FINALLY!! I have been without my laptop for over a week, and today my new adapter finally came! I would like to personally thank Justin for his great UPS service, going so far as to call my sister to see if he could deliver it!! Thanks, Justin!
I wasn’t completely without access to the internet, but looking at webpages on a Wii is annoying – mostly because it takes forever to load any pages. Plus, there are so many types of files its built-in browser, Opera, can’t handle. I used my iTouch a lot, but everything is so small; I got tired of reading teeny-tiny print.
Anyway, my lack of a laptop explains my lack of presence on this blog for the last while.
There’s a lot I could talk about. If you want my thoughts on Obama’s visit this week, read this (and read this – but only because I think it’s funny. Feschuk certainly had the quote of the day: “Just a classic moment. Obama shakes Harper’s hand at the front door of Centre Block, then the President gestures out towards Parliament Hill and asks, “Do you mind if we go out there? I just want to give a quick wave.” It’s fun to imagine what must have gone through Stephen Harper’s mind. Out there? But there are PEOPLE out there!!” ).
I used to think that people aren’t engaged in Canadian politics because our leaders aren’t inspiring. Now – I’m not so sure. I think the onus is on us, the public, to get engaged and push for the change that we want. If we know of someone whom we think would be a great MLA or MP, we need to push them to run for office and offer them our support. I can’t help but think of that quote, “Be the change you want to see.” And I know that I, too, need to walk the talk.
But what really disturbed me about Thursday (aka ‘The Layover of the Century’), was that the entire exercise felt so fake. Contrived. It was clearly engineered to make us feel important before the Americans move on to rebuilding ‘more important’ relationships. Call me cranky, call me bitter, whatever – but come on. Giving your most important ally in the world a whole 7 hours of your time is a slap in the face. We are US’ most important trading partner, we’re its biggest supporter in Afghanistan, we’re a huge supplier of energy for it – and all we get is a few hours of meetings, a press conference and a shot of Obama cozying up to the locals in a market. I’m inclined to agree with UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who wrote (beware that the link is a PDF file) that Canada is like “the shy, admiring boy who gets all spiffed up to win the heart of his dreamboat, while she doesn’t even know he exists.”
I’m not suggesting that we turn from that “shy, admiring boy” to a petulant child who cries every time she or he doesn’t get their way. I’d just like us to realize that the US doesn’t care a lick about us – unless we do something it doesn’t like. And I’m not suggesting we start trying to piss it off on a regular basis, either.
We need the US; there’s no question that we do. I guess I would just like the US to fully realize how much it needs us, too.
(And for the US President to remember where he is. Iowa is not Ottawa. Not even close. And for the New York Times to know that we have a Prime Minister, not a President. Is that REALLY asking too much?)
Here are some links to coverage of Obama’s visit:
Adam Radwanski on what they talked about.
Andrew Steele is scared.
Rick Anderson has links to American coverage of Obama’s trip in advance of it.
CTV has an overview of the more ridiculous American press coverage of the visit.
Here’s what the White House Press Corps was told about the President’s meeting with the Prime Minister.
Slate looks at the fact that Obama is more popular in Canada than Harper is (and I believe Obama is more popular in Canada than he is in the US –
Apparently there’s still some confusion as to who started ‘The Wave.’ Really? It was definitely Obama (see Feschuk quote above).
Former US ambassador to Canada, Gordon Giffin, offers his two cents.
The Globe rounds up the ‘day after’ headlines in the American press.
Andrew Coyne gives his thoughts on “When Barry Met Steve.”
Former Foreign Affairs ministers David Emerson and Lloyd Axworthy answer the question, “He was here – now what?” (Does anybody care what Emerson thinks? He was FA minister for how long – 6 months?)
And finally, Coyne and Wells offer their ‘post O-day’ thoughts – by video!