September 1997

Parallels between Canada and Europe?

Canada is a lot like Europe. Each province is a lot like a different major European country. It becomes obvious if one just looks at them for a moment:

British Columbia - Italy

Picturesque mountains, great skiing, unbelievable traffic problems, and a major political scandal every week. Have both elected megalomaniac leaders determined to wage war upon nations much more powerful than them, for completely absurd reasons (compare: Benito Mussolini and Glenn Clark) but needed someone with real power to help them (compare: Nazi Germany and Ottawa).

Alberta - Germany

A "be self-reliant, hard working and obey the rules-or-else" attitude. No-nonsense people who have no time for whiners or slackers (see Quebec/France). Experiments with democracy in both places have led to the election of fascists (compare: Hitler and Manning). Highest speed limits on the continent.

Saskatchewan - Ukraine

Miles and miles of flat, flat land covered by wheat. Devastated during the draught and Russian occupations of the 1930s. Beloved by all, but considered to be unbelievably boring.

Manitoba - Portugal

You always forget that it even exists until someone mentions it, but it used to be a really important commercial centre - once.

Ontario - England

Sophisticated, civilized, uptight. The former undisputed master of the land, now just a place where the bars close too early. Produces the worst wine on the entire continent. Alternates between nutty, irresponsible socialist and iron-fisted conservative governments (compare Thatcher - Blair with Rae - Harris).

Quebec - France

Relaxed attitude towards life and libations, but whines about everything else. Aren't satisfied with any laws, rules or regulations that more than ten people can understand or that fewer than a thousand people are needed to administer. Each accuses the other of not speaking French properly. Both have language police. Home of internationally renowned, if not loved cuisine (compare coq au vin and escargots with poutine and Pogos). They don't like anybody else, and nobody else likes them.

New Brunswick - Switzerland

Bilingual, peaceful, right in the middle of everything geographically, yet quiet and unobtrusive. Good telephone systems. On the surface, they play the role of peacemaker, and diplomat, while secretly developing their sinister plans for world domination.

Nova Scotia - Scotland

Proud, poor, fond of their animals. Have accents tht only barely qualify them as English speakers. Blame everything bad on Ontario/England.

Prince Edward Island - Monaco

Tiny and out of the way. Nobody can locate it on a map with complete confidence. A major tourist destination, but no one is really sure if they actually do anything here. Home to famous princesses (compare: Princess Grace with Anne of Green Gables).

Newfoundland - Belgium

Funny accents, the butt of almost all national jokes. Everybody likes them, but laughs at them anyway.