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Cultural differences between America and Canada



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Lilin
Lilin


Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:01 pm    Post subject:
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Imma late to the par-tay~

Canada is the size of California in terms of population. We love American pop culture. Prior to World War II, we were obsessed with Britain. After World War II we became obsessed with America. Our economies are so intertwined that our countries would sink into the sea if the border was closed.

Traditionally our "nationalism" has been tied up with the idea of the British Empire, but more recently has been about how much we are not like the Americans. When I was in high school, saying someone was "American" was the same thing as saying they were a Nazi. Still, we're basically a client state of the U.S., which gives us low self-esteem. Oh, and we thought the Iraq war was a dumb idea.

More recently, as Alberta (the oil-rich "Texas of Canada") has gained in influence, there has been more of a pro-military, pro-American form of nationalism.

More and more we've been realizing how similar we are. The recent G20 protests in Toronto involved wide-spread police brutality. We have a child soldier in Guantanamo Bay who our government will not assist. We have rocky relationships with our native populations.

Toronto and New York have more in common than Toronto and a small Canadian town. A small Canadian town has a lot in common with a small American town. Etc.

We have border disputes with the United States, who does not recognize our Arctic borders. This has led to us bolstering our military presence, but the current government ("Conservatives") enjoy good relations with Washington. The most likely scenario is that there will one day be huge American bases in the Canadian north, protecting us in exchange for the plunder of all our natural resources, especially fresh water which we have loads of.

We are America's bitch. There's no denying it. But such relationships are common in international relations.

We have universal health care and relatively high taxes. I can go to the doctor randomly, whenever I want, and it is free. The ER is free. But taxes allow for this.

Politically, we are far more like the Europeans. The leader of our right-wing party ("Conservatives") is known for muzzling his own party members, because if they were to express their true views it would alienate voters. Open displays of religious devotion mean you lose votes. So Bush would never get elected here. At the same time, Obama's policies are "far right" compared to our Conservative Party, so it is really funny to hear people call him a "socialist". He's not even close. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are more right-wing than any of our four federal parties.

Now you all know.
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Forum Maid
Forum Maid


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject:
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View Original Post oOoOoOo wrote:
Imma late to the par-tay~

Canada is the size of California in terms of population. We love American pop culture. Prior to World War II, we were obsessed with Britain. After World War II we became obsessed with America. Our economies are so intertwined that our countries would sink into the sea if the border was closed.

Traditionally our "nationalism" has been tied up with the idea of the British Empire, but more recently has been about how much we are not like the Americans. When I was in high school, saying someone was "American" was the same thing as saying they were a Nazi. Still, we're basically a client state of the U.S., which gives us low self-esteem. Oh, and we thought the Iraq war was a dumb idea.

More recently, as Alberta (the oil-rich "Texas of Canada") has gained in influence, there has been more of a pro-military, pro-American form of nationalism.

More and more we've been realizing how similar we are. The recent G20 protests in Toronto involved wide-spread police brutality. We have a child soldier in Guantanamo Bay who our government will not assist. We have rocky relationships with our native populations.

Toronto and New York have more in common than Toronto and a small Canadian town. A small Canadian town has a lot in common with a small American town. Etc.

We have border disputes with the United States, who does not recognize our Arctic borders. This has led to us bolstering our military presence, but the current government ("Conservatives") enjoy good relations with Washington. The most likely scenario is that there will one day be huge American bases in the Canadian north, protecting us in exchange for the plunder of all our natural resources, especially fresh water which we have loads of.

We are America's bitch. There's no denying it. But such relationships are common in international relations.

We have universal health care and relatively high taxes. I can go to the doctor randomly, whenever I want, and it is free. The ER is free. But taxes allow for this.

Politically, we are far more like the Europeans. The leader of our right-wing party ("Conservatives") is known for muzzling his own party members, because if they were to express their true views it would alienate voters. Open displays of religious devotion mean you lose votes. So Bush would never get elected here. At the same time, Obama's policies are "far right" compared to our Conservative Party, so it is really funny to hear people call him a "socialist". He's not even close. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are more right-wing than any of our four federal parties.

Now you all know.


Canada sounds more and more like a better place for me than the US the more I hear about it...
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Token Misanthrope
Token Misanthrope


Joined: 28 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject:
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The politics would drive me completely nuts, but there's probably a lot less ignorant jerkasses mucking around the place so I suppose that evens out.

Salt & Vinegar chips sure are yummy, though. Thanks, Canada!

Hell, if Canada wants to just give up on the whole national sovereignty thing and join the US as a few new states (maybe letting Quebec finally do their own thing?) that would probably be okay times. If Mexico ever gets their shit together they can come too. Open invitation to any Carribean nations that are or become stable democracies too, why not? NA Empire FTW.
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Tunniel


Joined: 03 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:56 pm    Post subject:
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The largest difference between Canadians and Americans would primarily be how they view themselves, their attitudes you could say. It's more apparent when looking at a collective rather than individuals. In the case of the latter.... well, there is no nice way to really say it. Americans are frequently perceived as prideful, excessively arrogant and always insisting they're "Number one". A stereotype, yes, but there is an element of truth to it. This is part of the reason why Canadians really don't like to mistaken for Americans.

Canadians are indeed excessively apologetic, someone actually did a study for the most commonly spoken words by the population. "Sorry" came out on top. But part of this is due to the Canadian sense of humour, which is rife with satire and self-depreciation. This is in part due to the stronger sense of heritage with the British (heavy emphasis on understatement from this crowd) and the French, whereas American humour is more slapstick in nature. Canadians (as a whole) aren't afraid to laugh at themselves, and as such not laugh at anyone else's misfortune (not in a malicious sense.... usually). That being said, Canadians will jump at the chance to poke fun at Americans when they screw up at just about anything. Few things are as hilarious as seeing an inflated ego get popped.

This song is a fairly good example:
The War of 1812

But don't forget, satire is applicable to yourself just as much as someone else:
Politically Correct "O Canada" (Air Farce)
Canada Customs (Also Air Farce)


There is just one thing to remember around Canadians:

NEVER insult the beer!
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Shamshel
Shamshel


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject:
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View Original Post The Abhorrent wrote:
Canadians are indeed excessively apologetic, someone actually did a study for the most commonly spoken words by the population. "Sorry" came out on top.

Third one down...

In general, I've noticed that Canadians on the internet like to talk about how much better they are than Americans, and how pompous and arrogant Americans are and the irony is not lost on me, AmericaHat. I like Canadians though, because northerners on our continent tend to be pretty similar regardless of state/country and I like northerners.
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Shamshel
Shamshel


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:58 am    Post subject:
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Canada has mounties, while America has real policemen.
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Shamshel
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:46 am    Post subject:
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I don't know, the Canadians looked pretty intimidating during G20.
Spoiler:





Not so much the bike cops...

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Administrator
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:22 am    Post subject:
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View Original Post WonderBug wrote:
I don't know, the Canadians looked pretty intimidating during G20.

Believe it or not, I actually went cable wakeboarding with a Toronto cop in Singapore. Really good guy -- he was on his way to visiting orphanages in SE Asia -- and it was pretty clear that he could break my arm in a second if I got on his bad side.
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Gaghiel
Gaghiel


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Location: New England

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject:
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Are Canada and America culturally different? Yeah? Hell, the states themselves are practically different countries. I could go on about the differences between Rhode Island and those smarmy bastards in Massachusetts. But this is about the differences between America and Canada?

Well, Canada also has regional cultural differences. You have the people in the populated parts which are nigh indistinguishable from the liberals in the North East or West Coast(I am unsure if the Canadians use the term liberal in the american or the european sense of the word). The people in the boonies are more conservative in a canadian sort of way.

The Quebecois are arrogant, economically-left leaning, socially liberal, they are very culturally conservative, and they like to paint themselves as brave resisters against the Greater Canadian Reich, they walk tall, and aren't constantly begging forgiveness like regular canadians, and never play counterstrike with them because they will only speak quebecois, and they will use your ignorance of it to coordinate against you.

Canadians as a whole are extremely humble irl but turn into tough guys on the Internet, but otherwise they're very pleasant though their constant self-flagellation can be grating. Canadians express their patriotism in the same way americans express love for the state they come from, sort of like, "Yeah, I'm Canadian. Want to fight about it." If you meet a canadian jingoist, they are actually american liberals, but most of those have disappeared since the Democrats regained the White House. Canada, along with Brazil, America, and Ethiopia is one of the four most ethnically diverse countries on Earth. Also, don't f**k with the royal mounties; they're basically Judge Dredd in funny costumes. The biggest difference seems to be in political culture and it reflects in the way they carry themselves. Whereas Americans fiercely treasure their rights to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness", which has the side effect of making us obnoxious, self-entitled jackasses, the Canadians are ever-loyal to the values of "Peace, order, and good government," which is why they have the mentality of medieval serfs. Yeah, Canada is Shinji and America is Asuka, but who would be Rei? (btw, I'm being satirical, just in case anyone thinks I'm serious.)


View Original Post LeoXiao wrote:
I don't actually know what differences there are, since I don't personally know any Canadians (not that I know of anyhow). They seem pretty similar though, besides the fact that they're more liberal and I would guess more cosmopolitan since they have lots of French speakers and a huge percentage of Asians.


While Canadians are hardly the club-wielding savages the popular media paint them as, their population of 34 million and lack of political influence limits their ability to compete with us as international centers of trade and culture, and I don't think New York has much fear of being overshadowed by the mighty metropolis of Toronto. We also have large numbers of Asians, and I bet they could whoop the canadian asians in a fight. The Quebecois don't speak real french; they speak a patois of the same name, and they are slightly more cosmopolitan than your average vermont separatist.

View Original Post Dartz wrote:
They don't shoot each other as much as Americans do.


They also don't have as many deadly car crashes either. It might have something to do with the fact they're one-tenth the size of our population.

View Original Post Reichu wrote:
Are Canadians obsessed with celebrities, star athletes, and reality TV? Do their stay-at-home moms buy trashy magazines at the checkout with hot women on the covers advertising sexual advice, how to look good in a bikini by summer, and the latest transient fashions? Does the next generation spend as much time texting as they do paying attention to the people who they're physically hanging out with?

I'd better stop... Trying to come up with cultural items that we can use for comparison is making me sad.


In all likelihood, you've probably met plenty of canadians and never noticed. Between 70-90% of their population, can't remember the exact percentage, hugs the US border. They practically commute.

View Original Post The Eva Monkey wrote:
So if Canada is America's hat, so what then, is Alaska?

Yeah, I don't really have anything to contribute.


Alaska is the horn. IT IS THE DRILL THAT WILL PIERCE THE OIL!

View Original Post Combs wrote:
I welcome any new American ex pats to my country. Some rules:

1. No screaming about THOSE DAMN LIBERALS TAKING MY MONEY RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


Wait, there are amerians who moved to Canada to escape leftist economic policies? Did they realize they moved to Canada?

View Original Post Combs wrote:
2. Healthcare is awesome, and I don't know where all these stories about long waiting times come from. It's just Republican scaremongering. I gashed the back of my head, it was just something that could be stopped with a cloth, and only had to wait two minutes to get stitches once I got there and filled out a form.


Those stories are probably coming from all those people dissatisfied with your nation's state-controlled monopoly on healthcare. Back when I was in high school, a family friend came down to get his son a CAT scan, which was good because they found the cancer in time. Fun fact: there are more CAT scans in Philadelphia than in the whole Great White North. As for your tale, I'm glad you got that checked out, it sounded a bit more serious than you say it is if it required two stitches. However, did you go to the ER or to a doc-in-the-boxclinic.

View Original Post NemZ wrote:
The politics would drive me completely nuts, but there's probably a lot less ignorant jerkasses mucking around the place so I suppose that evens out.


You're chasing a dream, politics and ignorant jerkasses have and always shall be conjoined.
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Shamshel
Shamshel


Joined: 31 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject:
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I've always been curious about what the differences and similarities are. I wonder, do Canadian left-wingers sneeringly and viciously mock their own people? Do they paint an entire nationality with one broad and damning brush while insisting that this is a sin when done to other nationalities? Do they have the arrogance to take a stance of such unremitting paternalistic elitism against their neanderthal countrymen while being embittered when those same neanderthals don't grant them the right to lead them? If not, then the Canadians really are better than us.
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Lilin
Lilin


Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject:
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Oh, crawl back into your cave, SAWgunner.
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Forum Maid
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject:
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View Original Post oOoOoOo wrote:
Oh, crawl back into your cave, SAWgunner.

I can agree with this ___
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Banned


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject:
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I have a question for any Canadian or at least one who lives there now. I wonder if you were a store clerk and I went in and payed with this... would you accept it? Are the Birds of Canada banknotes still valid? Until when? Thanks!
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Lilin
Lilin


Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject:
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Only the $1000 bill has been withdrawn from that series. As for $100 bills (and $50 bills), some places will not accept them no matter what series they're from, but such shops will have signs posted that say this. It is best to ask the clerk. I've even seen a McDonald's that wouldn't accept any bill over $20.

Basically, if you come to a shop that won't take your $100 bill, chances are the next shop down the street will.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject:
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Oh thanks! I was afraid that probably the Birds of Canada series was going to become non valid since it was withdrawn some years ago.
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Minion
Minion


Joined: 26 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject:
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Shamshel
Shamshel


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject:
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View Original Post oOoOoOo wrote:
Oh, crawl back into your cave, SAWgunner.


You're right. I'm sorry for not agreeing with you, I'll crawl back now.

As for the main topic, I do notice that a lot of majority Anglo-Saxon former-British colonies are pretty similar. To the point that, during the few interactions I've had with Canadians and Australians, they really didn't seem foreign at all. Probably shared cultural influence from the old empire.
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Lilin
Lilin


Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject:
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I forgive you~

You know, one of my history professors said the British Empire got too large, so it split in two, and America became a second British Empire. The whole Anglosphere is pretty similar. Certainly any differences between us are overcome by the commonalities. Like, as much as I hate on America on a daily basis, I recognize that we're going to rise or fall together.
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Token Misanthrope
Token Misanthrope


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:07 pm    Post subject:
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View Original Post Sun Stealer wrote:
You're chasing a dream, politics and ignorant jerkasses have and always shall be conjoined.


Actually I wasn't trying to conflate the two. Being an ignorant jerkass isn't a political statement, and such folks are equally likely to end up on either side of the spectrum... and even more likely to neglect voting but continue bitching regardless of who is in charge. Not that I really want such people to vote, however, as they'd probably just give a thumbs up to whomever promises them the most treats with no thought whatsoever as to the consequences these policies will have for the country's future.

So... do average Canadians have more sense of civic duty than that?
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Matarael
Matarael


Joined: 07 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:11 am    Post subject:
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View Original Post Sun Stealer wrote:
Wait, there are amerians who moved to Canada to escape leftist economic policies? Did they realize they moved to Canada?

Alberta has incredible amounts of economic freedom and has no Provincial sales tax. This means if the sales tax is 12% in BC, It's 5% in Alberta. I'm not really sure on the numbers, though.

As for your tale, I'm glad you got that checked out, it sounded a bit more serious than you say it is if it required two stitches. However, did you go to the ER or to a doc-in-the-boxclinic.



1. Alberta has incredible amounts of economic freedom and has no Provincial sales tax. This means if the sales tax is 12% in BC, It's 5% in Alberta. I'm not really sure on the numbers right now, though.


2. I went to a local hospital (friend drove me), this doctor sat me down and then put this numbing stuff on the wound. I was awake while he put the stitches in and I didn't feel a thing other than the surrounding skin getting tugged a little. I actually got four stitches.

@Nemz
Hey

Nemz

hey
I have an idea nemz

hey
what if

nemz!

what if we annex you instead, and then have you fight for your own freedom? ta daaa new country and no more foreign debt
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Token Misanthrope
Token Misanthrope


Joined: 28 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:36 am    Post subject:
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View Original Post Combs wrote:
@Nemz
Hey

Nemz

hey
I have an idea nemz

hey
what if

nemz!

what if we annex you instead, and then have you fight for your own freedom? ta daaa new country and no more foreign debt


Is it wrong that I'm picturing you as some sort of small hyperactive fuzzy creature now, like a hamster on a meth binge?

I have a feeling the rest of the world would call shenanigans at such a ploy.
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