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February 3rd, 2009
04:26 PM ET

Why Canada is more interesting than it looks

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

President Obama's makes his first foreign trip today to Canada.

Americans, can you name the capital of Canada or its Prime Minister? Name three major news stories in Canada. Hockey doesn't count.

Okay, I'll help you out: automobiles, Afghanistan and energy.

Those are important issues in the United States, too, but we'll get back to that in a moment.

Canada is a lot like the United States; except when it's not, and Canadians are a lot like Americans, except when they're not.

For example, take the results of a poll of approximately 1,000 Canadians and 1,000 Americans taken in November by Angus Reid Strategies.

How Canadians see Americans

Patriotic 86%
Opinionated 64%
Materialistic 63%
Enterprising 35%
Courageous 17%

How Americans see Canadians

Polite 50%
Educated 46%
Happy 38%
Patriotic 37%
Thoughtful 33%

Thirty-three percent of Canadians say Americans would be most willing to rescue them if they were stranded on a remote island; 30 percent of Americans say likewise about Canadians if their situations were reversed (Americans and Canadians both thought the next most likely to come to their aid would be citizens of Great Britain or Australia).

On the other hand, only 3 percent of Canadians believe Americans are educated or polite or thoughtful while 11 percent of Americans think Canadians are boring. You read above that 38 percent of Americans think Canadians are happy. Only 2 percent of Canadians think Americans are happy. That might explain why only 58 percent of Canadians want closer ties with America and only 60 percent of Americans want closer ties with Canada.

To answer the questions at the top: Ottawa is the capital and Stephen Harper is Prime Minister (There is a chance of Canada holding parliamentary elections in the near-term, so a new name is possible). Prime Minister Harper previously called the prospect of President Obama's visit "a wonderful gesture and a great sign of re-establishing the strong Canadian-American relations which this country had for many decades."

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Canada's Carleton University has released a report titled "From Correct to Inspired: A Blueprint for Canada-U.S. Engagement."  "What we're taking about is an adult, mature dialogue, free of all of the narcissisms in Canada or the hang-ups in Canada about getting too close to the United States," Derek Burney, a former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. and a co-chairman of the project that produced the report, told the Calgary Herald.

When they get together, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper have no shortage of issues to discuss.

Start with the automobile industry.

U.S. automakers employ roughly 30,000 workers in Canada (primarily in the province of Ontario) and another 181,000 Canadians work for parts suppliers and some 140,000 at auto dealerships. Auto manufacturing accounts for 12 percent of Canada's gross domestic product and 24 percent of its trade in manufactured goods. Ontario's economy already is suffering because of the shrinking auto sector, but more pain is possible. A report prepared for the Ontario provincial government estimates that Canada nationally could lose 582,000 jobs – in and out of the auto business – in five years if U.S. automakers go out of business.

The Canadian government is putting up $3.3 billion (U.S.) to aid the U.S.-based automakers, added to the $17.4 billion from the U.S. government. But the U.S. taxpayer dollars will be spent to protect American – not Canadian – jobs. It's in the interest of the companies "to say they will be saving U.S. jobs at the expense of overseas jobs, and that means Canada," Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., told Bloomberg News and then repeated to me. "Canadian plants and autoworkers are going to take a hit on this."

President Obama's trip comes two days after the U.S. government deadline for General Motors to present a restructuring plan and one day before the Canadian government deadline for GM Canada and Chrysler Canada to qualify for its aid.

Next, Canadians are fighting and dying in Afghanistan.

The Canadians have some 2,500 soldiers in southern Afghanistan, based at Kandahar. 108 Canadian troops have died in Afghanistan since 2002, the third highest total in the NATO coalition behind the U.S. (556) and Great Britain (143).

But unlike the trend of war coverage in the U.S., Afghanistan hardly is "out of sight, out of mind" for Canadians.

Canadian combat deaths often are front-page news.

That's not the only difference. The Canadian media often covers the ceremony at Kandahar in Afghanistan as the caskets are placed aboard a plane; the arrival at CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Trenton, where families and hearses wait on the tarmac; the two-hour drive to Toronto and the coroner's office; the ceremony at the individual soldier's home base and sometimes the funerals.

In contrast, Americans see next to nothing of their dead from Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates paid tribute to the northern neighbors during his last visit to Kandahar. No other country working with the U.S. has "worked harder or sacrificed more than the Canadians," Gates said. "They have been outstanding partners for us, and all I can tell you is ... the longer we can have Canadian soldiers as our partners, the better it is," he said. Just how long that will be is not clear. During the run-up to Canada's legislative elections in October, Prime Minister Harper said his country had not agreed to keep forces in Afghanistan past 2011. The U.S. would welcome an extension, especially as the U.S. itself plans to increase the number of its own forces.

On Afghanistan, the Carleton University report advised: "Obama is committed to strengthening American involvement in what is, in fact, a two-country war – involving the no-man's land that straddles the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. There are no easy answers, but Canada certainly has earned the right in blood and treasure to influence stronger U.S. leadership and to spur a more substantive, more cohesive international effort."

Along with the impact of recession on both countries, the President and the Prime Minister also can talk about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the effects of protectionist trade policies and Canada's role as the leading U.S. trade partner (cross-border trade totaled $700 billion in 2007). The U.S. sends agricultural produce and machinery north, while the Canadians send energy (oil and natural gas) and forestry products south. Canada . . . not Saudi Arabia, not Mexico . . . is the number one exporter of oil to the U.S. and by some estimates, Canada's oil reserves – particularly in the province of Alberta – may be second only to Saudi Arabia's. The Carleton University report cautioned that the "energy cards" Canada holds "are not a weapon to use against the United States but an incentive to work together to find common solutions."

While they're at it, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper might find time to discuss security issues along their 5,522-mile border. "Additionally, it is critical that the two governments find a joint approach to border management in the event of a major terrorist attack in either the United States or Canada. There is no agreed contingency plan to deal with such a crisis. It is essential that Canada engage the United States in a discussion of homeland security concerns and mismatches – from critical infrastructure protection, port management, and transport security to cyber-crime, drugs, and human smuggling – each of which can affect key interests on both sides of the border," the Carleton University report advised.

Environmental issues, including the effects greenhouse gas emissions, impact both countries. There is a need for conversation about how each country regards its rights in the Northwest Passage and seas of the Arctic Circle. On the latter subject, the Carleton University report says: "No one questions Canada's Arctic sovereignty, but there are legitimate concerns about Canada's capacity to exercise stewardship in the region. Given shared interests in responsibly exploiting the energy reserves in the Arctic, Canada and the United States should build on the pragmatic solution they have used to manage the issue of navigation rights through the Northwest Passage. The two countries need to be equally pragmatic on Arctic energy and environment issues and ensure that Russia does not succeed in its grandiose claims over the resources of the Arctic."

The U.S. and Canada share an interest in several major issues. It might be a good idea for Americans to pay attention to affairs north of the border.

And that means more than just hockey.

Go to iReport to tell us what Canadians and Americans think of one another.

Post by:
Filed under: 360° Radar • David Schechter • Raw Politics
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Collin - Toronto

    I wonder if an article from the US about Canada will ever be written that won't mention hockey, even in jest.

    probably not.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  2. BG

    I am Canadian and live in the US a few months each year. I dearly love the US and admire so much about your country. It amazes me that even highly educated Americans know so little about Canada, and indeed about the international world in general.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  3. Taylor, OH

    This post is wonderful! I'm a dual citizen, but haven't lived there since I was a kid.
    I'm returning so I can afford to go to college. I've worked really hard my first 2 years, and only have 40 credit hours left before I graduate. In transferring, I'll lose a lot of credits, but at least I can graduate.

    I'm glad to be heading somewhere so conscious of world affairs.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  4. john h , Gimli,MB. Canada

    to Charles at South Carolina, What does that make Mexico?

    February 3, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  5. Janice - ONTARIO

    Obama will help the uneducated and uninformed in his own country learn about the "world" and not just on their little street !

    February 3, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  6. Janice - ONTARIO

    Cindi, you are the stereotypical American. If we suddenly stopped shipping oil to the U.S., you might care! Mike, from Syracuse, don't be so nieve. It has nothing to do with respect in not showing the caskets
    arriving from Iraq and Afganistan. It's all about trying to maintain "support" for the wars! Again for those with the "who cares
    about Canada" attitude. You're disgusting. Refresh your memory back to September 11th. Canada came to your rescue opening up all our runways for your planes to have a place to land! I'm sure many enlightened Americans do appreciate their northern neighbours. Maybe President

    February 3, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  7. Ms Elliott

    I have travel a great deal to Canada for work. Canadians are always surprised to find that I know anything about Canadian government. They know everything about the US. I am a proud American but Canada is an amazing place. The people are educated, proud, polite and culturally aware. We should care more how we are viewed by other countries. Canada is crucial to our success.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  8. Cindy

    @ Those that want to bad mouth people.....I've been to Canada several times so calling someone ignorant just looks bad on you. I have nothing against Canada but was speaking as a whole of the U.S. Most people don't care what is going on in the next state over much less the next country. Take a chill pill!

    Cindy...Ga.

    February 3, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  9. Lyne

    Is it necessary to label either side? Let's respect one another. I am very grateful to have neighbours at peace with each other. Thanks for your friendship.

    February 3, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  10. September 11

    I've lived in both Canada and the US for a long time and am now living abroad in Europe. It is true that Americans don't know much about Canada, but whose to blame for that except their media and their society? The average American is just like any Canadian, gracious to thank whoever they are indebted to, just as they are ready to help other nations. But as long as their media takes Canada for granted and that their school teachers and politicians fail to mention how the great American dream is supported and fostered too by their allies, then how can we blame ordinary American citizens for their ignorance? Most Americans that go abroad recognize this deficit in their society (as well as many other problems that were not apparent to them while flooded by mainstream media). The more the Americans actively learn why they should appreciate their neighbours, the better off we'll all be.

    February 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  11. Amanda-Ontario, Canada

    Don't worry if you thought we were boring, most Canadians think we're boring too, but to their own surprise recently they realized many of us can be pretty exciting!

    We can be pretty funny too, or so we like to think.

    Thanks for the recognition of us up here in the Great White North eh!

    Makes us feel closer to you.

    February 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  12. September 11

    I've lived in both Canada and the US for a long time and am now living abroad in Europe. It is true that Americans don't know much about Canada, but whose to blame for that except the media and their society? The average American is just like any Canadian, gracious to thank whoever they are indebted to, just as they are ready to help other nations. But as long as the media takes Canada for granted and that their school teachers and politicians fail to mention how the great American dream is supported and fostered too by their allies, then how can we blame ordinary American citizens for their ignorance? Most Americans that go abroad recognize this deficit in their society (as well as many other problems not apparent to them while flooded by mainstream media). The more the Americans actively learn why they should appreciate their neighbours, the better off we'll all be.

    February 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  13. Alicia

    Obviously from the comments on this blog, we Canadians are quick to defend our country. I have travelled all over the world and have felt an overwhelming sense of pride to wear the maple leaf on my backpack.
    I do, however, feel it unnecessary to loudly "prove" ourselves. We are patriotic. We are polite, educated, happy and thoughtful. But perhaps our most endearing quality is our ability to remain humble and recognize that our quiet dignity is our greatest legacy.
    We line our highways and wave flags as our boys and girls come home draped in the flag they so honourably died for. We do this because it's just the right thing to do. Not because we need the world to notice how we recognize their sacrifice.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  14. Don, WA

    I know when it snows on the road I'd rather have a canadian behind the wheel of a 2-wheel drive than an american behind the wheel of a 4-wheel drive.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  15. Brigitte from Ontario Canada

    Dear Donna from Montreal, sorry you took offence, but I meant to say that people perceive Canadians as boring because they are always trying so hard to be politically correct, so they come across that way. But then again, I am from the boring province of Ontario, and you are from the flamboyant province of Quebec, which has its very separate way of thinking.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  16. Marcia, Warren MI

    One final thought after Katrina one fire department from Western Canada drove from their homes to St Bernard Parish to help with the rescue efforts they were one of the first teams there. Next time Cindy do your homework .

    February 3, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  17. Charles, South Carolina

    Canada is great! Who else is America's hat?

    February 3, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  18. Lee

    Guess I'm biased because I grew up in upstate New York and I have many Canadian relatives, so it was always a treat to drive 'across the border' for the weekend and visit! Canada is a WONDERFUL country and we Americans should be thankful each and every day that we have a peaceful neighbor with which we share much more in common than one would imagine. Long live Canada!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  19. Presley

    Hey, I like Canada, beautiful country.
    It isn't over populated and offers great international diversities from coast to coast.
    Except for the cold temps, it actually is an ideal place to live.

    I did some homework about relocating in case McCain and Palin won, I was not alone in that either.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  20. Donna Montreal

    I'm not surprised by the attitudes of Mike, xtina, Cindy etc... It all comes from ignorance and the belief that they are, in some perverted kind of way, suprior.

    You're not. We are!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    I was quite disappointed that Brigitte from Canada thought that Canadians were boring, but wait. She's from Ontario. Enough said.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  21. earle,florida

    I've been to Montreal many,many times,and it is a fresh breath of air both literally,and figuratively! The people are a cross-section of all nationalities,and very passive,which is very pleasurable to me,to say the least. They are alittle opinionated towards americans for valid reasons, but aren't beyond reproach in of themselves, either,...Thanks

    February 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  22. anne,newfoundland,canada

    To Roderick In Canada,3:45 pm:

    hear,hear,well said.We need to stick together on the nay sayers.

    Why are we designated a FOREIGN COUNTRY?
    We are not on the other side of the world,or in outer space here,for heaven sake.

    I wonder how many U.S. commentors here today have EVEN HEARD of where I live?No one, perhaps,well I am on the East Coast,about as far east as they go!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  23. AnnoyedTeen

    I like Canada, but it seems like they have more negative views of Americans than vice versa.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  24. john

    Collectivley Americans are a pain in the ass. Due in part I suspect to the hype they all are steeped in from an early age from movies books songs that tend to have the country wallowing in its own self importance.
    Individually Americans are just people like you and I with the same hopes dreams loves and fears.
    I have many dear American friends and we tend to share the same values when you take the politics out of the picture

    February 3, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  25. courtney Bonavista, Newfoundland, Canada

    Maybe it's just my way of thinking, but, I'm choose to educated myself about topics I know little about. I won't judge Amercia because I don't live there and I don't make assumptions about people. The Americans have a bad wrap, but unless you 've lived there you can't say what the people of the country is like, hints :materalistic or any other characteristic that may offend anyone. Please remember, most people that did that poll are judging on stereotypes. But, on that topic I want to clear something up that I've heard so many times in the 18 years I have been alive. When I saw under the heading of what amercians thought of canadians only 46% was for educated. Maybe its because I am a Newfoundlander and people have told me i'm uneducated one too many times, because of where I am from.
    Being born in Newfoundland or Canada even, does not mean I was born brainless.I go to school, actually I'm in my first year at Memorial Univeristy and I'm pretty sure I needed some intelligence to get there.
    I don't always wear rubber boots and I may have a quick and sometimes hard -to -understand accent, but I'm educate and so are the people of my country.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  26. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Hopefully someone told Obama that Canada isn't one of his 57 states. Of course we all know that Canada is way more than just hockey. There's the beer too 🙂

    Kidding aside, I've travelled there many times, and the people ARE polite and friendly, and Toronto theater is as good as NYC.

    The differences in war casualties is a diffent way of honoring the dead. The Pentagon is afraid that showing the arriving caskets would be a sign of disrespect and be a lightning rod for inappropriate protests. Remember that group who recently were protesting at soldiers funerals calling the dead soldiers murders, etc. It's different traditions for different people.

    February 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  27. MIKE LAKE WORTH FLORIDA

    Another who cares poll.

    February 3, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  28. Sanjay - Toronto

    There are lots of similarities between Canadians and Americans who live close to boarder, Americans who are much isolated in the world politics must realise who is closer in terms of ‘way of life and views’. It’s Canada which always stands by America in the ‘hour of need’. Most Canadian businesses share and have common objectives as American’s and most American businesses see Canada as their local business ground, having said so, in tough economic times why not two countries come together to work for joint solution, be it economy or environment. Having a long boarder dividing two countries, if there are differences, then both sides will spend huge amount of money, which can be used for more productive purposes. May be President Obama uses his first overseas visit to win-win situation rather than fighting US vs. Canada game.

    February 3, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  29. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    We have several Canadian friends, and they are delightful people. Who love the U.S., and yes, criticize us at times. I love the honesty.

    Love Canada, too! Beautiful country, beautiful people!

    February 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  30. Margaret

    As a Canadian, it is difficult to understand how little some Americans know about the vast country with whom they share a continent. They really should be grateful for such a good neighbour. Canadians, for the most part, are very pleased to have them next door

    February 3, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  31. Roderick in Canada

    Wow! What a rats nest this blog is going to create! People like Cindy and xtina running their mouths about my land of the free (we truly are free; not a police state with overly flooded prisions......don't go population on this, or I'll give you more populous nations to rebuttal). Most Americans I've met south of NY don't even know where Canada is (sic: "somewhere north of Chicago" etc). Canadians for the most part, myself included, like many things about America, and have friends there, but stll have a sympathy for the States due to the loud overwhelming ignorant bile sprewing we hear from the loudest and most ignorant. Sad.....Canada is one America's biggest trading partners, have gone to war (an won when we did) together and often find ourselves defending the US when we are overseas as "misunderstood". Anyway, what do I really care? I'm free, my kids have great educations, for the most part our free medical system works, and we have a high standard of living and low crime. Hmm? Sucks don't it?

    February 3, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  32. Annie Kate

    I think we as a nation could learn a lot from Canada and could benefit from keeping their friendship. For one thing we should take a hint from them about our honored dead from Iraq and Afghanistan – its shameful that we do not follow their last journey home as the Canadians do their soldiers. If it is our military or government stopping us, then we need to change that. I didn't know that Canada was the number one exporter of oil to us; in fact, I didn't know a lot of the things mentioned in the article. We need to leave our ethnocentrism behind and learn more about Canada and hope that they will continue to be our friend.

    February 3, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  33. Brigitte from Ontario Canada

    It's quite enlightening that Canada is being discussed on CNN. It's a very interesting article. Maybe it will spur some interest by Americans in your immediate neighbour to the north. I live in a border province so I can say I hop across all the time to buy gas because it's cheaper. We vacation in Michigan adventure parks all the time, and also go to many of the State fairs during the summer. You have such fun things going on all the time and I love going to the States. As a Canadian, I am interested in opinions from all over the world regarding politics, but I am particularly interested in the current American politics. Perhaps it's the interesting way you bring issues forward, completely fascinating. I was glued to CNN for the whole presidential election process. So one thing I can say for sure is that I find Canadians far more interested in Americans than the other way around. But then, Canadians are on the boring side.

    February 3, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  34. anne,newfoundland,canada

    Perhaps some of your less informed folks commenting here today would care to go back to SEPTEMBER 11,2001.....

    and find out some info on WHERE all the planes landed that day when they were ordered to get out of the air?
    We were good enough to know then,gee,it seems as if memory fades quickly.

    And I am sure that many Canadians DO NOT find the U.S.very interesting either,as a previous commentor from Chicago stated about us!

    Never thought myself and fellow Canadian commentors would have to defend ourselves here from the uninformed.

    February 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  35. Vicky, Ottawa

    Dave, Thanks for discussing some of the important aspects of the Canada-US relationship, and issues that need to be discussed. It's not very often that Canada is even acknowledged on CNN or other US news programs. Right now a big concern here is the "buy American" , protectionist policies of the proposed, stimulus package. We are very proud or our troops who are serving in Afghanistan, and are quite aware of deaths, as we do see the ramp ceremony in Kandahar, the arrival in Canada, their travel on the 401 to Toronto, and sometimes hear from their families and friends. If President Obama were to visit on a Friday, he would see the "wear red to support our troops" gatherings on Fridays. Don't know if anyone from CNN will be accompanying the President on his quick visit to Ottawa, perhaps Candy Crowley, or maybe just a general press pool? In any case, hope President Obama feels welcomed to Canada and Ottawa, and I would encourage him to try a Beavertail but to stay away from the poutine! Perhaps CNN will even put Ottawa on their weather map, rather than just posting Toronto and Montreal?

    February 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  36. xtina, chicago IL

    I'll go with the idea that,

    Canada is like Honduras – only colder and much less interesting

    February 3, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  37. Andi

    Canadians are extremely patriotic and Canadian business go out of their way to keep businesses in Canada. Canada does a better job promoting Canadian industries than the US does promoting US industries (see: outsourcing if you don't believe me). Canada also pays a lot more attention to Environmental issues.

    This is my opinion from my numerous visits to the Great White North.

    Does anyone remember during the first Gulf War when President Bush refused to allow photographers at Dover AFB (where the soldiers in caskets were brought)? I do.

    February 3, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  38. Marcia, Warren MI

    I live just across the river from Canada and used to visit there often. I like the country and its a shame that people like Cindy from GA don't care to learn anything about it. Do you realize that during the Iran hostage crisis in he 1980's that it was the Canadians who made several of the American diplomats from our embassy in Tehran welcome. And yes there is more to Canada than hockey. They take pride in keeping their cities beautiful and crime free unlike several large American cities which shall remain nameless.

    I do hope that President Obama can foster better relations with them than we have had in the recent past.

    February 3, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  39. Melissa C

    Would we, the reader define Americans as, Ethnocentric? Based on this article, I would say, yes. It appears that not only based on the information above, but by the comments below, American’s just do not care what is happening outside of our immediate surroundings. I found this article quite interesting. Not only did it peek my interests as I had to think, what the capital of Canada was, but how guided we are by mass media and its ability to control the masses.

    “Ray B. Browne defined popular culture as the cultural world around us, that is, our attitudes, habits, and actions: how we act and why we act; what we eat and wear; our buildings, roads, and means of travel; our entertainment and sports; our politics, religion, and medical practices; our beliefs and activities and what shape and control them. In other words, it is to us what water is to fish; it is the world we live in.”

    I suppose without great writers such as Dave Schechter informing us on such interesting trivia questions such as, who is the prime minister of Canada. And, fun facts such as, “The Canadians have some 2,500 soldiers in southern Afghanistan, based at Kandahar.” We as ethnocentric Americans might not ever know.

    February 3, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  40. GF, Los Angeles

    I find Canada to be more patriotic since they give more coverage to the war in Afghanistan and they also honor the dead coming back with coverage. America on the other hand has practically zero coverage of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and when there is – it's sugar coated. We are not allowed to see our fallen soldiers be brought back in a flag draped coffin and taken off the plane. What is this country trying to hide?

    February 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  41. Isabel Abreu

    Obama will return, the unwritten tradition that the majority of American presidents meet, the first official visit abroad was to Canada.

    In a globalized world, until the economic crisis, does not belong to a particular country.

    It is usually use the term "contagion" to describe the process by which successively the economies of various countries will be incurring due to negative expectations and the fault of the failure of the international system of credit. But "contagion" suggests that it would be possible to prevent the "disease", provided that the potential victim have maintained is isolated from an outbreak of infection (in case the USA. economy).

    From what I read, Obama find a Canada not very contaminated with the economic crisis, but in a deep political crisis, where something is happening that never happened before, the opposition parties came together and became majority and can now throw down the first Minister, a few months after re-election.

    That is right?
    I can not see, that USA was overturned their guts, because of the economic crisis, and some other country can even be immune to it.

    But just wait until February 19 and watch AC360º.

    February 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  42. Elina

    To Cindy -
    You said Americans do not think about Canada and nor do they even care to. I guess the same applies to almost every other nation in the world, too, at least in your opinion. No wonder America is left alone. "We are ready to lead once more", President Obama said in his inauguration speech. Well, America may be ready to lead, but what if the rest of the world is no longer ready to follow? Sorry to say, but this world isn't just about America and Americans.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  43. Peg

    Sadly I think many Americans have the same attitude as Cindy but thankfully not all.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  44. victor

    you are absoluty correct, but also i might add, that besides looking north, americans should look south, to latin america, and the carribean, there is no way possible to have secure borders, without secure economies, and is my beleived that president obamas, and secretary clinton start a new era of relationship with the south, to help the struggling economies and talk tough to latin american politians, you want help, this is the way to go, otherwise dont bother.
    vg

    February 3, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  45. Team Canada

    This is all heart-warming, however as being a Canadian who has lived in the USA now for 9 years, Americans do not care about Canada and for that matter, what goes on outside their own state, if they even know where it is. Also, there is no reason for Canada to be in Afghanistan, period.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  46. Jen

    This article is insulting. Stop talking down to us like we're pleebs.

    February 3, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  47. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Trust me--–everything is not what it appears to be.

    February 3, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  48. Cindy

    O..I think everyone all over the world sees us as patriotic, opinionated and most of all materialistic! That is nothing new! As for what we Americans think of Canada...well suffice to say most of us if we are being honest don't even think of them nor do we care to. Just being honest!!

    Cindy...Ga.

    February 3, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  49. Brandon M.

    That was rather enlightening.

    February 3, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  50. Tina

    I am Canadian living in the U.S. and I do see the differences stated in this article. It sometimes can be a different world even though the two countries are so close together.

    February 3, 2009 at 8:57 am |
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