The Rise of Pipsqueak Canada

28 August 2021

Picture found long ago but don’t know the source. Would be pleased to give credit if someone knows who.

- Some years ago, when visiting a colleague at Harvard, after I had made a comment critical of the United States, he retorted that “Canada is a pipsqueak country.“

! In the early 1990s, as the European countries were consolidating into the European Community, a group of Dutch students asked me if NAFTA, the new trade agreement between Canada and the U.S., was the equivalent. “No,” I replied, “it would be as if Holland was entering a trade pact with Germany.” They understood all too well: Holland too is this kind of pipsqueak country. So is Ireland, and New Zealand, and Taiwan.

-/+ Morty Zuckerman is a Montrealer who went on to fame in the United States as the owner of the US News and World Report. When he hired a biographer, he suggested an interview with me about the Montreal when we grew up. One question really struck me, to the effect: “The U.S. was it for you, wasn’t it? The place to be, to make it.” My goodness I thought: How right that was. How wrong that is!

+ Each year, The Economist publishes a Global Democracy Index that ranks countries in four categories: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes, and autocratic regimes.  Pipsqueak Canada is ranked #5, the highest ranking country with a substantial population. The U.S. is ranked #25, as a flawed democracy—and getting more flawed. Pipsqueak Holland is #9, Germany is #14. Pipsqueak Ireland is #8, the U.K. is #17. Pipsqueak New Zealand, is #4 Australia is #9. Pipsqueak Taiwan is #11, China is #151. Top of the list—#s1,2,4,6, 7 and 8—are pipersqueak countries, all with populations under six million, whereas none of the ten most populous countries in the world is even on the list of full democracies. Is this the curse of condescension?

✓ There is a line in our national anthem: “God keep our land… glorious and free.” Don’t bother, God. Look after America, glamorous and fraught. WE keep our pipsqueak land glorious and free!


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