Comics

Why Canadian Superheroes Are Hosers

|

sorry girls, he's canadian

Time after time, Canadian publishers conjured up superheroes that supposedly embodied the national spirit. Aside from Johnny Canuck, there is Nelvana of the Northern Lights (a white goddess in a mini-dress who protected the Arctic from "Kablunets, Nazi allies armed with Thormite Rays"), Captain Jack (an all-round athlete who battled Nazi saboteurs), Northern Light (a science fiction hero whose enemies were space aliens), Captain Canuck (who also fought space monsters as well as complex international banking conspiracies) and the similarly monikered Captain Canada (originally known as Captain Newfoundland, he defended the royal family from giant Japanese robots).

All these characters have their goofy charm, but let's face reality: none of them is a superhero of the first rank. They are not fit to hold the cape of Superman or Batman. They don't even have what it takes to be a sidekick to Wonder Woman or Captain America. Creating a Canadian superhero is rather like growing bananas in Nunavut. With enough ingenuity and willpower you can do it, but is it worth doing?

There is something about Canada that resists superheroes….

More here.

Brian Doherty looked at the persistence of the costumed do-gooder here and I made mine Marvel here.

Hat Tip: Arts & Letters Daily

Advertisement

NEXT: A Spoiler Passes the Torch

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. My Canadian colleagues would say “Canada does not need superhero’s because we don’t have any serious problems. They’d be like the Maytag repairman.” Eh?

  2. what was the Canadian mutant superhero team, Alpha Flight, I think? Puck, Sasquatch…

    Marvel creation though, via X-men.

  3. What, no Alpha Flight? Just because Marvel is an American publisher? Discrimination!

  4. Well, there is Dudley Do-Right.

    Canada has no serious problems? No, they aren’t verging on collapse, but I can’t think of a single Canadian I know who doesn’t have a vast array of complaints.

  5. You’re forgetting Hosehead.

  6. -snikt-

    Mother Fucking Wolverine!

  7. Hey bub, don’t be messing with us Canuckleheads! We take in your dissidents, like U.S. Agent, Beta Ray Bill, and one of the former Spider-babes. Not to mention America’s favorite #1 mutant of three box-office hits is from the Great White North.

  8. But if Canada could come up with its own superheroes, they might have been creative enough on their own to destroy the one thing all Canadians seem to truly love: bitching about the pervasiveness of American culture.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed every visit to Canada and have liked the vast majority of Canadians I’ve met, but a large part of their national character seems to be invested in complaining about America(ns). So large a part, I can barely conceive of what Canada would be without us.

  9. But doesn’t the wolverine story just make the thesis here stronger. He was part of a secret Canadian military project.

    I dare you to say that three times without laughing.

  10. Let’s not forget the Red Green Lantern, either.

  11. Mr. Molson is my superhero.

  12. What about that Eskimo superhero character I read about decades ago in the WSJ who would lose all his powers when he drank?

  13. SugarFree,

    Canada. The Un-America. Crisp and clean and no caffeine. Never had it, never will [insert deep Trinidadian laugh].

  14. Don’t forget Waitenlinea, goddess of nationalized health care.

  15. Canada Dry beat you to the beverage line.

  16. Beside, there’s already a Captain Canada

  17. The Canadian Northstar was the first openly gay superhero – they have that going for them.

  18. Superheroes are a cultural resource unique to the US. Canada had rich veins of comic actors, which they mined and exported to great effect in the 70’s and 80’s. But it seems like they might have tapped it out.

  19. Don’t forget Waitenlinea, goddess of nationalized health care.

    or Francophonia, with the power of rendering all signs bilingual so non-English speakers will know what red octagonal traffic signs indicate.

  20. Avril Lavigne has the power to be super lame. Does that count?

  21. Don’t forget Waitenlinea, goddess of nationalized health care.

    I liked the episode where Waitenlinea on average, somehow outlived Dynamic Entreprenuria, the goddess of US Health Care!

  22. Pro Libertate,

    Thanks for reminding me… My grandmother has a set of those upside down Un-cola glasses I need to get from her before we send her to the home.

  23. I’m now waiting for some indignant Canucks to get defensive and make this thread really entertaining. “We burned down the White House in 1814!”

    Yes, I have really heard that from Canadians before.

  24. Yeah, I second the astonished no-mention of Alpha Flight.

    …and the Red Green show is/was the worst television show ever. …ever!

  25. Episiarch,

    Don’t forget – they also bombed the Baldwins!

    They’re not even a real country anyway.

  26. Ken,

    I see your Red Green and raise you a Trailer Park Boys.

  27. You left out the best part:

    “To protect Canada’s trade balance during World War II, the government forbade the importation of fiction periodicals, creating a temporary niche for Canadian publishers of pulp fiction magazines and comic books. When normal cross-border trade resumed, the market for Canadian comic books collapsed.”

    In other words, the Canadian superhero, like (much as I hate to admit it) most other other “Canadian content,” was a creature of government policy and would disappear as soon as the state support was removed.

    (You’d think Canadian workers would have had better things to be doing during a war than drawing comic books, wouldn’t you? Like making armaments–or going to Europe to actually fight.)

  28. Canada is the finest country that ever was or will be, and Canadians are superior to Americans in every way. And I’m not just saying this because I’m slightly intimidated by my poutine-wielding Canadian-emigre boss, either.

  29. Bah.

    Canada spawned RUSH. They don’t need to create anything else.

  30. Sugarfree wrote:

    But if Canada could come up with its own superheroes, they might have been creative enough on their own to destroy the one thing all Canadians seem to truly love: bitching about the pervasiveness of American culture.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed every visit to Canada and have liked the vast majority of Canadians I’ve met, but a large part of their national character seems to be invested in complaining about America(ns). So large a part, I can barely conceive of what Canada would be without us.

    I grew up in Toronto, immigrated to the US in the seventies and and have never lived there since, but visit a couple of times a year. My wife and I have concluded that the entire nature of Canadian cultural and national identity consists of not being American and being proud of it. Like every small town they feel constrained to point out every Canadian pianist, baseball player and actor (at least on the radio).
    On the other hand, because I live in Detroit I listen to CBC 2 radio a lot because they have good classical music during the day.

  31. SHATNER IS CANADIAN. KIRK IS AMERICAN. THERE IS NO DEEPER STATEMENT TO BE MADE THAN THAT.

  32. Canada: Where the Female Impersonators are Played by Women.

    (and what the URKOBOLD said.)

    /trembles in fear. shuffles off

  33. Canada is a great source of raw material.

    Example – Pam Anderson.

    Canadian made. Perfected by American science.

  34. Canada spawned RUSH. They don’t need to create anything else.

    I would’ve worded that: “They shouldn’t be allowed to create anything else.”

  35. Geoff Nathan,

    I’m from Kentucky. They do the “look who’s from here!” crap in the paper constantly.

    I love Toronto. I’ve gone mostly to do research at the Merrill Science Fiction collection and work stuff. They have the best used bookstores for science fiction I’ve ever found.

  36. URKOBOLD speaks the greatest truth. Though I must add that many members of the cast of Firefly are Canadian.

  37. Episiarch,

    But it’s implied that the departure from Earth-that-Was was a cooperative effort between the U.S. and China. Canada clearly was destroyed at some point before then. Therefore, the characters were all descended from Americans.

  38. DAN ACKROYD IS CANADIAN. ELWOOD BLUES IS AMERICAN. AND SO ON. THE URKOBOLD IS AMAZED AT HOW EASILY CANADIANS CAN IMITATE AN AMERICAN ACCENT.

  39. Therefore, the characters were all descended from Americans.

    ProL,

    Well, obviously. I didn’t even think it needed to be said 😉

  40. Say, has an American ever played a Canadian on screen?

  41. ProL,

    Why would anyone ever make a movie about a Canadian?

    Ba-dum-dum. I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

  42. I love Canadians. I married one and moved to Ottawa. But yes, their superheroes suck. The forced “Canadian content” often sucks. It often strikes me that Americans have no problem incorporating a lot of other countries’ material into American products, but the standards for what is “Canadian” are either so poor (American movie filmed in Toronto-as-NYC) or so rigid (docudrama about the guy who campaigned for national health care in Canada) that the whole concept is rife with humor.

    That said, I love Acadieman, even though I don’t speak French. My husband is Acadian, though, and I can vaguely understand it. Naturally, though, the only good Canadian superhero isn’t actually a superhero.

    My feeling is that the best stuff Canada comes up with are niche works, nothing with the broad appeal of, say, Superman. And if something does have a broad appeal, it immediately goes south to make money.

  43. As always, URKOBOLD has put his claw finger on the heart of the matter, in the spirit of which:

    Michael J. Fox – Canadian ….. Alex P. Keating – American
    Lorne Greene – Canadian ….. Ben Cartwright – American
    Raymond Burr – Canadian ….. Perry Mason – American
    Donald Sutherland – Canadian ….. “Hawkeye” Pierce – American
    Raymond Massey – Canadian ….. Abe Lincoln – American
    Chief Dan George – Canadian ….. Chief Dan George in any movie – American Indian
    Keanu Reeves – Canadian ….. Bill or Ted, Neo – who cares?

  44. The Canadian government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions!!

  45. Say, has an American ever played a Canadian on screen?

    Ummm, Nelson Eddy played a Mountie in Rose-Marie.

    I’m out. 🙂

  46. “Canada: Where the Female Impersonators are Played by Women.”

    Y’know, I’m no fan of Celine Dion, but that’s just mean.

  47. Isaac,

    That’s a relief. I was starting to suspect some sort of Yukon conspiracy.

    Brenden Fraser played Dudley Do-Right in the eponymous movie.

  48. In the Kirk / Shatner imbroglio, I’d like to note that Kirk is from Iowa, and Iowa is the Canada of the United States.

    Look, Canada doesn’t suck. Anyplace that produces folk like David Cronenberg, Michael Ironside, Peter North, Kristin Kreuk and Leslie Nielson is an okay place in my book. But for every Neil Young there is a Celine Dion. For every Leonard Cohen there is a Barenaked Lady. For every awesome nudie bar there is a Howie Mandel.

    If Canada was a Simpsons character it would be Ned Flanders. If Canada was a band it would be U2. If Canada was a Beatle it would be Paul McCartney.

  49. I, for one, love Canada and am entirely willing to conquer Greenland on Canada’s behalf.

    I’m just sayin’.

  50. Canada has no serious problems? No, they aren’t verging on collapse, but I can’t think of a single Canadian I know who doesn’t have a vast array of complaints.

    But they’re waiting on the government to solve them.

    Superheros are by nature individuals, and mostly vigilantes. Canadians don’t look up to either.

  51. I, for one, love Canada and am entirely willing to conquer Greenland on Canada’s behalf.

    I dunno, PL, I’m going to be torn if Canada and Denmark go to war over that disputed island in the Greenland Passage.

    I have ties to both places.

    I say, what does the US have to do when two NATO allies end up at war with each other.

  52. Medai – check out destijl @ 11:48. Comparing anything to u2 is one of the cruelest things out there.

    wow. 🙂

    ProGLib – We know you have your sights on Gr?nland, where you’re gonna open up a bar and casino…

    hier is (was?) one of the all time bestest places on Vancouver Island!

  53. Canadians are just too sarcastic to take any superhero seriously.

    Comedy is Canada’s forte and always will be.

    Any Canadian superhero would be the immediate target of 30,000,000 jokers.

    Same goes for super-villains. Pro Libertate mentioned the only character that Canadians have any sympathy for – Dudley Do-Right – but that’s because he is such an obvious joke. And who’s Dudley’s arch-enemy? Snidely Whiplash, of course. If Lex Luthor were Canadian, Superman would never even notice him.

  54. LarryA | June 20, 2007, 11:56am |

    Yes, when Canadians were asked to pick the “Greatest Canadian Ever”, did the pick the “Father of Confederation”, Sir John A MacDonald or WWI flying ace Billy Bishop, VC?

    Or even discoverer of insulin and Nobel Laureate Dr Frederick Banting?

    No, they picked the “Father of Medicare” TC (Tommy) Douglas. Better known to Americans as Kieffer Sutherland’s Grandfather. 🙂

  55. I love Canadians. Spent a lot of time up there drinking. They’re friendly, funny, well educated people who make great barroom conversationalists. But, until their GDP surpasses the state of Texas, I’ll just smile and nod when the topic shifts to healthcare and economics.

  56. Aresen,

    Is Snidely Whiplash a Canadian? I bet he’s American.

    Canadians have produced an insanely disproportionate amount of North American humor and should be proud of it.

    I think we should merge the U.S. and Canada and call the new country, “Canada” but keep acting like the U.S. People would always give us the benefit of the doubt, that way–“But it’s Canada! There must be a good reason for them invading us!”

  57. Don’t forget…

    William Shatner (Canadian) …. Captain James T. Kirk (American), T.J. Hooker (American), and let’s not forget Denny Crane (red-blooded-American)

  58. Why did Gillespie choose to run this fluff piece of shit from Arts & Letters Daily and ignore this substantial piece that challeges libertarian verities?

    Protectionism is a threat to the U.S. economy. Saving globalization requires that its gains are spread more widely. The best way: redistribute income… more?

  59. We Americans relied on the U.S. Army to settle the West. Canadians let the Hudson’s Bay Company do it (with just a little help from the RCMP). Go figure

  60. “Is Snidely Whiplash a Canadian? I bet he’s American.”

    I believe he’s a Bay Street banker – i.e. from Toronto.

    Hating Toronto is part of being Canadian. Especially if you’re from Toronto.

  61. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed every visit to Canada and have liked the vast majority of Canadians I’ve met, but a large part of their national character seems to be invested in complaining about America(ns). So large a part, I can barely conceive of what Canada would be without us.

    As a lifelong Canadian resident, I can affirm all of the above.

    It’s true: our culture is a portmanteau of American and British influence, with little genuine substance outside of well-worn stereotypes like Mounties and maple syrup. The craziest, most infuriating part about all of this, is that cultural regulation still hold use to these same absurd, long-forgotten standards.

    Fuck, don’t get me started.

  62. Canada and the U.S. are jointly successful. Our cultures are intertwined. Canada is no less influential on North American culture than, say, California (which has a similar population). It’s just trying to be something entirely separate than gives Canadians heartburn, because it’s so clearly not true.

  63. Desired:

    French culture
    Brit gov’t
    US know how

    Attained:

    US culture
    French gov’t
    Brit Know how

  64. Canada is actually a mess of contradictions (much like any country I suppose).

    While there are havens of drug tolerance that make libertarians hearts flutter (in Toronto, I’m told, quietly smoking a joint in public wil be ignored while in Vancouver the stuff is almost mandatory) stories like this (from today’s brickbats) demonstrate that anti-drug hysteria to rival any in America is alive and well in the heartland.

    Likewise with military matters. While the “urban elites” evince a disdain for nationalism and the military ethos there is another military culture in which the old spirit of Vimy Ridge and D-Day are alive. This is where the guys doing the heavy lifting in Afghanistan right now are coming from. When anyone even bothers to report their deaths in the US media they are nameless “NATO troops”. Their families and communities back home know good and well where they came from though.

  65. Hey, worst case Ontario, we make a comic about Reveen!

  66. Hey, I’ve got one! That good-guy vampire from Forever Knight.

  67. Canadians are healthier and live longer than we Americans do, and they would never elect George W. Bush.

  68. World Life Expectancy Chart
    http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa042000b.htm

    Country 2000 L.E. 1998 L.E.

    Canada 79.4 79.2
    United States 77.1 76.1

  69. Edward
    it just seems longer

  70. If you really want to annoy a canadian, point out that even though most canadians define themselves in terms of “not being American”, they as a whole, in speech, dress and culture are more like America than any other nation on earth.

  71. Do The Hardy Boys count as Superheroes? When I was growing up in the sixties I read all the books. They were written by a Canadian.

  72. Sugarfree,

    I’m from Kentucky. They do the “look who’s from here!” crap in the paper constantly.

    You, me, Clooney, Lincoln, and the guy who knocked up Anna Nicole Smith. Did I miss anyone?

  73. PISA 2003 Mean Scores in Mathematics
    OECD Countries
    Finland 544
    Korea 542
    Netherlands 538
    Japan 534
    Canada 532
    Belgium 529
    Switzerland 527
    Australia 524
    New Zealand 523
    Czech Republic 516
    Iceland 515
    Denmark 514
    France 511
    Sweden 509
    Austria 506
    Germany 503
    Ireland 503
    Slovak Republic 498
    Norway 495
    Luxembourg 493
    Poland 490
    Hungary 490
    Spain 485
    United States 483
    Portugal 466
    Italy 466
    Greece 445
    Turkey 423
    Mexico 385
    Source: OECD, Learning for Tommorrow’s World: First Results from PISA 2003

  74. Edward,

    From the data you provided, it appears that the US is increasing its life expectancy at a much greater rate than is Canada (1.0 yr increase in the US from 1998-2000 vs. 0.2 yr increase in Canada in the same period). At that rate, we should have passed them sometime in the last couple years. Maybe single-payer health care isn’t so great for the elderly.

    Got any fresher data?

  75. It’s interesting to that Canadians loudly denounce nationalism, while their younguns plaster the Maple Flag on their backpacks when they travel.

    Of course, that’s just so nobody’ll think they’re ‘Murricans.

  76. Scooby,

    CIA World Factbook has 2007 #s as 78 for US and 80.34 for Canada. So we havent gained any ground in last 7 years.

    Interestingly, our men are only 1 year behind Canadian men, but our women are 3 years behind.

  77. The Hardy Boys were explicitly American in the books (from the maybe Bayport, New York, maybe mythical Bayport). And I think there was more than one author under the Dixon label, though I’m not sure about that.

    Isaac,

    Of course they paste the maple leaf everywhere when they travel! Otherwise, terrorists would see them as obviously American and, um, terrorize them. As Canadians, they’re safer. Though it’s probably the case that every CIA operative who is from the U.S. carries a Canadian passport.

  78. Country 2000 L.E. 1998 L.E.

    Canada 79.4 79.2
    United States 77.1 76.1

    Sure, but that’s because of the unfair score we got from the East German judge.

  79. “It’s interesting to that Canadians loudly denounce nationalism, while their younguns plaster the Maple Flag on their backpacks when they travel.

    Of course, that’s just so nobody’ll think they’re ‘Murricans.”

    Most of the Americans I know claim they’re Canadian when they go abroad. And when you’re from Minneapolis (south Toronto) or Seattle (south Vancouver), that’s pretty easy to do.

  80. Most of the Americans I know claim they’re Canadian when they go abroad.

    This is not really necessary. This is a throwback to the Vietnam era when anti-Americanism was prevalent. Even Canadian Anti-Americanism had a different hue in those days.

    There are few places in the world where Americans (as opposed to the American Government) are not liked. Of course, if you’re an American asshole you won’t be liked anywhere, even at home.

  81. It’s damn near impossible for a Texan to pass for Canuck- once the 2nd person plural pronoun is called for in conversation, the jig is up, even if you end every sentence with “eh?”

  82. Isaac,

    Actually, I agree. We’re far, far more popular around the world than domestic politics or the media would suggest. It’s partially because of the understanding that individuals and governments are two different things, and partially an understanding that we’re in a difficult position–whatever the U.S. does, it pisses someone off.

    Also, I don’t doubt that Islamic terrorists would be perfectly willing to off Canadians.

  83. Prisoners (per 1,000 people):

    United States 4.2
    United Kingdom 1.0
    Germany 0.8
    Denmark 0.7
    Sweden 0.6
    Japan 0.4
    Netherlands 0.4

    Death row inmates:

    United States 2,124
    Japan 38
    Europe and Canada 0

    Percent of households with a handgun:

    United States 29%
    Finland 7
    Germany 7
    Canada 5
    Norway 4
    Europe 4
    Netherlands 2
    United Kingdom 1

    Murders committed with handguns annually:

    United States 8,915
    Switzerland 53
    Sweden 19
    Canada 8
    United Kingdom 7

    Murder rate (per 100,000 people):

    United States 8.40
    Canada 5.45
    Denmark 5.17
    Germany 4.20
    Norway 1.99
    United Kingdom 1.97
    Sweden 1.73
    Japan 1.20
    Finland 0.70

    Murder rate for males age 15-24 (per 100,000 people):

    United States 24.4
    Canada 2.6
    Sweden 2.3
    Norway 2.3
    Finland 2.3
    Denmark 2.2
    United Kingdom 2.0
    Netherlands 1.2
    Germany 0.9
    Japan 0.5

    Rape (per 100,000 people):

    United States 37.20
    Sweden 15.70
    Denmark 11.23
    Germany 8.60
    Norway 7.87
    United Kingdom 7.26
    Finland 7.20
    Japan 1.40

    Armed robbery (per 100,000 people)

    United States 221
    Canada 94
    United Kingdom 63
    Sweden 49
    Germany 47
    Denmark 44
    Finland 38
    Norway 22
    Japan 1

  84. YES, YES, THE UNITED STATES IS A HELLHOLE. URKOBOLD IS SURE THAT THOSE NUMBERS WILL IMPROVE IF YOU WILL SIMPLY LEAVE.

  85. I would trade our superheros for some improvements in the quality of our life any day. But then, I’m not a stary-eyed libertarian American nationalist. I can count.

  86. You, me, Clooney, Lincoln, and the guy who knocked up Anna Nicole Smith. Did I miss anyone?

    Hunter S. Thompson and Col. Sanders.

  87. Home ownership:

    Ireland 82% Japan 60
    Spain 80 Portugal 59
    Luxembourg 77 United States 59
    Norway 73 Finland 58
    Belgium 72 Sweden 55
    Greece 72 France 54
    Italy 68 Netherlands 46
    United Kingdom 67 Germany 40
    Canada 64 Switzerland 29
    Denmark 60

  88. um… Postmodern – Buffalo , NY would be south Toronto.

    and minneapolis lies to the north of toronto.

  89. Edward,

    We have more people on the Eastern seaboard than they have in the whole country. I understand that the numbers you threw out are per-capita, but when you have a bigger population in a smaller space you’re bound to have greater social friction. The Canadian way works great for Canada, we are just far to populated and diverse to pull it off here.

    I would also add that if you think Canadians are inherently more peaceful, you have never been in Thunderbay on a Saturday night. Home of the scariest damn bar I’ve ever been in.

  90. Since we Canucks have such good math scores, we also know how to count:

    GDP per capita (2005)
    4. US $43,444
    9. Canada $35,494

    Source: Wikipedia (Citing IMF list)

  91. Apropos of Aresen’s comment, Andrew Sullivan just posted this fascinating map of the U.S. as its states compare to various other nations’ entire GDP. Of course, most of that money ends up going to people named Walton, Gates or Buffet, but still…

    Canada, btw, gets Texas.

  92. D.A. Ridgely,

    I saw that earlier and loved it. Did you check out the rest of the maps on strange maps? Awesome blog!

  93. D.A. Ridgely

    Considering the number of snowbirds there, I think we should have gotten Florida.

  94. Where is that table that shows Canadian metrics without freeloading on the us consumer? I can’t find it.

    Let’s see of the top 100 prescribed drugs, percent developed in Canada or with any marginal contribution from Canadian consumers= ?

    Number of Canadians assaulted who were prohibited by law from defending themselves = ?

    The Canadian model is awesome! As soon as we have a relatively free market Mars spilling free milk and honey into our borders, I bet we could catch up real fast. We should get working on that.

  95. You know, Edward, I don’t usually use “love it or leave it” talk but many of the countries on your lists (you do love making lists, don’t you?) have very liberal immigration policies.

    When I hear someone bitch about America the thought that pops into my head is “wow, if it’s so fucking bad, why doesn’t he leave?”. As noted above I never say it out loud.

    I also try not to feed trolls but you are getting annying.

    Just in case you don’t realize it, most of us are perfectly aware of the numbers you quote. We also know how to view them in context and consider cultural differences and not just see them in the simplistic terms you do.

    We also know that for the most part differences in counting methods make many comparisons utterly meaningless.

  96. de stijl,

    Did you see the map of Middle Earth on the real Earth? It implies that the U.S. is the location of the Undying Lands. Making Indians the elves, I suppose.

  97. Shorter Isaac Bartram:

    Don’t confuse the issue with facts, and anyway, statistics have a well known liberal bias, and also we have a lot of lazy poor people with bad hygene.

  98. e

    RE: poor people with bad hygene

    Let’s just say you don’t want to be downwind of me after a day at the barn. 😉

  99. “Where is that table that shows Canadian metrics without freeloading on the us consumer? I can’t find it.”

    Bingo.

    A good chunk of Canada’s economny is based on exporting natural resource commodoties – and the US is a big customer.

    Also, Cananda, like the other socialist nations of western Europe that the liberals are so enamoured of would not be in existence today as an independent nation state if it had not been getting the benefit of our military protection for the last 60 years or so and counting.

  100. Comment here, today, by PL:

    de stijl,

    Did you see the map of Middle Earth on the real Earth? It implies that the U.S. is the location of the Undying Lands. Making Indians the elves, I suppose.

    Comment there, two weeks ago:

    Does that mean the Americas are the Undying Lands? Were the Native Americans actually Elves (and three Hobbits and a Dwarf)?

    Comment by Jason – June 4, 2007 @

  101. “The Canadian way works great for Canada, we are just far to populated and diverse to pull it off here.”

    Well it doesn’t work so great for some Canadians – that’s why they come running down to the US to get timely medical treatment that they can’t get at home.

    Apparantly, statistical averages of life expectancies aren’t sufficient to make them feel satisfied about their personal situation.

  102. Well, citing statistics without analyzing their meaning, their validity, or the honesty of the reporting nations or willfully ignoring the obvious falsity of what you are trying to imply might just be a bit disingenuous.

    Are there issues in the U.S.? Yes. Are there issues everywhere else? Yes. Rather have our issues than pretty much any other country’s, especially when you take into consideration our sheer size and diversity.

    Egad. What an incredible display of intellectual dishonesty!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Um, since I never saw Jason’s comment, I’d appreciate it if you’d take your nastiness elsewhere. It’s a rather obvious conclusion, wouldn’t you say? In fact, it’s occurred to me and others before, given that Tolkien clearly viewed Middle Earth as being in Europe. What level of asininity are we trying to achieve today? It’s “plagiarize”, incidentally.

  103. Well it doesn’t work so great for some Canadians – that’s why they come running down to the US to get timely medical treatment that they can’t get at home.

    Agreed. Ask the First Nations how the whole Canadian system is working out for them. Which by the way is a great way to flummox a Canadian in a debate – Just ask if their statistics include the Inuit.

    But, that being said, on a whole their system works about as well for them as ours does for us. You just can’t make an apples to apples comparison.

    Apparantly, statistical averages of life expectancies aren’t sufficient to make them feel satisfied about their personal situation.

    Agreed again. Just about every Canadian I have meet at one point or another bounces his plan for stashing cash in the US off of me.

  104. I can see it now,

    “According to a new Cato Institute study, adjusted for our high level of defense spending necessary to protect Canada, the US’s life expectancy is actually the highest of any industrialized nation.”

  105. A good chunk of Canada’s economny is based on exporting natural resource commodoties – and the US is a big customer.

    Funny, I hear a similar argument from Canadian Nationalists all the time, to the effect that we should forbid the export of raw materials and make companies do manufacturing here.

    Strange how difficult Ricado’s Law of Comparitive Advantage is understood on both sides of the 49th parallel.

  106. Aresen,

    No doubt–we’re all crazy here in North America. Good thing we’re less crazy than the rest of the world. Though we’re working on that.

    But if things ever get too weird up there, you’re always welcome in Canada South (query: at any given time, how large a percentage of the Canadian citizenry is actually in Florida?).

  107. Adjusting for their freeloading, Canada’s average life expectancy is far lower than it looks.

    Canada is a welfare state funded by the US economy.

    Canadian national defense is nonexistant without the US military.

    Canadian national healthcare is funded to an extraordinary percent by US supplied R&D dollars, nevermind that the ability to pay for care on this side of the border contributes artificially to its lustre.

    If people are needy enough, I’m not opposed to giving them unearned money. I just wish they’d be more appreciative.

  108. “Adjusting for their freeloading, Canada’s average life expectancy is far lower than it looks. ”

    Adjusted for wasting time on Hit & Run, I am the most productive and innovative American since Thomas Edison.

  109. at any given time, how large a percentage of the Canadian citizenry is actually in Florida?.

    In winter, I’d bet there are 500,000 Canadians in the US at any moment (not counting “frostbacks”= Canadian illegal immigrants).

    Actually, Quebecers and Maritimers head for Florida, Ontarions head for Texas, & the Prairie People head for Arizona. BC people head for Hawaii (to get drunk like the Premier).

    Plus there is a very large contingent that heads on to Mexico.

  110. Most embarrassing is the Canadian Radio and Television Commission, better known as the CRTC. This is the bureaucratic godhead that decides what passes as “Canadian content”, feeling no remorse in strangling the life out of things that don’t fit its pitifully narrow conception of what it means to live in this country. As a result, most of our talent heads south, where it doesn’t matter if your script features a moose or Kensington Market or the CFL, just as long as it can be interesting enough to entice consumers.

    Meanwhile the liberal arts intelligentsia hold more seminars wondering why nobody wants to stick around and suffer, not even stopping to consider how humiliating it is to beg your government for an income.

    P.S. I know this was unprovoked, but that’s what happens after a few glasses of Shiraz.

  111. To be fair, it’s actually the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, as their strangling rights extend across all sorts of interactive boundaries.

  112. Also, I can’t help but find the slightly higher life expectancy stats to be a bit of a red herring. A freer, less paternalistic and regulated society will surely mean more people drinking, smoking, and abusing themselves to an early grave. Not to say this is a bad thing, being based on individual choice and all.

    Likely not the entire picture, but worth keeping in mind.

  113. We’re going to a family reunion in Comox, BC next month. (My husband was an exchange student to Truro Nova Scotia in the 70’s. He’s a lot closer to his Canadian family than to his biological one.) I’ll try to take the laptop and issue periodic reports. We were here for a week last August, and I must say it was lovely. This will be our first time to Vancouver Island, though. I’m totally excited about Fraser River fruit, fresh seafood, and it not being 105 degrees.

  114. Of course higher average life expectancy comparisons, even if they were between nations of comparable population levels and other factors does not constitute proof of a superior system in the one with the higher average.

    Government policies produce mutlitple outcomes. The relative valuation assigned to those outcomes – both positive and negative -are a matter of personal opinion based on one’s individual beliefs – not a matter of empirical fact.

    Since government has nothing to give to someone except that which it has first taken away from someone else, the implicit assumption behind touting longer life expectancies in Canada is that it is a greater good to provide some people with medical treatment that they could not obtain on their own by forcing other people to subsidize them and be subjected to an inferior quality system than one they could otherwise obtain on their own than the alternative of leaving everyone to the outcome they could obtain on their own – whatever that may be.

    Freedom vs perceived security. It is not a fact that the latter is a superior outcome to the former – it is merely a personal opinion that it is.

  115. Don’t confuse the issue with facts, and anyway, statistics have a well known liberal bias, and also we have a lot of lazy poor people with bad hygene.

    If that’s how you read it, be my guest. That is not what I wrote. But I really don’t care what simpleminded fuckheads like you think.

  116. not counting “frostbacks”= Canadian illegal immigrants

    Yeah, but they’re OK, coz they’re white and talk almost like they’re Americans. And then all those Limeys, Scots and Micks , they’re allright, too. Even if they talk funny.

    There are actually an awful lot of the foregoing in FLA. But the only people the locals seem to be concerned about are those fucking greasers.

  117. Odd that anti-state libertarians are so enamored of the biggest, most powerful state on the planet. I guess you take your libertarianism with a large splash of old-fashioned my country-is-the-best, ass-kissing nationalism. Fucking flag wavers.

  118. So their superheros closely mirror reality in relation to America?

    Sorry if somebody else said this first. I didn’t want to read 160 posts.

  119. “Odd that anti-state libertarians are so enamored of the biggest, most powerful state on the planet.”

    What’s odd is that anyone would believe that libertarians would be likely to accept the notion that a country with a bigger and more paternalistic welfare state than the United States has is somehow superior.

  120. Edward – Sheesh, we libertarians sure are wacky! Especially libertarians who are basically an updated version of the 18th Century Liberals who wrote the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    I guess that if you stretch your credulity really far you can find a contradiction in the idea that that a bunch of libertarians would be “enamored” of the nation-state most responsible for defeating authoritarianism during the Cold War and exporting the concept of individual rights and the rule of law.

    Flag waver… That’s an insult where you come from, I assume. On par with demeaning someone by calling them intelligent, healthy, physically attractive and wealthy, right?

  121. Superman is at least part Canadian. Joe Shuster was born in Toronto, and lived there until he was ten. He was one of the two creators of Superman.

  122. Rob

    What our big, bloated militaristic nation-state spends “brigning freedom and deomcracy” to Iraq dwarf’s Canada’s little welfare-state expenditures.

  123. # Gavin Peters | June 21, 2007, 10:24am | #
    # Superman is at least part Canadian.
    # Joe Shuster was born in Toronto, and
    # lived there until he was ten. He was one
    # of the two creators of Superman.

    Also, in 1967, DC Comics (then called “National Periodical Publications”) celebrated the Montreal World’s Fair by “giving” Canada a Superman of its own. As I recall, Kal-El’s brother (who never existed in our reality) came to earth and became “Superman,” taking the secret identity of “Ken Clarkson.” “Our” Superman eventually joined him, settling in Montreal and copying his brother. Kal-El became “Hyperman” and got work as a reporter for the Montreal Star.

  124. “What our big, bloated militaristic nation-state spends “brigning freedom and deomcracy” to Iraq dwarf’s Canada’s little welfare-state expenditures.”

    Uh Huh

    And our total population and GDP dwarf Canada as well.

    The revelant fact is that Canada exerts more conrol over it’s own citizens than the United States does by forcing them to participate in and pay for more welfare state programs such as socialized medicine.

    That’s not going to get an endorsement from people with libertarian beliefs.

  125. If you really want to annoy a Canadian, point out that even though most Canadians define themselves in terms of “not being American”, they as a whole, in speech, dress and culture are more like America than any other nation on earth.

    Including the U.S.

    Most of the Americans I know claim they’re Canadian when they go abroad. And when you’re from Minneapolis (south Toronto) or Seattle (south Vancouver), that’s pretty easy to do.

    I might consider that if I wasn’t a Texan. My Wells Fargo credit cards have stagecoaches on them. Works better than a maple leaf.

    Murders committed with handguns annually: United States 8,915, Switzerland 53

    1. Where are the U.S. murders committed? Most in cities with tough gun laws and relatively low legal gun ownership. The high homicide rate in the U.S. shouldn’t be surprising, given that we’re in the midst of a civil war. (The War on Drugs.)
    2. I noticed your statistics for handguns per household omit Switzerland, where they are pretty common.
    3. I also note your statistics omit the murder capital of the world, Jaimaca, which prohibits all firearms ownership.

    Odd that anti-state libertarians are so enamored of the biggest, most powerful state on the planet. I guess you take your libertarianism with a large splash of old-fashioned my country-is-the-best, ass-kissing nationalism. Fucking flag wavers.

    Well, 1. The U.S. is relatively free and 2. One of a very few countries which produces more in GDP than it consumes.

  126. Gilbert

    So people with libertarian beliefs are ok with being forced to pay for military adventures like invading Iraq? The Germans and the French–mostly non-libertarian welfare-staters presumably–didn’t let their states participate in Bush’s aggressive militaristic spedning spree. Neither did the Canadians.

  127. The U.S. is relatively free…
    Yeah, right.

    Prisoners (per 1,000 people):

    United States 4.2
    United Kingdom 1.0
    Germany 0.8
    Denmark 0.7
    Sweden 0.6
    Japan 0.4
    Netherlands 0.4

    Death row inmates:

    United States 2,124
    Japan 38
    Europe and Canada 0

  128. “Gilbert

    So people with libertarian beliefs are ok with being forced to pay for military adventures like invading Iraq? The Germans and the French–mostly non-libertarian welfare-staters presumably–didn’t let their states participate in Bush’s aggressive militaristic spedning spree. Neither did the Canadians.”

    You keep trying to highjack the thread into an argument about the Iraq war – sorry but I’m not going to play along.

    The point (again) is that United States citizens are MORE free from government intereference in their lives than Canadians are.

    Oh and US government spending for Social Security and Medicare fax exceeds the total military budget – and has done so for decades.

    Furthermore, the top 50% of income earners pay 96% of the federal income taxes. So there are a great many US citizens who are NOT paying for the Iraq war – or much of anything else the US government does.

    And I will point out, again, that Germany, France and Canada would not exist today as independent nations AT ALL – if they had not been protected by the United States military for the last 60 years and counting.

  129. “The U.S. is relatively free…
    Yeah, right.

    Prisoners (per 1,000 people):”

    More irrelevant statistics.

    Freedom has nothing to do with being able to commit crimes and not get locked up for it.

  130. Gilbert,

    Even victimless crimes like drug possession? Haven’t our draconian drug laws swelled the ranks of the un-free? C’mon, Gilb, you’re letting your raving, flag-waving nationalism derail your libertarian principles.

  131. Edward

    If you want to discuss something actually posit something.

    Quit with the fucking lists.

    Yes your right about the war on drugs and it’s eefect on prison poulations. Most libertarians consider that axiomatic.

  132. me spel reel gud, huh?

  133. Okay, Gilbert, I’ll posit that American libertarians should be concerned with the ever growing power of their own militaristic state and forgo nationalistic pissing contests with weak little states like Canada.

  134. “Gilbert,

    Even victimless crimes like drug possession? Haven’t our draconian drug laws swelled the ranks of the un-free? C’mon, Gilb, you’re letting your raving, flag-waving nationalism derail your libertarian principles.”

    First, I never proclaimed myself to be a libertarian. I agree with libertarian positions on some things becuase I believe they actually correspond to the Constitution and what the founding fathers intended and I disagree on other libertarian positions.

    Regardless, you keep throwing out things that have nothing to do with the relative overall freedom level comparison between the United States and Canada. The vast majority of Americans are not incarcerated for drug charges or anything else.

    100% of Canadians are required to participate in and pay for their socialized medicine system whether they wish to do so or not.

  135. 100% of Canadians are required to participate in and pay for their socialized medicine system whether they wish to do so or not.

    But, Gilbert, 100% of us Americans are required to participate in and pay for the invasion and occupation of Iraq whether we wish to do so or not.

    Which is worse?

  136. Gilbert,

    So you’re not as libertarian. Well that explains a lot. You’re just a garden-variety American national chauvinist. Does that make you a troll here?

  137. “Okay, Gilbert, I’ll posit that American libertarians should be concerned with the ever growing power of their own militaristic state and forgo nationalistic pissing contests with weak little states like Canada.”

    We don’t have a miltaristic state – we have a welfaristic state.

    You either don’t know – or willfully ignore what the federal government is actually spending most of our tax money on. Spending on various government handouts like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm price supports education and housing subsidies, etc. etc. etc. far exceed what is spent on the military each and every year.

    A government report by the Social Security and Medicare trustees projects that those two programs alone will consume 50% of all federal tax dollars by the year 2030 – in addition to the dedicated payroll taxes that are going to them. The net present value of all future Medicare liabilties on an accrual basis is up to about $75 TRILLION dollars and counting.

    So you can save your anti-military rants for someone else. The military wastes a lot of taxpayers money doing things inefficiently and doing things that shouldn’t be done.

    But that isn’t where the biggest government expense is. And unlike the military every cent spent on those welfare programs is a complete waste since none of those activities is pursuant to any ennumerated power delegated to government by the Constitution to begin with.

  138. “But, Gilbert, 100% of us Americans are required to participate in and pay for the invasion and occupation of Iraq whether we wish to do so or not.”

    Wrong – as I have already pointed out, the top 50% of income earners pay 96% of the income taxes. The bottom 50% aren’t paying for much of anything the government does.

  139. Okay, Gilbert, I’ll posit that American libertarians should be concerned with the ever growing power of their own militaristic state and forgo nationalistic pissing contests with weak little states like Canada.

    I take that’s intended for me.

    When there’s a thread on “the ever growing power of [our] own militaristic state” we’ll get right on it. Right now we’re having a little fun at the expense of Canadians and the superhroes.

    Holy crap, lighten up and grow a sense of humor.

  140. Point taken Isaac. Sometimes I get carried away. Ever hear why Canadians think American beer is like making love in a canoe? It’s fucking close to water. Of course, Canadian beer is probably heavily taxed to pay for socialized detox programs.

  141. Edward

    Thanksgiving is the day when Americans thank God they’re Americans, and Canadians thank God they’re not.

    A little girl on a train crossing the border in to Canada is overheard to say, “Goodbye, God, I’m going to Canada.”

    A Canadian passenger outraged by this chauvinism says to his companion, “well, I never, that little girl thinks God only loks after people in the States.”

    His companion replies, “No, that’s not it at all. I distinctly heard her say, ‘Good, by God! I’m going to Canada’.”

  142. me still spel reel gud, huh?

  143. “Rob – What our big, bloated militaristic nation-state spends ‘brigning freedom and deomcracy’ to Iraq dwarf’s Canada’s little welfare-state expenditures.”

    1) How do you get from what I said, which was “the nation-state most responsible for defeating authoritarianism during the Cold War and exporting the concept of individual rights and the rule of law” to some crap about Iraq?

    2) Do you believe that Iraq expenditures actually are greater, as a percentage of the U.S. GDP, than the percentage of GDP Canada spends on socialized health care? Because if that’s what you’re claiming, you’re just plain wrong. Here’s the math: Canada’s total health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP grew to an estimated 10.4% in 2005. U.S. DoD accounts for about 3.7 percent of GDP. Which includes your nonsense about Iraq funding…

    3) Do you think I was referring to Iraq, because I was mostly thinking of the Marshall Plan. But hey, that was a bunch of programs designed to hand out stuff and make life better for our recently defeated enemies as well as our allies, and in principle libertarians might look askance at that. I think it was a genius strategy, in retrospect, based on the current state of world affairs.

  144. “How do you get from what I said, which was “the nation-state most responsible for defeating authoritarianism during the Cold War and exporting the concept of individual rights and the rule of law” to some crap about Iraq?”

    He gets to it because all he really wants to do is carp about the Iraq war and just about anything that’s said by anybody is used as another opening to do just that.

  145. Rob,
    “…programs designed to hand out stuff and make life better for our recently defeated enemies as well as our allies, and in principle libertarians might look askance at that. I think it was a genius strategy, in retrospect, based on the current state of world affairs”

    Yeah, I should think libertarians would look asaknce at that. I’m amazed you don’t. You support giving tax-payer handouts to foreigners we’ve defeated and at the same time oppose giving tax-payer subsidies to American citizens with no healthcare coverage? Amazing.

  146. Gibert,

    Taxes–don’t you just hate them?– are funding the war, you know. I’ll bet you thought Cheney was paying for it out of his own pocket. With Cheney, the pocket thing goes the other way.

  147. Godammit, guys, I just got him calmed down and you guys had to go and poke him and get him all riled up again.

    Fucking kids!!

  148. Isaac:

    Canada Apologises To The US

    A truly Canadian Apology to the USA, courtesy of Rick Mercer from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, CBC Television:

    Hello. I’m Anthony St. George on location here in Washington.

    On behalf of Canadians everywhere I’d like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven’t been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry. I’m sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron, but it wasn’t nice of us to point it out. If it’s any consolation, the fact that he’s a moron shouldn’t reflect poorly on the people of America. After all, it’s not like you actually elected him.

    I’m sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you, doesn’t give us the right to sell you lumber that’s cheaper and better than your own. It would be like if, well, say you had ten times the television audience we did and you flood our market with great shows, cheaper than we could produce. I know you’d never do that.

    I’m sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours. As word of apology, please accept all of our NHL teams which, one by one, are going out of business and moving to your fine country.

    I’m sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you’re going up against a crazed dictator, you want to have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

    I’m sorry we burnt down your White House during the War of 1812. I see you’ve rebuilt it! It’s very nice.

    I’m sorry for Alan Thicke, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Loverboy, that song from Seriff that ends with a really high-pitched long note. Your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer, but we feel your pain.

    And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I’m sorry that we’re constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you’re not upset over this. Because we’ve seen what you do to countries you get upset with.

    For 22 minutes, I’m Anthony St. George, and I’m sorry.

    ——————————————————————————–

  149. Ok, back to fan-boy thread… Who do you think would win, Captain America or Wolverine? My money is on Cap, even though Wolverine is a bad motha- you know who I’m talking about…

  150. “Godammit, guys, I just got him calmed down and you guys had to go and poke him and get him all riled up again.”

    Well it’s too much fun making him look like an idiot – not that that requires a whole lot of work.

  151. “Yeah, I should think libertarians would look asaknce at that. I’m amazed you don’t.”

    That’s the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. If something worked amazingly well, you can admit it if you aren’t crazed to the point of intellectual blindness by your ideology.

    “You support giving tax-payer handouts to foreigners we’ve defeated and at the same time oppose giving tax-payer subsidies to American citizens with no healthcare coverage? Amazing.”

    It’s really not that big of a leap. The Marshall Plan provided the framework for the most sensible, systematic approach to international relations the world has ever known, based on sound economic and foreign policy goals. Socialized medicine is an amazingly bad way to distribute limited goods and services that a free market is much better at.

    Put another way…

    The Marshall Plan helped the U.S. avoid World War 3, which is good for both our nation and the rest of the world.

    Socialized medicine is a Ponzi scheme that would carry the U.S. toward financial ruin that would hurt the rest of the world (by weakening the positive, collaborative effect the U.S. brings to the table and the corresponding increase in individual liberty, prosperity and respect for the rule of law that accompanies it).

    I think you’re basically feigning your incredulity, the way most people who can’t understand someone who is either both pro-choice and anti-death penalty or pro-life and pro-death penalty. There’s not really a contradiction in those positions (and they often correlate), but people who are incapable of comprehending things with any sense of nuance love to pretend there’s a contradiction so that they can grind their personal ideological axe.

  152. “The Marshall Plan helped the U.S. avoid World War 3, which is good for both our nation and the rest of the world.”

    Yes and unlike socialized medicine schemes, it was not an open ended program that was intended to go on forever.

  153. Go on forever?!! Eternal socialized medicine! Now you have me really scared, Gib. A nuclear holocaust and global warming are nothing comapared to this.

  154. A must read for chuckleheads:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0223-01.htm

    Published on Monday, February 23, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times
    In Health, Canada Tops US
    Our neighbors to the north live longer and pay less for care. The reasons why are being debated, but some cite the gap between rich and poor in the US

    by Judy Foreman

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.