When asked to define a Canadian, the usual answer used to be, “We are not Americans.” However, for a while the current government seemed to have changed that notion. Mr. Harper spoke about “Made in Canada” solutions to the environment issues only a few years ago. Now the new dictum seems to be the same old, same old, with a variation, “We are not Americans, but we have to wait for Americans to speak first.” Again we affirmed ourselves to be a default nation. “We are what we are not.”
For some time now, we have had a party in power only because the opposition party has been weak. We have been electing a government by default. We elected Stephen Harper into power because he was not Stephan Dion. It was like that during the days when the Liberals were the natural-governing-party. We had the Liberal government forever because the right of centre was splintered, not necessarily because we agreed with the Liberal party platform. I think that it is getting worse. The Conservatives refuse to take a stand on environment and wait for American to say something first. They say that our economies are so integrated that it would be unrealistic to do anything independently from Americans.
Had we followed that logic, we should have joined Americans in Iraq. I remember Mr. Harper, in opposition at the time, accused Mr Chretien of “betraying a friend” when he decided to keep Canada out of the coalition. We could still be waiting for the U.S. Congress to pass the health care reform legislation before we have our own. Thank goodness, Canada is forty years ahead of the U.S. on that one. We used to have some good ideas. We still do.
When I came to Canada in 1957, I often heard an expression from Japanese-Canadian, “We trusted Canadian justice and fair play.” What happened to that phrase to define Canada? Did it become obsolete and we moved on to the next favourite colour?
I can not believe Mr. Harper, who is very intelligent and smart, and a committed conservative, just waiting for Mr. Obama, who is a most left-leaning President of the U.S. ever, to speak first. Or does he have a hidden agenda? I want him to tell us where he stands? Sorry, we are Canadians, we follow Americans. This is not good enough.