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Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 9:16 PM
Stryker Stryker is offline
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Is a North American Identity Emerging?

For much of Canada's history we've drifted between being a forgotten offshoot of western Europe, and a submissive satellite of the United States.

The fact is our population is a fraction of America's. In numerical terms its hard for Canadians to be equal partners in this relationship. In the past our choice has been to ignore our giant neighbour and being a isolated oddity such as Australia, or be something along the line of belorussia to russia.

However with the election of Donald Trump it seems the real difference between us and the US is being cemented.

Obviously not all of the US voted for trump however the politics surrounding his election points to a disconnect from the idea that the United states representing a unified nation.

The existence of america as a single nation is dead forever come better or worst.

Even if their isn't some political fragmentation of american states, could canada tap into the cultural fragmentation.

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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
If your thesis is cultural fragmentation is happening, why would that point to the emergence of a North American identity, rather than the opposite of that?
My point is, that this is largely only affecting the USA, and that our unified nation could emerge as a main player in north american culture.

This is a time when our small population may not hurt us. We are an equal partner in the north america.

Last edited by Stryker; Jan 22, 2017 at 10:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 9:43 PM
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I feel no brotherhood with Americans. Every time I venture south of the border I'm reminded how weird I find the whole country.

I feel far more brotherhood with the Brits or Aussies than the Yanks.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 9:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
For much of Canada's history we've drifted between being a forgotten offshoot of western Europe, and a submissive satellite of the United States.

The fact is our population is a fraction of America's. In numerical terms its hard for Canadians to be equal partners in this relationship. In the past our choice has been to ignore our giant neighbour and being a isolated oddity such as Australia, or be something along the line of belorussia to russia.

However with the election of Donald Trump it seems the real difference between us and the US is being cemented.

Obviously not all of the US voted for trump however the politics surrounding his election points to a disconnect from the idea that the United states representing a unified nation.

The existence of america as a single nation is dead forever come better or worst.

Even if their isn't some political fragmentation of american states, could canada tap into the cultural fragmentation.
If your thesis is cultural fragmentation is happening, why would that point to the emergence of a North American identity, rather than the opposite of that?
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 9:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
If your thesis is cultural fragmentation is happening, why would that point to the emergence of a North American identity, rather than the opposite of that?
I was trying to wrap my head around the OP question, but yeah... this.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 9:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
I feel no brotherhood with Americans. Every time I venture south of the border I'm reminded how weird I find the whole country.

I feel far more brotherhood with the Brits or Aussies than the Yanks.
Could not agree more!! Suddenly I find living in Vancouver odd as the US border is so close, basically on the edge of our suburbs, visible from almost any high point in Metro Vancouver. It's starting to make Vancouver feel 'fortress-like' as so many major roads lead to the US Border. At one time many of us loved having the US on our doorstep, great cross-border shopping etc., but now it feels rather threatening and many of us no longer have any desire to cross it.

Many I speak with are hoping for closer ties to something other than the US and many suggest closer ties with the UK and Australia, perhaps that will come to fruition with the nightmare happening to the south of us.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:20 PM
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Washington state feels no different than BC, same culture, same people, same weather, but less poverty and cleaner, especially seattle vs Vancouver.

Canada is already fragmented, BC is not Alberta and Alberta is not Ontario.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
If your thesis is cultural fragmentation is happening, why would that point to the emergence of a North American identity, rather than the opposite of that?
My point is, that this is largely only affecting the USA, and that our unified nation could emerge as a main player in north american culture.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
My point is, that this is largely only affecting the USA, and that our unified nation could emerge as a main player in north american culture.
Canada? A unified nation? We have provinces that aren't even unified let alone the whole country.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:24 PM
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My national identity straddles the border between Quebec-ness and Canada-ness, so I have two big perspectives in terms of feeling close to one region or another.

On one hand, I feel an affinity towards 'little cousin' countries like New Zealand which, much like Canada, are a smaller, low-key version of the larger country next door. One thing which I've found about Canadian and NZ way of being is that we don't take things all to seriously because we're always being reminded that the "real action" is happening elsewhere.

On the other, I feel close to other nation-within-a-nation countries like Scotland which are striving - with varying results - to carve out their own ways of going about things. I've grown up post-1995 in the bilingual belt with the underlying nationalist tension as a kind of background noise. As a result, I think that my generation is both very sensitive to cultural differences, but also very relaxed about them; it's not that we don't see the differences between Franco- and Anglo-Quebeckers, it's just that we don't really get fussy or defensive about it. We understand the 'other' and have come to accept that 'our' ways of being are just as valid and arbitrary than the other's. It's kind of hard to describe.
But long story short, I feel that there's an extra level of "we don't take ourselves too seriously" among post-1995 Quebeckers on top of the existing 'little cousin' nonchalance present in the rest of Canada.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by connect2source View Post
Could not agree more!! Suddenly I find living in Vancouver odd as the US border is so close, basically on the edge of our suburbs, visible from almost any high point in Metro Vancouver. It's starting to make Vancouver feel 'fortress-like' as so many major roads lead to the US Border. At one time many of us loved having the US on our doorstep, great cross-border shopping etc., but now it feels rather threatening and many of us no longer have any desire to cross it.

Many I speak with are hoping for closer ties to something other than the US and many suggest closer ties with the UK and Australia, perhaps that will come to fruition with the nightmare happening to the south of us.
And yet many people in washington state look to us with envy.

Canada is no longer the smaller version of the real thing, were the only tangible alternative.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
Canada? A unified nation? We have provinces that aren't even unified let alone the whole country.
My main point is that trump has given us a reason to unite, and actually has made being Canadian the sexist its ever been. Especially with the circumstances in europe.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
On one hand, I feel an affinity towards 'little cousin' countries like New Zealand which, much like Canada, are a smaller, low-key version of the larger country next door. One thing which I've found about Canadian and NZ way of being is that we don't take things all to seriously because we're always being reminded that the "real action" is happening elsewhere.
I went to the Canada Bar in London once (I wouldn't recommend going) and when I was there I happened to run into a couple Kiwis. They insisted that NZ and Canada were the exact same because we had large obnoxious neighbours that take all the glitz and glam and aren't shy about being bigger. We actually played a game where we had to name five cities and five famous people from each other's countries. I nailed NZ cities but the only people who've come from that country is Peter Jackson and some rugby players.

The US/AUS comparison makes a bit of sense when people in East Asia complain about Australian tourists on vacation in the same vein that Caribbeans complain about Americans when on vacation. Or Canadians when Americans travel north.

I've always considered Australia to be a much closer example to Canada than the UK given the size and population and similar histories but the New Zealand argument is compelling when you give it a bit of time for consideration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
My main point is that trump has given us a reason to unite, and actually has made being Canadian the sexist its ever been. Especially with the circumstances in europe.
I'd beg to differ. We are just as close to fragmenting over a controversial politician as the US was. Wait for the France elections, and for the Conservative Leadership convention, and let me know how things pan out.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
My main point is that trump has given us a reason to unite, and actually has made being Canadian the sexist its ever been. Especially with the circumstances in europe.
Haha you're spelling mistake here is pretty funny!
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
My national identity straddles the border between Quebec-ness and Canada-ness, so I have two big perspectives in terms of feeling close to one region or another.

On one hand, I feel an affinity towards 'little cousin' countries like New Zealand which, much like Canada, are a smaller, low-key version of the larger country next door. One thing which I've found about Canadian and NZ way of being is that we don't take things all to seriously because we're always being reminded that the "real action" is happening elsewhere.

On the other, I feel close to other nation-within-a-nation countries like Scotland which are striving - with varying results - to carve out their own ways of going about things. I've grown up post-1995 in the bilingual belt with the underlying nationalist tension as a kind of background noise. As a result, I think that my generation is both very sensitive to cultural differences, but also very relaxed about them; it's not that we don't see the differences between Franco- and Anglo-Quebeckers, it's just that we don't really get fussy or defensive about it. We understand the 'other' and have come to accept that 'our' ways of being are just as valid and arbitrary than the other's. It's kind of hard to describe.
But long story short, I feel that there's an extra level of "we don't take ourselves too seriously" among post-1995 Quebeckers on top of the existing 'little cousin' nonchalance present in the rest of Canada.
There's a truth in what you say; I'm also a millenial Anglo-Quebecker. Not sure what it implies about the role Canada could play on a continent with more fragmented identities south of us though.

On that topic, I can't think how we could take advantage of a theoretically more culturally fragmented US, can anyone else? Certainly, I don't think political fragmentation will happen, and that does relate to my being an Anglo-Quebecker, I understand how hard secession is from a practical perspective. That, and the US already fought a war on that topic, with the conclusion being that states cannot secede and will be kept in the union by military force if they try to leave. Very different from Canada or the EU.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
And yet many people in washington state look to us with envy.

Canada is no longer the smaller version of the real thing, were the only tangible alternative.
Still have no idea why, Washington state is far more progressive than BC is and has a far better job market and far less poverty.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:35 PM
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A big reason Trump won was because Liberals were not excited by Hillary and did not bother to vote in the same numbers they did for Obama in 2012. Now since the election they are all scared and think the world is going to end. Tough s%*! they did not vote when it counted and this is what happens when you don't exercise your vote. I have no sympathy for these Johnny come lately protesters whatsoever.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connect2source View Post
Many I speak with are hoping for closer ties to something other than the US and many suggest closer ties with the UK and Australia, perhaps that will come to fruition with the nightmare happening to the south of us.
One silver lining of Brexit could be an agreement allowing for freer movement between Canada and the UK as well as Australia and New Zealand.

I am generally in favour of borders being as unobtrusive as possible. I think Canada and the US need some border protections, but Canada is relatively compatible with the UK, Aus, and NZ so that could work well. The US is unfortunately a demanding and capricious partner to deal with.

I have noticed the same thing where it is often easier to personally relate to somebody from the UK, Aus, NZ, or Western Europe than a lot of Americans. Some people will discount that as Canadians merely thinking Americans are less cool but I think there are some real cultural differences. This is particularly true for Francophones and bilingual Canadians compared to Europeans (who often have a pretty similar multilingual background). There's also a certain amount of perspective that people from smaller countries tend to share, whereas even more thoughtful Americans tend to take a lot of domestic quirks for granted and assume they are universal.

I like visiting the US and I have lots of friends there but I don't have much desire to live there. I would at most probably consider living somewhere like the UK, Ireland, France, or Australia for a year then come back to Canada.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
My national identity straddles the border between Quebec-ness and Canada-ness, so I have two big perspectives in terms of feeling close to one region or another.
For me its become primarily newfie/easterner.

My ability to relate to people falls off a cliff once I'm past gatineau.

Otherwise I lean towards a generic north american identity with leanings towards the Appalachian



Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
On one hand, I feel an affinity towards 'little cousin' countries like New Zealand which, much like Canada, are a smaller, low-key version of the larger country next door. One thing which I've found about Canadian and NZ way of being is that we don't take things all to seriously because we're always being reminded that the "real action" is happening elsewhere.
Meh I donno I think were hitting the rock star era.

With truddeau as our leader etc, our posh liberal tendencies have become far more of a contrast to trump.

For example the tendency of our big three cities having to "pretend to be american" no longer seems to be important when filming movies in canada, as I'm quite certain it makes the place seem far more exciting and important than it did 5 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
On the other, I feel close to other nation-within-a-nation countries like Scotland which are striving - with varying results - to carve out their own ways of going about things. I've grown up post-1995 in the bilingual belt with the underlying nationalist tension as a kind of background noise. As a result, I think that my generation is both very sensitive to cultural differences, but also very relaxed about them; it's not that we don't see the differences between Franco- and Anglo-Quebeckers, it's just that we don't really get fussy or defensive about it. We understand the 'other' and have come to accept that 'our' ways of being are just as valid and arbitrary than the other's. It's kind of hard to describe.
But long story short, I feel that there's an extra level of "we don't take ourselves too seriously" among post-1995 Quebeckers on top of the existing 'little cousin' nonchalance present in the rest of Canada.
Honestly I hope it become easier for people to move to quebec.

I want to live there pretty bad but I'll never learn french well enough.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bcasey25raptor View Post
Washington state feels no different than BC, same culture, same people, same weather, but less poverty and cleaner, especially seattle vs Vancouver.
In 2007, Forbes found that Vancouver was tied with Boston and Montreal for 10th cleanest city in the world (Calgary was #1, Ottawa #4, Toronto #21). Seattle didn't even make the list.

http://www.forbes.com/2007/04/16/wor..._slide_13.html

In 2010, the tyee named Vancouver the greenest city in Cascadia (no contest, they said) with the lowest poverty rate:

It's not so much Vancouver's new rail transit line under downtown that goes to the airport (which Seattle now boasts too). It's not the city's progressive green mayor, who ran an exceptional, grassroots campaign against a candidate with the support of the business community. (Portland and Seattle have similar mayors, similarly elected.) It's that Vancouver has, among large Northwest cities, the highest urban density, the most cycling, the most walking, the most transit ridership, the fewest cars -- and the least driving -- per person, the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita by far (thanks to its car-lite ways and to its carbon-free electricity), the lowest teen birth rate and family size, the highest life expectancy, and the lowest poverty rate. There's hardly a category of the Cascadia Scorecard in which the soon-to-be Olympic city doesn't take gold.

https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/01/0...sGreenestCity/

Unless you can show me some big changes since then....
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
And yet many people in washington state look to us with envy.
I would venture that part of is related to WA being attached to the larger U.S. and especially the parts of it that are seen as "crazy". It's not so much about the everyday reality on the ground in WA.

There is also probably a lot of idealizing about Canada that goes on there, as there is in most of the more liberal areas of the U.S.
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