On the bright side, I am pleased that at least that many know Canada is a foreign country. I did meet a guy whose geographic knowledge actually worked to enhance his ignorance though: He thought Windsor (Ontario) is in the US because it is south of Detroit and everything in Canada has to be north. The same guy’ was a little fuzzy on purely US matters as well: He insisted that Lyndon Johnson was a Republican because he had Kennedy killed and there was no reason a Democrat would do that.
It’s a looping belt of tyranny that swoops from the South Pacific to Europe and all the way across the Americas. It controls three of the world’s 12 largest economies and the entire global supply of some key resources. It is, in the eyes of the world’s most important, and perhaps only relevant, demographic, a new axis of autocracy and it isn’t centred in Pyongyang, Tehran or Harare but in Canberra, Paris and, yes, Ottawa.
That demographic, of course, is the American teen. And if new U.S. test results are any sign, that all important group doesn’t think highly of us, if it thinks of us at all.
In recent results from the U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress — billed as the Nation’s Report Card — fully 33 per cent of American 8th graders said Canada, Australia and France are dictatorships of one kind or another.
Asked on a national standardized test what the current governments of the three countries have in common, 23 per cent of the 29,000 teens tested chose “they have leaders with absolute power” from the four options available. Another 10 per cent chose “they are controlled by the military” while 12 per cent picked “they discourage participation by citizens in public affairs.”