The Canadian Perspective
by Carl Baydala
I have to tell you friends that things are OK by me in this part of the world. Canada is a very fortunate place in which to live. We have a very small population relative to our land size, we are a stable democracy and all of the people that I know are basically happy individuals and glad to be Canadians just like myself.
How does a country get to be so fortunate and how does it survive so happily when there is so much trouble in the world? I mean, poverty and war occurs in so many parts of the world and in such frequency as well. In the last couple of years there has even been a financial meltdown and many people world wide are suffering as a consequence of that. Our neighbour to the south is experiencing terrible fiscal problems all around and many have lost their homes and their jobs. The middle classes are essentially being decimated, and the few assets they have left are quickly being depleted. Their financial and political power is evaporating in front of them, yet Canada survives basically intact.
What is so special about Canada? Canada has a lot going for it of course otherwise it would been sucked into the vortex long ago. Why didn't Canada experience the same kinds of problems that the US did for example? We are both modern democracies with laissez faire capitalist systems are we not? Canada has a good supply of natural resources and good management and well trained workers. And, ditto for the US. We are both advanced economies as they say. On the surface of things we both appear to be blessed. But, there are differences as I think you can appreciate. The main difference between Canada and the US I think is the political system itself and how it operates.
The US political system is highly driven by money. Politicians appear to be bought and sold like so many automobiles on a given day. This means of course that good policy that would have a positive effect on the whole nation might not naturally come about. Since money is the thing that drives things, it is the people with money itself that are favoured under that kind of system. That is why in the States the percentage of people who hold great wealth decreases daily. They have bought and paid for political results. Look at what the financial barons on Wall Street got away with - and continue to get away with. The elites who control the economy and the politicians grow more powerful year by year. On the other hand, the so-called middle classes get poorer and poorer. And, this is certainly manifested in political events and decisions as well. Look at the recent events in Wisconsin, for example to see how even those with relatively more power than the truly down and out are finally being affected by politics and money. It is a virtual war in the US friends, a war in which those with power want ultimate control, at any cost and consequence whatsoever.
No such thing is occurring in Canada. And, just look how close with live to the States. You'd think that like in the Middle East when the revolutions started that it would have the same type of collateral effect, but not so here in Canada. You'd think that the middle classes would be under serious attack here in Canada and not just in the US. Now, the current Conservative Regime in Canada is just a smaller version of the Republican Party in the US. ( Don't misundersand me here, I know that at the present time there is no real difference between Republicans and Democrats since they are both driven by money ) But, they do NOT have the same kind of power as their counterparts in the US. This is the basic difference between Canada and the US and that is what I am trying to point out to you tonight. The Canadian mentality, at present, will not allow the Republican/capitalism gone wild mentality to take hold in this country, and that is in spite of the fact that the political party in power that we have would act in the very same way as a Republican Party if they had the power to do so. I think the recent relevations about Conservative contempt of Parliament is testimony that they would like to subvert democracy, but the Canadian people will not let them. That is my hope at least. But, they do not and that is why Canada is different than the US and that is why we are not experiencing the same kinds of problems as our brothers and sisters are south of the border.
Canada is structurally sound and we believe in the rule of law ( contrast this idea with what is happening or not happening in the US for example; think of the illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, a proper investigation into 9/11, and ask yourself why no one on Wall Street has been indicted for financial fraud ) and that is why we survive relatively unscathed. Our resources are a huge plus as I am sure you can imagine. But, there is more to it than resources otherwise we would just be another Middle Eastern dictatorship now wouldn't we? Of course, and that is the key to our staying on top of things. Power is a very important feature of society friends and it needs to be distributed evenly otherwise you run the risk of ruining your nation. And, the power in our country friends comes from knowing the difference between right and wrong and sharing the wealth, as is humanly and politically possible, that is. At least we try and that is the point of the whole thing. The Stephen Harper government is a minority one for the very reasons that I have listed above. Thanks for reading.