On CSPAN today, a segment of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) The National was shown. (Paul tells me that this is the CBC’s nightly news show.) Its subject was to contrast Canadian and American society and attitudes—broadcasted in honor of President Bush’s state visit, obviously.
At the outset, the narrator says this about the visit: “American President George W. Bush finally, finally [bold mine] visits Canada,” conveniently leaving out the fact that President Bush had visited Canada twice to attend summits and had planned a state visit early in 2003. The proposed visit was abruptly cancelled after a spokeswoman for then Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien referred to the president as a moron and the PM refused to accept her resignation.
(The present-day Canadian PM, Paul Martin, however, apparently knows what side his bread is buttered on. Or maybe he just understands common courtesy better than some other members of the Canadian government. When Canadian Parliamentarian Carolyn Parrish made her ridiculous anti-Bush statement—stepping on a Bush doll for publicity (and protest) purposes--Prime Minister Martin had her ejected from their Liberal Party Caucus.)
Further on into the program, the narrator uses the unintentionally funny metaphor of Canada’s National Circus School (“It’s simply called ‘Cirque,’ the French word,” said the narrator proudly), to represent the beauty of being Canadian: pliant, flexible and--ta-da!--international. (Several nations have representatives among the student body. This fact is presented as if a given student body at any American university is composed solely of WASPy Americans.) Viva la Diversidad!
Canadians are more “citizens of the world,” asserted the narrator; they are cosmopolitans, who thrive in the big cities where diversity rules. Americans abandon their cities and even their suburbs when “people they don’t like” move there. Canadians trust their government and give it a great deal of power over their lives. Americans are suspicious of too much government and keep it weak.
The results of two polls were given. The first: do you believe that the father is the “master” [quotes mine] of the household? 50% of Americans polled said ‘yes,’ while only 20% of Canadians did so. The second: do you attend religious services at least once a week? The results were roughly identical.
In short, the narrator happily concludes that Canadians are more like Europeans than their American neighbors.
Well. If the majority of Canadian attitudes are accurately portrayed by this segment, then I agree. And it's--to borrow a phrase--a *good* thing.
I found myself cracking up during the intro as the narrator expounded in solemn tones on this seemingly serious subject as the camera repeatedly zoomed in on the crotches of the open-legged circus students. A metaphor for how different many Canadians are from many Americans? You’d better believe it. Americans aren’t willing to twist themselves into unnatural positions to please the likes of French President Jacques Chirac, nor are we going to “lie back, spread ‘em and ‘enjoy’ it” by letting those who want to terrorize this country into submission do so.
My Canadian friends, if this is the type of propaganda you get day in and day out, you need FoxNews badly. That’s not to say that they don’t dish out their own brand of propaganda on occasion, however, a little alternate viewpoint never hurt anyone.
Additionally, the gnashing of Canadian teeth--at least the leftist ones--should be entertaining. (Fox invades Canada at first of the upcoming year).
UPDATE: Paul corrects the facts regarding the Parrish incident. Parrish wasn't ejected from the Liberal Caucus for her little stunt. She was booted for criticizing PM Martin.