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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:13 PM
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Canada: a fearfully parochial place
Canada: a fearfully parochial place
In the general election runup, the fuss about Michael Ignatieff's Canadian credentials points to a nation retreating in on itself

Paris Gourtsoyannis
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 13 April 2011


In 1998 Michael Ignatieff, the Canadian Liberal party leader and former globetrotting academic, said that he voted Labour in Britain's 1997election to oust the Conservatives or in his own words, "to get the rascals out". It is looking increasingly unlikely that after the 2 May general election in Canada, Ignatieff will be able to repeat the same boast.

The Liberal campaign hardly got off to a good start, with Ignatieff's declaration that he wouldn't seek a coalition after the vote implying that the Liberals weren't interested in governing. It is the latest furore over the Liberal leader's voting record, however, that not only has the potential to hand victory to Stephen Harper's Conservatives, but also underlines the social and cultural malaise that has taken hold in the half decade of Harper's leadership.

.....(snip).....

Modern Canada seems to be retreating in on itself, clinging to the security of its own cultural stereotypes. The coincidence with Harper's leadership is difficult to escape; George Monbiot wrote powerfully in 2009 that the Conservative environmental policy had seen Canada degenerate into a "thuggish petro-state". His only inaccuracy was not seeing just how far that transformation had gone. In 21st- century Canada a Conservative incumbent candidate in Calgary can attack his Liberal opponent as being a "visitor from Toronto" simply because she attended university there despite the fact they are both of immigrant origin. A Pakistani-born commentator can plough a furrow through the public debate, warning of the danger of radical Islamism in a country with a Muslim community making up just 2% of the total population.

This isn't George W Bush's America, this is Canada, today. It seems ludicrous, in a country that has participated in every UN peacekeeping mission in history; one whose last governor general was a Haitian refugee-turned-journalist. There is seemingly no reason for a flight to monolithic cultural values, with Canada weathering the economic storm far better than most developed countries. However, far from being comforted by economic prosperity, in the past decade Canadians have become more afraid of one another, to the extent that even lost boys like Omar Khadr and far-left pin-ups like George Galloway are deemed toxic national threats. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011...



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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:28 PM
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1. Does that make America Geppetto?
:shrug:
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Keith Bee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:32 PM
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4. I'm as confused as you are
I see your shrug and raise. ;-)
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P. Galore Donating Member (95 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:52 PM
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2. But, but...according to Canadians, only the US is like that!!!! nt
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BobTheSubgenius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:45 PM
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3. I think the timeline on this is more than "coincidental" with Harper's tenure.
More than anything else, he would love to be a Republican. Before the last election, he floated the idea that maybe it wasn't too late for Canada to get in on the fun in Iraq.

He is also talking about rolling back our socialized medical system, which will HOPEFULLY be his undoing. For some reason, his comment that Canada is a "second-tier socialist" country went absolutely nowhere. Imagine if a Democratic President said something similar about the US.

Sadly, however, most people vote with their wallets, and things aren't so bad here, economically. Our other main problem is...Ignatieff is very, very poor choice as the leader of the Liberal<1} party. Many of the points the Cons are scoring in the media at his expense are hard to argue, being as how most of them are his own words. [br />
*sigh* If only Paul Martin's government hadn't become so complacent and arrogant. Their overall record was terrific, I think, but Harper was able to beat the "corruption" drum over two transgressions that would seem SOOO insignificant, (and one was, even hyper-objectively, TINY) compared to what some in the Senate and Congress have managed to 'achieve.'

Randy Cunningham alone would have BURIED the Liberals' sins, yet the Repugs seem to continue to elect (way too) many of their candidates.

Our politics are so boring, in comparison to yours.


<1> It ain't that liberal....and until relatively recently, I'd have said that the Conservatives aren't THAT conservative. Certainly, their modern history, until Harper, has been little like that of what you might think was their American analog, the Republicans.
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