Jan passed along a helpful post from one of her favorite bloggers - Doug Green - who is (through no fault of his own) Canadian. There are several helpful pointers for Americans who don't know much about our neighbors, but I think he nails one thing on the head.
The difference is much more profound than that.
The U.S. has enshrined the rights of individuals into its fabric – with those rights above the rights of any other group or organization.
Canada has built the rights of the “common good” into our system and this trumps the rights of the individual.
Our entire political structures (both countries) are based on this simple, yet profound difference.
We believe the common good demands health care access for all. You believe that individuals should have the right to decide.
We believe the common good demands control of handguns and military style weapons in private hands. You have organizations whose very existence depends on promoting this right for individuals.
We believe that the common good demands we set eduction standards that are enforced and met across each province so all children have equal access to equal education and we fund each student equally no matter where they live. You believe in leaving education and funding of that system to the individuals in their communities.
It is this difference in our view of the world – a view of common good versus individual rights that makes the subtle but profound differences in our institutions and way of life. [More]
Even better are the illustrative videos like..
I know I learn more about the world by simply crossing our northern border. It's a shame we don't do it more often.