Canadian politics – not a punchline, but flat out serious

Posted on December 5, 2008


All you American readers out there … read this story and tell me honestly if you knew a percentage of the principal actors mentioned.

On being versed on the news of the day, I consider myself better than average. But I had no idea Canada had a representative of Queen Elizabeth capable of adjudicating legislative matters. I don’t like that feeling, seeing as Canada is not only a border country, but one whose policies do indeed affect our own. Especially true here in Ohio, where Canada is just a drive up I-75, or a pond jump across Lake Erie.

Clearly, I need to get better educated.

Fellow blog is a slightly left-leaning blog devoted to Canadian political matters. Might be worth checking out there. But I, and many other Americans, need to get an even more basic primer on how Canadian government works. We’re not used to the parliamentary system here, so its in’s and out’s, along with each country’s individual idiosyncrasies, can seem a bit foreign to many here. The same sentiment can at times be expressed at Israel’s political process, one which many are even more unawares but one in which the stakes are even higher. The most combative may call it “blind ignorance of those dumb Americans,” and there may be a tinge of truth to that, but the other side of the coin is that most of the rest of the world, despite what they might believe, is just as ill-knowledged at the nuances and idiosyncrasies of our own two-party system and form of government.

It’s not an indictment on anyone. No one, outside of the State Department or Foreign Ministry of a nation, should be expected to be instantly cognizant of the political machinations of every First World country. But since Canada, one of two large border nations, is such an important influence in the Northwestern Hemisphere, it would serve us well to at least have a working knowledge of her government.

Oh, and, as the article says, the Canadian government was this close to falling. That such a potentially locally important event could essentially go unnoticed by the American populace is worrisome. That’s why an understanding of her government is important.

Posted in: News, Politics