When is a country no longer a country?

The recent incomprehensible shenanigans over the Canadian flag in Newfoundland were just that - incomprehensible. In most countries, the national flag is the most powerful national symbol, something to shed blood over. Not an "optional" symbol and a bargaining tool to be used for negotiating royalty sharing with the Federal Government.

It reminded me of this piece by Andrew Coyne of not too long ago:

"You see, in Canada we gave up believing years ago: in religion, in ideals, in much of anything, really. Secure as we were under the American defence umbrella, we were infantilized; having no need to defend ourselves, we could not understand why anyone would have more. Or perhaps it was this: having renounced even the wish to defend ourselves, having absorbed the notion that the country could be destroyed at any moment by a vote of half the population of one province, what was left to believe?

If we cannot bring ourselves to believe in the country's existence - as a first principle, from which all others follow - how is it possible to take a definitive stand on any other question? And so, by and large, we haven't."

And earlier in the same piece:

"Americans, as a rule, believe. They believe in themselves, they believe in their ideals, they believe in their country. Or rather, they believe in their country because they believe in their ideals."

Can you imagine a Canadian Prime Minister challenging its citizens to "ask what you can do for your country" to "pay any price, bear any burden" and expect them to respond affirmatively?

And so there is the American President beginning his second term talking about the spread of liberty around the globe while the PM wows to deliver on the overarching promise of his campaign too - reducing waiting times for surgeries ...


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