Why Americans love their northern neighbours - Monocolumn | Monocle


A daily bulletin of news & opinion

20 February 2012

In the playground of the world Canada just got a little bit cooler. It turns out that Americans like us. They really, really like us – more than anyone anywhere. Nearly all Americans, a whopping 96 per cent, have a favourable view of Canada, according to a new Gallup survey.

They like us, despite the Obama administration’s recent decision to reject TransCanada’s Keystone oil pipeline amid a number of recent minor trade skirmishes. We are, after all, the world’s biggest trading partners and have the world’s longest shared border.

As a people, Canadians are perhaps the world’s most polite (until we lace up our ice skates), we have better beer up there and know it. And we’re a land where real men wear moustaches. 

Moustache giveaways aside, Americans think they can spot foreigners pretty well. But Canucks know how to infiltrate the States unobserved, especially in show business. Mary Pickford was known as “America’s Sweetheart” and the list goes on. Jim Carey, Mike Myers, Lorne Greene, Peter Jennings, William Shatner and Martin Short all hail from the great north.

Canadians will have to keep our eyes on those Aussies though – they are right behind us at 93 per cent, with Great Britain trailing in third at a 90 per cent favourability rate.

As for the bottom countries in the poll, China slipped in favourability among Americans these past 12 months, from 47 per cent down to 41 per cent. But then, who doesn’t resent lenders these days? China’s now one point beneath Saudi Arabia, which has risen five points.

And which nation do you think is viewed least favourably by the US in 2012? 

It’s not Pakistan at 15 per cent. Not Afghanistan at 14 per cent. Nor North Korea at 13 per cent.

It’s at 10 per cent, down one point since last winter. I’ll give you a hint. Four letters. First letter – I. Last letter – not Q. You guessed it: Iran.

It’s no secret who America does and does not like. But in a shifting political landscape, what’s more mysterious is whether this stamp of approval will be a help or hindrance to the future of Canada’s international reputation.


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