Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Canada

As Canada day is approaching the annual migration of city dweller to weekend dock rat takes place, I thought I might share my feelings on this fair land of ours. In light of recent elections I have found my Canadian pride and nationalism rekindled, especially by the Bloc Quebecquois. I wonder if there is anything else so distinctly Canadian is having an official political party devoted towards breaking up the country. I mean in any other country you would be committing an act of treason, look at Chechnya. I think in the US as long as you stay on your plot of land, and only come out in the open once in a while to burn a flag, and buy big big big guns you are tolerated, but if you actually started to openly try and divide the country you would probably find yourself in court on treason charges, and my guess is that in some states that carries the death penalty. In Canada mind you, it is a very different story, so different in fact that 12% of the population can elect 18 % of the federal members of parliament. In fact if you take into account the eligible voters who aren't worth a damn (see Minority Government) only 7.2% of the population elected the Bloc into 54 ridings. So here we have this federal party of whiners telling us that Quebec is hard done by and abused by the rest of Canada, and they want Sovereignty. Now I hope Canadian's will recall that Sovereignty as defined by the last referendum lets them keep their Citizenship, passports, currency, and a bunch of other Canadian niceties, but they get self-government. Well, I think it's a load of bullocks, and if Citizens don't like Canada they can migrate, but Quebec is a part of Canada, a part of our history and a part of our national character, and without Quebec we wouldn't have Poutine, and then we might as well just be the 51st State. So fie on you Gilles Duceppe, because I am willing to fight for my right to put cheese curds and gravy on fries!

To say that is the only reason I like Canada is an injustice to Canada and myself, so here are some other things I love about our fair land. Our national/provincial parks, trails and wildlife preserves, if you haven't noticed, Canada is just teaming with nature. To start with we are the second largest country in the world, but population wise we are far from it, and with most of us living with one hour of the border, that makes Canada one seriously empty place. In that emptiness I find beauty that for some has only been shared through the brush strokes of folk like Tom Thompson and the rest of the Group of Seven. At times Canada is sharp, and rugged, great mountains rise like teeth high into the sky, white topped and beautiful. Then Canada can go to the opposite with its majestic forests, and waterways like those of Algonquin Park. I am not a hard-core camper and as such much of Canada isn't open to me, but even when standing at the doors to this great land I am overcome by is wonder. At times the only way I can express the diversity of Canada's nature is with the songs of the Canadian comedy band the Arrogant Worms. In such songs like Rocks and Trees:
Cause we've got rocks and trees, and trees and rocks,
and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks,
and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks,
and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks,
and water.
Or Canada is Really big:
our mountains are very pointy, our prairies are not
the rest is kind of bumpy, but man do we have a lot!
(we've got a lot of land, we've got a whole lot of land)

And the list of patriotic comedy ditties just goes on and on and on. That's another thing about Canada, we can laugh at ourselves and say boy aren't we silly, everyone one has a few jibes, a few laughs and then we move on. Its not like we need some massive documentary that rips off book titles to get our political views across in a hostile manner.

Well my train just pulled in, so off to work I go, I hope this makes it clear I think Canada is great, but if not I have all Canada to drink Canadian beer, sit on a dock in majestic lake country ponder and blog about it.

My name is Geoff, and I have a Canadian problem
"Hi Geoff"
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