Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review: Canadians No Longer Have Reason to Feel Smug

There was a time when Canadians could feel a quiet pride about their country: peacekeeping roles with the United Nations, generous social programs, young Canadians cavorting around Europe with Canadian flags stitched onto their backpacks.

We were the quieter, gentler version of America.

Well, this year all those notions got dumped.

Over the last twelve months, we witnessed an unprecedented number of political scandals: Senators bilking taxpayers, corruption left, right, and centre in Quebec, and then there was spectacle of the crack smoking mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford.

I think the reason his antics got so much media play around the world, especially in the US, was that the world experienced a great deal of schadenfreude seeing Canada embodied by such a crass individual, a long way from the Dudley Do Right image that we had cultivated over the years.

Indeed, it is difficult to maintain the holier-than-thou attitude when our past sins of the wide spread systemic abuse of First Nations children in our residential schools and our present disregard for the environmental consequences of extracting oil from the tar sands, a practice that has earned Canada the label of an environmental rogue nation in the world press, are repeatedly brought to mind.

Even our traditional practice of making ourselves feel better by comparing ourselves to the Americans brings little solace since third world conditions have taken hold, for example the bankrupt City of Detroit, and are continuing to spread amongst a beleaguered people.

WTF Canada, get your shit together, make some New Year resolutions, do something.

Let's not waste another year pretending that we are some how morally superior to our neighbours.

Just like everyone else we have our fair share of problems, and the first step in meeting these collective challenges is admitting that they exist and that they are there for everyone to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be reviewed before posting. Civility is a must.