list
>>>>>> http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> -- 
>>>>> swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per:
>>>>> sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
>>>>> Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax
>>>>> 20147-4622 AIM: sdw
>>>>
>
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