God keep our land…

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Will says:

    Sounds like you’d fit in comfortably with most Christian Democrat parties, E.D.Report

  2. E.D. Kain says:

    Do they have those in the States? 🙂Report

  3. Chris Dierkes says:

    It’s nice for Canada to get some love.

    Nevertheless, it’s far from all sunny news here.

    We here in Vancouver have been a little cushioned from the blows, although foreclosures are starting to hit out in the burbs. Not to the same degree you have seen elsewhere in lots of places in the US, but it’s happening. The BC Provincial Gov’t is reporting a huge short fall, big cuts, and the like this year, and the Canadian stock index like all the others has taken a massive hit. Ontario is shedding manufacturing jobs like there’s no tomorrow, and Harper did do a mini-Canadian style Auto Bailout.

    The Health Care system here while overall not as bad as in the US has some serious problems in it, the government almost fell and we are close to reaching Israeli-levels of gridlock in the Parliament.

    But the main point is over the long term, the biggest importer of Canadian goods (by a long shot) is America. This is why they got pissed over the Buy America Clause in the House Stimulus Bill. If America is going done, out here in Western Canada, Vancouver especially, we are more connected to the Asian rim, so there’s potential for diversification. But what about central Canada? Who are they going to sell to?

    Part of the mini-boomlet has been artificially high oil prices, but with those down and demand down, Canada is going to get hit hard no doubt about it. But hopefully the solvency of the banks here (one of FZ’s points) will hold up. Otherwise my $1,000 in my checking account will go up in smoke. 🙂Report

  4. Cascadian says:

    I’m not a fan of the Olympics but it might provide a bridge for Van through most of the rough bit. There may be some deficits, but at least the planning had a chance. As opposed to trying to throw together a bunch of infrastructure together at the drop of a hat. Canada has resources going for it, when it comes time to start digging out of this hole. Canada is also more culturally and institutionally capable of belt tightening. I agree that it will be tougher East.Report

  5. Chris Dierkes says:

    I don’t know. I’m not fan of The Olympics coming here either. I think the city could be on the hook for a huge amount. But we’ll see. They were lucky enough to have a decent amount of the fundraising done beforehand, but what they have are promises. If those companies hit the wall in terms of capitalization, while on the books the Vancouver Olympics looks almost all the way paid for, that could change fast.

    I’m sure there will be some economic benefit, but I wonder how much will be Superclass types which is not going to go up and out of the local economy once the games cease.Report

  6. Cascadian says:

    There will be the new sport facilities, a whole host of new services and other venues that will be attractive for tourism as long as the Loony stays down. I’m sure it will still suck. It might just not suck as bad as other places until things get figured out again. I imagine if you’re in construction, you may as well find new skills.Report

  7. Katherine says:

    It’s great to hear such a positive view of us from the US… and here I’ve been envying you Obama because all our politicians are acting like overgrown children.

    I don’t quite understand what we did so right with our banking system, but the stuff about home loans and banks’ lending ratios does shed some light.

    Canada’s policies are not so much a result of conservatives acting productively (we’ve had fairly few conservative governments, and the last one before the one we have now was a disaster) as of liberals (or the Liberal Party) governing conservatively despite having a majority. They made a lot of cuts I don’t like, but they did leave our fiscal house in order. And rather like in the US, the Conservative Party has now come in with the gospel of tax cuts and had already brought us much closer to deficit even before the financial crisis.

    The Olympics should be a benefit in the long run, if we don’t get too many more of the sponsors dropping out.Report

  8. E.D. Kain says:

    As long as none of the Olympic athletes are pictured smoking a bong, you should be okay….Report

  9. Cascadian says:

    Forget that. I think Rebagliati should be master of ceremonies. Maybe Tony the Tiger should be hung in effigy.Report

  10. Mark says:

    I agree that there are numerous public systems in Canada that function better than their American versions at lower cost. But it’s wrong to credit the oxymoronic Progressive Conservative or any of its ideological successors for the state of the state in Canada.

    First, after causing a constitutional crisis in the 1920s and fiddling while the country crashed and burned during the depression, the Tories found themselves in the wilderness for a long time. Their only majorities in the last 75 years were three terms under Diefenbaker and Mulroney, neither of whom is remembered as an innovator in the public sphere.

    In fact, almost every part of the Canadian social safety net today came from the CCF on the left. The Liberals merely (and in many cases grudgingly) co-opted health care, unemployment insurance, family allowances, worker’s comp and pensions into their own platform, taking credit for the ideas of a party that was founded on the principle of eradicating capitalism and hence stood very little chance of getting enough votes to run the government.

    I’d love to hear some examples of how the Tories contributed anything to Canada’s stability over the last 20 years, particularly when they were decimated down to 2 MPs in 1993 and their Western wing went off on a xenophobic tear for a decade, wasting the entire country’s time debating abortion, gay marriage, and whether a hypothetical business owner could force a Sikh man to leave his store if he refused to remove his “hat.”

    Give credit where credit is due: Chretien, Trudeau, Pearson and Mackenzie King implemented Canada’s social and regulatory agenda. They had majority governments for decades and set Canada’s policy; the lasting image of the Tories is that of a dropped football.Report

  11. E.D. Kain says:

    Mark, far be it from me to judge the political parties of Canada or their motives, actions, histories. I’m woefully ignorant of these things. I only mean to show how certain basic precepts in both conservative and progressive ideology can indeed work in tandem to achieve a stable society. Of course, as others have pointed out, it’s far from rosy up North, but that’s to be expected in a globalized economy.Report

  12. Mark says:

    All you need to know is that one man both created Canada’s health care system and was Kiefer Sutherland’s grandfather. The United States, for all its greatness, has never known a politician of such stature.Report