We all make mistakes. That first cigarette. Wearing Speedos when we’re overweight and over 40. Sending 50,000 smutty e-mails from military laptops to married women whose computers are being monitored by the FBI and hoping our wives don’t find out.
But when the world powers make a mistake, it can be a dandy. Take, for instance, the decision by Britain, Germany, Italy, and Japan in 1976 to cave into American and French pressure to accept Canada as a member of what was then the G-6 group of economic powers. (It took another 21 years for the Russians to join the club and make it the G-8.)
Since then, the idea that Canadian prime ministers somehow rank with the president of the United States, the chancellor of Germany and the president of France has become a real problem in Ottawa.
We should face a few facts about Canada. It’s a great country to live in, mainly because we’re a small number of people sitting on a whole lot of gold, oil, natural gas, diamonds, silver, copper, trees and fresh water. Most of our country is rocks, swamps and arctic desert, but we still have enough farm land to pretty much support ourselves.
You’d have to be pretty thick not to be able to make a go as a nation with just 33 million people and half of a continent, even if it’s not the best half.
Our politicians like to take credit for our prosperity. The rest of us can live with that as long as they don’t screw things up too badly or get an over-developed sense of their own importance.
That’s where this G-8 silliness comes in.