Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/27/make-america-more-canada
I certainly agree that the standard of living is certainly better in Canada - just walk across the bridge between Niagara Falls, ON and Niagara Falls, NY to see the difference.
But, we should probably wait at least until after their upcoming pivotal October elections and our equally pivotal elections a year later before we decide that we want to make the USA more like Canada.
“make America… More like Canada” or France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland…
Or better yet, between Detroit and Windsor.
While racism certainly exists in Canada and in particular that directed towards our First Nations people, I feel one of Canada’s greatest successes is multiculturalism. Canada now has some of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world and they function fine contrary to claims made by many of those White Nationalists that multiculturalism always leads to failure and ethnic strife.
There certainly a core of these people in Canada but they do not have the weight of numbers that other nations have.There a much stronger reaction against other Ethnicities in many European Countries as example. What we have to do is ensure this group of people remain fringe and what helps in this regard is the multiple of parties that run in the election.
One of the major differences I see in Canada when comparing to the United States is that the Republican party welcomes in Racists and White Nationalists and because that party mainstream those voices become mainstream. In Canada the racists and nationalists that might see themselves as Conservatives are not generally welcomed by that party and go out and form their own. These guys poll less then the Marxist party.
The majority of Canadian voters will still exert backlash against a person openly racist and running for office. This is why even the Conservative party tries to get rid of these people if they discovered to be members.I hope we can stay that way.
That all said , from an economic prospective Canada becomes more like the USA. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals tend to be big friends of the Corporations. This IMO is a result of NAFTA and other such trade deals that always emphasize the well being of the Corporation over the people.
Many of the advantages we enjoy were from policies formulated pre NAFTA. I have my doubts they would have been implemented as readily post NAFTA.
Unfortunately, Canada is becoming more like the United States. It has an influential Ukrainian minority, including a Ukrainian Foreign Minister, that is enthusiastically supportive of the new Cold War with Russia.
If one digs to the roots of this it goes back to Mulroney’s Conservatives and his desire to see Canada exert a more robust foreign policy with the Military. This was linked directly to NAFTA as it was deemed advantageous to have a foreign policy that was in line with the US policy as they felt it would ensure more access to the US Markets and a larger role in US Military spending.
The US did respond in kind with their Corporations entering into joint ventures with Canadian firms to build Military equipment. (The USA is Canada’s number one market for arms sales). This the same kind of stuff the Pentagon does when it distributes its arms manufacturers across the USA wherein even a Barry Sanders is reluctant to speak up against that spending.
NAFTA and other such Corporate friendly policies then resulted in Canadian based firms (In particular the mining sector) insisting that the Canadian Government help in getting access to the resources of other Countries. They claimed that lack of access would make them less competitive and having put their eggs all in the same basket of Corporatism , the Canadian Government jumped to comply. The Canadian Government supported the Coup In Haiti because Canadian Corporations wanted control over those mineral resources and feared they would go to other competitors. In Venezuela the Maduro Government was opening that Countries mineral wealth to the Russians and the same Canadian mining firms insist that they need to control the same.
Russia and China were making inroads in Libya as well which one reason the Canadian Government jumped onboard to destroy Qaddafi. As such I do not think it so much the Ukrainian minority driving this policy as much as it is the Corporations.
So it goes back to NAFTA! I hadn’t thought of that. There is the matter of Chrystia Freeland, though.
I would think that Canada has plenty of minerals. I guess they don’t want any competition.
Thank you for your response.
Canada’s Nativist Party (i.e. People’s Party) polling 3%. Marxist Party??.. which the Communist Party?? the NDP???http://rabble.ca/columnists/2019/07/ndp-remains-committed-democratic-socialism-despite-claims-contrary.
An interesting response, and yet I believe there are a variety of reasons including Canada’s economic self-interest. Another obvious reason is Russia’s recent military invasions of Ukraine as the most notable, but not only military incursion… makes me think of that modern-day apocalyptic fated Greenland!!/ or Golan Heights!!! Ukranian heritage in Canada and other immigrant Cold War memories of living in the USSR might also play a role imo. And then there was that '72 hockey series:)… okay maybe playing the culture card a bit too far here…
The Marxist Leninist , the Peoples Party , the Libertarians, The Christian Heritage parties and so forth all are deemed “other” and “Other” runs around 5 percent in polls.
The mainstream parties are the Liberals, The Conservatives , The NDP and the Green Party.
Well those Ukrainians tended to come to Canada prior to 1914 while the Ukraine under Tsarist Russia. The bulk of them migrated up until WW1. They were in fact interred much like the Japanese Canadians were in WW2.
I do not think they play that large a factor in Canada’s adversarial position versus Russia . Prior to WW1 it was a British Empire thing (If Britain saw Russia as a Rival so did Canada) , then it become a Cold War thing and then an economic thing. The Ukrainians had little to do with this. I know a lot of Ukrainian Canadians (I am of Polish Descent myself) and few are all that concerned about Russia or what happened to the Ukraine under the Tsar.
There about 1.4 million of Ukrainian descent in Canada and they tend to be dispersed across the nation. Their vote means about as much First Nations people so there are not many Canadian Politicians all that concerned about the Ukrainian vote.
Hmm… the NDP. Do you think the present iteration has a chance in the next election. Their leader (Jagmeet Singh) and last leader (Tom Mulcair) don’t seem to have any Socialist fire in the belly as did Layton, Ed the Red, the Lewis’s, or Sanders or Warren. What’s your take??
I think the NDP turned its back on Socialism. I consider the last real Socialist as Ed Broadbent. After that they took an approach intended to make them more “mainstream” and business friendly.
I do not see them making much of a breakthrough. I do hope the Greens do better.
Interesting… historically Ukranians as fascist collaborators in WWII, then starvation under Stalin. Somehow fits nicely with the narrative of lack of Putin adoration.
And of course the First Nations voice and vote is important (thinking here of SNC Lavalin and Wilson Raybould).
If by Socialist, you mean anti-Capitalist/ Marxist… Broadbent perhaps so. Then came that 3’rd way Tony Blair model. Nonetheless, Layton with his old man Moses cane cut quite a figure, and some of the Provincial leaders have bailed heroically against the rising Capitalist tide.
As for the Greens… splitting the progressive vote three ways won’t be helpful imho
I tend to agree. Even Broadbent was a shift to the right from the old Socialists that had their roots in the prairie populism of the 1920s. I will oftimes read the platform of the old CCF and they all but predicted where Canada was headed with a system that put the Corporations in charge of things.