Not a bad rap

Staff ~ The Amherst News
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

After a culture of animosity between the leadership of our two countries just a few years ago, it's somewhat refreshing to know our cousins south of the border still think highly of us.
Gallup's annual country rankings released last week indicate that nine out of 10 Americans surveyed think we're all right. That ranking is just ahead of the 87 per cent who think favourably of Britain and way ahead of the 10 per cent who like Iran.
Ironically, this is comes at a time with a number of media outlets in the United States and television celebrities, like Stephen Colbert and David Letterman, taking aim at Vancouver's Winter Games, saying these Olympics could go down in history as the worst ever.
The fact Americans think highly of Canadians probably has a lot to do with the fact we are familiar. As David Biette of the Canadian Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars said, Americans view us as similar to Americans. We talk the same language, watch the same TV programs, listen to the same music and eat the same foods.
In many cases, Canadians are viewed in the international community as being just like Americans - only friendlier and more accommodating. It may be annoying to some Canadians to be compared to our giant to the south in that way, but there are other things we could be compared to less favourably.
We also can't lose sight of the fact this relationship hasn't always been cosy. Several years ago, during the George W. Bush administration, many Americans did not have high regard for this country. They were unhappy because of our refusal to join the multinational effort in Iraq.
They incorrectly viewed Canada as the launching pad for the 9-11 attacks and were a little more than miffed at the insensitive Yankee bashing by Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish.
Yes, most Americans couldn't tell the difference between Nova Scotia and Nunavut, and they might think our love of hockey trivial - when they love to watch cars making left turns for 500 miles - but there's nothing wrong with feeling at least a little bit of love from our friends across the 49th parallel. While it's not worth holding a party over, being a friend of America is something to appreciate.

Organizations: Canadian Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars

Geographic location: Britain, Iran, United States Vancouver Iraq Canada Nova Scotia Nunavut

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page