Monday, January 23, 2006

Anti-Americanism: Canadian Edition

Canadians voted today in a hotly contested election pitting a resurgent Canadian Conservative Party against a defensive but still dominant Liberal Party. Early results show the Conservatives winning a plurality of the seats. They still may not have enough seats, however, to form a government.

I don't have a dog in this race, but I am struck that one of the major lines of attack on the Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper is that he is "an extremist with ties to the United States." (emphasis added). That is shocking indeed, and it is wonder he managed to get as many seats.

I suppose if Canadians hate Americans, then it is hard to imagine who loves us. Still, I wonder how much of this language is silly posturing and a reflection of a particularized Canadian form of nationalism driven largely by defining Canada as the "Not-America" (a phenomenon I ruminated on this past summer here). This same form of strange anti-American nationalism is endemic to South America as well, where political leaders show off their anti-American toughness as a way to get votes.

I'm sure some of this is driven by U.S. foreign policy, but some of this would no doubt occur no matter who was President. The U.S. pretty much does nothing to Canada except put some tariffs on part of its lumber industry. Meanwhile, the U.S. is Canada's largest trading partner and its guarantor of national security.

Yet America still looms large as the "Enemy". Very odd and somewhat pathetic.


Blogger R2K said...

Pretty depressing.

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Blogger xinag zhong said...

This U.Ersus. pretty much really does not even attempt to The us except put a few contract deals on component of it's lumber sector. On the other hand, this Ough.Azines. is actually Canada's greatest buying and selling partner and its guarantor associated Buy rs goldwith country wide basic safety.

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