Comments: Events catch up to pretensions

Hey, you're finally back! This is excellent. :)

Thanks for the link too, by the way. :)

Posted by Paul Jané at February 4, 2005 04:00 PM

Glad you're back too!

And are you swift. I'm only now proof-reading the thing.

Posted by Debbye at February 4, 2005 04:19 PM

It's unclear whether you're asserting that the American system is better. Is that the case, or just that our perceptions have changed?

I ask because, as I'm sure you're aware, the US system works well for wealthy folks, but very poorly for the low-income folks. For example, 43.6 million Americans (in 2002, up from 39.8 in 2000) do not have any health insurance, and a further 24.5 million have only basic coverage from state-sponsored Medicaid.

I'd also be curious to see some statistics on Canada's declining healthcare system. Your SARS example is negligible, as it depends upon a very small data set (all of 38 people died in Canada--almost all of them over 50) and offers a comparison of a tiny aspect of the healthcare systems (disease control).

Canada's healthcare system isn't what it was, say, 25 years ago (what first world nation's is?), but it continues to rank amongst the top 20 in the world, and generally higher than the US.

Posted by Darren at February 4, 2005 06:21 PM

I was curious about the foreign aid point as well, and found these stats:

Unfortuntately, there are only 24 countries listed, so it's incomplete. Canada ranks somewhere in the middle of the developed world, better than the US but much worse than the average European nation.

Here's another data set, not great, but it seems to cast Canada as relatively generous:

On an anecdotal basis, I'd point you to "Hotel Rwanda" and "Shake Hands with the Devil", two films that discuss Canada's mission in Rwanda. They certainly impressed me.

Lastly, I found this article on the DART in the Toronto Star. While it's heavily weighted toward disparaging Canada's relief efforts, it does feature this quote at the end:

"Canada has pledged $425 million in relief and reconstruction assistance, the seventh-largest pledge of any government."

Posted by Darren at February 4, 2005 06:35 PM

Whew! Debbye is back in full force. Well done. Darren seems not to get around much or he might be aware that the figures for foreign aid, which seem to put Canada ahead of the U.S., do not take into account such contributions as aircraft carriers that bring medicine, fresh water and other aid to tsunami victims, or billions upon billions spent to liberate Iraq, and I could go on. Debbye, your point about the U.S. providing aid in the case of, oh, I don't know, a tsunami in Newf or a major earthquake in Van, is well taken. I swear upon my copy of Treason, when the U.S. sends helicopters and heavy transport planes and an aircraft carrier, and oh, let's say DOCTORS to help out with a disaster in Canada, there will be Canadians who will scream blue murder at the loss of sovereinty and at the presence of U.S. troops on our soil. Oh yes, they will.

Posted by keith at February 4, 2005 08:40 PM

Hey Deb be careful, to many idiots up this way.

Posted by Dex at February 4, 2005 10:17 PM

Girl,I can tell that your time off was well spent. You might want to pass on to Darren that the average take home pay for a Canadian is now below the lowest rate in the U.S. That's right, the average Canadian wage is now below the that of the poorest state (ie Mississippi). There is something seriously wrong with this country and your analysis is accurate and painful. I hope there comes a time when Canadians will once again stand up on their own two feet. Keep kicking, we need the help!

Posted by bobthebellbuoy at February 4, 2005 11:33 PM

Thanks for the responses--where can I find sources on those facts (in particular, the comparative analysis on take-home pay that Bob mentioned)?

Keith: As you'll see, I didn't claim that my sources were thorough and complete, just that they seemed to be evidence that Canadians were, in fact, compassionate. Also, citing the invasion of Iraq as foreign aid is highly subjective, isn't it? For example, would you quantify the Vietnam War as foreign aid?

Posted by Darren at February 5, 2005 01:15 AM

I have only one thing to say to this:

PUPPY WHIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(might not be NSFW depending on where you work)

Posted by Blackglasses at February 5, 2005 04:18 AM

Whoa. I just read this screed sober.


How do you function in society? Do you have a helper?

Posted by Blackglasses at February 5, 2005 12:29 PM

I really didn't mean this to be about which system is better. Systems can be judged only by how well they work, how resilient they are during down cycles, and how well they capable of self-correction.

I think the issue is what will it take to bring reforms to correct problems in Canada? Common sense indicates that what will work best are made-in-Canada solutions to Canadian problems, and those solutions will only come about when the body politic focuses on Canadian problems without being diverted by comparisons to the USA.

Nevertheless, I think it's fair to say that the demand for honest government is fairly universal.

Posted by Debbye at February 5, 2005 11:52 PM

Enjoyed your post. All too true, I'm afraid. When the US and coalition forces invaded Iraq, I put an American flag on my lapel. When asked by astounded colleagues at work why I was doing that, I replied that I was flying the flag I was proud of thast day. You should have seen the looks.

I like Americans as a rule, and I think George Bush is a good man an a fine president. God bless the US and coalition forces in Iraq.

That does not mean I want to be an American. I consider myself a Canadian patriot. I've served Canada in uniform and understand that sometimes military force is required. If we don't do something soon to rectify the dilapidated condition of our military, the next generation won't be able to make the claim of having served.

I'll post a link to your site, if that's okay.

Posted by John the Mad at February 6, 2005 04:40 PM

Debbie you were gone so long that I thought you'd left. I'm really glad to see you back. I like your take on things in generaL. I hope your work load decreases soon. Now! about this Darren guy! what he doesn't understand is that too many Canadians define their national identy by intimating that being a Canadian is not being an American. Of course indicating that this makes them a better person! They know that our Healthcare system is the best expression of our compassion and caring nature. Most Canadians of Darren's sort I find to be in such a state of denial that they almost intellectually crippled. Someone said "you can't fight blind ignorance." What makes me angry with the Dattens of Canada is they don't recognize that Canada is on a very slippery slope. No foreign policies, no armed forces to speak of, a broken healthcare system and the politicians are too frightened to try to change it, and educational system that is so PC that the children aren't being educated their being indroctrinated with trendy rubbish. If you want read my rants go to Thanks for letting me comment and once again I'm glad your back, David

Posted by David at February 7, 2005 11:29 AM


The comparative info is on
Scroll down on this great blog and follow the links.

Posted by bobthebellbuoy at February 8, 2005 11:43 AM

The time to kick 'em is when they're down. Cementheads like Darren are why. He and his ilk are a long way from casting off their anti-US blinders. BTW, the desire for honest government is not that universal. Most voters in southern Ontario don't seem to give a rat turd about corruption in the Liberal Party/federal government. In a normal polity, stuff like the Romanian strippers having a special immigration program would be beyond the pale. Not so in the 416 area code. Keep on kicking.

Posted by CJ at February 9, 2005 04:05 AM

Check out for an article comparing US healthcare to socialized UK healthcare

Posted by Son of a Pig and a Monkey at February 11, 2005 05:45 PM