Vive Le Canada

A genuine Canuckís view of the United States of America
Date: Wednesday, November 29 2006
Topic:


A genuine Canuckís view of the United States of America

By Nathan Chan

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Even though we are neighbours, Americans do not tend to think of Canada much. As a Canadian, Iíve been treated like a discovered distant relative with whom you have more in common than you could possibly imagine. Often I am told that I am, for all intents and purposes, one of you. Yet in spite of all the goodwill between our two countries, there is also much that divides us bitterly. Anti-Americanism is endemic in Canada: Some of it is pure pettiness, and some of it stems from legitimate grievances. Just think about that for a second: The United Statesí most dependable political ally and one of its largest trading partners is full of people who cannot stand the United States! If Americans could understand why this negative feeling is so strong among their best friends, maybe they would understand why they are hated so much more in the rest of the world.

Part of Canadaís anti-Americanism stems from an inferiority complex. Letís face it: your country is richer, stronger, more populous, and, most importantly, warmer. The common Canadian stereotypes a typical American as an obnoxious, ignorant, but somehow, unbelievably successful person. One former Canadian prime minister dreamed the 20th century would be Canadaís century, only for the United States to rise to superpower status instead. Maybe we were being a little overambitious, but we continue to ask ourselves: How did the United States advance so much faster than we did? Petty as it may sound, base jealousy is a major source of Canadian anti-Americanism. Unfortunately, we have many more legitimate reasons for feeling a little petulant toward the United States.

Because of their phenomenal success, Americans tend to conduct themselves a little too arrogantly toward other countries. Canada and the United States are definitely friends, but the relationship is hardly equal or reciprocal. America frequently calls on Canada for favours, as it did when Canadians hosted thousands of stranded passengers in the aftermath of September 11, or when Canada joined the United Statesí invasion of Afghanistan. However, gracious thanks for such actions almost never come our way. President Bush did not visit Canada until the beginning of his second term, and it took even longer for the U.S. government to acknowledge Canadaís offer of hospitality on 9/11.

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[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 29, 2006]

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