Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Canada

Like Australia there is something endearing about the gushing pride juxtaposed with hard reality that goes along with Canada's national celebration. Doubly so when a national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, carries the headline: We are the lucky country

That is, of course, an Aussie claim – taken from the title of a 1964 book by Donald Horne, an acerbic social commentator of the time. But I’m happy to share it with a Canada I love, particularly given the context of the quote:

Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck.”

Canada is celebrating 141 years of federation, a badly cobbled federation at that, but it limps on regardless of the mismatches and poor fits. There has always been lively secessionist movements, from the outset Nova Scotians, who wanted out of Confederation.

Quebec continues to annoy the rest of the country with their constant whining about being something different, a difference the rest notice all too easily. That in turn drives talk of the western secession, the wild west believing they could survive happily without the burden of the effete east; except they don’t use words like effete.

There are pressing issues to sort out, issues which everyone avoids like the plague; supply management in agriculture, immigration, inter-provincial trade, resource development, the native reserve system, management of the countries natural treasures… Seemingly vital issues, but many ignored for so long we know the sky won’t fall in if we ignore them a bit longer.

Now it sounds like I’m being critical, but I’m not – I promise. Canada and Australia do the same things, just differently at times. But more than that; the Canada I love, the head in the sand - land of the bland is a great survivor.

Happy Birthday Canada – eh…

6 comments:

Kvatch said...

During the last Quebec secessionist movement, I got a lot of pleasure out of the native people's threat to secede back to Canada along with all of their considerable lands--way to give the French Canadians the finger!

Seems the 'Land-o-the-Bland' is, in reality, pretty uppity.

Cart said...

Pockets of feisty Kvatch, but even the issues seem to dispersed to develop a critical mass.

Still when they do make a lot of noise it is usually something useful, like a beer drinking song...

Tom Harper said...

Happy Birthday to Canada. I've also heard, from a British Columbian expatriate, that there's a culture clash between Alberta and BC. BC'ers think Alberta is just a bunch of hicks, and Albertans think BC'ers are a bunch of elitist yuppies.

Cart said...

Albertans are wrong of course, but only because they have neber encountered a real bunch of elitist yuppies

D.K. Raed said...

What, no one in Alberta has ever been to Seattle? ok, only kidding ... I think you can find elitists pretty much everywhere ... oh wait, maybe that's effetists. Well I say, Vive le Quebec Libre! I honestly think we'd be better off today if we'd just let the south secede (just not sure how that would've worked out for the western states).

Canada is a lucky country. As Michael Moore always points out, they give us hope.

Cart said...

DK, I think they are lucky to be so tuned out. We Aussies like you Americans are quick to jump onto every vital issue that presents itself. All we really get is a lot of noise.