Saturday, April 26, 2014

Opinion

Why Not Annex BC?

Macdonald's reasons why we shouldn't have a North American Union

Staff/Voice

 

n Wednesday, while in conversation with contributor Myrtle Macdonald, I wondered if our standard of living would be better under the US flag.

"Americans are the most benevolent people on earth," I said. "Their poor people can afford to eat, services are better, wouldn't life be improved if we joined the union?"

 

In 1858, lawless gold miners took over sections of the Fraser River. Boston Bar was the epicentre of the unrest.


Governor James Douglas was worried that US troops stationed in Walla Walla Washington would move to keep the peace, and in doing so would annex BC. So Douglas sent 22 Royal Engineer Sappers up the canyon to deal with it.

The Americans in BC back then were a wild unruly bunch. They were all well-armed with a general distaste for indigenous people stemming from the Indian Wars.

But that's changed now and Americans give more per capita than any other nation.

More recently, Crimeans voted in favour of being annexed by the Russian Federation. It still remains to be seen whether or not life will improve there.

The next day following our conversation, Macdonald e-mailed a response to my musings.

"I do not agree with your appreciation for the USA as stated below," she wrote.

Their minimum wage is lower than ours.
Their slums are worse than ours. Inner cities are appalling, much worse than Hastings Street.
Their crime is more than ours and the percentage of population in jail higher. Only a few of their rehab programs are admirable and effective.
Their bankruptcies are more numerous per capita.
  Their medical expenses are astronomical and health insurance payments extremely high.
  The expertise of their medical profession and of their specialists is not really better than ours. Although I will have to admit that when Dr. Clive Duncan did a bone graft on my sister's hip, he found the donor bone in Seattle. it is nice that BC and Washington state are on good terms and cooperate.
  The mentally ill are treated well in some places in the USA, and very poorly in others. Our systems are a little better and they cost the patients and families less.
  Our universities are all of a high standard. Theirs include many that are inferior.
  Their mortgage system turned out to be ponzi schemes. Thousands of beautiful homes were foreclosed and instead of being turned over for subsidized occupation by the poor, they were bulldozed. Neither country has enough good low cost housing.
  Their electric cars were doing very well and becoming affordable and profitable, about 20 years ago. The oil companies exerted their power and were behind the total destruction of every electric car, even those that were new and in perfect condition. See the documentary on that fiasco on channel 6 this week.
  Our Ottawa Question period on TV makes me ashamed. However the immobilization of action in the USA Congress because of polarized debating by the Republicans and Democrats and blocking of bills is far worse, and Obama gets blamed. Strange. The inaction is not his fault. It is caused by the Republican majority in Congress.
  Our electioneering for Prime minister does not go on full steam for two years as it does for the President. It is exhausting even for Canadians.
  Canadians don't have separate elections for MPs and the prime Minister.
  The US president has to spend a lot of time greeting diplomats, presenting awards and doing ceremonial things. We have a Governor General who does those necessary public relations duties. Therefore our Prime Minister has more time to attend to governing the country.
  More guns are owned and there are more tragedies by a larger percentage of the public in the USA, than in Canada.
  Before you assert that US citizens are more generous than Canadians, take time to look at the picture per capita. I think you may find that the reverse is true.
  Are Aboriginals treated better in the USA? I don't think so.

 

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