I've never been able to get out of my head the disparaging remarks Stephen Harper made about Canada when invited to the uber-right American Council for National Policy at their retreat in Montreal in June, 1997. That's when he fell all over himself before his American Idols with lines like this, "Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States."
Harper believed, and probably still believes, that Canadians are out of touch with reality but that he and his see it with a vision of burning clarity. Well it's Harper & Company who are out of touch, their image of the greatness of America a gossamer illusion. Take a look at this chart to see where Harper's American Idol truly stands in today's world and be so very grateful he hasn't yet managed to take us down that same road.