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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/23/2018 in all areas

  1. Remarks. It depends. Honduras is a 'developing' nation. The Soviet Union gave way to Russia, and has had the same leader since ... well, how long has Putin been king of the castle? Canada's Westminster-style system is not quite like the USA's republican two-party system (we have five parties in the House of Commons), but our countries have enough similarities and many ties between such that we are firm allies ... As for the 'class' ... Little Honduras has a Gross Domestic Product of around 55 Billion US dollars -- which means in context that it is a very poor nation (not to mention its hideous violence). Russia, with a population of 144 millions, has a GDP of 1.3 trillion US dollars. Canada is an established industrialized democracy, has a population of 36 million, and posts a GDP of 1.5 trillion US dollars. [Added: Mexico, would you like to be in the same class as the USA and Canada?] How ya doin’ neighbors! How about an honest appraisal through my eyes and Canadian eyes? The death of expertise ... Tom Nichols not being a fun read, I'd rather return to question you over your earlier remarks about the class of Mexico-Canada-Russia-CCCP-Honduras. Do your remarks make more sense now, or less? We can put that slogan on a mug for a low, low price -- and ship it to you direct. Or you can take that hope and a five dollar bill and get yourself a hot beverage from capitalism. The subtext is that hope about another polity is meaningless, especially if you aren't curious about the state of reality in the other lands. That is why Canada has more freedom, lower taxes, a general distribution of advanced industrial prosperity ... and a dang high happiness index. How come? A modern-day history of brutal military dictatorships leaves legacies of state-sanctioned terror, death squads and judicial impunity (Honduras) ... versus Costa Rica? A lengthy sojourn (sixty years) under a single party's rule, leavened by corruption at every level of the state-allied economy (Mexico)? A late-in-the-day turn to real US/Canada style democracy, an opening of the economy to competition and integration into energy and transport networks? Mexico. Rising standard of living? Mexico, leavened by persistent corruption, criminal violence and a weak justice infrastructure. Canadians are, on the whole, much more on the move than Americans ... between provinces and territories, as well as between business interests and part-time retirement in a variety of second countries. Boatloads of Brit-derived Canadians enjoy a second Britannic citizenship, which for a time allows them entry into the EU as citizens. Multiply that by every country in the Commonwealth and the Francophonie ... But don't underestimate where Americans themselves have got to in the wider world. For example, the West Coast resorts of Mexico have heavy American contingents (both Hispanic and not) doing heavy business. From Vietnam to Kazakhstan to fabulous Montreal, Americans do business in 98% of everywhere. So, I would suggest we North Americans would go where money was to be made (if not retired or a student) easily or almost as easily as at home. For me, that would make Mexico and the US a first stop for my skills and abilities were I younger. My dollar goes a long way in Mexico and I have fallen in love with one village, and I would happily retire there, making trouble, making friends, buzzing along a little business development. Western industrialized democracies have the biggest "pull," I believe. At the same time, the incoming hopefuls are cognizant of the reality of borders and policies and 'welcome mats.' For example, foreign students in our North American universities: in Canadian provinces, under federal guideline, foreign students are cash cows, and are encouraged to deepen their ties to Canada through generous allowance into work. Meaning, study, spend, work, drop those dollars through our economy, thank you. And if you'd like to become a citizen, well, let's take a look at your experience, your language abilities, and your degree ... Welcome to Canada, newcomer! That is going to require a shopping trip downtown to the Statistics and Ladies Wear floor at Factco. Some of these are awkward questions. Personally, I relish "throw the bums out" elections. The shortcomings of the US system I have gone on about at length elsewhere. To briefly summarize, I think the system is calcified, crusted over as with barnacles -- in the sense of an institutional two-party lock on all elective contests bar a few. The simplicity of Canadian elections might astound or appall, given the framework of comparison. We get to clear out incumbencies at a far higher rate than you guys do. Bench-clearing moments, crushing defeats, drama. Think Kim Campbell, think Bill Vander Zalm or other BC leaders forced to step down. Canadians can only be spectators of the US drama, except for those of us who wield dual citizenships and residences. What's a "good" citizen? Hopefully not one that slavishly follows a leader as in a cult, hopefully not one who doesn't understand what loyal opposition means, and hopefully not one who ignores the 'other side' as being hopelessly evil or corrupt ... Unnecessary segregation can prevent a natural acculturation to a second working language in immigrant communities, leaving people isolated from the general run of the economy and levels of achievement in society. Up here, provinces and private societies through federally-funded and mandated 'welcome' practices help newcomers reach their goals of fluency and literacy in English or French. For both first and second generation incoming, public schools (with great effort) turn out fluent, literate graduates ... I learned French as an adult, and feel confident entering a conversation with a francophone. Two days ago I got to use my nascent Spanish on a trio of gentlemen who I heard speaking the tongue. They turned out to be workers, landscapers. I didn't ask them their origin or their destination, but I will next time. Bienvenido a Chilliwack, señores! Of course, I also seek to learn more of the actual local language, the tongue of the people who were here before colonists, Halkomelem.
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  2. Ah the value vote. And what to do when the lesser of two evils contracts one's values. The problem I had in 2016, so I didn't vote. Couldn't bring myself to do it.
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  3. If I were a cat in your situation, I would go back in my bag until somebody let me out, preferably in 2020. Sympathetically, Carol
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