Are people in Canada as divided as people in America?

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Are people in Canada as divided as people in America?

Ken Eckert, English Professor, South Korea (Canadian)

I’ve never seen a country as divided as the USA. A university dean recently resigned because the campus refused to let a chicken restaurant open, because they were on the wrong side of the culture wars. People patronize or boycott or harass companies because their owners vote for the other party or pray/don’t pray. When I lived in Hawaii, Montana, and Nevada, I’ve never experienced lives so totally disconnected from each other. About the only place one is likely to interact with someone from a different socioeconomic, ethnic, or political identity is at the DMV. Since living there briefly, I’ve always had a soft spot for Mexicans, and in Las Vegas I never saw any. I told my students in Vegas that I’d visited Chicago during spring break, and had to explain where Chicago is. People unfriend each other, refuse to acknowledge a president they don’t accept, and hope the president fails.

Canada has its rivalries and antagonisms. Albertans feel used; Saskatchewan feels mocked; Québec is ostracized; Newfies have a fortress mentality. West is conservative, east is liberal. City-folk and rural-folk have some lifestyle differences. But these divisions seldom rise above griping and bickering at election times. This isn’t because we’re better people by any stretch of the imagination, but because of the culture and history. We didn’t have significant slavery or racial problems; no one other than the indigenous has really been here long enough to feel that we’re exclusively entitled to the country; multiculturalism and tolerance is drilled into us by the school system; and my personal favorite as explanations: in an extremely cold wintry country, you must be civil to other people and work with them, or you’re dead.

Credit. Quora Digest


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