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Friends With Benefits – I Don’t Think So

The flags of Canada and the United States of A...
The flags of Canada and the United States of America, flying side-by-side outside PGE Park in Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Canada and the United States have flirted, used, abused, supported and stabbed one another in the back throughout the years.

We have a love/hate relationship. Americans like having neighbours who spell properly, and smile a lot.

Canadians like the sunny south and football. Perhaps we could also throw in the Rose Bowl parade, you know, just to make our American neighbours feel good.

It’s nice being neighbourly with the big guy on the block. Well, it used to be. The other global-guys are hitting their growth spurt, and the big guy isn’t so big any more. In fact, his fat-cat ways are catching  up, and, I hate to mention it, but he’s grown quite an economic disaster of a muffin-top.  A grand example of a sugar-daddy whose looks have slipped, and whose wallet isn’t fat enough.

This week, Diane Francis’s Merger of the Century was reviewed in the Toronto Star.  She argues, apparently pretty convincingly too, that should Canada and the United States jump the broom, both nations would stand to benefit.

To summarize, should this little marriage of two socially opposite neighbours happen, it would create an economy larger than the combined economic sway of China, Japan, France and Germany.

Francis describes our Canadian resources as, ‘mindboggling’. Trillions and trillions of dollars worth actually. I don’t think the average Canadian needs to read her book to understand just how rich we are. We may have to point out that our resources are in great, imminent danger of being destroyed by greedy BIG BUSINESS.  The very same big business that almost bankrupted North America in 2008. Yes, the very same big business that gobbled up the bail-out and learned absolutely nothing about innovation, or the fall-out of greed.

Beyond our  plethora of resources, Francis also sings the praises of our banking system, sophisticated social values, educations system (If ours is good, I shudder to think about the American system), and ‘law-abiding people’.

I would like to point out, that these are also precisely the reasons that intelligent Canadians would never wish to be more economically tangled with the United States than we are already obliged to be by virtue of our proximity.  Should a merger happen, it would leave the social, political and economic landscape of Canada a no-man’s land.

Much like the cover of the book that has our Canadian Maple Leaf gobbled up in the design of the famous stars and stripes, our social identity would be lost to the machine of capitalist greed, minus our so hard-won social system. In short, the big guy needs us now that the folly of his ways has seen the light of day.  The tough guy is looking to someone to clean up his mess.

Go ahead, take Francis’s argument for a ride, but be sure to read the other sides of the argument; Fire and Ice, and Death of the Liberal Class.  After all, you want a clear picture of just how very different our cultures are.

The reading may also inspire you to articulate our distinctly Canadian values in the face of the political shit-show that will surely be our next federal election.

Fracking? Pipelines? Bureaucratic Elitism? GMO farming and antibiotic infused livestock? Yes, we do have some rather overwhelming issues to tend to in our very own maple-syrup rich backyard, but we’d have a heck of a lot more problems if we get distracted by a  big, shiny, diamond engagement ring from the USA.



4 thoughts on “Friends With Benefits – I Don’t Think So

  1. I am going to beg you and others to avoid throwing the American people into the shit pile our government has created. We, as a people, are not stupid. We know what the issues are and what our country is facing. I think most of us have intelligent and thoughtful ideas of what and how things need to change. We do pay close attention when people are campaigning. Those of us who vote based on true and actual issues (and not religiously) are trying to get people in government who will do what they say they will do – turn things around, make changes, do what’s best for the people. That is their job. It is public service yet they are only servicing themselves. We never intend to vote idiot fuck holes into office. But, as you know, these extremely wealthy career politicians say one thing and do another, if not the opposite. So what do we do? Stop voting? If you are not a multi-millionaire or billionaire, you are not in the running for a position of public service in this country. You cannot get your name out to the public if you don’t have money. So how are we to get the career politicians out of the way and a new crop of people into our government to truly make changes? It is so hard. We are a nation where all of the economic hardships are dumped onto the middle and lower classes. The middle class pretty much no longer exists. We have a nation of extreme wealth and, at the other end, poverty. And not much in between. I cannot tell you how immensely sad and disappointing it is. Needless to say, my family and I are not at the upper end of that scale and it’s so frightening. Every day we are punched in the face by another shit fisted blow handed down by our government. If we the people and our government were spouses, you better believe we the people would be filing for divorce. Our government has us trapped like rats and are offering no way out of this hellish nightmare. Do we want to get the fuck out of here? Yes, we do. But like anyone else in the world, leaving one’s home is not an easy thing to do for hundreds of reasons. It is not so simple to just pick up and move to another country. Aging parents, lack of finances, children’s routines, language barriers, visa and citizenship issues, where do we even go? You name it; all the things that would keep people where they are is why we are still here. If there was an easy way out, you better believe there would be a mass exodus. The entire world, including our own country has grown to hate us. But I am begging; please do not hate the ordinary, average, lower and middle class people. We are victims in this. And it’s very, very scary for us.
    The politicians who regulate and set legislation, the Wall Street and mortgage fat cats, big business – they did not learn anything and were not punished for their crimes. The American people were the ones who learned the lesson and were punished.
    The school system here is deplorable. Nobody in government will attend to the broken system. Education is not a priority in government. Again, the people and our children suffer because of this mentality.
    It’s not hard to become a conspiracy theorist when you see the state of affairs here. Government is ignoring education as a means to control people. They are listening to our phone calls and reading our emails as a means to control us. Jesus, before too long we’ll all be required to report some facility somewhere so we can all get implanted with microchips. Our employers (if we’re lucky enough to have jobs) will start send our paychecks directly to Washington so the government can do whatever they want with the money we worked for. Hell, the government has already decided what to do with our money! I have 14 years’ worth of 401K savings and other various savings and I would not be surprised if someday the government will just take it from me. Trust me, we don’t need people in Canada or anywhere else pointing out how shitty it is here. We know full well. And it sucks more than you could ever convey in a blog post. I just hope that people outside of the United States could try to have a little empathy for the people that are trapped here in 21st century Rome rather than throw stones.

    1. Well said my friend. Canada isn’t doing any better when it comes to ‘leadership’ . We don’t hate you-just the crappy system…
      Thank again for reading, and especially for your thoughtful comment!

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