Canada - what makes Canada great

that settles it! :wink:

Well, you live there and I don’t, but in my experience Alberta, while more conservative-minded than most other Canadian provinces, still offers a wide variety of political opinion.

I’m not sure of that. I’ve heard Canadians say that Stephen Harper would be a liberal Democrat in the US, and Barack Obama an extreme right-winger in Canada, but it just isn’t true. Harper would definitely be a moderate Republican in the US, same as how he is a moderate Conservative in Canada. True, there are some important/wedge issues in American politics that aren’t at all discussed in Canada (abortion may be the main one), and true, the Canadian political spectrum does lie somewhat to the left – however we define this – of the American one, but the Conservative Party of Canada is still conservative, in the American sense.

Americans are very individualistic, and consider individual rights to be paramount. This “religious feeling about the Constitution” you mention also does exist, probably because the Founding Fathers and their having build a perfect union is one of the founding myths of the American nation. Canadians may be said to be more communautarian and recognize more the existence of collective rights, inasmuch as it is possible to define Canadian identity. (Not to say that Canadians do not have some strange – and often conflicting – national myths.)

To be honest, I don’t believe this is especially Canadian. I think we could find this in most Western democratic societies.

To be fair, the Governor General’s role is to serve as a cheerleader for Canadian identity and culture. Paul Martin chose a black immigrant woman from Haiti for this job because he knew Canadians would have the same reaction as you, seeing how this pride in “multiculturalism” is an important part of how Canadians define themselves today. But could a black immigrant woman from Haiti be elected Prime Minister? I’m not so sure, not yet anyway.

The beer company that made that ad merged with Coors a couple of years ago, and all of a sudden the ads disappeared.

No. No, we don’t. I live in Toronto and I’ve never said it. I wish people would stop saying this.

Okay, I’ll happily adjust that to “Only Newfies say aboot.” :slight_smile:

I read a book that puts this in perspective - Canada has regional myths, not national ones.

(The book was “It’s The Regime, Stupid!: A Report from the Cowboy West on Why Stephen Harper Matters” - there’s an interesting read if you want to get a peek into how western Canada differs from eastern Canada.)

that’s news to me. I (a torontonian) say about the way it’s supposed to be pronounced. Not aboot.

I think another thing we have going for us is the fact that we have more than two major political parties. I would hate to be an american and only have two real choices. Although I think our voting turnout isn’t all that great.

oh and this is on the “bad” side of our laws. well at least to me

a known shoplifter gets tracked down and tied up and the storeowner gets charged for kidnapping (dropped now), concealed weapon and more. Where as the thief gets only 30days in jail. How exactly would you think US laws would play this out? Seems as if the criminals here have a free pass with this news story.

The whole “aboot” thing is an erroneous description of the real phonological phenomenon of Canadian raising (the use of a more centered initial starting position in the diphthongs “aye” and “ow” when they precede unvoiced consonants as compared to otherwise (compare the vowels in “knife” vs. “knives”, or “out” vs. “loud”); many Americans have the same phenomenon for the first but the not the second of these).

Well, there’s definitely down side to Canada (I like to celebrate multiculturalism, but I consider Canadian to be a valid culture, too, not something to be dismissed), but this thread is about what makes us great.

No, it’s still illegal. Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, s. 4(1)–note that marijuana is a Schedule II substance. The confusion over whether marijuana is decriminalized or not may come because possession under 30 g; or for resin, under 1 g; mandates a lesser punishment upon conviction that possession of larger amounts. But to the best of my knowledge, even a conviction for this small amount is still a criminal conviction. In other words, it’s still criminalized.

Given this state of affairs, I would recommend users to not walk down the street smoking a joint; since while a cop might look the other way, there is also a chance that the cop just might get it into his or her head that you’re breaking a law that is still on the books and decide to do something about it. I should add that the process of court appearances etc. can take a long while and be costly. More importantly, for our American friends, if you’re arrested, and there is a chance you’d just up and leave Canada (which is a reasonable assumption to make if you’re a tourist), bail will most likely be denied. Cat Whisperer has the right idea–for now, keep it private.

bolded the part where my last post would be valid in the thread, assuming the “it” is canada and not our healthcare system.

I have no problem with pros or cons about Canada, its healthcare system, wildlife etc. there are lots of great things about the US and like everything else there are bad things.

It does not have to be a one sided list of only the things that make Canada good.

Oh, okay. In that case, bring on the bad stuff!

(Spoons, I think the cops in Vancouver only hassle you if you don’t share your weed. :smiley: )

Lately, Canada has been producing some pretty nice animation.
Total Drama Island.

To name a few.

Battle of the Blades!

you make the call on if it’s pro or con.

My wife grew up in Plattsburgh - she was more familiar with this version.


I hear (from my wife, who is one) that Newfoundlanders *really *don’t like that word (“Newfie”, I mean, not “aboot”). I have never, though, heard her say “aboot”.

Every Newfie that I’ve called a Newfie has never mentioned a problem with the term. They call themselves that, ffs!

No doubt. I haven’t spent that much time there over the years (my wife lives with me in the United States). But I have heard a number of them object to the word (and not only my in-laws).

I said -

to which Hypnagogic Jerk responded

In terms of satire, parody, impressions - yes, shows like SNL and Spitting Image have a tradition of skewering politicians.

I believe Canada is unique in having shows like Air Farce, This Hour has 22 Minutes, the Rick Mercer Report and La Fin du monde est a 7 heures take on the actual politician up to and including the sitting Prime Minister. I stand to be corrected, but I don’t think Bill Clinton, Al Gore or George W. Bush were ever ‘cornered’ at a press conference, conned into giving a ‘celebrity headlock’, going to Harvey’s for a burger, putting into a water glass in the PMO’s office, etc. by any of the American news parody shows. Yes, there was the time George W. Bush got tricked into gratefully accepting Jean Poutine’s endorsement, but that was Rick Mercer and This Hour has 22 Minutes.

I say we have a different standard of of access to our politicians, and we expect them to be good natured when they end up surprised on camera.