Canada

  1. So complicated that nobody knows how it works, which causes Canadian social scientists to talk about it all the time, which causes foreigners to say it's boring because nothing ever happens.
  2. The most decentralized country in existence, which causes Canadians to complain constantly about the power of the central government.
  3. Administered under the third oldest constitution in the world, which causes Canadians to insist that it has never worked and must be changed.
  4. The only major country in which the two leading western cultures have managed to live peacefully together for several centuries, causing Canadians to insist that they cannot live together.
  5. Burdened by the laziest élite of any developed nation; people who have made their fortunes selling off the country's resources and by working for more energetic foreigners. They are most comfortable on their knees, admiring those from larger countries who have purchased them.
  6. A country where 95 per cent of the land is north of the major cities, which causes its urban inhabitants to treat the their hinterland as an embarrassing and backward region, while pretending that they themselves are situated hundreds of miles to the south, somewhere between New York and Florida.

Excerpt from The Doubter's Companion, Copyright 1994, John Ralston Saul


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