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tinyfaery's avatar

In terms of politics and culture, is Canada really that much better than America?

Asked by tinyfaery (36014 points ) June 9th, 2010

Let’s try this again.

Progressive Americans often threaten to move to Canada when politics become tiresome and begin to stray too far from personal values. But is Canada really that different than America? What makes Canada such an appealing alternative?

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19 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Yikes, can my former answer be restored? I can’t duplicate it, but I think it went to the heart of this question.

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Response moderated
dpworkin's avatar

Canada is more closely aligned philosophically with progressive, Western European social policy, and the unrelenting resistance in the States to anything socially ameliorative can wear a person down.

That being said, however, there is such a thing as American Exceptionalism, and one can still find here the things that de Toqueville found so appealing in the 18th Century.

(Thanks, Dawgie.)

tranquilsea's avatar

I think the biggest difference between Canada and the U.S. is our population sizes. But we also have a history based on socialism from before that word became an offensive one. There is not a lot of money to made here except for the resources we have which means we don’t really having multinationals trying to convince of us of one thing or another. We can keep a closer eye on our government, although most people don’t avail themselves of that.

Because the States is so much bigger than we are, you are ahead in most things. That makes you great innovators, but we get the benefit of not buying into anything that fails in your country either…kind of like being the little sister or brother.

I think most of us have been in a position of having to convince one person of something. Then try to convince 10, 20 or 30. It gets much harder the larger the group.

BoBo1946's avatar

@tinyfaery Simply put, the Canadains (government, politics, etc.) mind their own business! We (USA) don’t!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rz_mTT3-zU&feature=related

Plone3000's avatar

Yes and No.

I have relatives that live in Canada and they get better health care(if you dig that) and all of the students are required to go to collage, which they make very affordable. Canada has a vast amount of natural resources and are more eco-friendly than the states.

At the same time(and I may be talking a little off the top of my head here) the general attitudes of Canadians, or at least the ones in Quebec seam awful. Think of your stereotypical American and were basically the same. People in Quebec generally seem to look down there noses at Americans, not that you can really blame um. It also especially urks me that The U.S. is guarding them because they can’t protect them selves.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Plone3000 I need to correct some erroneous statements in your post. First, we do not have a requirement that all students need to go to college or university and, in fact, most don’t. Second, university is stupidly expensive, which is why many students don’t go.
Thirdly, you cannot take the attitudes of those in Quebec as the general attitudes of Canadians. Actually, you’d better not take the attitude of some snotty people in Quebec and generalize that attitude to the rest of Quebec.

There may be some validity in your statement about the U.S protecting Canada. We eviscerated our military in the 80s to balance our budget but we in the process of building back up again. And, really, if some nation were to invade Canada it would hardly be in the U.S.‘s interests to just sit back and watch it happen. Especially since Canada sold out to U.S. corporations in the last 15 to 20 years. You have to protect your investment n’est pas?

dealrrr's avatar

america is dog eat dog nuff said

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I was born in Canada and have lived all my life here, and I have to say there are good and bad points about both countries. I will just talk about a couple of them here.

The great thing about both countries is that there is a lot of freedom to do things that make you happy. I don’t really like the politics in Canada. When you vote for a Prime Minister, you don’t vote for him directly, you vote for an MLA in your district that represents his political party, and the more seats he gets in his districts that represent his party, the more chance that he will become Prime Minister. That’s stupid. In the U.S. when you wanted Obama to be president, you voted for him at the ballots. I may not like the MLA in my district, but if I like the guy who is running for Prime Minister, I have to vote for that MLA who represents his party. Yeech.

I also dislike the pervading liberalism in our Canadian landscape, as I am a strict conservative on most fronts. It’s harder to get ahead economically here than in the States. Canada is less capitalistic than the U.S., and we are taxed more heavily than Americans. Another yeech.

Canada is a cultural mosaic, whereas the United States is a cultural melting pot. In Canada, we promote cultural diversity and traditions, and believe that all cultures should preserve and further their identities. In the U.S., the different cultural groups are expected to assimilate and become Americans, They can practice their traditions, but they are encouraged to blend in as best as possible. As such, I believe Americans are more “united” as a country than Canadians are. Yes, we are nationalistic and proud too, but there is lacking a strong unity or national identity.

ragingloli's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES
So….What about the bad points?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The people in Quebec are not necessarily looking down their noses at Americans, it’s all English speakers they do that to. I’ve never had a bit of trouble in Quebec, as long as I speak French.

Plone3000's avatar

@tranquilsea, look don’t take any offence to my answer, like I said I have family liveing there. I was just saying that many other countries tend to look at the majority of Americans the same way as the majority of Canadians.

Do you live in Quebec?
My bad if you guy’s are not required to go to collage, that’s what I thought my sister who lives there told me. But don’t even try and tell me it’s not cheaper, or that you guys don’t have better health care.

Like you said “if some nation were to invade Canada it would hardly be in the U.S.‘s interests to just sit back and watch it happen.” Yet if some nation were to invade the U.S. Canada would do nothing.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@ragingloli About the U.S.? These——

Compared to Canada, there is more violent crime in the States than here in Canada.
It’s more crowded in the U.S. Canada has a low population density.
Personally, I think in general, there is more racism in the United States than here in Canada. Canada respects multi-culturalism and diversity much more, despite the U.S.‘s Land of Liberty values.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Plone3000 I wasn’t offended by your answer, I was just correcting your over generalizations. No, I do not live in Quebec, I just don’t like it when someone paints a city/province/country as one thing when their examples are probably the exception and not the rule. The rude and loud mouthed people are always more noticeable than most others because they are loud.

Where I do get a bit offended is when you state this: “Yet if some nation were to invade the U.S. Canada would do nothing.” Amazing how you know this to be true. Do you even know how often Canada has sent troops to help different countries including the U.S.? Do you know how much help we sent when you were attacked on 9/11?

Anonymoususer's avatar

Canad’s at least often better when it comes to ice hockey.

Plone3000's avatar

@tranquilsea I guess you caught me on a bit of a rant…checkmate.
@Anonymoususer….true

tranquilsea's avatar

@Plone3000 No problem! I’m prone to rants too :-P

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