How one Brit sees the way we see Canada


In a piece extolling the supposed political brilliance of “crack-smoking and alleged sexual harasser Toronto mayor Rob Ford,” Hadley Freeman of The Guardian wrote the following explanation of international relations:

Heretofore, Canada was to America what Sweden is to the rest of Europe, but commanding less respect. Just as Sweden is always held up as the bastion of feminism, childcare and good mental health, so Canada is a paradise of ruddy-cheeked health and socialised healthcare, while Americans pay $8,000 daily to get their gunshot wounds treated…

That’s all. I just enjoyed the way she said it.

Less respect, eh? Take off, you hoser

6 thoughts on “How one Brit sees the way we see Canada

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Meanwhile, here’s a bit of a confessional from a Canadian:

    But an alternate explanation presented itself to me the other day when someone asked, by way of Facebook, whether I wasn’t desperately embarrassed to be a Canadian this week. And plumbing the arctic depths of my Canadian soul, I discovered the truth: I have never been prouder to be a Canadian in my whole entire life.

    I think that after a lifetime of being typecast as the tall guy in the corner in the ribbed turtleneck and ugly Kodiak boots, Canadians may be secretly loving this chance to suggest to the world that deep inside each and every one of us lurks a 300-pound loon perfectly capable of flattening a city council member in his attempt to jump a heckler in the middle of a council meeting. Even the staggering hubris of the 2010 Canadian Winter Olympic effort has nothing on Rob Ford. For the first time since the War of 1812, Canada is looking just a teensy bit id-dy, and let me tell you brother—we kind of love it.

  2. Juan Caruso

    Canada is decidely privincial, not unlike the leanings of the regional U.S. How Toronto’s controversial mayor emerges from his latest brickbats will depend upon his overall record: “he has been the subject of a number of personal and work-related controversies and legal proceedings, including a conflict of interest trial that nearly removed him from office. … Ford continued coaching after becoming Toronto mayor and was criticized for involving his political aides in the Don Bosco program and the football foundation. His fund-raising for the football foundation on city letterhead led to his being sued for conflict of interest.”

    Ford is a right of center independent in the Progreessive Conservative Party. Suppose a right of center indeopendent candidate like Ron Paul had Ford’ s resume of late. What would his prospects have been?

    As to allusions to Sweden, one momentous thing Brad somehow omitted is that Hadley Freeman is female and a feminist. Sweden has been a Mecca of feminist politics for some time. Might as well ask Kathryn Fenner for her opinion of Rob Ford, which she cryptically hints above.

    Having lived in Sweden, I discount Ms. Hadley Freeeman’s nebulous analogy with regard to Mayor (pro tem) Ford.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Juan, I wasn’t presenting the quote as serious analysis, any more than this woman named Freeman intended it as such. I just thought it was amusing. It’s kinda chock full o’ irony…


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