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Sunday, September 14, 2008

True North strong and free ... and polite

After his recent visit to Canada, Lew Rockwell shares some thoughts. It looks like we may live up to our reputation after all:

Good Manners: They aren't extinct. See the South, for example. They are also the rule in the great cities of Minneapolis and Vancouver, to take two places I've recently visited. I've long suspected that Canada is freer than Bush-Cheney America. After my recent visit to British Columbia, I think it's also more civilized.

Here at the Shotgun, we spill a lot of ink lamenting our lost and fast-disappearing freedoms, or ridiculing the mentality of political correctness and the Human Rights Commissions which mandate politeness by force of law. It's healthy to step back sometimes, consider an outsider's perspective, and remember how good we really have it.

Update: Bill Anderson makes some good points in offering a dissenting view:

When I visited Vancouver in 2004, I got some very different perspectives. One young man told me that one's economic future in Canada pretty much would be working a government job somewhere, and he was not particularly excited with that prospect.

In Canada, if one is physically attacked by someone else who is bent in committing a crime, it is against the law to fight back, and especially fight back with what the government considers to be an "offensive weapon." One Canadian told me that Canadians "were proud of this law, because it reduces violence." So, if you are mugged in Canada, in order to be law-abiding, accept the mugging gracefully, and if you are killed, at least you did not "contribute to the violence."

Then there is freedom of speech. While one might be politically ostracized for saying something regarded as "hate speech" in the USA, in Canada, it is a crime, a go-to-prison crime.

This is not to say that the situation here that Lew has described is not real. We are losing liberty in all sorts of ways in this country, and the sorry process seems to be accelerating.

We've already had a whole Weekend Discussion Thread on the question of whether the US or Canada has more freedom–and we didn't reach any consensus. Perhaps we can agree that both countries have a tradition and history of valuing liberty, a tradition that neither is fulfilling very well today.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on September 14, 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

Dirt on Lew Rockwell aside, we'll take that as a compliment. We probably are somewhat, nicer than some of the u.s. population. I'm afraid that Rockwell and many others confuse politeness with docility.

Posted by: Condor | 2008-09-14 3:07:50 PM


...i concur, docility is what the modern Canadian is.

The US gives more per capita food, drink, shelter as well as missionary help.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-09-14 3:27:20 PM


They ought to hold one in Toronto. They'd change their views very quickly. Toronto people don't like foreigners, non-whites, Albertans, westerners, etc.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-09-14 3:35:41 PM


I lived in the USA for over 10 years. I can tell you that the Americans are gregarious and friendly.

Canadians may appear more polite, but that is often simply because they are not very gregarious and often too docile to know what to say to a stranger.

In the USA I noted a trend to salute the successful and try to emulate them.

I Canada, I note the trend is to hate and envy the successful and try to pull them down.

It's because we have more of a socialist mindset and envy is the base line of that political system.

If Canadians weren't so docile, we wouldn't have the CHRC at all.

Posted by: John V | 2008-09-14 3:39:42 PM


"It's healthy to step back sometimes, consider an outsider's perspective, and remember how good we really have it."~Kalim Kassam

I agree its a good idea to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the moment. BUT! That doesn't mean we stop and give up on resisiting forced government compliance, control and intervention into our lives.
Comparing ourselves to "over there" is a convenient way of sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring issues "over here". The reason things are so much better here is that a much freer group of our ancestors set the ground rules...and they are slowly fading.
Vigilance is a patriots utmost duty!

Posted by: JC | 2008-09-14 4:04:10 PM


I find rural Americans every bit as polite as Canadians. A big piece of the so-called Canadian politeness actually stems from our culturally sheltered upbringing. We tend to give people the benefit of the doubt when we meet them. Sometimes you have to rub shoulders with certain groups before you judge them, positive or negative.

Lots of white Canadians are shocked by some of the American attitudes toward people of colour. But ask them why they have such a predjudiced attitude toward Aboriginals, and they usually say "that's different". It's all about what you've been exposed to.

Posted by: dp | 2008-09-14 4:34:21 PM


Toronto people don't like foreigners, non-whites, Albertans, westerners, etc.
Posted by: Zebulon Punk | 14-Sep-08 3:35:41 PM

Especially Albertans.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-09-14 4:43:53 PM


Toronto people don't like foreigners, non-whites, Albertans, westerners, etc.
Posted by: Zebulon Punk | 14-Sep-08 3:35:41 PM

Especially Albertans.

Posted by: The Stig | 14-Sep-08 4:43:53 PM


From someone who might have a valid opinion to ignorant bigot in one day. That's quite an accomplishment even for you. You win the penthouse to the outhouse award, "The Stig".
And I guess we can count ourselves short by at least one Polite Canadian.

Posted by: JC | 2008-09-14 4:55:46 PM


jc: stig can be right. Albertans are hated in Ontario.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-09-14 4:58:30 PM


I've never met anyone in Toronto who hates Albertans, nor do I see "hate" in Canada. Ambivalence, perhaps. These "hate" claims are nutty assertions. Canadians are very polite, and they are not docile. I mean, Canada is safer, nicer, cleaner, prettier with more forest cover, has better schools, better health care for the poor, better food in the supermarkets than is generally found in the United States. Canada has few blighted areas in its major cities compared to the US. THE US has 74 times the prison population with only 10 times the general population. There are over 1,000,000 US citizens on the terrorist Watch List.

The US is overt fascism and brutality, whereas Canada is friendly fascism.

Posted by: Marc Scott Emery | 2008-09-14 5:15:19 PM


Zeb is right. They really do hate us. There's no point trying to dance around it. We hate them just as much. I've been here over 30 years, and can assure you that Albertans hate people from Ontario worse than any identifiable group. They'd rather talk to someone wearing a burlap bhurka than someone from Ontario(unless the bhurka was from Ontario). It's the one big mistake Albertans make, believing that they have no connection to the the rest of Canada.

Posted by: dp | 2008-09-14 5:15:39 PM


"THE US has 74 times the prison population with only 10 times the general population."

How about you tell us all about it in 5 years or so after your sentence is up?

"The US is overt fascism and brutality, whereas Canada is friendly fascism."

Ah ha so you admit that Canada isn't all rosy! Pathetic. If Canada is so bad then leave. I know some gentlemen at the DEA who could arrange that for you.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-09-14 5:24:06 PM


"There are over 1,000,000 US citizens on the terrorist Watch List."

Posted by: Marc Scott Emery | 14-Sep-08 5:15:19 PM

Considering there are probably at least that many potential terrorists in Canada, that's a small number for the US. We'd probably have a list like that if we had a police force that wasn't too busy chasing kids on skateboards, and busting people with the wrong kinds of herbs in their cupboards.

I listened to the Calgary police chief on the radio the other day. He blamed the justice system, judges, lawyers, parents, etc. for the gang problem in Calgary. What I hear from people who live in Calgary is the cops there are too chicken to take on the gangs. They'd rather harass hookers, and work check-stops than arrest armed criminals. Wouldn't we all? I happen to believe that judges et al are simply trying to force the cops into doing their jobs properly. Most of the crooks who go through the revolving door can thank incompetent police work for their freedom to keep making a living.

Posted by: dp | 2008-09-14 5:27:54 PM


Oddly I guess, I don't buy into this Ontario vs. Alberta crap. I see Ontario plates here all the time. And being in the construction industry I meet my fair share of out of towners. I figured if a guy is willing to uproot his family and travel thousands of miles away from home to try and better his life then he should get a fair shake. And the other side of that would be...we're Canadians...all of us. Its nothing but "small minded" to see it any differently. No wonder this country is going to hell in a handbag.

Posted by: JC | 2008-09-14 6:50:20 PM


JC: I understand, but it doesn't work both ways. Albertans are not welcome in Ontario. I have seen this first hand.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-09-14 6:59:16 PM


Ambivalence, perhaps.
Posted by: Marc Scott Emery | 14-Sep-08 5:15:19 PM

Perhaps, but I think alot of it comes from the complete lack of originality from Alberta. Just look at Alberta's national airline Westjet. It's nothing but a complete ripoff of Southwest. Even the flight attendants have the same name, Kristal, Tiffany, Shyla and Jason. Now I do fly Westjet quite often and find them good and walked away from every flight I've been on. Compare them with Porter Airlines and you'll see Porter's originality. They do things differently and you remember the differences that set them above their competitors. And the weather out there is quite frankly atrocious. I was once there and they had a blizzard in the middle of May. Life's too short for that.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-09-14 7:01:22 PM


Well golly gee, Stig....next time you find yer'self out West we should get a heads up, ya know, 'cause we can throw down some chicken bones and make the weather all nice n'stuff.
Oh yeah, and if a model of success, such as Westjet, cramps your 'original' style, then why not stick to the routes Porter Airlines serves?

Posted by: prairie dog | 2008-09-14 8:27:59 PM


JC: I understand, but it doesn't work both ways. Albertans are not welcome in Ontario. I have seen this first hand.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 14-Sep-08 6:59:16 PM


Well I guess that's one more good reason to go through the US when driving to the Atlantic.

Posted by: JC | 2008-09-14 8:34:58 PM


John V, that has been my experience.

Posted by: TM | 2008-09-14 8:36:01 PM


Well golly gee, Stig....next time you find yer'self out West we should get a heads up, ya know, 'cause we can throw down some chicken bones and make the weather all nice n'stuff.
Posted by: prairie dog | 14-Sep-08 8:27:59 PM

Bwahahahahahaha. Is it snowing out there yet?

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-09-14 9:04:56 PM


Because of our perceived kind nature, that we so naturally hold dear to our bosum, I find it impossible to take offence to your slight. But, I can tell you it is a balmy +15 here this evening, haha!

Posted by: prairie dog | 2008-09-14 9:23:59 PM


The weather's good here in the fall, just ask Ian Tyson.

I'm not a real fan of Alberta, even after 30 years. Then again, after 30 years I probably won't fit in anywhere else. My brother retired to NS, where we grew up, and he's having trouble adjusting. It's getting a bit tense right now with an election coming. He's the only conservative up the holler he lives in.

I couldn't imagine living in Ontario, but I was watching Powerboat TV today, and it would be really cool living around that many beautiful lakes. Maybe the northern part would be interesting. When I was a kid, I always enjoyed watching the "Forest Rangers". That Joe Two Rivers was a cool guy. I think he's smuggling cigarettes now.

By the way Stig, do you expect an easy transition to sharia law? Maybe all those abandoned factories can be converted to super mosques. The tooling could easily be converted to produce small arms for the new order to keep you in line. I'm actually glad it's happening. A lot of frightened white people will move to Alberta with a whole new attitude toward immigration policies.

Posted by: dp | 2008-09-14 9:43:29 PM


"...it would be really cool living around that many beautiful lakes."

Sounds idyllic, except for the fact that Joe Two-Rivers is now a Mohawk warrior who has no desire to share his land with a white man.

"A lot of frightened white people will move to Alberta with a whole new attitude toward immigration policies."

If only it were true. However, the reality is that it's the Asian immigrants that are moving to Calgary with the same old attitude to immigration.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-09-15 12:15:26 AM


By the way Stig, do you expect an easy transition to sharia law? Maybe all those abandoned factories can be converted to super mosques.
Posted by: dp | 14-Sep-08 9:43:29 PM

You mean like the Baitun Nur mosque in Calgary?

That Joe Two Rivers was a cool guy. I think he's smuggling cigarettes now.
Posted by: dp | 14-Sep-08 9:43:29 PM

You got that one wrong too. Joe Two Rivers is a blackjack dealer at Casino Rama. The Indian guy smuggling cigarettes you're thinking about is actually from Akwesasne which is in Upstate New York.

A lot of frightened white people will move to Alberta with a whole new attitude toward immigration policies.
Posted by: dp | 14-Sep-08 9:43:29 PM

Actually you have it backwards. The white people are staying in Ontario and the immigrants are moving to Alberta. Funny thing is Stevie Harper was all about cutting back on the number of immigrants when he was in opposition, yet today we find there has actually been a huge increase.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-09-15 12:26:54 AM


Stig:

I believe Harper's stance on immigration is that any country has a right to define terms of immigration according to its economic needs.

If there is a labour shortage, bring in young people who are willing to work but have a lack of opportunity in their own country ... at a level which can be absorbed by the labour market.

That way, they will contribute toward their future pension and health care needs.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-09-15 9:14:24 AM


Since it's been mentioned, I've met one hell of a lot of Ontarians who hate Albertans, and aren't shy about hating other Westerners as well when they're reminded of their existence. Zebulon's views are extreme, and I think unhealthy, but he comes by them honestly.

Posted by: ebt | 2008-09-15 5:15:50 PM


"It's the one big mistake Albertans make, believing that they have no connection to the the rest of Canada."

What mistake ?
They have no connection.

*

If Canadians were not polite, american backpackers would not travelling a canadian flag patched on their kit.

Posted by: Marc | 2008-09-15 6:14:47 PM



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