As Dan mentioned, Canada is voting on Monday. We have three major parties but only two have ever formed government, the Liberals and Conservatives. The third is our socialist party, the NDP, and there are also the Greens (who rarely win more than one seat) and the Bloc Quebecois which only runs in Quebec and is devoted to Quebec issues. Jagmeet Singh (left) is the socialist candidate, Andrew Scheer (middle) is the conservative, and Justin Trudeau (right) is the Liberal.
Polls are currently predicting a minority government, which means no one party would have enough seats to pass legislation without the help of the others. There are 338 seats in the House of Commons and it takes 170 votes to pass anything (assuming everyone votes, which isn’t always the case). In this election, it is unlikely anyone will get 170 seats so everyone will be looking for a coalition between Singh and Trudeau to govern. It’s even possible that a coalition could include the Bloc or Greens. The dealmaking will be on if there’s a minority.
Obama endorsed Trudeau which prompted some people to ask him to stop interfering with our election but the overwhelming majority of Canadians, including me, didn’t care at all. I personally hope Trudeau wins. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.
Both Trudeau and scheer have approval ratings below 35% and Obama’s approval rating with canadians when he left office was 81%. If that endorsement helps him by 2% it could be big. It didn’t help Hillary though.
I promised to answer this and I will, now. I can see how you might think I hate my country. I’ve been hard on Canada lately. Still, every place has good and bad and I’ll try to make a few points about both.
First the bad:
The people are not fat in the cities, generally, but they get fatter the further you move away from our urban areas. The people in the suburbs are fat and the people in rural areas are often obese, which is contrary to some common assumptions but is borne out by facts. In general, people in our big cities tend not to look disgusting, which is more than I can say for most countries.
There are other problems. Smoking does not seem to be declining anymore. Drug use is everywhere and it’s not unusual to see some stoned weirdo howling at the moon in a shopping mall. I’m not saying that will happen every trip to the store but once every few months I’ll see something like that. Erika was really struck by it when she saw it happen as it’s unheard of in Colombia.
Mental illness and gender confusion are also rampant. I don’t know if the latter is a “problem” but it’s far, far higher than you’ll find in South America. Antidepressants are also rampant, which is probably better than the alternative but I don’t get why these are suddenly needed more than they were in the past.
Feminism is rampant.
The weather in winter is still godawful and the early sunsets in December are depressing.
Now the good:
The late sunsets in summer are amazing. It’s just cool to look outside at a beautiful blue sky and realize it’s well past 10pm. The sun sets around 10pm in June but it’s often still quite light until after 11.
The lack of desperation is really startling after you’ve been to other places (aside from possibly the EU). Everyone’s got theirs. Even the poorest have food and shelter and interesting things to do, and most have far more than that. Wages are good and prices are low and life is pretty easy for everyone.
Canada isn’t pristine enough for my tastes but it’s cleaner than any other nation I’ve ever seen. I’d still like to bring back public flogging for those few who litter, however.
Canadian drivers are generally competent and polite, although our high levels of immigration mean that you’ll see your share of stupidity on Canadian roads. It is not politically correct to observe that most idiotic driving is done by immigrants but everyone knows it’s true and occasional jokes among friends are ok. My cousin’s kid (mid 20s) recently said to me, “How do you blind a Chinese guy? Put a windshield in front of him.”
There is almost no religious zealotry. Or any zealotry, really. People seem to have perspective.
The food is simply amazing. Especially the sushi in Vancouver. It’s unique in the world as far as I know because of the way it comes about. Some Japanese guy will start a sushi place but then he’ll find he can’t hire any Japanese people to work there, so he has to hire Koreans and Chinese and even some white people, all of whom have different ideas about sushi. We end up with a fusion of cultures and tastes in our sushi that offends the purist Japanese but delights almost everyone else. Of course, the negative side of this is that, unlike Colombia, the temptation to overeat definitely exists.
Canadians are often educated, polite, well informed, well behaved and well travelled. They also tend to be clean and quiet. If you could choose your neighbours, you’d generally do well to pick Canadians. If you’re at a bar and you happen to be sitting beside a Canadian, you’ve got a reasonable chance at having a cultured and interesting conversation.
The nature is just stunning. In spring, summer and fall. It’s even stunning in winter as long as you can observe it from inside.
Now the introspective:
Can a country be too comfortable? I begin to wonder this. My life in Canada is beautiful and full of friends and activities but I still feel far more alive in Colombia than I do in Canada. I like who I’ve become in South America. It’s not that I particularly disliked myself in Canada but I was boring and often fat. In South America I’m healthy and more interesting. Moving here was the best thing I ever did.
That said, I am starting to feel in a rut here in Medellín. The expat community here is older and mostly American and they often come across like pedos. It’s always the same. Some fat 60 something guy will message me on FB and say, “Hey, you seem to know a lot about Colombia, can I ask you a few questions?” After the usual questions about safety and prices and how to rent an apartment as a foreigner, they almost always ask some variant on, “Hey, is it true that younger Colombian women like older men?” I sometimes ask, “How young are you talking?” and they’ll say, “Oh, adult of course, I’m not a pervert, you know around 20 or so.” Gag. Minor league pedophiles the lot of them.
Anyway, I’m starting to think it’s time for another move. Not right now. I get my permanent residency in December but after that, I might just look at moving, either within Colombia to Cartagena or perhaps even to Europe or Asia or Africa. This doesn’t mean I hate or even dislike Canada. Or Colombia. I just want to live before I die.
That’s true. I can go to a mall in Dallas and everyone shopping is slender. Colorado is like a large healthy city and the rest of the country is rural with pockets of a growing health craze happening.
I bring this up one last time because I know I will always battle weight loss and you always come across as someone who has conquered weight gain and that somehow makes you superior. I just don’t think that’s true of anyone. Well…except maybe Dan.
Yeah, it takes all kinds, doesn’t it.
If a person visits two doctors and doesn’t tell one about the other, a person could over-medicate and become depressed. The result could be mental suicide. My point is that anti-depressants are man-made. They have the potential to play a deadly game on the mind and should be regarded as lethal.
Gender confusion is a mental illness and it’s not just in Canada but good luck with that. We have our own gender-confused nuts and no one here seems to have a problem with that.
So is the truth.
May I suggest an indoor hobby such as Bbad or chess?!
Oh nice. I hope someday you can post a photo of one of those long summer sunsets.
I would like to say that about America but California Democrats have socialized that state in true Venezuelan form reflecting so poorly on the entire country that the world thinks we are, in fact, a desperate nation in need of restructuring when really all we need to do is deal with authority at the top. That would mean replacing the poison that is Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters.
Hopefully, Trump will address issues like that in his 2nd term.
Yeah, I gathered that from your sterile vibe but if you flog every single person who has ever littered, the whole world would cry out together and Jesus would return.
Canada must be a dark place.
Yes I gathered that from your post about foreign drivers.
I can’t really speak to that. Sushi is still raw fish and I still have no desire to eat it. I wish we could get amazing food here. I have to settle for salmon which begs the question, how do you pronounce salmon? Is it sal-mon or sam-in.
You know that’s truth.
A Canadian golfer (famous in his world) stayed here last summer. He was a really good person and I enjoyed our visits but his trip was cut short because he lost just before the televised rounds. I found out later that his wife gave birth right after he got home. We agreed in a text chat that it was not a coincidence to either of us and he seemed to deal with his loss well. I’m hopeful he will book with me again and bring his family. Last time, he invited his golfer gay friends from other countries. They booked and were nice guys but they weren’t as refined as the Canadian.
What does that mean? You want to move to a different country, live dangerously and sign up for a 12 month subscription to Better Homes and Gardens?
It’s a great step, although we still have a long way to go. We are now allowed to talk frankly about death as an option if you’re over 70 and are in declining health. That’s good. Now we need to get to the point where we can talk frankly about death as an option if you’re 30 and in perfect apparent health. I notice this Canadian move takes the option of death off the table if your illness is solely mental. That’s a total step backwards. What good is a functioning body if your mind doesn’t work? What if your body is in perfect health but all you can think about is killing and eating your neighbour’s children and you recognize your illness and would prefer to die? Why can’t we talk about that yet? What if you’re just done? Who the hell is anyone else to tell you that you can’t be done? We still have a long way to go.
Yes, but so many of us don’t want to go if we can still fly to Switzerland and lift a drink. We want to go after we’re no longer able to do those things. This law now solidifies that for us in Canada. You can say, “Dear Doctor, once I’m unable to communicate (or whatever your criteria is), kindly send me permanently packing.”