Monday, February 8, 2010

"Come home, Danny. There won’t be protests at the airport."

John Ibbitson of the Globe and Mail had an interesting piece on the lack of populism in Canada while asking the question, will Canada have its own Tea Party Movement?

My answer is a big NO. My own perception is that, while I'm sure historically there have been significant instances of Canadians protesting their government, its not something that is ingrained within our culture. It is a characteristic that will always mark a difference between us and our neighbors south of the border; anyone paying attention could easily acknowledged this. Our government was founded on the principles of "peace, order and good government"; the United States government was founded on the perception that there is no such thing as a good government. This is a perception that has strong roots in American culture and every once in awhile shows its head.

We are currently living through one of those moments; hopefully it will not end up with more people like the torture-supporting Scott Brown being elected. The largest problem with the teabaggers is there perception on foreign policy and their ignorance in regard to civil liberties; they could just as easily usher in full on fascism as Obama and his banker buddies.

Here's an excerpt of Ibbitson's piece:
Canada and the United States are remarkably similar countries — so similar, that no one else on earth can tell the two of us apart, unless this Austrian or that Sri Lankan has an ear so well attuned to English that she can distinguish Newfoundland from Missouri accents.

Yet politically, we are solitudes. Americans are perpetually in full-throated reaction to the status quo. Their grassroots abhorrence of the war in Iraq, the mismanagement of Katrina and the other follies of the Bush administration helped get Barack Obama elected President of the United States.

Now it would seem that an equally large, though very different, assembly of Americans is rallying in reaction to Mr. Obama’s statist interventions in the economy, his hopes to reform health care, his government’s projected deficits.

This is no confection whipped up by Fox News. Massachusetts elected a Republican senator last month in reaction to the excesses of Obamanation.


Sheldon Furlong said...

This is just no so. The Americans hunger for good government is the same as ours. if it was in fact any differnt there would be more radicval elections. There are not. Americans always opt for the status quo.

Their much larger population and more shrill press may make it seem like they are more unconventional.

They really are not. No one with a radical view point from the center gets elected to real power.

In fact i would argue we are more likely to place a vote of displeasure as we still see teh NDp as radical and they have had success at the Provincial level.

Having a bigger mouth does not make you more radical or more concerned with freedom.

Furlong said...

But is the NDP really a radical change from the Conservatives in Nova Scotia politics? After watching the leaders of each party debate during the last election, I couldn't see a radical difference.

I don't argue that Americans do not want good government; I was saying that their government was created based on the idea that government does no good, and this is a perspective that has strong roots in the US and does not here in Canada. It is the perspective that is fueling the TeaBaggers in the US.

Whether or not someone with a radical view point gets elected is irrelevant (and an arguable point). Its that in the US you are seeing a minority group of people protest loudly with radical views, and they are steering the debate. Health care hasn't passed yet, a republican was elected to replace Kennedy's Mass senate seat, Dr. Paul was able to pass an amendment through the house of reps to audit the Fed, Rand Paul is leading in the polls in his senate race, Debra Medina, a Paulite, has gone from 4% in the polls for Texas governor to 24% in a few short weeks.

The only major accomplishment Obama has been able to complete is the escalation of murdering brown people else where in the world (which, unfortunately, also has strong roots in the US political culture).

PS. I never said the TeaBaggers were more concerned with freedom, nor did I say their bigger mouth makes them more radical.

Sheldon Furlong said...

If there were 300 million of us I am sure you would see the same level of fringe and noisy discontent.

Yes the NDP (in theory) is more of a radical departure than any choices available in the USA.

Chris said...

I don't think so Dad. Canada and the United States have historical differences. C'mon, you know that.