Canada's long term viability in question amongst canadians
September 6, 2002 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Canada's long term viability in question amongst canadians "only 30 per cent of Canadians are certain we will have an independent country 25 years from now". Sure it's a link about canada, but I'm sure it has plenty of North American and Global relevance, doesn't it?
posted by canucklehead (28 comments total)
I might be in favour of Canada joining the European Union, but somehow I don't see that happening... Canada not being a part of Europe and all.

Seriously though, it's sad to see that a lot of my fellow Canadians are feeling a bit fatalistic about the future of the country, pretty much as I am. The US is just too great a cultural force to keep at bay and very few Canadians seem to have time to bother with their own dwindling culture. Owning a few Tragically Hip cds is not enough. Once the culture is basically American, what's the point of being a separate nation?

I think eventually a greater portion of Canadians will welcome amalgamation with the US, and they won't realise what they've lost until it's too late to turn back.
posted by picea at 10:46 AM on September 6, 2002

Canada has a culture???
posted by Stan Chin at 10:47 AM on September 6, 2002

I wish I were a Canuck sometimes. "Where's the beer store, eh?" I say resist the American Borg Collective as long as possible. Maybe Quebec secession really would help matters.
posted by Shane at 10:55 AM on September 6, 2002

Is Canada still a commie country?
posted by Postroad at 10:56 AM on September 6, 2002

I really don't see the U.S. wishing to claim Canada, unless we've got some strategic tundra-interests which Alaska simply does not satisfy. I don't see what's in it for the U.S. -- right now, we've got a place to go where stuff is cheaper (like medicine), a place to go where we can say we've been to a foreign country without the bother of it being very foreign. Oooh, my crayons have English AND French on them -- how exciting.

Still, it would be interesting to see if a country dissolves due to apathy. It sure would make for something different from the usual routes of national collapse.
posted by meep at 11:05 AM on September 6, 2002

"Strategic tundra-interests?"

No... but we might be interested in the 4.4 billion barrels of oil underneath that tundra. It sure would be cheaper than piping it all the way from Iraq.
posted by eyebeam at 11:16 AM on September 6, 2002

Not to mention the enormous natural gas deposits, mineral resources and farmland. But it will never happen until the US adopts a social welfare model like Canada, or Canadians are willing to put up with no free medical care, universities, etc.
posted by pjgulliver at 11:17 AM on September 6, 2002

Cher Canada - si je promets de ne pas faire des plaisanteries idiotes au sujet de bière, vous svp laissez-moi dedans? Merci, un Américain fatigué
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:51 AM on September 6, 2002


If the US wants Canada, it will come and get Canada. Whether its social welfare model matches that of Canada, or not.
posted by websavvy at 11:57 AM on September 6, 2002

As an American, I would love it if Canada came and joined. I've got to think that it would raise the average level of common sense.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:08 PM on September 6, 2002

websavvy:If the US wants Canada, it will come and get Canada. Whether its social welfare model matches that of Canada, or not.

This is the American attitude that makes most Canadians fear the possibility of a union. I'm sure it is a minority opinion but unfortunately it tends to get more representation than I am sure it should.
posted by canucklehead at 12:31 PM on September 6, 2002

Canada will remain Canada. Our politics are mutually exclusive with those of other countries.

Look at this:

- We prefer American freedoms, minus hate speech, guns, and the ability to have ethnic radio/TV stations. (excludes us from the US).
- Many of us prefer not to be part of a Monarchy, and don't want to get any closer to that. (excludes us from being part of the UK again).
- Canadians, as a whole, want full health care paid for through taxes (excluding us from the US again).
- Canadians desparately want lower taxes at the cost of various government programs (excluding us from the EU)
- Canadians hate the DMCA, and its EU equivalent (which I can't remember the name of right now). (excluding us from the EU again)
- Canadian pricing on various items is so disparate from EU pricing, it would be nigh impossible to change without a total economic upheval.
- A lot of Canadians (read: Those voting Reform/CA party) aren't interested in being part of the EU at all. At the same time a lot of Canadians (read: Those voting NDP/PC) aren't interested in being part of the US at all.
- Many Canadians pride themselves on living in a country that regards peace higher than many other ideals. This is incongruent with both the US and EU.

These are just a few parts of Canadian politics and ideals that are just not congruent enough with any other country or union for us to ever be swallowed whole.

LMC said >I've got to think that it would raise the average level of common sense.

Of which country? ;-)

It seems Canadians, as a whole, denigrate their country far too much. Its a great place to live, and I'm proud to be Canadian, and I don't think I'd be happy calling myself anything else.
posted by shepd at 12:32 PM on September 6, 2002


America wants Iraq. They may say it's because Saddam Hussein is a bad, bad man, but it's really because Saddam Hussein is sitting on a pile of oil. America will start a war with Iraq now because 1) it's profitable (financially and politically) for the president and those who paid to get him into office and 2) because putting a US-backed government into an oil-producing mid-east nation is a very desirable thing.

So the US will go and get Iraq.

If I remember correctly, the US also tried to pull a fast one with Venezuela (another oil-producing nation) recently.

If they really want resources, they will get them.
posted by websavvy at 12:46 PM on September 6, 2002

Just send us Ken Finkelman and nobody will get hurt.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:48 PM on September 6, 2002

Well, the only reason that Canada became a country in the first place is so they wouldn't be a part of the US...

I really don't see them applying for statehood anytime soon. Their joining the EU is an interesting idea, although I think it's more likely that Britain would join Nafta.
posted by Jart at 12:51 PM on September 6, 2002

I agree that there are many behind the scenes motives for going after Iraq; but in my little naive canadian mind I can't help but think that it isn't as simple as "if we want it we'll take it", even for the US.

No, if Canada ever joins in a union with the US, it will have more to do with MTV and Everybody Loves Raymond than tanks and aircraft carriers.
posted by canucklehead at 12:51 PM on September 6, 2002

I hope it has nothing to do with Everybody Loves Raymond. The Sopranos, ok, Seinfeld, good, Curb Your Enthusiasm, outstanding, but if Everybody Loves Raymond was a reason, well that's just depressing.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:56 PM on September 6, 2002

Canada is great. I wish I could live there. I don't believe that it will fall apart, nor do I believe that Québec will secede (barring some unforseen turn of events). Canada does have a culture. And even if a significant part of that culture is simply being Not American, that's plenty.

I'm guessing that the US would gladly take in stray provinces if for no other reason than manifest destiny. I wasn't able to find a stat for it, but Canada's share of the world's accessible freshwater is quite large--a fact that will weigh more heavily as the years go by.

As for the US simply "taking" Canada, that's a little ridiculous. Sure, it would be physically possible, but there's no will and no motive. And however the world frowns on the US attacking Iraq, that is an entirely different story than attacking a peaceful neighbo(u)r.
posted by mookieproof at 12:58 PM on September 6, 2002

Well, the only reason that Canada became a country in the first place is so they wouldn't be a part of the US...

Yeah, that was a while back. Things have changed. The US is now the 1300 pound sumo wrestler, and we are the gnat next to them.

When the shit comes down (and I'm guessing it will be about water, which is rapidly becoming more precious than oil), the US will take what it wants from Canada. We can pretend that we're our own country, and make our own laws and that we're so, so more enlightened than the average Americans, but they'll get what they want.
posted by websavvy at 12:59 PM on September 6, 2002

I just want the hockey and donuts. There's only six teams left in Canada...and for that I weep, truly.
posted by adampsyche at 12:59 PM on September 6, 2002

Did you all know that Canada has lost more men on UN peacekeeping missions than any other country? I think that is a mark of honor. Canadians always (or frequently) volunteer to take on the tough jobs out a genuine concern for global equity, I have the uptmost respect for Canada. In a very real way I feel it functions as the US's concious from time to time, and I would hate to loose that.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:01 PM on September 6, 2002

pjgulliver: universities aren't free in Canada. If they are, somebody's got some 'splaining to do about my student loans. And health care isn't really "free" either, I suspect that income tax is, on average, higher in most provinces than it is in most states. It's certainly subsidised and government-run, and but it's only truly "free" if you don't pay taxes.

Canadians have been saying things along these lines (becoming the 51st state) for as long as I can remember. I think it may be somewhat more likely now than it has been in the past: September 11th made a lot of Canadians feel very close to the US, and it made the US start thinking about a single continental border, and it seems possible/likely that Canada will adopt the US dollar at some point. But I strongly suspect that Canadians will hold onto their Canadian-ness, even if this does come to pass. Much as many Americans (and Europeans) like to pretend that Canada's a cute little carbon copy of America that pays lip service to being different, it truly is a whole other country.
posted by biscotti at 1:34 PM on September 6, 2002

How much does it cost to go to McGill? It costs $38,000 per year to go to a good private school in the US.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:39 PM on September 6, 2002

McGill tuition is $4,012.50 (Canadian) for non-Québec Canadian residents. So it's only off by an order of magnitude from the top US schools...
posted by mookieproof at 1:50 PM on September 6, 2002

My point.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:53 PM on September 6, 2002

it truly is a whole other country

Ahem...whole nother country.

Sure Canada has a culture of its own. We don't take risks, we want things done for us, and we eat poutine, tourtiere, and Beavertails for every single meal. If that's not a culture worth preserving, friends, I don't know what is! But seriously, I don't see an amalgamation with the US ever happening before everyone's eyes, but I can see a gradual assimilation into the US economy. From there, almost everything else follows. The US has already got us culturally (CanCon, anyone?). But Canada's social safety net is far too different from the American system for a whole-hog merger to ever happen.
posted by Succa at 2:47 PM on September 6, 2002


Tuition and fees at Harvard are $25K, which is the point of comparison to McGill's USD~2500-3000. Yeah, sure.

But the average amount paid to go to Harvard next year is going to be *dramatically* less than that. The tuition-and-fees amount you see on the web page or in the newspaper is, for good private schools, largely a fiction; it's charged to a relatively few very wealthy students. And students who forget to file their FAFSA, I guess, or plan badly.

Comparing a private school to McGill or the U of T is silly anyway. A better comparison would be a good state U, like Michigan or Berkeley or Virginia or Carolina. Tuitions range from $3300 at UNC to $7500 at Michigan for instaters.

Which still isn't quite fair. If you're working-class or poor, you're likely to leave Harvard having paid less than if you'd gone to your local state U (of whatever quality).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:12 PM on September 6, 2002

actually, we canadians want the united states to become the 11th province...
posted by bwg at 10:03 AM on September 8, 2002

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