Friday, July 4

Thank you very much....Mr. Bush

For as long as I can remember people have referred to Canada as an extension of our neighbors to the south. People feel that we don't have a separate national identity from the United States. In highschool our teachers tried to instill in us, their students, a feeling of national pride, and they tried to show us how Canada is socially and culturally different from the U.S.
One of my teachers described it as the melting pot versus the mosaic. He called Canada a cultural mosaic, while the U.S. was a melting pot. In Canada people are allowed to maintain their individuality. We've got Muslim Canadians, and French Canadians. Chinese Canadians, Catholic Canadians, and many other types of Canadians. Essentially in Canada you are what you are, and you're a Canadian.
Whereas in the U.S. you're an American. You pledge allegiance to their flag, you are part of a melting pot. Everyone's an American first and foremost.
The similarities in American and Canadian pop culture, the environment and geography, and the basic ethnic and racial make up of both nations allowed for this attitude to spread.
Many European nations have always realized the differences between our nations, primarily the French and English, as well as other national bodies. But it has been the domestic attitudes that have been most shocking to me.
As recent as last week, I've heard people refer to Canada as being the largest of the states.
Statements like this have always bothered me. Sometimes they've even angered me. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre buildings on September 11th I began seeing bumper stickers, posters, flags and other emblems, which displayed a Canadian and an American flag merged together. Always accompanied by some sort of slogan, including "United in Peace" or "Lest we Forget". I've considered these images a perversion of our flag, our identity and our heritage. I've always tried to distance myself from the U.S.
But recently, as I've watched televised news, read blogs, and listened to friends of mine, I've realized that Canadians in general are beginning to share my beliefs.
We as a nation seem to be creating a divide between ourselves and the U.S. From the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana, the legalization and recognition of same sex marriage, our opposition to the U.S. led war in Iraq, court decisions allowing women to go topless in public, our open immigration policies, free medicare, to campaign spending restrictions. Canada is, and perhaps always has been different from the U.S.
I look around me and see people who don't want to be lumped in with the U.S. Especially now, with the Bush administration running the entire country into the ground.
Maybe Dubya's actions have had some good results after all.


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