I just came across your blog in looking around for something interesting to do. Being semi-invalid with extremely severe osteo in my back, I don’t get about much, so it it isn’t in the mind, it isn’t mine.
Wondering what your take is on the health care debacle going on in the U.S.? Obama worked like a trojan to get it through and it looks like it is stalled in senate by the repubs. Our attitude is that no civilized country goes without universal access to health care. It seems as if people just don’t give a damn if people are going bankrupt or going without health care in your country – too bad, survival of the fittest! This is awful, and I have to wonder how any country can long survive with this attitude. I am sure you know that many countries consider that the U.S. is far too interested in building up their army, and as your nearest neighbour, it alarms a lot of Canadians. It seems reasonable to assume that if we did something the U.S. didn’t like, such as shutting off the oil and water taps, at a time when the repubs were in power, we would be invaded. Do I believe that – you betcha. The same would apply if the New Democratic Party ever came to power in Canada at a time when you can a Republican President and congress.
However, I digress from my main point – if you spend all your money on your army, how can you pay for good health care?
Another point is the population of the United States, as well as the recent economical down turn. Again, it would seem to be a difficult task to initiate universal health care under those conditions. No denying health care is expensive.
I have good friends in the U.S., and just don’t discuss politics with them. A lot of people consider Canada next door to being a bunch of commies, in spite of our Conservative Governmentin power just now. Along with health care, we have gay marriage, government funded social programs for aboriginal people (Native Americans), and many other publically funded social programs. Of course, we have high taxes to pay for those programs – but it takes one to do the other.
My personal feeling is that there are wounds in the U.S. that have never healed from two centuries ago that go very very deep and may be insurmountable. Should the U.S. have become one country by forced military intervention? What would have happened if the civil war had never taken place? The disagreements taking place, including the health care debate, stem from those wounds.
What say you, do you agree, or do you have another view on it? Canada is certainly not perfect, we have the Ango-Francophone issues, long distance problems, etc. but I wouldn’t live south of the 49th parallel for anything.
By the way, if you wonder why we have such a terrible attitude towards Americans sometimes, just recently one of your right wing pundits, a blonde female whose name escapes me at the moment, was recently in Ottawa, Canada and stated: “Canada is lucky that we allow you to be on the same continent with us!” That is a direct quote. Another time, one of your government folks, during the Bush administration, when told that Canada was not happy about something or other and was thinking of retaliating, actually laughed out loud!
Recently Fox News tried to open a station in Canada, with the assistance of government funding from the Conservatives to boot. The idea was quickly dropped when so many of us petitioned the government not to allow it.
…a blonde female…
That would be Ann Coulter, and I could tell that before I looked up the quote from her. She’s a pundit, but not a politician, and she’s a professional ass-hole. Her whole career is based on saying shit that’s so stupid and offensive that it makes the rest of the right wing look good. Sure, she has an effect on the Overton Window, but she’s pretty much definitionally a policy non-entity.
That said, there are plenty of other public figures who find is useful to promulgate stereotypes rather than realities, and with them Canada has a favored place as boogey-man with a retiring personality. I’m not sure that that portrayal is any less accurate of the same people’s portrayal of things entirely internal to the US, though.
As for the idea of the US actually using its military on Canada, that seems to me extremely far-fetched. The historical ties between the US and the anglophone Commonwealth nations are at this point too strong, I think. On the other hand, you may have to worry about fallout from us starting another world war.