Two Canada stories are hitting the news today. Both indicate that our neighbors in the Great White North are sending a big "Screw You" to the people of the United States. I'd think it were really funny, if I weren't one of those people. Anyway...
Story #1: Canada Approves Same-Sex Marriage. I'm not really obsessed with gay stories or gay rights. I feel strongly about it, but it doesn't usually enter my mind on a daily basis. Mostly I've been reporting and commenting on the news of the day, and thanks to 2004's GOP "Get Out the Vote" effort, it's been in the news a lot. Anystuff, in a story that should sound familiar to Americans (and by that I mean United States of Americans), Canadian courts ruled that the Canadian constitution would not allow barring gays from marrying. But instead of going all reactionary and passing constitutional amendments banning them from marrying or entering into contracts with each other "conferred upon unmarried couples", Canada's legislature decided to pass a law allowing and regulating gay marriage. It's a ballsy move, and I'm sure the wannabe theocrats there won't stop fighting. However, it's a popular initiative in Canada, despite what the so-called liberal CNN says about "fierce opposition". It's pretty clear that despite the widespread support, the timing is somewhat of a reaction to the US's fear campaign against gay marriage. Since the start of the Iraq war, Canada has been looking for ways to be morally superior to the US, and now latched on to one.
Story #2: Canada to consider export ban on drugs. This whole prescription drug thing has been like a bad conspiracy against Americans. The Bush administration and Republican congressmen try to ban it with a wide range of excuses, including "the drugs from Canada aren't safe". So now the Canadian government is tired of taking abuse and is saying, "You know what? Screw you. I'm taking my drugs and going home." Their reason? Because Canada might run out of medicine. Riiight. Canadians get a discount because their government is buying drugs in bulk, yet they're worried about a shortage? More likely they're worried about the drug companies refusing to sell to them, emboldened by the Bush Administration's willingness to protect them. So we all suffer, and pay more for drugs in the US, subsidizing the rest of the world because our politicians are so busy being in bed with drug reps that they didn't notice they pissed off the people supplying us with cheap pharmaceuticals.
So the land of ice, beer, and beaver skins is growing a national identity, and, surprise!, it's being defined by being the anti-US. Good for them. Canada's acting more American than us lately anyway. They're acting more like the prototypical pioneers - people who lived and let live and minded their own business - instead of mountain men of the Appalachians - squabbling, starting feuds, and drinking. Maybe the cold makes them smarter. Maybe it just means they don't have the patience to sit around wasting time on stupid stuff. At least they never lost a governor to the debate about whether a treasonous flag was "heritage" or "racist".