Comment 49107

By dirk (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 12:46:23

Foreigners, as you put it, make up a massive percentage of Canada. In fact there are only too few original Canadians. We all immigrated somewhere along the line. We came here and brought our political agendas, our religion, our ideas and we made this place our home.

But most of us didn't immigrate, our ancestors did. We grew up here and, as another poster mentioned, had 18 years of learning to be a Canadian before we had the right to vote. To take this argument to its logical conclusion, all the ancestors of the FIrst Nations apparently came to what is now Canada some 12 000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age from Asia. That makes them immigrants too!

Foreigners also have great ideas. Over the past few months we've been talking about bike lanes (as an example), quoting and referencing places abroad that are doing things right.

Absolutely. But there's a difference between me going to Holland and seeing all the Dutch on their bikes, then acting politically, back here in Hamilton, to make our city more bicycle friendly and Ruud from Amsterdam, having emigrated 6 months ago, agitating for the same thing. His opinion lacks validity because it lacks context. Maybe he'd like to see more bikes because it reminds him of home (which means, incidentally, the Hamilton isn't yet home for him). Anyway, there are ways for immigrants to have influence in political process when they haven't yet the right to vote, if they feel strongly enough about it.

Residency is not the benefit of living here. That's like saying eating is the benefit of eating. Canada holds home and holds true the safety of the people, the allowance for differences in religion, thought process, ideologies.

But that's the whole point. Just being in Canada IS the benefit of living here rather than someplace where you can't make a decent living or your life is in danger. Very few people emigrate when things are going well for them.

If you're worried about your culture being whisked away as immigrants pool into Canada and vote for things that are important to them there's a gated community somewhere in Utah that would love to have you. (apologies in advance)

But I don't want to live in a foreign country! (Utah's still in the U.S., right?) I just want the franchise to be held be citizens who are committed to living in Canada and who have sufficient experience living as Canadians to be able to make informed decisions about matters which affect us all.

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