Crazy like a fox

John Ibbitson laments for Washington, then remembers how much more lamentable are things in Ottawa.

They argue because U.S. society is cleaved by region, race and class more deeply than in Canada. But they also argue because they care. They believe their federal government matters and they have strong opinions about how that government should act.

Canada always struggled to define itself as a nation, and in recent years appears to have given up that struggle, retreating into regional isolation. What Canadian federal politician has a clear sense of what this country should look like in the 21st century?

Politics in America is loud, rude, messy and sometimes deeply weird. But at least the U.S. matters to its citizens. Do we keep quiet because of our famous politeness? Or is it that we just don’t care?