Friday, February 17, 2006

Why I'm Moving to Vancouver....

I was walking the other day, listening to a podcast on my beloved iPod. The podcast was of an NPR show, To the Best of our Knowledge, and it was about Canada. One of the segments was with a sociologist, Michael Adams, who wrote this book. It's all about how the values of the United States are not the same as the values of Canada, and how that is becomming more and more the case as time goes by. For example:

  • In the mid-1950's, 60% of Canadians told pollsters they went to church each Sunday: the proportion in the U.S. was only 50%. Today, only 22% of Canadians claim weekly church attendance , whereas the proportion in the U.S. is 42%.

  • In 1996, 46% of Americans polled agreed with the statement, "The father of the family must be master in his own home." This number was 22% in Canada. In 2000, the numbers had changed to 49%/18%.

  • 25% of Americans believe that men are naturally superior to woman. 10% of Canadians believe this.

  • 25% of Americans feel that violence is a normal part of ones daily routine, and an acceptable way to get what you want, vs. 10% in Canada.

  • Americans brag about the new car they just bought; Canadians are more likely to boast about the trips they have taken.

  • Canadians are far more sceptical (27% more) than Americans regarding advertising.

  • Americans give more to religious institutions while Canadians give to health and social service institutions.

  • By the 1990s television was absorbing almost 40% of the average American's leisure time, a third more than in the 1960s, for a total of 4 hours a day, or 28 hours per week. The number of sixth-graders with a TV set in their bedroom grew from 6% in 1970 to 77% in 1999, and that two American kids in three ages 8 to 18 say that the TV is usually on during meals in the homes.

  • A 2002 Pew Research Center poll of more the 38,000 people in 44 countries found Canada to be the only nation where a majority, in this case a very strong majority of 77%, said that immigrants have a good influence on their country, well ahead of the United States where only 49% felt the same way.

  • Canada now spends 45% of its gross domestic product on government services, which is close to the average for the countries of the European Union. The United States, spends 35% -including double the amount spent by the entire European Union on defence.

    Adams feels that this difference is due to our patriarchal beliefs, our religious beliefs, and the American Dream, that Americans like to identify ourselves, to judge our country with the greatest among us...we like to think that if Bill Gates can start out in his garage, and end up richer than God, then so can we, we all have that chance. Canadians like to judge the country by how the least among them are the treatment received by the poor, the elderly, the children. I don't see one thing here that I feel closer to America than I do to Canada. Did you read The Handmaids Tale? It's a creepy world where we find ourselves these days.

    Within Canada? I choose Vancouver, because it's the closest to my family. Mom & brother in Juneau, Sister in Seattle, Sister and Dad in Portland. Plus I've heard it's a GREAT city. When you come visit us, pack an umbrella.

    Autumn's Mom said...

    I don't want you to move to Canadia :( Haven't you watched South Park? whispers...they have flip top heads! Back me up Cherry :)

    J said...

    Nah, don't worry. I'm all talk.