Bilateral, International, and Politically Inept Thought Process


By Rob Patry


One should never engage in conversation about politics, religion, or which way the toilet paper should hang. The first two could potentially end in a mutual “let’s agree to disagree,” but the last one…may end up in bare-knuckle fisticuffs. Putting religion aside, that leaves us with politics. As Canadians, we, and the rest of the world keep a close eye on what goes on south of the border. Our ‘south of the border’ is you, not Mexico. And we have no interest in building a wall between us. If anything, we prefer to tear down the walls. Having said that, there are differences between our political systems that make us fascinated with your current situation. I’m not here to throw in my opinion when it comes to personal preference of which candidate I would cast a vote towards. Both Clinton and Trump are anomalies to us. From the Canadian perspective, they are bold, rash and at times a little too “in your face”. This is not a negative comment, but rather, an observation.

We are, by nature perhaps because of our British background, a little more conservative when it comes to showing emotions and feelings. I find our American counterparts a lot more boisterous and free to express their sentiments than we are. Canadians are more the ‘keep-it-to-ourselves-and-bottle-it-up’ types, rather than the ‘stand in front of a podium and shout it out to the world’ group. You, of course, are the latter. Again, I’m not casting dispersions on your candidates, but they seem a lot more comfortable in their non-traditional skins than we do. Take the last debate. Mr. Trump stood in front of a nation of people, plus a few hundred million everywhere else, to confirm the fact that he indeed had said those horrible, awful and misogynistic things ten years ago while riding on a bus. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, had to deal with the fact that her husband sat in the audience with their daughter, and half dozen women who at some point in their lives had an extra curricular encounter with her husband. Again, I’m not here to judge or pick a preferred individual, it’s just that this type of thing would never occur up here in Canada. We prefer to avoid the limelight, rather than embrace it. Our limited experience with scandal usually involves unnecessary road closures, the occasional drunken outburst at a political party meeting, or simply arguing on the parliament floor about the virtues of proper linguistic pronunciation.

We prefer to slink away in shame, rather than defend ourselves in public. We often mock or criticize your brand of politics, simply because at times we feel a tad more envious of your moxie than we care to admit. We apologize, discuss, criticize, analyze, and pontificate; a sort of beat around the bush approach, which only occasionally will get us in hot (actually tepid) water. Our last “incident” which shows any grit occurred back in February of 1971, when then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau blurted out in the House of Commons the words “fuddle duddle”. This thoroughly enraged the opposition party, and remains something of a debatable issue almost forty-five years later. So know that although we may show disdain for your current televised debates, secretly we are begrudging your unflinching characters.