The other day I'm sitting in my living room, watching educational television ("Money Morons" on TLC counts) and I noticed that my neighbour put up a flag pole. No, that isn't code for some weird night on the town—they really put up a 30-foot high flag pole in their front yard. And then the next day I noticed a big ol' Canada flag flying at the top of it.
It looks weird. Don't get me wrong—they did a great job—the pole has yet to fall over and crush any small children playing in the cul-de-sac. But it is just strange as a Canadian to be outwardly proud. Take the United States, for example: have you ever seen their veterans driving around town? They usually have a liscence plate (or decal) with a massive American flag, a bald eagle, fireworks, choirs of angels singing and Osama at the end of a pitchfork being roasted. Meanwhile, in Canada, we have a completely normal license plate for veterans, except we give them the poppy. Hey, you invaded Juno beach and took shrapnel in the shoulder? Here's a poppy.
Don't get me wrong—I love the American patriotism. But I also love Canada and here's my top 5 reasons (in no particular order).
1. Guns. I am almost forty years old and I have never been shot. Not even once!
2. Medicine. I sprained my ankle once playing soccer. I drove to the hospital in the middle of the night and received a scan, some drugs, and a visit from two nurses and doctor. And the parking cost more than the medical service.
3. Infastructure. If I ever turn on the faucet and anything other than clear drinking water comes out, I am outraged. (At least in theory I would—it has never happened).
4. Government. I have no idea what religion any of my elected officials are. I also don't know how many kids any of them have. Or what they are up to at this exact moment. I don't really care. All we really get passionate about is how much tax money they are spending and how good (or horrible) a job they are doing. I love our undramatic and short elections. I appreciate the fact that I can bitch about the government and no one shows up and takes me away in the middle of the night.
5. Human Rights. Around eight years ago, Canadian Parliment had one vote and legalized gay marriage nationwide. And most everyone in the country said "sure, that makes sense that human beings all have the same rights. Now quiet, there's a hockey game on!"