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America Is A Different Planet

As many of you know I have travelled for a living for numerous years and try very hard to represent Canada in a positive, unique way. I am proud to be Canadian and boast undisputedly about the greatness of our country whenever I can.

You can imagine how gravely upset I was when someone in Egypt assumed I was American. "I am Canadian," I proudly countered..

He stared at me, smiled slowly and said, "Same horse, different jockey." I stood in awe. How could anyone think that? Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Americans, and have many friends from south of the border, but hey, we are very different.

We may look the same, speak the same, and even complain the same, but we are a unique peoples all to ourselves. First of all Canadians are happier with living where we do. In fact 55% of Canadians are happy with the way things are in Canada, whereas only 31% of Americans feel that way about the U.S.

We are much more multicultural. Nearly 20% of us were born in different countries. Compare that to 10% in the US. We may not be as rich (average disposable income per person in Canada is $30,000, whereas in the U.S. it is $36,000), but we are much more liberal, in that 84% agree with same sex relationships and 83% a ok with sex between unmarried people. Compare that to 52% and 59% south of the 49th parallel.

Each of us watches 6 hours less TV per week than Americans and we are nowhere near as deal crazy as our southern neighbours (68% of American shoppers search out coupons regularly, as compared to 55% of us). We ask less often for directions, check the weather on our smart phones 7% less and use twitter nearly the same. However, we do spend more on food and booze. In fact Canadians lavishly spend $1,200 more on food and beverages per capita annually than Americans.

Combine these numbers with Rick Mercer's famous show, 'Talking to Americans', and it becomes fairly obvious that we may be the same jockey on a different horse, but we are riding way out on front.

* Sources for information: TD Economics, Angus Reid, Environics Institute, CRTC, Nielson, PEW Research..

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