Years ago when we were living in New Brunswick, our English friends, who were also living in the NB wilderness, gave me a book, "Canada, cancelled because of lack of interest." I cannot remember much of the book other than the title.
I remember being surprised that a country which fascinated me so much could have a book with such a title.
As student of English and colonial American history during my college years, Canada's government was of great interest to me.
This latest crisis of Parliament being prorogued is a perfect Canadian crisis. If we are lucky by the time Parliament comes back, the financial crisis might at least be a little more understandable.
Just think how much money Canada is saving compared to the US where "something has to be done immediately" has been translated into billions of dollars of taxpayer money going to companies and institutions which have failed on their own.
Of course this latest crisis is the far from the only moment when something exciting has happened in Canada.
I can remember some very interesting times, especially when Canada finally got control of its own constitution in 1982. I love some the phrases in the Constitution Act.
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
I find those statements about as positive as anything that will ever come from a government. It was a great time to be in Canada when these discussions were taking place.
If there is one thing that I learned about Canadians, it is their ability to discuss and debate things is unrivaled. Sometimes I was convinced the interminable discussions were viewed as an acceptable way of solving problems.
Americans seemed to be focused on doing something immediately even if it turns out to be wrong. I think the Canadian method of lots of debate may well be a superior way to keep governments from doing any harm.
How could anyone think a country about to split up could be uninteresting. When I came to Canada in 1971, the Parti Québécois had just become a force. By 1976 they had risen to control the provincial government of Quebec.
Of course Quebec did not support the patriation of Canada's constitution. I can remember endless effort to bring Quebec on board.
My guess is that they never have agreed. I am pretty sure Quebec is a "distinct society."
For at least a year of my career at Apple Canada I reported to the Montreal office of Apple where all sales meetings were conducted in French. Since I was the only non bi-lingual person in the room, I read magazines during the meetings. One of the least bi-lingual of my compatriots would try to tell if anything came up that was important.
Sales meeting being what they are, I never missed anything vital, but I did get a good taste of that "distinct society" and was relieved when I finally ended up reporting to Toronto.
I will look forward to more details as this latest Canadian crisis unfolds. It is great to have something besides cold air coming from Canada.
If Parliament being prorogued has got you in a knot, I might suggest that viewing my December Day at the Beach YouTube video could provide some relief. Watch in high quality if you can.