Greetings, Citizens!

In this episode, we shall look at the second largest country on planet earth, an important member of NATO, and a place where a lot of Latvian refugees went in the aftermath of WW2. Also, a lot of people from USA wanted to migrate there following the Trump elections. The problem is – politics of Canada, it’s history and issues aren’t well known and understood outside that country, yet, it’s often used as an example of healthcare and other issues. So, we try to figure out what’s the context of Canadian politics, it’s political history and what’s up with all the singing lumberjacks anyway.

Enjoy! Sapere Aude!


3 thoughts on “Canada

  1. Kevin

    Hey Kristaps,

    Sorry to come in with a lecture, but I’ve heard the “Canadians burned down the White House” claim before. As an American, it has always confused me how this is propagated – it is not at all true.

    There were no major exchanges of territory at any point in the War of 1812. American troops didn’t push significantly far into Canada and the British Empire didn’t manage to capture much territory from the United States in the north.

    Britain launched an *overseas* invasion at Washington, under the general orders not to take and hold territory, but this invasion clearly didn’t originate from Canada, nor was it any kind of overland incursion through hundreds of miles of American territory (one must cros NY, PA or NJ, and MD to get from Canada to Washington D.C. – I once heard it claimed that this fabled Canadian invasion force passed through the US on their way to D.C., but clearly this didn’t happen).

    Various sources show that the troops which were sent to invade Washington and which burned down the White House were British (from the British Isles) regular army members under Wellington who were sent to Canada and Bermuda from the Spanish peninsula after the defeat of Napoleon.

    So these forces were not “Canadian” in any sense we could charitably give them. “Canadians” likely made up no significant portion of the invasion force. “Canadians” in general have never made significant land incursions into the United States (and vice-versa, to be fair — but we could probably take them today).

    Canada did not burn down the White House.

    Second, just in passing, I heard you comment about the pronunciation of Montreal. In English, it’s fine to say “Montreal” with a “t”, but in French, Montréal is pronounced like “mon-réal” (almost like “morréal”) parce que c’est ainsi qu’elle est prononcée en français 🙂

    “Torono”, on the other hand, is just a kind of slang (as stated). Apparently, this is common knowledge in Iran (re: Argo).

  2. Holly M

    Hi Kristaps,
    I’m wondering if you could do me a favor? I desperately need to get some kind of primer on how parliamentary governments work. I’ve felt a bit out of touch since your first PDRP podcast on Israel because I don’t have this frame of reference. The whole concept of ministers, multi-party coalitions, votes of confidence, simple baffles me. Because we never learn about that in US public schools. Could you point me to some resouce that could give me this background? Or perhaps you could do a PDRP extra on parliamentary organizations? Just a thought.

  3. Nicholas

    Hi Kristaps,

    Well I guess I must be your “Mongolian” listener :-). I put that in quotes since I’m not a native, just someone who moved to Mongolia from the US. So yes, it is the most sparsely populated sovereign nation, though saying it only has one city might be better amended to say it only has one LARGE city (Darkhan and Erdenet are close to, but not quite, 200,000 and 100,000 people respectively). But yes, there is lot of open empty space… most of it unsuitable for modern agriculture, hence the low population density and emphasis on raising grass-eating livestock.

    My wife (who is Mongolian) and I enjoy listening to your podcasts while traveling and while driving in Ulaanbaatar’s horrible traffic. I like hearing about the history of the USSR as I’m keen on following geopolitical history and current trends, and I think it gives me a little better insight into this country given Mongolia was under Soviet influence for such a long time. And my wife (who grew up near the end of the Cold War) gets a kick out of hearing many of the Russian cultural references she grew up with. Anyway, keep up these great podcasts!

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