Moving to Canada, eh?

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Nov. 5 2004 6:37 PM

Moving to Canada, Eh?

Let Slate help you decide if it's really for you.

(Continued from Page 2)

(Canadians tend to subscribe to a live-and-let-live view of political ideology. It's not that Canadians don't care about their politics or moral issues. It's simply that they appear to operate under the assumption that, whatever their personal beliefs might be, you, their neighbor, may not care all that much to learn every detail of them on the way to the 7-Eleven. As a consequence, T-shirts in Canada are still funny, signage is still commercial, and bumpers are reserved for smashing into telephone poles after cottage parties. [Cottage: Def. Sprawling lakefront estate in rural Canada, quaintly Hamptonesque but with indoor plumbing optional.])

9) Are you bored to death of razor-thin margins between radical ideologues in every aspect of public life? Circle one: yes / no

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(The 5-4 split on the Canadian Supreme Court is male/female as opposed to crazy/crazier.)

10) Does the idea of pluralism appeal to you? Not just in the sense that I-want-to-be-surrounded-by-lots-of-diverse-and-fascinating-people-who-all-worship-my-Lord, but rather, in the sense, that a country is a richer place for competing values, religions and cultures? Circle one: yes / no

(When Canadians talk about "multiculturalism," it doesn't only mean they're for blondes hanging out with redheads. Canadian TV shows actually teem with racially diverse characters, and the major national catalogs have been known to feature models in wheelchairs. Moreover, Canada has not one but two official languages, and no one seems to be suffering for it. Indeed, some believe it makes them sort of interesting. Certainly it will be interesting when the thousands of Bush-dodgers someday return to the United Statesto visit relativesand amuse them by explaining that the Teton Mountains actually mean "big boobies" in French.)

Dahlia Lithwick is a Canadian living in America. Alex Lithwick, her brother, is a Canadian living in Canada.

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