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So what have we done to upset the American Midwest?

A gallup poll of Americans has found that we limey types are reckoned to be Uncle Sam's most valuable ally at 36% to 29% for the traditionally underappreciated Canadians. No-one else gets much of a look in, with Japan third at 12%, then Israel at 10% and Germany at 5%. Those were the only options given.

An earlier poll has Canada as the country viewed most favourably, at 90%, followed by us at 89%. I do wonder what Canada has done to irk the 6% who view it unfavorably, unless some have not got over the 1814 burning of DC. Germany and Japan are the only others with favourabilities of 75% +. American francophobia is not as bad as some might have feared at 64/30, in line with that for Israel at 63/29. Iran is bottom of the heap at 12/80.

Returning to allies, we are ahead of Canada in the east, west and the south, but lose out to it in the mid-west at 31/39. Republicans skew towards these parts - 41/26, as do independents, but Democrats favour the neighbours 35/32.

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Anonymous Robert said... 11:52 am

Don't worry. You haven't done anything to upset the American midwest. Britain occupies a unique place in American hearts.

Canada just has a different one. Having been to various places in Canada, I have always come away with a positive "vibe": Americans know Canada is another country and that there are differences; but it is actually being quite positive to say that Americans don't really think of Canada as a "foreign" country. Visiting Canada for Americans "feels" different than visiting Britain. (Or, for that matter, different than how most English people tend to feel when visiting their immediate neighbors in, say, the Republic of Ireland or France.)

Often Americans just don't think much about Canada at all. That's not an insult, merely a reflection of that "comfort" and complacency. Most people don't tend to ask themselves if "his brother" is in his corner: they assume, generally, that he is. And probably don't think much about him otherwise.

Unless, of course, he pulls a gun on him. Which hasn't happened between us in a VERY long time.

Little is funnier than seeing people who look just like Americans, and carry themselves little differently from Americans (wearing NASCAR caps; late middle-aged men in white trainers, etc), speaking French to each other at New York Thruway rest areas. But ask New York City-ites who rarely venture above Westchester what is the language spoken on the other side of "the border," they will think you mean somewhere well to the south, and you will be told, automatically: "Duh, Spanish, of course."  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:23 pm

Traditionally, Chicago was a centre of anti-British sentiment, as a result of Irish and German immigration. Perhaps it's a legacy from those times.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 1:32 pm

Robert - Thanks for the insight. That we British types are as popular as we is rather nice, and I was not really thinking that we had hacked off the folks in the Mid west. I suspect that the fact that the MW has so many population centres near the Canadian border probably has a lot to do with it too. By the same token, my feeling is that the British do not regard the Irish as being 'foreign' in the way that they do the French, shared language and shared, if sometimes blood-soaked, history being what they are. The same, broadly, goes for Oz, NZ, Canada and the US.

Anon - could be.

I suspect that the Irish would trump the UK as most favoured European nation, if they had been an option.  



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