Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Differences above and below the 49th parallel

As I have mentioned before, I am a geographical, intellectual, and emotional border-straddler. My hope is to return to Canada when my husband retires from the Army. Naturally, I pay keen attention when Canada's cherished but flawed system of Universal Medicare is on the examination table.

A particular amusement of mine (and of many expats, no doubt) is to compare and contrast US and Canadian politics and public figures. Case in point: cusses caught on camera.

Dick Cheney unashamedly uses the F-bomb to describe a political opponent. He refuses to apologize. Go figure.

Today, at the aforementioned Health Care Summit, Paul Martin's utterance of our Lord and Saviour's name was picked up by the microphones. Oops.

Here's how it was handled - quoted from the CTV article:

The prime minister quietly let out a curse as Manitoba Premier Gary Doer was speaking, but the words were picked up by the live microphones around him.

Martin had just been handed a note from an official that prompted him to remark, "Jesus Christ."

The Prime Minister's Office acknowledged that Martin had uttered the phrase. Martin later apologized to the premiers and said he was not reacting to Doer when he used the "inappropriate" language. He said he thought he was swearing under his breath.

Martin noted that his aunt, Claire, in Pembroke, Ont. heard the remark on TV and called him during a break in the conference. Premiers laughed as he told them that she recommended he wash his mouth out with soap.

Martin joked that he appealed to a higher power because it's a tough conference and he needs all the help that he can get.

And there, boys and girls, is the difference between the elephant, and the mouse that sleeps beside it.

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