Archive for December, 2007

A New Nation?

Check this AFP site out. It’s not Canadian, but does have potential effects and ramifications for Canada. It is also related to recent articles posted on Canadian Fermentation.

Leaders of the Lakota, found in parts of the Dakotas and Montanna and beyond, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States. They claim they are no longer citizens of the U.S. and will soon be distributing their own passports and driver’s licenses. Well known native activist, Russel Means — who also stared in the movie Last of the Mohicans — is part of the leadership who initiated the separation of the Lakota lands.

I’m surprised, in a sarcastic way, that I haven’t seen more news about this.

If anyone has anymore information or news about this, please pass it on.

(Here’s a link to the Lakota pain-relief site, just for shits and giggles)

December 24, 2007 at 12:52 am 2 comments

Canadian Nations

Quebec is, of course, a huge issue in the politics and being of Canada.

I’ve been reading Roy MacGregor’s book Canadians. It’s a good overview of what makes Canada, Canada, and all things and people Canadian throughout the history of this land. You can’t write a book without discussing the Quebec situation, and he does so at several points throughout the book.

On page 305 he writes: “(Michael) Ignatieff was widely ridiculed for calling for Quebec to be recognized as a nation within a province within a country… It was a misstep, that, weeks later, surely contributed to his coming up short in the Liberal Party leadership race.”

Claiming nationhood for Quebec is always such a touchy subject in English Canada. But why? Let’s face it, Quebec is a distinct society, one of many, within Canada. In fact each province has evolved its own particular character and slight differences in culture, so much so that there is more difference between a person born and raised in Ontario and one raised in Nova Scotia than there is between that Ontario person and someone living in New York State. So, why not recognize provinces as nations unto themselves?

It does get tricky, though, with all the movement of people both internally within Canada, and from immigrants from other countries. Let’s look at the issue in Quebec. The failure of past rerferendums for Quebec sovereignty has been, by some, blamed on immigrants, and their fear of what life in a Nation of Quebec would be like for them. It’s hard to blame them when laws like Bill 101 are passed (language law) to keep Quebec distinct within its French culture and heritage. I wonder what Quebec Sovereigntists would think if they drove through some neighbourhoods in Toronto where all the signs are in some dialect of Chinese, or Russian or Indian, or some other language, with only minimal, or no, reference to English anywhere.

So, if Quebec is to receive identification as a Nation then other regions and people should be given the same distinction. First and foremost the First Peoples of Canada should receive it, and have more right to the identity as a nation or nations than Quebec ever will. Way to go Nanavut.

The feeling, at least from this English Canadian, is that Quebec Sovereigntists want to be superior rather than equal, whereas the goal is to recognize the difference between the different regions of Canada. Recognizing the equality of all individuals should be the prime goal of any sane society.

December 21, 2007 at 2:56 pm 4 comments

The Evolution of Democracy.

This is an interesting quote, I think quite relevant to the situation in many nations today, and quite nicely sums up democratic evolutionary process in a simple, easy to understand way.  Since I’m quite simple myself I like this kind of thing.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.

It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote

themselves largess from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes for the

candidates promising them the most benefits from the public

treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses

over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

These nations have progressed through this sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;

from spiritual faith to great courage;

from courage to liberty;

from liberty to abundance;

from abundance to selfishness;

from selfishness to apathy;

from apathy to dependance;

from dependency back again into bondage. ”  – Dr. Alexander Tyler

December 21, 2007 at 1:04 am Leave a comment

It’s Official: Cats Run This Country!

I was out of the country, and not really paying attention, during the last federal election, so I really don’t know too much about Canada’s current Prime minister, Stephen Harper. I tend to align myself more closely with central/left political thinking, although I do have some beliefs that are right of center. Even so, I’ve never voted for a Conservative candidate as other candidates tend to have more in common with my beliefs. I’m not against voting Conservative, I just haven’t met a candidate I’m willing to support, in my riding, yet.

But nobody told me that Mr. Harper was a cat man. Aparently he and his wife – whatever her name is, like I care* – support local shelters and have even fostered cats. That is pretty damn cool. Check out the link.

Personally I hate cats**, but damn! Nice going, PM.

Editor’s Notes:

* The authour actually does care but is just too lazy to look it up.

**The authour actually doesn’t hate cats. In fact the authour has a couple of his own cats that were found wandering the streets and causing trouble when they were kittens. The authour took the cats under his wing and they are now grown, productive citizens of the household. It could be said with some accuracy that the authour actually loves cats but doesn’t want to admit it due to potential damage to his ‘manly’ image. The authour now has to go pump some iron at the gym, just so you know.

December 18, 2007 at 9:34 pm 3 comments

Why Canadian Television is more ‘Canadian’ than American Television is ‘American.’

Recently I’ve been spending time analyzing trends in Canadian television. As Canadians we are constantly exposed to, and regularly prefer, American television compared to Canadian offerings. I have to admit to that bias for myself, too. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy many Canadian productions, and there are some very good Canadian shows available. In fact today, I would argue, Canadian television is as good and perhaps better than it has ever been with shows like Corner Gas, Little Mosque on the Prairie and the Trailer Park Boys. These shows have a typical Canadian ‘softness’ about them, while also exhibiting greater edge than I can ever remember seeing from shows produced north of the border; they are very funny while remaining relatively unoffensive.


There have also been several Canadian productions, usually with limited runs, that are similar in some way to American television shows, and yet are distinctly Canadian. In fact I will be so bold to say that the Canadian representatives of said shows are much more Canadian than the American shows are American, thereby fully immersing themselves as bastions of true Canadiana. These shows, it could be argued, are the epitome of Canadianism.


Here’s a list of some of these shows that have recently run on Canadian television:


Canadian Idol vs. American Idol


Canadian Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader vs. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader


Canadian Deal or No Deal vs. Deal or No Deal


As you can see all the Canadian programs have the word ‘Canadian’ in the title, while only one of the American programs has the word ‘American’. This reflects on the value of patriotism that viewers in each country feels. Canadians, it is quite obvious, are much more ‘Canadian’ than Americans are ‘American’. Our pride is greater, therefor we as a people are greater.


So, take pride my fellow Canadians for with continued programming such as these fine examples of Cultural Significance Canadian Television will soon be a dominating force on the home front, capturing the attention of most, if not all, of Canadian viewership. This can only build momentum, and with that kind of momentum can domination of the American market be soon behind? Obviously the answer is yes.

December 18, 2007 at 3:37 am Leave a comment

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