Feet firmly planted on ground

Watching the Oscars on Sunday night, it was refreshing to see Ellen DeGeneres spoofing the current hassle of returning products to stores and a time when shopping was done differently.
If only politicians could return to a time when they focused on their abilities and ideas.
The Oscars seemed to block off all of the electioneering ads from Michigan. Maybe they didn’t, and perhaps I’ve become immune to the negative campaigning that is filling the airwaves in the United States.
All four GOP presidential candidates haven’t been able to find a single redeeming quality about any of their opponents. They are making the case that none of them are suitable for the White House.
I spent an evening in Brainerd celebrating my wife’s birthday and one of the questions put to us from a couple outside of Alexandria was what we thought of the election process in the U.S.
Talking politics with strangers is always full of potential dangers. Talking religion and politics is even more dangerous, yet pressed on what we saw of some of the issues confronting voters in the U.S., it was difficult to avoid.
I suspect the couple from Alexandria are truly independent voters, who seemed to have no affiliation or love of either of the two main political parties. And yet when pressed for some answers, I had to admit my Conservative leanings placed me left of the U.S. Democratic Party.
Canadians, as a whole, have chosen to embrace many socialist policies under our banner of “Peace, order and good government.” In the U.S., the most common banner is “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Together, the slogans tell a lot about the differences in being Canadian and American. We adopted a national health care program under Lester Pearson. Then in 1984, the federal government passed the Canada Health Act to assure quality of care across Canada.
It wasn’t until 2010 that the U.S. Congress passed a universal health care act that has become known as “Obamacare,” which forces every citizen to acquire health insurance. The major difference between the two nations’ care systems is that in Canada, each province pays for the care of their citizens, while in the U.S., individuals and companies must purchase their insurance from health insurance companies.
Both countries are fighting health-care battles, but our objectives are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
In the U.S., the compelling of individuals to buy health insurance, and states to administer health care, is being fought by states and individuals. The final decision will be made by the Supreme Court this year on whether or not federally-mandated health care is constitutionally acceptable.
In the U.S., many individuals believe their “liberty” is being infringed upon. In Canada, we fight to make sure that our health care does not diminish.
Several U.S. politicians, while opposed to theocracies in Iran, Iraq, and the Middle East, would embrace a Christian theocracy in the United States. The constitution of the country always has called for a separation of church and state, yet now it appears that qualifying as a Christian is paramount to being elected.
In Canada, religious affiliation is a non-starter in politics.
It might be the silly season in the United States right now but from my perspective as a Canadian, we seem to have our feet firmly planted on the ground and “Peace, order, and good government” seems like a really good plan to me.

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