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21. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 10y

Great points Isa,

I think the main thing to do would be take back the voting. I guess it is hard to say for sure.. but as far as an outsider can tell the elections in the United States are somewhat rigged. So I think taking back the power would be a good place to be.

(I think the same should be done in Canada.. for some reason a party with about 30% of the vote is running Canada. Makes me sick really)

22. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Brendan, you don't have to be an outsider to have the feeling that the elections are "rigged" when you look at the two that put/kept our illustrious leader in power. But, as with Canada, our voter turn-outs are just as abysmal and are also about 30% (if that) of the voting population. Maybe the deep dark hole that Bush will have us in by 2008 will actually wake some voters up - then again, they just may feel "what's the point, he lost the popular vote and still sits in the oval office". The biggest obstacle will ultimately be for the next one who takes the oath. I don't see where anyone (indifferent to party) will be able to make a dent in the clean-up during their first 4-year term. When that happens, there's a good chance they won't be re-elected. It's a viscious cycle and it's going to be messy.

Anyway, thanks for commenting! I appreiciate it. ;)

23. Posted by bvheide (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

Quoting vickim

I found the first postings by Americans to be quite interesting when they state that the rivalry between Canadians and Americans to be in good fun. Canadians see no humour in Americans teasing us or implying they may be better. When a Canadian teases an American it may be expressed in a sarcastic and fun-loving tone but in most cases they mean what they say.

All I can really say here is that in my experience, with a lot of expat Canadian friends, is that our ribbing is pretty good natured. I know these people they're my friends, and thus it's okay to josh around a bit. I'm not going downtown Ottawa to stand on the corner and make Canadian jokes or anything.

I would also say that I certainly understand why Canadians would be upset when they're not really lumped in with the idea of America. That's why I make extra efforts to refer to the U.S. or the States rather than America. Just seems common courtesy.

Finally, regarding the US being overrun / language issues. To those of you who decided to issue disparaging remarks about Canadian's language situation, as well as immigrants. I'd just have to point out that our (the US) system isn't much better. We don't even have a national language. Instead, we call ourselves a melting pot, and eschew that we are the land of opportunity, but it's then only for people who speak english. And, there's no real reason to choose english--since we've got no national language--other than that it's the language of the privileged.

24. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting bvheide

Finally, regarding the US being overrun / language issues. To those of you who decided to issue disparaging remarks about Canadian's language situation, as well as immigrants. I'd just have to point out that our (the US) system isn't much better. We don't even have a national language. Instead, we call ourselves a melting pot, and eschew that we are the land of opportunity, but it's then only for people who speak english. And, there's no real reason to choose english--since we've got no national language--other than that it's the language of the privileged.

We may well be on our way to having English as the national language - it will be interesting to see what happens to the bill when it get's to the House.
Senate Votes English as 'National Language'

I'm old enough to remember when Latin was about the only "foreign" language available in our schools. Depending on the school - at least now kids have a chance to learn a more useful second language. We recently saw a report about a grade school that is teaching Chinese as the second language and the kids are enjoying it. In my opinion - the more languages one learns, the more they are truly part of a global society. I don't see a problem with that.

25. Posted by twitchy78 (Budding Member 10 posts) 10y

While I expected a little hostility in this thread, I must say that I am a little alarmed. I am an American serviceman and voted for President Bush in the second election.

I secretly spit in every American's food.

I would much rather have my children learn Arabic or Asian than to be mistaken for a American.

Sadly, I take these seriously. In general, Americans do not have many friends internationally and those two comments highlight that sentiment more clearly that I could. The American government has taken a very proactive and aggressive aproach to ensuring security for her people over the last decades. And while I will sing the praises of that approach until I am blue in the face, it has given us an image of being bullies, arrogant and generaly unaware of the world around us. All this despite the fact that we are one of the world greatest contributers of foriegn aid, that we house and support the UN, that our sons and daughters make up large portion of UN peace keeper forces... We demand much of the world when it comes to the security of our people, but we give much too.

Brendan, you don't have to be an outsider to have the feeling that the elections are "rigged" when you look at the two that put/kept our illustrious leader in power.

This is common in those who do not support the administration. It is also common in those whose favorite ball team loses. Just because something happened that you do not like or agree with, does not mean that it occured under illicit means. Every American who went to school here knows about the electoral college and how it works. I voted for Gore in the first election that brought President Bush to power. I was disappointed that he lost, but accept that the election was valid by our laws. Over the following four years, I learned that President Bush lead in a manner that I supported. So, despite my initial fears, I found myself voting for him in the follow up election. While it may be unfathomable to some of you out there, there are people who believe that the war was the right answer and that a Democrat president would have screwed things up by pulling out too early.

Canada has it's own identity problems within Canada.

I personally know several Canadian residents, and yes there is drama between French Canadians and the rest of the country. Though some would like to portray otherwise, Canada does not present a unified front. Same as every other country.

We obiviously have a greater respect and understanding for different cultures in Canada.

That is as ignorant a statment as I have ever heard. Of everything stated on this board, that was the most offensive to my sensabilities. It has nothing to do with politics and directly addresses the arogant, holier than thou attitude in which the rest of the world views America and her citizens.

So, to close my rambling, American politics has created a situation where Americans in general do not care one way or another about nations that are not actively attacking us. But has generated an international attitude that Americans are ignorant, brutish and less refined. To agree with another post:

Canadians see no humour in Americans teasing us or implying they may be better. When a Canadian teases an American it may be expressed in a sarcastic and fun-loving tone but in most cases they mean what they say.

26. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting twitchy78

Quoting Isadora

Brendan, you don't have to be an outsider to have the feeling that the elections are "rigged" when you look at the two that put/kept our illustrious leader in power.

This is common in those who do not support the administration. It is also common in those whose favorite ball team loses. Just because something happened that you do not like or agree with, does not mean that it occured under illicit means. Every American who went to school here knows about the electoral college and how it works. I voted for Gore in the first election that brought President Bush to power. I was disappointed that he lost, but accept that the election was valid by our laws. Over the following four years, I learned that President Bush lead in a manner that I supported. So, despite my initial fears, I found myself voting for him in the follow up election. While it may be unfathomable to some of you out there, there are people who believe that the war was the right answer and that a Democrat president would have screwed things up by pulling out too early.

I apologize for a seemingly rash statement and will rectify that situation now. I am not an ardent supporter of this adminitration in any way, shape or form. That is quite obvious, and to some, well known. (My ball teams, on the other hand, show up to play so they have earned my support, win or lose. But, I digress.) The 2000 election was not won by illicit means - it was won through the use of the court system. Whether I agree with the way it was handled is neither here nor there - the Electoral College and Gore's reluctance to further pursue of the issue brought us to this point. The events of 9-11 and our invasion of Iraq solidified the 2004 win. I understand and accept that. (Trust me, both Gore and Kerry were disappointments.) Contrary to what you may think - I support the soldiers fighting the war. I do not support the politics behind it. Yes, there is a difference. (And, we'll never know if a Dem would have pulled out too soon...) Pulling out now would be a mistake. It may allow us some positve press if we did - but only until the Iraq civil war kicks into full gear. Then, we're be back on page one as the nasty big brother once again. Any decision the US makes, at this juncture, will be viewed as wrong by some other nation. It's a no-win situation. And, it is also not unfathomable for me to realize that some believe the war to be the right answer. I live in a state where the majority of the population - living outside of Chicago - is Republican and most support the administration fully.

As far as the Electoral College is concerned - most of us did learn it's function during high school civics class - but I would love for someone to poll the voting poulation and tally how many retained that information. (I searched for any such polls and found none, so far.)

Quoting GregW

I secretly spit in every American's food.

Though not authorized (by Greg) to speak on Greg's behalf - I'm going to take a stab at it just the same. It was humor sans the emoticons. If not - I'm with CC - do NOT have dinner with Greg! (Unless we get to order the beer.) ;)

Isa now returns this thread to it's originally scheduled topic.

27. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Quoting Isadora

Quoting GregW

I secretly spit in every American's food.

Though not authorized (by Greg) to speak on Greg's behalf - I'm going to take a stab at it just the same. It was humor sans the emoticons. If not - I'm with CC - do NOT have dinner with Greg! (Unless we get to order the beer.) ;)

Canadians and Americans have their differences, but I think we can all agree that we hate the French.

My comment was not to be taken seriously. I'm actually quite surprised that this thread has taken such a serious tone and revealed such polarization of opinions.

As a Canadian who spends a great deal of time in America, I'm surprised that the opinions are so divisive, because in my general dealings with Americans, I frankly find they isn't any large differences in my dealing with Canadians. We are very similar people with very similar cultures, in that generally our cultures are very multicultural and diverse.

I wonder if a lot of what has been posted in this thread is not a misrepresentation of the general feelings of the two populations. Perhaps this thread only draws people who have opinions on the extreme of this issue, or perhaps the internet in general tends people to post on the extreme of issues, and not moderate themselves like they might in real life.

Or perhaps I just set a bad tone with my first comment, and that has perputuated itself throughout the rest of the posts in the thread.

[ Edit: Edited at May 23, 2006 1:02 PM by GregW ]

28. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting GregW

Quoting Isadora

Quoting GregW

I secretly spit in every American's food.

Though not authorized (by Greg) to speak on Greg's behalf - I'm going to take a stab at it just the same. It was humor sans the emoticons. If not - I'm with CC - do NOT have dinner with Greg! (Unless we get to order the beer.) ;)

Canadians and Americans have their differences, but I think we can all agree that we hate the French.

I think you may be right! (It's the French fries that did it!)

My comment was not to be taken seriously. I'm actually quite surprised that this thread has taken such a serious tone and revealed such polarization of opinions.

Or perhaps I just set a bad tone with my first comment, and that has perputuated itself throughout the rest of the posts in the thread.

I'm actually going to pin the tail on Matt Stone and Trey Parker. If it weren't for Blame Canada, this thread would be "Frenchies and Americans". (Ya know we're always gonna be in the title somewhere...)

29. Posted by Fern1 (Full Member 53 posts) 10y

My biggest beef with Americans is they think they are the World, have very limited knowledge, if any at all, of things outside their own country.

30. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 10y

I couldn't possibly judge a person by what country they come from, or what their government policies are. I form opinions on an individual basis....and I still have to say.....I have never met a Canadian that I didn't like! Awesome folks, each and everyone of them! :)