What's the matter with Canada?

Opinions about events beyond our borders.
Sept. 12 2008 11:17 AM

What's the Matter With Canada?

How the world's nicest country turned mean.

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Italians and Israelis may have learned how to function under minority governments, but Canadians are still working on it. If the current election ends in a third consecutive minority government, the polarization of Canadian politics will continue, and with it the brutal, zero-sum politicking that has left the country in convulsions.

If the last week is any indication, that polarization is only getting worse. On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Harper began the race by predicting "a very nasty kind of personal-attack campaign." Two days later, his party briefly released an ad that showed a bird defecating on the leader of the Liberal Party. So much for Canadians being nice.

Christopher Flavelle reports for ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative newsroom in New York City. He is Canadian.