Could Canadians make America better?

25 09 2012

Let’s be honest. As Canadians, we are generally a happy group (in fact a new study ranks us second-happiest people in the world!). We are happy to laugh at ourselves and to laugh at others. We aren’t known for patriotism, military, or media but we don’t really mind all that much. We’re usually pretty content with who we are. Don’t get me wrong, we can get pretty fired up over things…and I don’t just mean hockey.

I find that one of the biggest topics of passionate discussion up here in the north is…the politics of our southern neighbours. Ask any Canadian about current political news in Canada and they will likely give you a blank stare but ask them about their views of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney and most citizens can give you an earful.

the “Canada Party” proposes to take over the American government and fix all their problems. Credit:

Why is this? Perhaps it is simply because our government issues are so tragically uninteresting whereas the scandal and inadequacies of the United States are so much more fun to expound upon. In our country it’s just the same old, same old – but in America! There is always some new bit of juicy news.

I think if any one of us would take a few steps back we would realize that we are being completely ridiculous. I constantly hear people rant and rave over their perceptions of American politics; we read biased news articles bashing this politician or another; our bored minds eagerly lap up the humorous criticisms portrayed in clever America-slamming comics or YouTube videos but what do we really know? And why do we care anyways?

I’m beginning to wonder if we “care” simply because it doesn’t cost us anything. Perhaps the root of all the raving is actually laziness. We investigate and probe into the depths of American problems all the while completely ignoring the state of our own country. We remain uneducated on the issues facing our country and its government all the while proposing “obvious” solutions to save our friends across the border.

Come on Canada. Wake up. Put some energy into things you can actually DO rather than just talk about. No matter how great all your opinions are regarding the upcoming US elections, you still can’t vote in them.


Van Dongen: MLA Watchdog

23 09 2012

Watch dog: fighting for integrity and competence
Photo credit: Abbynews

John van Dongen, Abbotsford representative since 1995, has switched political tracks yet again. From Liberal to Conservative and now running as an independent, some might say van Dongen’s track record illuminates the opportunist for what he is. Is he forever to be known for jilting political parties as the Georgia Straight portrays him? Or perhaps he will be repeatedly quoted for choosing “the highway” as the Abbynews reports.

The question remains. How does the popular, longstanding MLA hope to be reelected when he hasn’t given voters any assurance of his political stance? Or has he?

From his own webpage, van Dongen makes it clear that integrity in the government is of utmost concern to him. He acknowledges that the public has lost confidence in their leaders and states that it is his job to be a “watch dog”. He vows to fight for political leaders to exhibit “integrity, competence, and have a true commitment to public service”. His recent resignation from the BC Conservatives only solidifies his statement. This is an MLA that truly believes in his views and is not afraid to act on them. Voters can have confidence that John van Dongen will not sit back and watch; he will not go with the flow. He will stand for the issues he cares about and fight against the incompetence he perceives.

Whether his views and perceptions align with yours is a whole different story.