Somewhat to my astonishment a new poll finds 46 per cent of Canadians believe our values and goals are « very similar » – the strongest category of perceived closeness – to those held by Americans. This compares with 40 percent for Britain, 29 per cent for Australia and 22 per cent for France.

A Jewish activist, Jack Jedwab, say our fellow-feeling for Americans is reinforced by the two countries’ geographical proximity, the day-to-day interaction of cross-border trade and travel, our shared heritage as nations of immigrants and our shared tastes in popular culture.

Well, to some degree, some of that may be true. But let me say in all seriousness. I do not share goals and values with a country

1)whose chief of state attacks, invades and occupies a sovereign country that posed no threat to the United States. (Happily our own prime minister at the time did not share this goal.

2)that permits almost 50 million of its citizens to eke out an existence without health care.

3) that in response to a totalitarian attack adopts totalitarian measures to tap phones and spy on its own ciitizens.

Do you personally agree with the proposition that Canada’s values and goals are very similar to those of Americans?

Which country do you think we most resemble in terms of goals and values? (Mypersonal choice would be Britain.)

I am off to Ontario. Back on Sunday.  Cheers, Neil



  1. 1
    bernie12 Says:

    Neil….NO WAY11
    As you say, we have universal health.The poor in the US are abandoned in this area .
    The Us tried to wipe out the American native population. I like the story of the huge native crossing of the border into Canada as they were being slaughtered by the US army. A single Mountie rode calmly right to their chief to announce they were welcome in Canada as long as they kept the law of our land !!
    The US systematically replaced governments in Latin America to support US multinationals ; in Guatemala in 1954 ; they put in the Somoza regime in Nicaragua . That regime ended up literaly owning 75% of the country during their plunder of that country ; and the Pinochet dictarorship in Chile that resulted in one of the most despotic regimes known in that region .Perhaps George Bush Sr. and Kissinger should have been up for war crimes on that on .!!
    The image of the ugly American is well documented . I personally had such an experience of that in Honduras in 1972 .
    Th building of the US fence on the Mexican border is another reason to support the deep divide with our values !!

  2. 2
    Neil Says:

    Tim: –

    Thanks for your informed account of U.S. imperialism especially as it applied to Latin America. The harsh attitude of the American right to illegal immigrants from Mexico is yet another example of this.

  3. 3
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Neil, Neil, Neil.
    There’s lots in this column to take issue with but I’m going to limit my comments to just one statement:
    « I do not share goals and values with a country…that permits almost 50 million of its citizens to eke out an existence without health care. »
    Fact: almost 50 million Americans do not have health care INSURANCE.
    Fact: Zero American do not have health care.
    Americans that do not have health care insurance can avail themselves of various government programs and laws that provide health care.
    For example, Medicaid (not to be confused with Medicare) provides health care insurance to America’s poor. Last year the federal government spent $200 billion on Medicaid. Because it’s a dollar-for-dollar matching program between Washington and the states, an additional $200 billion was spent on Medicaid by the 50 states. That’s a total of $400 billion spent on health care insurance in the U.S. last year for those that can’t afford it themselves…and that’s just one program.
    To put that into perspective, $400 billion is almost twice the entire Canadian federal government budget.
    And that $400 billion is separate from the $390 billion spent on Medicare each year, which is a socialized health care program for America’s seniors (it pays about 80% of their hospital and health care). A senior in poverty under medicare who is without individual health care insurance will have 80% of his $200,000 heart trasplant operation paid for by the government.
    Laws: it is against the law in the U.S. to refuse care to anyone with a medical emergency who shows up at a hospital’s emergency room. Even if Muhammed Atta, the pilot who commandeered one of the planes on 9/11, had survived and had somehow made his way to Lennox Hospital in Manhatten, he would have had to be treated for his injuries…and he had showed up on his gurney before any of his 3,000 victims, he would have had to be treated, by law, before any of them (equality rights guarantees « first come, first served »).
    Let’s get our facts right first. THEN we can we comment on and make comparisons of the values that may be shared between the two countries.

  4. 4

    Thank you for your detailed explanation of U.S. health care.
    If Ihave facts wrong, then so do Senators Clinton and Obama, ex-Senator Edwards and Michael Moore.

    Do you happen to know many Canadians who would trade their health insurance for the American version?

  5. 5
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Don’t get me wrong, Neil, I’m no advocate of the U.S. health system…it’s broken badly.
    My problem with it is that in addition to the almost $1 trillion of health care that is already part of the U.S. socialized medicine system, health care is a monopoly controlled by the American Medical Association and its running dog lacky, the FDA.
    I want a genuine free market in health care in the U.S.: no stranglehold on the supply of doctors by the AMA and enabling a level playing field for alternative medicines to be on par with so-called « western » medicine. Competition and supply side economics.
    As for your question on how many Canadians would trade their health insurance for the American version: I would venture to say very few, except for the ones that come south for treatment (like the late Premier Bourassa did for his melanoma).
    Yes, Michael Moore does have his facts wrong (although he no longer says « X millions don’t have health care » as he did for many years…he has corrected himself and adds the word « insurance »). As for the others you cite, I don’t know what they’re saying so I can’t comment on it.

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