Thursday, July 01, 2010

Speaking of Canada on Canada Day

I went to check on Canada today, to see if we were doing anything at all interesting. But on the very eve of Canada day, during the Queen's Visit, and immediately subsequent to the 100th' birthday of the Canadian Navy.this is the top story.

Yes, there is the odd murder. Yes, we are still spilling blood in Afghanistan, our own and those of Afghanis. And yes, being Canadian, part of our contribution is a rather large contingent of medical professionals. Once someone HAS been shot and is unable to shoot back - if they were ever so inclined in the first place - we think that it is utterly unremarkable for us to be concerned about their well-being. This is quite aside from the fact that we are entirely sure that our soldiers are, man for man, twice as good as any Ahmurican, three times as good as any Frenchman, and five times as good as any person from Ireland, Wales or Scotland who is cognezant of his history and yet willing to take the Queen's schilling.

Oh, we will serve along side them, and gladly. It gives us an opportunity to prove which of the various Commonweath members can be smuggest under fire.

We are Canada. We are a people who are as ethical as we can afford to be. No more than that, Lord save us, but by the Lord Harry, not one whit less than that! We are a complacent, polite and rather dull people, who value being able to turn on the news and find out that certain things are as they should be, and whatever follies might have been committed, can be reasonably and properly blamed on having taken bad advice from Americans. 

Sadly, like all partners in power-imbalanced relationships, we do that rather a lot. But being Canadian, we do regret it in the morning, and promise to never, ever do it again.

One of my favourite things about Canada is that we actually do something about our regrets. Although, I do suspect that at least half of the reason that our Royal Commissions actually do come to conclusions and our politicians actually do make sincere public statements of regret that are backed up with money and actual change is that it proves to the world that we are Canadian.

Which is to say, NOT Ahumurikan.

Being Not American, by the way, is pretty much the whole Canadian thing. We are the continental Plan B. The Unelected Senate of the Northern Hemisphere. The living proof that if you take your time and do things right, you need not do to do it twice.

This does means that it takes us rather longer to do certain things.  I clearly remember a time, just prior to Trudeau, in which we were a nation that was a client state to both the UK and the US, and damn proud of it. A nation in which poverty and disease and grinding toil were taken for granted. A time when many areas of British Columbia,one of the richest provinces in Canada today, resembled a third world nation and the worst areas resembled rural Tennessee. When you crossed the border, a superhighway changed into a two lane road.

Yes, Surrey, British Columbia, I am speaking of you, ye of the white fringed boots and the spray-on jeans with optional thong. This is a cliché because this is what you were, once, and not one person inside or out of Surrey thought twice of it. Now, it's an ironic fashion statement, and you heark back to it, you who are born in bred in the the realm of seven digit street addresses, not because you are actually sluts, but because being *thought* of as being sluts is as much a part of the heritage and culture of Surrey as Newfie jokes are part and parcel of being from Newfoundland.

In Canada, our history is what it is, and we did what we did in order to make do. We are neither proud nor embarrassed, but in the words of the famous Canadian marching song:

"We're here because we're here/
were here becaue were're here/
We don't give a damn that we're here!
We are here because we're here!.

This changed. Not suddenly. Not as a result of some radical upheaval by the terms of any other nation than our own. We didn't have a civil war. Nope. We had an election. The socialists came to power, changed a few things and then once they had had a chance to implement their rather good, overdue, and entirely unwelcome ideas, the Conservatives returned. But our conservatives did not repeal the changes. They respected the will of the people and therefore, were required to make sense of it all, put it all on a proper footing, and make it Canadian - that is to say, an idea that would be have been a completely Tory idea, had they only been capable of thinking of it in the first place.

It is not at ALL an accident that the US tried to get Canada to repeal it's entire social safety net as being an "unfair business subsidy." Of course it is. Bless you, dears, what part of "trade" implied "fair" to you? Isn't "fair trade" one of those sloppy-minded "libtard" ideas? No, we are Canadians. Fiscally conservative. That means that we we do indeed focus on the bottom line. That is to say, our Gross Domestic Product and our balance of trade. So whatever we can do to tip that bottom line in our favor... and more to the point, whatever you can be encouraged to do to tip YOUR balance of trade in our favor.. well thank you very much. And come again.

Canadian Conservatives, trained in the most exclusive and unforgiving prep schools, equally blessed with regular canings and training in the critical thinking that no doubt makes them question the necessity of it even as they add it to their repetoire of private sexual deviations are qualified to  use spreadsheets, run the numbers and accept the results as being true, regardless of the answers their ideology says the answers should be.

If welfare and unemployment turn out to stimulate the economy, well, they do. A proper Conservative does not give an amputated rat's ass if that means that the money goes to an "unworthy person" as the first stop. Let us say that the "unworthy person spends all their money on drugs."

Being a Conservative, they know quite well that first, the drug operation was bankrolled by someone who votes Conservative, they know that regardless of who "deserves" the money, some of it was spent on toilet paper, which is made from Canadian trees owned by quite reliable Tories, unreliable people of COURSE buy McCain brand lunch meat, Hunky Bill's pyrogies and Top Ramen... and so it goes.

The less "reliable" and "worthy" the person it is, the less likely that money will be saved and the more likely it will immediate will pass into entrepreneurial, Conservative hands. For proper economic stimulus, it's not so much about the sheer amount of money, as the velocity - how many hands it passes though in what period of time on it's way back to the proper hands.

Like I say, we run the numbers and follow the money. And the numbers reflect reality as it is, not as some sorts would prefer it to be.

1.Via Skye News, who, due to their editorial slant, include two paragraphs of anti-monarchism, and being British, must relegate them to the last two paragraphs.) (See also here what a very precarious thing it was, in true Canadian form.

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