PDA

View Full Version : Canada, My Canada - What's Next?



Brian R.
17th June 2003, 15:10
And here I've always thought Canada was conservative...

June 17, 2003
Canada to Allow Same-Sex Marriages
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TORONTO (AP) -- Canada will change its law to allow homosexual marriage, joining Belgium and The Netherlands as the only countries where same-sex couples can legally wed, Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced Tuesday.

Chretien said the new law would be drafted within weeks and submitted to the Supreme Court of Canada for review, then put to a Parliament vote. His Liberal Party has a commanding majority in the legislature, though the issue has caused division in the Liberal caucus.

The announcement means the government decided against appealing recent court rulings that declared the nation's definition of marriage as unconstitutional because it specified the union of a man and woman.

An Ontario appeals court last week declared that wording invalid, changing it to a union between two people.

``There is an evolution of society,'' Chretien said in making the announcement after a Cabinet meeting. He said the law would allow religions the right to decide what marriages should be sanctified.

An Anglican diocese in Vancouver has approved a blessing for same-sex unions, which it says is separate from marriage. The blessing ceremony, performed once so far, caused a split in the diocese with some churches dissociating themselves.

Opinion polls indicate a slight majority of Canadians favor legalizing same-sex marriages. After the Ontario appeals court ruling and similar previous ones by courts in British Columbia and Quebec, the government was under pressure to change the law or file appeals that would have left the issue unsettled.

Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said Tuesday it was time for change.

``We have decided not to appeal those rulings ... and proceeded with draft legislation that will be ready shortly ,'' he said. The new law would redefine marriage as called for by the courts while protecting religious freedoms, according to Cauchon.

``We're talking about essential freedoms here,'' he said.

Svend Robinson, a Parliament member for the leftist New Democratic Party who has pushed for same-sex marriages in Canada, praised Chretien's government for showing leadership. He rejected opposition by conservative political groups, who argue that changing the definition of marriage uproots a fundamental tenet of Canadian society.

Dozens of homosexual couples have obtained marriage licenses in the week since the court ruling, with at least one wedding taking place.

In the United States, homosexual marriage lacks full legal recognition in all 50 states. Vermont recognizes civil unions that give homosexual couples the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage but are separate from legal marriage.

``Americans now have the chance to see a society can treat gay people with respect,'' said Evan Wolfson, executive director of the New York-based Freedom to Marry organization promoting homosexual marriage. ``Families are helped, and no one is hurt.''

NYTimes

thop
17th June 2003, 15:16
It is allowed in some parts of Germany as well ... personally i really have no strong feelings in one way or another. Interestingly enough i read that some couples threw the idea overboard after it became possible because it didn't seem rebellish enough anymore for them.

The Rock
17th June 2003, 17:54
Oh how far my country has sunk. I had very little respect for the institution of marriage before; I have NONE now. But then again, I'm a homophobe. :)

Brian R.
17th June 2003, 21:40
I think they should come up with another word for it instead of marriage in these cases...

KvHagedorn
17th June 2003, 21:53
Isn't Chretien the French word for Cretin? :D

Dr Mordrid
17th June 2003, 23:15
More like the word for dumbass based on recent events :rolleyes:

Dr. Mordrid

az
17th June 2003, 23:43
I think it's a good thing. You had almost no rights as the unmarried partner of someone before (visiting at the hospital, inheriting, signing on behalf of you and your partner alike), and this was/is a problem for both hetero- and homosexuals alike. I agree that maybe marriage isn't the right word/procedure for that, as it has to do with religion, but there should be a status equal in law to marriage, for both hetero- and homosexual couples.

BTW, Rock and other homophobics: What exactly is your problem with homosexuals? Are you afraid? ;)

One of my best friends is gay, and he was my friend before both he and I knew he was, and he still is. It isn't as if he is a different or worse person now... Though I agree that I can't stand the kind of homosexuals who ALWAYS have to point out that they're gay, who always "bahave gay". This has nothing to do with sexuality, but with childishness and a inferiority complex.

AZ (heterosexual, but I'd have no problem with admitting I were gay if I were)

Paddy
18th June 2003, 00:52
awww... I'd still love you if you were gay AZ... especially with those shoulders.... mmmm.....*cough* back to the topic.. .yeah, I dont have a problerm with it.

I understand what Brian means by having a different word thouh... I mean, Andea and I are not getting married in a church... still...I'm just rambling on like an old fool.... :)

Gurm
18th June 2003, 04:36
So make it an officially sanctioned "joining" that isn't marriage.

Make it an official, legally recognized "life partner" or something.

Don't call it marriage.

That degrades the institution of marriage for those of us that entered into it in good faith.

- Gurm

P.S. I'm not homophobic, and I _do_ support, as I said, some kind of life-partner recognition. But not "marriage".

Paddy
18th June 2003, 05:10
Marriage is a piece of paper that entitles you to a few benefits, nothing more. I see it simply as a label for pigeonholing people.

I have lived with Andrea for over three years. What is mine is hers and vice versa.

Having a piece of paper to confirm that is meaningless to me. But then I am not religious. Do I think that marriage between homosexual couples degrades the term, certainly not. Anyone who believes that IS prejudiced in my book.

But then hey, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.


That degrades the institution of marriage for those of us that entered into it in good faith. Can you explain more about this?

Gurm
18th June 2003, 05:29
Look, if YOU have what it takes to bind yourself into a long term commitment without any blessing from Church, State, or Society then by all means have at it.

However, marriage is something special. It is recognized by Society, Church, and State as a legal and spiritual union.

There are a lot of things that I think degrade marriage. The ease with which divorces are obtained nowadays. Nobody takes the commitment seriously.

My grandparents were married for 50 years. During part of that time they didn't get along, but they never believed in breaking up even though they had hard times. In the end they were stronger and more in love than before.

My parents are the same way. 30 years+ and going strong. Despite the temptation at points to just walk away, they didn't believe in that. You make a promise, a commitment.

So marriage is something special.

I am not questioning your relationship with Andrea. But if you REALLY piss her off, she can just walk out. So can you. There's nothing keeping you there beyond your own decision to stay.

You could argue that in today's society, there's nothing keeping a married person there, beyond a piece of paper and a formality at the courthouse. And that's technically true - which is sad.

Why do I think "Gay Marriage" cheapens the institution of marriage?

I'll explain. I know this is getting long.

The problem here is a matter of lifestyle choice. There is an endemic problem with homosexuality - one which even homosexuals will admit.

There are two kinds of homosexuals. The ones which want what the rest of us want - a girlfriend/boyfriend, partner, etc.

And... the ones that just want sex. The problem is that the promiscuity ratio is MUCH higher in the homosexual world than it is in the heterosexual world. The "gay culture" promotes it, sadly.

Are there couples out there who are REALLY committed to each other? Sure. Are they as numerous as the number of couples that want to get "married"? No.

Frankly, I think that there should be less HETERO marriages as well. Maybe if it were more difficult either socially or legally to get married, people would take it more seriously.

*sigh*

It's early. I'll likely delete all of this and start over once the coffee kicks in. No sleep + Gurm = TIRED.

- Gurm

Brian R.
18th June 2003, 05:33
I still think of marriage in the old-fashioned way - meaning a religious bonding of opposite sexes for the purpose of legitimizing the union in the eyes of the church.

Paddy
18th June 2003, 06:09
It's early. I'll likely delete all of this and start over once the coffee kicks in. No sleep + Gurm = TIRED. Hey, perhaps I should have said ‘can you explain this a BIT :D

I am not going to argue the spiritual and religious aspect of getting married. If YOUR religion dictates that you should be united in wedlock then far be it for me to comment. However, I do start to have a problem when it is enforced on other people. Hey, it is only accepted by society because of its religious significance.


I am not questioning your relationship with Andrea. But if you REALLY piss her off, she can just walk out. So can you. There's nothing keeping you there beyond your own decision to stay.

Aye, I can. And so can she. I don’t have a problem with that. If you don’t get on with someone then I think you should be able to just walk out.

In my grandparent’s generation it was frowned upon to move into a house together before you were married. Imagine being newly wed and then having to live together for the first time… what if you don’t get on… yeah you should give it a go, yea everyone fights, but if it all goes tits-up, should you really HAVE to learn to live with them??? I guess the answer is that you shouldn’t have been married in the first place…

Andrea and I are getting married (20-something of November) and I think that in this day and age it is important to do that. I would not want to have kids outside of marriage. Only because society is set up so that marriage provides the maximum amount of security for your children, and I believe that it is important to have a stable home for your kids. If I were to fall out with Andrea and we decided to go our separate ways, I would make sure that the kids were old enough to not need us both under the same roof. But I would do that if we were married or not.

Anyway, enough rambling about me. What I was initially commenting on was the statement that homosexual couple degrade marriage.

I know that you are tired and I am taking your post at face value, as I hope you take mine :)

Your comment on there being ‘two kinds of homosexuals’ is erm.. well a tad… dodgy. If you want to go down that route, then I think it is fair to say that there are two types of people. Promiscuity is not limited to homosexuals. And yeah, Gay Culture has a lot to blame, but that doesn’t make the bloke next door less able to form a committed relationship.


Are there couples out there who are REALLY committed to each other? Sure. Are they as numerous as the number of couples that want to get "married"? No.
Even if that is true. Does it matter? Just because the people next door aren’t committed it doesn’t mean that I am not and it should stop ME from getting married.

Anyway, I think the bottom line is, as you put it, it is too easy to get married and divorced. That does make a mockery of the system, yes. Should it prevent people who are dedicated from getting married, no. At least not in my book.

*edit*
Well re-reading that sorta makes sense, at least to me… well kinda(ish)…

So do I think that homosexual marriage degrades the term, no.
Marriage is degraded by people, regardless of orientation, who don’t enter it for life.

Ajax
18th June 2003, 06:17
I'm glad I married the woman I love. I would never have it any other way. I see marriage as the cornerstone and foundation of the family, and my family is more important to me than anything. I agree that another word would be more appropriate in the case above.

Brian Ellis
18th June 2003, 06:25
Originally posted by Paddy
Marriage is degraded by people, regardless of orientation, who don’t enter it for life.

Absolutely, speaking as one who is coming up to his 44th wedding anniversary but who is neither heterophobic (rather the contrary :) ) nor homophobic. We were married in church as a testament of our faith, as well as our love. I don't hold those who have taken their vows outside of a religious context as being second-class couples and I don't see why those who take them outside of a heterosexual context should be second-class either. The word "marriage" has no religious significance per se, only what significance the reader puts into it him(her, it)self.

Paddy
18th June 2003, 06:33
:up:

Paddy
18th June 2003, 06:37
Oh, my friend (who shall rename nameless) said with tongue firmly in cheek, that 'homophobes should encourage marrige. If gay people don't have to 'live a lie' as they often used to, then they will die out'.

erm... well apart from the assumption that homosexuality is bred, it does give pause for thought.

gt40
18th June 2003, 06:51
The fact that they want to 'redefine' marriage seems to indicate that marriage as it is defined does not include homosexuals.
Please, call it something else then.

Gurm
18th June 2003, 07:42
Oh, let's not get into the "genetic homosexuality" thing.

Homosexuals hate that line of reasoning, because either way they lose.

If it's NOT genetic, then it's either voluntary or taught. THAT opens them up to the old "corruption of the youth" charges. Bleh.

If it IS genetic, then it's technically a birth defect. THAT opens them up to ... people trying to "cure" it, as well as insurers refusing to insure because homosexuals traditionally end up with more STD's, etc. etc.

Either way, they're screwed - so most homosexuals refuse to venture down that road nowadays.

Perhaps I should have said earlier that the CURRENT homosexual culture is MORE encouraging of promiscuity than the CURRENT heterosexual culture. I think if you look throughout history you'll find that this has ALWAYS been the case.

Perhaps I am old fashioned.

I am not homophobic. I think that the gay couple across the street are nice people, we have drinks and dinner with them, etc. But frankly, I think "marriage" involves a man and a woman, a bride and a groom, a husband and a wife.

And I'm pretty mixed on the "homosexual parents" thing, too. While I think many of these people would make fine parents, I have to wonder what it does to a kid's psyche to NOT have a mommy at all - or a daddy. To INTENTIONALLY subject a child to this - which many psychologists consider to be the basis for SERIOUS problems later in life... is just too questionable to me.

Like it or not, there are two sources of morality at the current time - "best for self/society" morality, and religious morality.

Both of these moral sources indicate that homosexuality is an aberration. Whether any of us personally have a problem with it or not is irrelevant. It does nothing to further the species and in fact is detrimental to the population... and 9/10 religions think it's bad.

Since "marriage" is, in essence, a moral institution...

Again, I'm babbling, going in a million directions. Maybe I should have slept last night instead of beating my head on CSS code. *shrug*

- Gurm

Brian Ellis
18th June 2003, 08:30
A rose is a rose is a rose. If two people make vows that they will love and cherish each other for the rest of their living days -- and respect these vows -- then it matters not two hoots whether it is called a marriage, a union, a partnership or anything else. It means the same bloody thing, whether you like it or not.

GNEP
18th June 2003, 09:05
Except for the tax/legal (dis-)advantages.

agallag
18th June 2003, 10:38
I can think of very many examples of hetero couples that shouldn't be allowed to have children. If there's a homosexual couple that are in love enough to want to get married, they'd probably have a better chance of raising well adjusted kids than some screwed-up redneck ex-cons who happen to be heterosexual.

Admiral
18th June 2003, 11:04
Marriage... bah :rolleyes: :( :) :rolleyes:

Both of my granparent's marriages were screwed and so is my parent's. At least that's my feeling on it.

My father's parents, two Scorpios, pretty much stung eachother all of their lives, or should I say that my grandmother stung most. They like died 300km apart in different cities after living most of their old days apart, still married though.
Anyway, they raised my father, a natively potential narcisistic Capricorn, to be evan more narcisistic than his nature.

My mother's parents, my grandma a Virgo (going on 76 this September and only grandparent I have left) and grandpa a Sagittarius. Well, my grandma is a rather pessimistic person and bit of a spender while my grandfather liked to keep things well in the budget. The woman bursted when my grandpa would put expenses down on paper and turned there weren't enough money left for what she wanted.
My mother, a gentle Taurus had to cope with her father's mistrust in her and her mother's pessimism and outbursts.

Down to my parants' marriage. You can imagine that what my mother needed was trust and understanding, not an egotistical pompous ass as a husband and further more, the mother-in-law in the house for like 10 years picking on everything, never satisfyed. Mother-in-law dies, husband happens to go through middle age crisis, starts cheating on her. She finds out, they decide for divorce together, going for not understanding eachother (don't know the judicial term in English), not adultery. Judge says "huh... after twenty years and with two, still minor, kids ?!". They drop the divorce plan, his affair died out anyway by then. Things go on "as usual", by his "You should do as I say !", "Firstly you should think at me" creed, if you'd believe he actually said that and keeps saying this today :rolleyes:
Kept on cheating, some escapades only I know of, till... well till age took a tall on his deceitful good looks. Not being much of a charmer and having lost his major asset, he's not having much luck today ~sigh~
I'm yet again proven that time has an ironic sense of justice.
Wished my mother had enough balls to go for divorce based on adultery, though when it came for advice from her parents on what to do, instead of them saying "Leave the bastard, take the kids and come stay with us", they went on "How would you manage alone with two kids ? Don't worry, his crisis would pass" :ermm: :rolleyes:

So you see, you don't need gay people to taint the concept, institution, principal of marriage... straight people, as it's been said in this thread before, can do it just fine, if not better.
To me marriage is the final step in a harmonious "soul to soul" relation and I don't give squat if it happens to be two guys or two women instead of the old recipe.
And it's nice to see that gay people can benefit from the legal advantages of it now.

I sort of promised myself I would never get married, though I promised myself many things and not always kept the promise :D

paulcs
18th June 2003, 11:16
The promiscuity argument doesn't work with lesbians. And the rate of STD transmission amongst lesbians is extremely low.

Paul

drslump
18th June 2003, 12:25
human beings have usually sex for pleasure not to have children.
So what's the problem if it is homo, hetero or bisexual?

But anyway we think of family as a Father and a Mother, perhaps we should be more open-minded and start thinking of a family as an union of human beings who take care of each other and raise children.

As for promiscuity, I'm heterosexual and I'm promiscuous. Sadly I'm not lucky with girls :(

ciao, Ivan

The Rock
18th June 2003, 13:17
AZ: I don't really hate gay people. Just the kind you described (the quote button ain't working here at work). The flaming ones. They disgust me. I don't want to stomp them to death or anything, but I have very little patience for those people, almost to the point where I wish they all lived in their own damn city (San Francisco maybe). :) I don't wish them ill will, but for some reason they just strike a bad nerve. Where I was raised, gay people were looked down on (much worse than some places I'm sure). EVERYone hated gays. Its not that I'm "in the closet" (I'm hetero), and they don't "threaten my masculinity" or anything silly like that. I just hate the posturing the flamers put on. I'm surprised that when they introduce themselves they don't say "hi, my name is whatever, and I'm gay". I HATE the fact that they wear their sexual preference on their forehead like some anti-macho badge of honour. I wish they'd act like hetero people do. You don't see the average hetero crowing about sexual preference (although some macho fools DO do this).

Gurm
18th June 2003, 19:38
I've actually had gay guys (why is it always the guys?) introduce themselves to me that way:

"Hi, I'm Steve (pronounced TH-teve... WHY must gay men pretend to have a lithp?) and I'm GAAAAYYYYY!"

*sigh*

'Course this was before Julie kicked his ass for asking if I'd like to suck his... *ahem* nevermind.

- Gurm

Wombat
18th June 2003, 20:39
Got sent this today. It makes a good point.

<IMG SRC="http://archive.salon.com/comics/boll/2000/03/16/boll/story.gif">

So, <B>who</B> doesn't take marriage seriously?

Brian Ellis
19th June 2003, 02:34
The really camp gays are just the tip of the iceberg. Most homos and bis are just like you and me, absolutely indistinguishable from the heteros -- and usually very discreet into the bargain. About a year ago, a close college friend whom I've known for over 50 years, happily married with family, admitted to me he was bi and had had a couple of homosexual love affairs (not adventures). I never for a moment thought that he was anything but hetero, but he never had an extramarital hetero affair. However, he is still a friend (and nothing more, I hasten to add!!!!!!!!!)

Drizzt
19th June 2003, 09:11
I have no problems at all with gay (I'm nearly bi), but "marriage" is a different thing.

Personally I think there are two way of being married.
One way is the religious marriage, wich is in front of your God and should be a problem for its "church" to establish if a homosexual marriage is a good or bad thing.

The second way is the civil marriage, which is by definition a simple contract between two people who can then get some "help" from the society. And, in this case, I don't see why don't let homosexuals being legally "married".


Moreover, what people bring in their hearts and souls is not my problems. One can have a religious marriage and do not believe in God, one can have a civil marriage and deeply believe in marriage as an union of souls.

Gurm
19th June 2003, 12:35
Ok, I have to second what Drizzt has said. ;)

- Gurm

Paddy
19th June 2003, 12:43
aye, unusually profound and coherent

:up: Drizzt :)

The Rock
19th June 2003, 13:26
Since I detest any and all religion, what Drizzt says gets the thumbs up from me too.

az
19th June 2003, 16:41
Yes, absolutely! In fact, I was going to post just that, only longer (of course... ;))

AZ

Joel
19th June 2003, 17:13
The only thing I dislike about some gays is how they feel that they should somehow get special treatment just because they are gay.

Joel

az
19th June 2003, 17:31
Most of them just want to be treated the same as everyone else, with the same rights and duties. The problem is, of course, that the loudest ones are not necessarily the wisest ones, and not the majority, but they are the ones you notice the most.

AZ

Wombat
19th June 2003, 17:51
Originally posted by az
Most of them just want to be treated the same as everyone else, with the same rights and duties. The problem is, of course, that the loudest ones are not necessarily the wisest ones, and not the majority, but they are the ones you notice the most.

AZ That's true of any group, unfortunately, whether social, career based, ethnic, political, or anything else.

Joel
19th June 2003, 18:00
Equal rights I don't have a problem with but special rights I do.

I had one gay fellow tell me one time that since they were born that way that they should have minority status just like blacks and special laws that give them hiring perferences over hetros. :rolleyes:

But then again like you said, "the loudest ones are not necessarily the wisest ones".

Joel

az
19th June 2003, 18:02
Alas it is.

AZ

[EDIT: This was in response to Wombat's post]

Tjalfe
19th June 2003, 18:02
Going by that logic pretty much everyone is a minority in one respect or another.. I should get hired before short people, as I am a minority which happens to be tall... :up:

paulcs
19th June 2003, 19:01
Originally posted by tjalfe
Going by that logic pretty much everyone is a minority in one respect or another.. I should get hired before short people, as I am a minority which happens to be tall... :up:

And you probably do. Statistically, you probably have a better chance of getting laid as well.

Paul

omegaRED
20th June 2003, 02:16
Originally posted by paulcs
And you probably do. Statistically, you probably have a better chance of getting laid as well.

Paul

LOL :D

Paddy
20th June 2003, 02:23
grrr... so is that my problem then?????

KvHagedorn
20th June 2003, 08:02
Yeah Paddy.. the only thing you can do is build up Schwarzenegger type muscles so people will take notice and stop kicking you around. ;)

What's really stupid is when a 5'0" girl tells me I'm too short for her (I'm 5'9"). Felt like picking her up and drop-kicking the little punkass bitch.. :D

Hati
20th June 2003, 08:47
posted by Joel :
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I had one gay fellow tell me one time that since they were born that way that they should have minority status just like blacks and special laws that give them hiring perferences over hetros.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heard this too from a guy/gay at work.
Unfortunately I once had him as a co-worker. :rolleyes: :mad: :rolleyes:

One example:
At that time I was member of a DBA team and had to take care of some ADABAS databases and COM-PLETE TP-systems running on several IBM mainframes.
One morning when I checked the systems I saw nothing was working / everything was messed up.
So I took care of the production systems telling this guy to check the systems for application development and test.
After working for some time I turned around and saw my co-"worker" reading the newspaper. I asked him "Hey - what's up with the development/test systems?" (because I saw they were still down.)
He slowly looked up from the paper, looked at me very reproachful (how could I dare ...) and told me : "Hey, I can not work under stress !!!" then he continued reading the paper without making any attempt to check/fix anything.
Worst thing : When I complained about this, my boss told me that I could not treat this guy like everyone else because he was so over-sensitive/special. :rolleyes:
In fact this guy was just lazy and not interested in doing any kind of work at all. (He considered himself being an artist for doing some painting in his spare time)
Finally this smart*ss managed that I was removed from the team because he constantly complained about how bad I treated him (I do NOT accept such an attitude!).
Although I got a better job as some kind of compensation (my boss knew where the problem was) I still find this totally unacceptable!
But you better do not dare to say something against this guy ! Or you are automatically considered being biased / homophobe.

Brian R.
1st July 2003, 07:14
Whoa! Canada!
Legal Marijuana. Gay Marriage. Peace. What the Heck's Going On Up North, Eh?

By David Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 1, 2003; Page C01


Peaceniks, pot and people of the same sex exchanging wedding vows: It's a trinity from the church of high liberalism, or a right-wing trifecta of decline and doom.

Either way, it's a perfect storm of cultural weather patterns that you'd expect to be brewed only in, say, the East Village, Dupont Circle or the intersection of Haight and Ashbury.

But no!

Can you say Saskatoon?

Banff?

Nunavut?

Just when you had all but forgotten that carbon-based life exists above the 49th parallel, those sly Canadians have redefined their entire nation as Berkeley North.

"It's like we woke up and suddenly we're a European country," says Canadian television satirist Rick Mercer.

"We're supposedly the reactionary society," says Rudyard Griffiths, director of the Toronto-based Dominion Institute, which promotes Canadian citizenship and history. "We didn't have the revolution. You'd think we would be an inherently conservative society. There's the irony."

In March, Canada decided it was unwilling to join the "coalition of the willing" for the attack on Iraq. Unlike French wine and toast, Canadian bacon avoided boycott because somehow Canada's defection escaped notice.

In May, Canada proposed to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and refocus law enforcement on traffickers. An herbal blend out of British Columbia known as "B.C. Bud" is attaining a reputation reminiscent of the old Panama Red and Maui Wowie.

In June, Canada decided to allow same-sex marriages. In comparison, the U.S. Supreme Court's striking down of the Texas sodomy law last week seems tame. Since the Canadian marriage right is construed as inalienable and open to all -- sound familiar? -- hundreds of gay Americans are streaming north to get married. Their nuptials will not be recognized at home, where a 1996 federal law decreed that marriage is strictly a man-woman thing. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," called for amending the Constitution to ban gay marriages.

The news from Canada is just a little disorienting -- no, shocking -- for Americans. Depending on your view, isn't America supposed to be the cradle of the coolest, most cutting-edge culture? Didn't we invent civil rights? Alternatively, if such so-called cool culture is corrupt and these "rights" wrong, at least by golly we're supposed to get to Hell first.

Now Canada is leading the way.

And America is looking fussy, Victorian and imperial.

On this Canada Day -- commemorating the creation of a central Canadian government on July 1, 1867 -- let us pause to wonder: What happened to that clean cold land of Mounties, Dudley Do-Right, loons on lakes, loons on coins, cheese on french fries? What of the goofy, front-teeth-missing, bad-haircut, lovable beer-and-doughnut civilization of hosers like Bob and Doug McKenzie, the characters created by Canadian comedians Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas? Eh? Bob would ponder conundrums like: "What is a six-pack equal to in metric conversion?"

That's a Canada we recognize, where everyone speaks in a crisp nasal deadpan, even the French. It is the home of a self-deprecating and polite-to-the-point-of-invisible people. In Michael Moore's 1995 satirical film "Canadian Bacon," the Canadians say "pardon me," "excuse me" as the Americans club them like baby seals during an invasion to keep the military in business after the Soviets caved. Toronto, observes one of the invaders, "is like Albany, only cleaner."

In more noble moments, we admire the benefits that seem to come with a passive, upstanding, low-key, non-controversial existence. Moore's new film, "Bowling for Columbine," hails Canada as an unarmed, low-crime utopia Where Front Doors Are Unlocked.

But Canada is also like the well-behaved child who is fun to pound on the playground. "Blame Canada," goes the song in the 1999 "South Park" movie, which depicts another invasion scenario. (Why is the idea of going to war with Canada such an easy laugh?) "It seems like everything went wrong since Canada came along."

"We tend to think of them as the quiet good people to the North," says David Biette, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

Canadians are surprised by the stunned reaction to current events of their friends to the south. Is America's image racier than the reality?

"I find it interesting that a country like the United States . . . isn't at the same level on these issues as we are," says Amanda Hachey, a university student from New Brunswick in Washington for an internship with an international consulting firm. "For example, you only have to go as far as watching 'That '70s Show,' where they're smoking marijuana on that show. It's an American show. You'd be thinking American culture would be accepting of those things."

Or: "You watch 'Will & Grace.' There's two gay men on that show. It seems to present that it's totally accepted."

"Certainly we are ahead -- if you want to call it that -- on those two issues," says Lorna Hundt, manager of Great Canadian Holidays in Kitchener, Ont. "As a Canadian, I'm proud."

Majorities of Canadians support their government on the war, marijuana and same-sex marriage. The most negative reaction, at least to gay marriage, is coming from Alberta, which Canadians call their most "American" province: cowboys, oilmen.

Maybe it's time to overhaul some old assumptions about national character.

At one time all you needed to know was that America was created through revolution under the slogan "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Canada was born of evolution and compromise under the slogan "peace, order and good government." America invented itself, Canada sort of happened.

The English settlers of what would become the United States were driven by religious freedom, as well as economic opportunity. The land of woods and lakes to the north attracted Frenchmen and Englishmen in pursuit of fur and a passage to Asia.

In America, groups besides white males acquired rights, immigrants came, industry was built, wars were won, music was made -- and in the process the nation forged an identity.

Similar things happened in Canada, except the identity part. The nation has struggled to figure out who it was.

The winner of a radio contest some years ago to define the Canadian identity in one sentence was: "As Canadian as possible under the circumstance."

"In Canada, we're a nation of institutions, we're not a nation based on an idea or a set of founding documents," says Griffiths, of the Dominion Institute. "There's no bedrock, there's not a terra firma to Canadian identity. It's something we make up very much on the fly."

Plenty of Canadians have made their mark, but somehow that hasn't really helped define their homeland.

"People look at Celine Dion and say she's Canadian," says Biette. But "is what she does Canadian?"

And what about: Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland, Geddy Lee, Bruce Cockburn, Peter Jennings, Margaret Trudeau, Mike Myers, William Shatner, Keanu Reeves, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, Margot Kidder, Pamela Anderson, Carrie-Anne Moss, k.d. lang, Neil Young, Alanis Morissette, Robbie Robertson, Paul Shaffer, Paul Anka, Shania Twain, Alex Trebek, Lorne Michaels.

But now with peace, pot and same-sex people saying "I do," something weird is happening. Could it be Canada is getting an identity? Even weirder, is it possible that Canada is becoming more American, and America is becoming more Canadian?

Julian Roy of Toronto legally smokes marijuana for medical reasons. Kevin Frayer - AP
A new nonfiction bestseller in Canada is called "Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values." It's based on surveys of Canadians and Americans about their values as sampled in 1992, 1996 and 2000.

Brian R.
1st July 2003, 07:15
"What emerges," writes Toronto-based author and pollster Michael Adams, "is a portrait of two nations evolving in unexpected directions: The once shy and deferential Canadians, who used to wait to be told by their betters what to do and how to think, have become more skeptical of traditional authority and more confident about their own personal decisions and informal arrangements. Americans, by contrast, seeking a little of the 'peace and order' that Canadians hoped 'good government' would provide, seem inclined to latch on to traditional institutional practices, beliefs, and norms as anchors in a national environment that is more intensely competitive, chaotic, and even violent."

Adams found that Americans were adopting more conservative stances while showing more pessimism about the world. Canadians were moving in the opposite direction. Adams considers attitudes about "patriarchy" to be particularly revealing. He asked Americans and Canadians their view of the statement: "The father of the family must be the master in his own house."

In 1992, 42 percent of Americans agreed strongly or somewhat, and 26 percent of Canadians did. By 2000, 49 percent of Americans agreed, 18 percent of Canadians.

Adams and other scholars point to the varying influence of religion in the two societies. Two-thirds of Americans think religion is important, while a third of Canadians do, according to polls. Nearly half of Americans say they attend church weekly, compared with one in five Canadians.

"We don't have Pat Buchanans and we don't have powerful religious movements shaping social policy the way you do," says Neil Nevitte, professor of political science at the University of Toronto, who also has measured national values.

On religion and related moral questions, the United States is off the charts when compared with other industrialized societies, say those who have studied the subject. America looks most like Ireland. Canada is more in line with Scandinavia, and the rest of Europe.

The contrasting values -- and the latest policy announcements -- might be less surprising to anyone paying attention to a range of Canadian stands over the years: The country has strict gun control, no death penalty and universal health care. Canada signed the Kyoto global warming accord that the United States refused to endorse.

Canada, despite its open spaces, is more urban than the United States, with most of its population clustered in or near cities not far from the border. And despite the whitebread hoser stereotype, Canada accepts more immigrants per capita than the States, making it ethnically diverse. Adams theorizes that Canada's tradition of compromise as opposed to the pursuit of individual fulfillment has paradoxically made the society better able to tolerate a change like gay marriage.

"The point is that the 'conservative' society that values 'peace, order, and good government' is also the society whose people feel secure enough to acknowledge interdependence," he writes. "To be interdependent means to acknowledge the essential equality of the 'other.' "

That sounds right to Machell Louis-Kante, a Native Canadian from British Columbia who is working as an administrative assistant in Washington. She says America's melting-pot ideal implies that people need to shed differences to become more alike. Canada goes to sometimes awkward lengths to allow differences to dwell in each other's orbit, like putting French and English words on the same sign.

So maybe there is a Canadian identity emerging from all of this. Adams reprints in his book a 2002 New Yorker cartoon showing a man and woman in evening dress having cocktails. The man says, "You seem familiar, yet somehow strange -- are you by any chance Canadian?"

But consider how maddening it must be to live next door to a country that has almost 10 times your own country's population, and significantly more money, science, art and adrenaline to show for it.

One way to come into your own as a Canadian is to look at what Americans are up to -- and do the opposite.

"Part of our problem of differentiating ourselves from the United States -- post-World War II and the creation of a global consumer culture manufactured on Madison Avenue and produced in Tinseltown -- all that has made us look at the United States as a mirror to reflect back not what we are, but what we don't want to be," Griffiths says.

Canada can say it's Canada because it has gay marriage, universal health care, gun control and so on, and America doesn't.

Says Griffiths: "I think if the United States ever got a handle on universal health care and gun control, Canada would have a major identity crisis on its hands."

Staff researcher Margaret Smith contributed to this report.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Brian Ellis
1st July 2003, 08:20
Bravo to the Canadians :D

The Rock
1st July 2003, 08:40
I still see bits of foolish American thought processes in those articles. Specifically, the idea that all we've ever done is play "follow the leader" to Americans, which is complete B.S. and has NOT been what we've been doing for the past umpteen years. Yankees seem to have this perception that "we're #1, and everyone follows us". Come up to Canada and ask the average Canadian what they think of THAT dumb idea. :)

Overall, fairly well done article.

The Rock
1st July 2003, 09:01
I know its old, but since we're on the topic of Canada, I had to throw this in:

Signs Showing You Might be Canadian

1. You're not offended by the term "HOMO MILK".
2. You understand the phrase "Could you pass me a serviette, I just dropped my poutine, on the chesterfield."
3. You eat chocolate bars, not candy bars.
4. You drink Pop, not Soda.
5. You know what a Mickey and 2-4 mean
6. You don't care about the fuss with Cuba. It's a cheap place to go for your holidays, with good cigars and no Americans.
7. You know that a pike is a type of fish, not part of a highway.
8. You drive on a highway, not a freeway.
9. You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.
10. You know that Casey and Finnegan were not part of a Celtic musical group.
11. You get excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.
12. You brag to Americans that: Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion & many more, are Canadians.
13. You know that the C.E.O. of American Airlines is a Canadian!
14. You know what a touque is.
15. You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
16. You know that the last letter of the English alphabet is always pronounced "Zed" not "Zee"
17. Your local newspaper covers the national news on 2 pages,but requires 6 pages for hockey.
18. You know that the four seasons mean: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road work.
19. You know that when it's 25 degrees outside, it's a warm day.
20. You understand the Labatt Blue commercials.
21. You know how to pronounce and spell "Saskatchewan". (Sas-Kat-chew-wan)
22. You perk up when you hear the theme song from 'Hockey Night in Canada'.
23. You were in grade 12, not the 12th grade.
24. "Eh?" is a very important part of your vocabulary, and is more polite than,"Huh?"

:D

Brian R.
1st July 2003, 09:51
My father moved from Winnepeq to Chicago before I can remember. Still feel Canadian...

paulcs
1st July 2003, 12:14
Originally posted by The Rock

12. You brag to Americans that: Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion & many more, are Canadians.


You had to remind us of that! And just when we were getting over Guy Lombardo, Paul Anka, Anne Murray, Bryan Adams, and Bachman-Turner-Overdrive. In the past, we have gone to war for insults far flimsier than Alan Thicke or Tom Green. ;)

Robbie Robertson, Neil Young, Glen Gould, Maynard Ferguson, and Leonard Cohen are/were from Canada. Colleen Dewhurst was from Canada. I believe Marshall McLuhan, John Kenneth Galbraith, Saul Bellow, William Gibson, and Margaret Atwood are/were Canadian. And I have a thing for Kim Catrall, who was born in Liverpool, but emigrated to Canada when she was three months old.

Paul

az
1st July 2003, 12:52
Yes, very good article, though I must say I found it a bit "american", too. But I guess that's OK, it coming from the USA after all :)

Say, isn't it annoying to you canadians that people always say "America" when they mean the USA?

Oh, and I always thought of Canada more as a european country which happens to be on another continent ;)

AZ

Byock
1st July 2003, 13:12
Originally posted by The Rock
Yankees seem to have this perception that "we're #1, and everyone follows us"

Close, Americans* have the perception "Were #1, and who cares about everyone else." After all the crap we get from doing anything to help, the average American could not care less about the rest of the world. :)

* Yes, we are Americans, even though we are from the USA.

Ajax
1st July 2003, 13:17
Originally posted by Byock
Close, Americans* have the perception "Were #1, and who cares about everyone else." After all the crap we get from doing anything to help, the average American could not care less about the rest of the world. :)

* Yes, we are Americans, even though we are from the USA.
I'm glad someone said it... Does USA bashing make you (you who do it) feel better about yourself? I love the USA, and will be the first to admit that I believe I live in the best country in the world. That said, I have nothing against Canada, Europe, or any other country.
BTW: Canada is part of America too for those who havn't looked at a map recently. Or is there some other continent stuck to America that I didn't learn about in school?

The Rock
1st July 2003, 13:52
The only people Americans intend to help when they start a war are themselves. Please don't tell me you actually believe otherwise? Yeah, like the Bush administration was REALLY concerned about the "poor Iraqi people". :rolleyes:

Byock
1st July 2003, 13:54
Your right, Canada would have helped. Oh, wait, they didn't. Now there is a suprise. :rolleyes:

The Rock
1st July 2003, 14:05
Yeah it was a surprise, to all of us. And I'm GLAD we didn't help. Your stupid government put Saddam into power, and your stupid government can get him out yourselves. Funny how you whine about the worlds #1 military force needing help. Your grown ups, you can clean up your own mess. :)

Anyways, lets end this pointless B.S. now before the thread gets locked. We're all adults here, and you all know this is going to get sour really fast. No debate on the USA ever ends well in ANY forum, so lets just drop it now and agree to disagree.

gt40
1st July 2003, 14:15
to the original topic -Don't forget Ontario, where its legal for women to walk around topless! :)

As for the war, I'm ashamed to be lumped together with all those actors. - nuff said.

Byock
1st July 2003, 14:26
Before Zokes, and GT40 get together and roast me over a spit, let me say, I have nothing against Canada, or Europe for that matter. It just amazes me, whenever there is a problem, the world runs to us for help, then whines when we do. But as you said...


Originally posted by The Rock
Anyways, lets end this pointless B.S. now before the thread gets locked. We're all adults here, and you all know this is going to get sour really fast. No debate on the USA ever ends well in ANY forum, so lets just drop it now and agree to disagree.

You know, I think that is the smartest thing I have heard on this thread yet. ;)

Sorry, Back OT, You can have the gays flocking to Canada to get married. :D

az
1st July 2003, 14:53
Just to clarify, and I don't want to break the discussion loose again, the world does NOT run and call for help. It certainly didn't with Iraq - it has before, sometimes, but not as much as you think it has :)

AZ

Byock
1st July 2003, 14:58
I guess you are right. Unless you take into account...This. (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&ncid=578&e=3&u=/nm/20030701/ts_nm/crime_usa_aid_dc)


I can quote from alot of sources. :rolleyes:

GNEP
1st July 2003, 15:40
But are those countries necessarily upset that military support has been suspended?

az
1st July 2003, 15:51
Depends, of course. Some countries are of course happy if they get help from the USA, some come crying, begging the USA to help them, simply because they are the last superpower. But don't mix up those countries with the ones that criticize some of your actions (which is a friend's duty, IMHO. I'd be really pissed at my friends if they thought lowly of something I did, but won't tell me).

It simply is NOT the whole world who wants the US to be the wold police. Some countries want help, sure. But they really are not everybody. You need to get the misconception that the whole world wants you to "act" out of your head. It simply isn't so.

AZ

thop
1st July 2003, 15:55
http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/cop.gif http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/cop.gif http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/cop.gif geo-political (temp-forum) alert http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/cop.gif http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/cop.gif http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/cop.gif

leech
1st July 2003, 15:55
Bah, I can't be bothered with reading all this tripe, I just wanted to say... "Of course people can be confused on where Canada is, tucked all they way down there...." :D

Viva la France!

Leech

GNEP
1st July 2003, 16:01
Mais oui :)

paulcs
1st July 2003, 16:27
Originally posted by leech
Bah, I can't be bothered with reading all this tripe, I just wanted to say... "Of course people can be confused on where Canada is, tucked all they way down there...." :D

Viva la France!

Leech

Who said that? Santa Claus?

Viva Catherine Deneuve, Juliet Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, et Emmanuelle Béart!

Paul

gt40
1st July 2003, 17:44
Originally posted by Byock
Before Zokes, and GT40 get together and roast me over a spit, let me say, I have nothing against Canada, or Europe for that matter. It just amazes me, whenever there is a problem, the world runs to us for help, then whines when we do. But as you said...


I'm on your side, sorry to be vague. :)
just don't want to start anything tooooo political. :)

but what the hey, I'm always in the mood for roasted chicken :p

Marshmallowman
1st July 2003, 18:43
When something does go wrong the world does turn to the USA, I don't know if its asking for help or rolling its eyes and saying "feck you have done it again!!!"

The Rock
1st July 2003, 19:51
It simply is NOT the whole world who wants the US to be the world police. Some countries want help, sure. But they really are not everybody. You need to get the misconception that the whole world wants you to "act" out of your head. It simply isn't so.

Well spoken Az.

Brian R.
1st July 2003, 19:59
I really intended this thread to be a tongue-in-cheek Pro-Canadian thread. Bringing the US into it is a bad idea. Canada and the US get along fine in general and I hope it stays that way.

BTW, friendly competition between the Americans and Canadians is just fine in my book. We will stand together when it counts.

Brian Ellis
2nd July 2003, 03:26
GNEP

Mais non! Vive le Québec libre! Now, who said that?

az
2nd July 2003, 04:07
Please don't misunderstand me, I do not hate the USA or something, I just want to erase this misconception from your minds :)

AZ

GNEP
2nd July 2003, 04:22
Je ne sais pas, Brian... :)

KvHagedorn
2nd July 2003, 04:38
Originally posted by Hati
posted by Joel :
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I had one gay fellow tell me one time that since they were born that way that they should have minority status just like blacks and special laws that give them hiring perferences over hetros.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heard this too from a guy/gay at work.
Unfortunately I once had him as a co-worker. :rolleyes: :mad: :rolleyes:

One example:
At that time I was member of a DBA team and had to take care of some ADABAS databases and COM-PLETE TP-systems running on several IBM mainframes.
One morning when I checked the systems I saw nothing was working / everything was messed up.
So I took care of the production systems telling this guy to check the systems for application development and test.
After working for some time I turned around and saw my co-"worker" reading the newspaper. I asked him "Hey - what's up with the development/test systems?" (because I saw they were still down.)
He slowly looked up from the paper, looked at me very reproachful (how could I dare ...) and told me : "Hey, I can not work under stress !!!" then he continued reading the paper without making any attempt to check/fix anything.
Worst thing : When I complained about this, my boss told me that I could not treat this guy like everyone else because he was so over-sensitive/special. :rolleyes:
In fact this guy was just lazy and not interested in doing any kind of work at all. (He considered himself being an artist for doing some painting in his spare time)
Finally this smart*ss managed that I was removed from the team because he constantly complained about how bad I treated him (I do NOT accept such an attitude!).
Although I got a better job as some kind of compensation (my boss knew where the problem was) I still find this totally unacceptable!
But you better do not dare to say something against this guy ! Or you are automatically considered being biased / homophobe.

The problem is your spineless management. If they had any guts they would fire the guy, specifically listing that the problem was him not doing his job. If he tried to bring any shit down because of it, the problem would be whether the courts are equally spineless. Trust me, if we put up with enough of this sort of shit, the world will rot from within and implode. :mad:

Admiral
2nd July 2003, 04:57
Can't management secretly tape a normal day at work with said type and use a few coworkers to testify that it's routine when it comes to court ?

Or does that infringe some personal privacy/rights law ?

KvHagedorn
2nd July 2003, 06:05
Pretty soon productivity will become illegal and our rights to be worthless slobs with high pay will be guaranteed. ;)

Ajax
2nd July 2003, 06:09
Originally posted by KvHagedorn
Pretty soon productivity will become illegal and our rights to be worthless slobs with high pay will be guaranteed. ;) I work with a few of those worthless slobs... Sad thing is, they get paid more than those of us who actually work. :rolleyes:

leech
2nd July 2003, 16:31
Originally posted by Ajax
I work with a few of those worthless slobs... Sad thing is, they get paid more than those of us who actually work. :rolleyes:

Isn't that the way it has ALWAYS been. The rich/higher paid people do LESS work than the grunts. Basically the rich get richer and the poor get more poor.

Leech

Joel
2nd July 2003, 17:22
Reluctant to get involved in another military fight, the Bush administration on Wednesday debated how to respond to international pressure that it send peacekeepers to Liberia.

"It is premature to say an announcement is forthcoming in the next day or so," Secretary of State Colin Powell said after consulting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Despite U.S. reluctance, thousands of Liberians celebrated outside the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia late Tuesday as rumors spread about possible U.S. intervention.

Besides Annan, France, Britain and both sides in Liberia's fighting also have pushed for an American role in a peace force.

Looks like some do want US to be the world's policemen. Even those that didn't want US to do anything with Iraq, but we all know the reasoning behind that.

Joel

Byock
3rd July 2003, 10:18
Originally posted by Joel
Looks like some do want US to be the world's policemen. Even those that didn't want US to do anything with Iraq, but we all know the reasoning behind that.

Joel


:up: Yes, yes we do.

KvHagedorn
3rd July 2003, 10:37
Screw liberia.. did anyone help Germany during the 30 years war? Yeah, they helped stir things up even more so they could profit from a weakend Empire. :mad: