Thursday, August 17, 2006

Maple Boosterism Defined

The thought hit me the other day that I'm very happy Mark Steyn coined the phrase Maple Boosterism. In case you haven't heard the term before let me describe it simply.

Maple Boosterism: Any activity or serious of activities that seeks to promote Canadian patriotism by appealing to vague concepts or symbols which are unlikely to offend anyone, but ignore Canada's rich history.

As Mark describes, Maple Boosterism can often leave a Canadian feeling confused, thinking, "I guess I should feel proud to be Canadian, but why don't I?"

Examples of Maple Boosterism were everywhere when the Liberals were in power. Flag Day, Adscam, and 'da Canadian Values' come to mind. I don't know if there's anything wrong with Maple Boosterism in and of itself, it's just when there's nothing concrete at all to be proud about it just makes you feel empty.

I can't say if there's an exact opposite to Maple Boosterism, but promoting Canadian patriotism by remembering our proud history, our ties to the Commonwealth, or honouring our soldiers currently serving abroad would be close. These substantial issues that truly call us to be patriotic are part of what we are beginning to see from Stephen Harper.

The change comes not a moment too soon. I couldn't put my finger on why I hadn't felt proud to be Canadian in a while, but now that the cause has been identified I can recognize lame attempts at boosterism for what they are.

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