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Old 09-09-2007, 09:52 AM   #16
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I got both the Liberal Party and the Socialist Left Party...I am both right and left leaning of center
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:07 AM   #17
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It would be fair to say though that US culture and the US in general is much more dominating on the world stage than Norway will likely ever be. Any foreign policy the US has is likely to affect the whole world, Norways...not so much...The US' foreign policy is also much more heavily presented in the world media...when was the last time you heard of Norway's foreign policy?

I find it, kinda the rest of the world's right to criticise the US's foreign policy since it is the only superpower.....now that is not to mean as you say to completely bash the culture or country...it should be criticisied intelligently as anything should be....but really do you think the current administrations foreign policy is at all in anyway complex?

btw if I have missed the mark with your post at all and there was sarcasm present or not or I just missed completely the meaning of it...I apologise in advance, as I am truthfully slightly tipsy!



i think that domestic politics in the US are very, very complex, and most people who live outside the US have no idea just how complex they are. and domestic policy is what drives foreign policy, ultimately.

the problem is that everyone *thinks* they know what goes on in the US, but they really know much less than they think.

i can understand the desire to criticize whatever foreign policy you see, and everone has the right and obligation to do so. just don't tell me that "criminal Bush just wants oil!" and things of that nature.

that's all i'm saying. the US is as vast and complex as any country on earth, if not more so because of it's unique superpower status. i'm just sick, and always have been, of non-Americans walking up to me and basically saying, "let me tell you what's wrong with your country and what you need to do about it." i don't think a Swiss person would enjoy it if i were to lecutre him about, say, the rise of their far right political parties. but people feel perfectly free to not only lecture, but to make sweeping generalizations about a country that subverts any generalization one could possibly make.

being informed is one thing. having a discusison is one thing. but what Martha said -- i'm not informed, so i feel uncomfortable making such statements -- is respect and humility that's rarely accorded to the US.

or even the UK.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:16 AM   #18
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I'm not sure your point is entirely fair, given that a person living in Toronto has a lot more in common with someone in New York (and vice versa) than someone in New York has in common with someone in rural Alabama or than someone in Toronto has with someone living in rural Alberta. Not to mention that I would hazard a guess that far fewer Americans know anything at all tangible about Canadian politics whereas Canadians are probably as educated about your elections and form of government as a good chunk of your own citizens are. Americans don't realize how pervasive their culture and politics are outside of their own borders.

But I guess Canadians living on the border are a different species.


i agree, and i would imagine that border Canadians are a different species because much of your media is American media, and not just BBC/France 4 or whatever reporting on things going on in the US. every american i know who's ever watched a foreign newscast about a story centered in the US always finds it strange, almost cartoonish, if not almost insulting. no, not all stories, but many of them. some of that is the simple fact that the media makes people into a bit of a cartoon, it flattens people into two-dimensions. and i'm sure American newscasts about other countires would have the same effect on whatever non-American is watching.

but the fact remains that there are certain cultural understandings and shared myths and shared cxommonalitites that are going to tie me to the rural Alabaman more than to the urbanite Torontonian. ultimately, yes, i'd have worlds more in common with the Torontonian. i feel more comfortable in the UK than i do in rural Tennessee. but i understand the political situation of those in rural TN better than in the UK, and i'd imagine that even if i'd gone off and lived in London for 10 years, i'd still be somewhat of a cultural outsider, despite the near interchangeability of coastal northeastern America and the UK.

as for the Canadians knowing more about the US -- ultimtely, that's born out of necessity. the results of the Canadian elections don't really affect me, but the results of the US elections do affect you. unless i were in a business that dealt directly with Canadian imports or exports, knowing the ins and outs of Canadian politics is something that i might know out of curiosity but not out of necessity. it's like speaking English. if you've got English, what other languages do you need? sure, it's wonderful to know other languages, but you don't *need* to know Slovenian in the way a Slovenian might *need* to know English.

but, anyway, sorry for the big tangent ... back to Norwegian political policies.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:46 AM   #19
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We should be able to spend more of Norways oil revenues.
Like this question, for example. Who is "we" and what's the background to the question? I felt I couldn't answer this question at all, because I had no idea who "we" were, and why "we" weren't able to spend more of the revenues. Who is stopping "us"? Why are "we" being prevented from spending the revenues?

To those of you who had a definite opinion on this question: How did you know enough to vote?
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:12 PM   #20
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i had no idea how to answer some of these questions. i'm really ignorant of Norwegian politics.
Me too, but can you really blame us? It's just not realistic to keep up with every single country's politics Granted I try to pay attention to European politics but Norway just isn't usually in the picture
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:23 PM   #21
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Granted I try to pay attention to European politics but Norway just isn't usually in the picture


yes, but Norwegians think they know all about the US.

so you're just an ignorant American.
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:27 PM   #22
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Originally posted by Irvine511




yes, but Norwegians think they know all about the US.

so you're just an ignorant American.
Now you're just being unnecessarily hostile, for reasons I can't really understand, to be honest. Have you come across Norwegians who behave in this way or are you projecting?
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:41 PM   #23
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Originally posted by Irvine511
and yet, so many seem to think they know exactly what the US should do no matter what the issue and feel perfectly free to broadly criticize everything about a culture -- not to mention the monocausal explanations they come up with in order to explain a complex foreign policy -- they only understand from the movies and perhaps a trip to Manhattan.

so it's good to see us resisting the urge to do the same to other countries.
I think that's nonsense.
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:47 PM   #24
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Originally posted by anitram
Now you're just being unnecessarily hostile, for reasons I can't really understand, to be honest. Have you come across Norwegians who behave in this way or are you projecting?
If I had to venture a guess, it's a reaction against all the global "anti-Americanism" out there, and all the stereotypes of Americans being "insular" and flat-out "stupid" of the world around them.

I think a lot of this comes from the fact that a lot of nations learn about the United States and learn English in school...then turn around and see that American students learn nothing about "them."

On the other hand, what the rest of the world doesn't understand is that we'd have to study the intricate details of over 170 countries to learn about "them." It ends up not being a fair match.

As a matter of circumstance, I happen to know a fair amount of both Canadian and U.S. politics. And if I were so motivated, I could probably do the research necessary to get reasonably fluent with Norwegian history and politics. I already familiar with Norway's "language politics" of the last century up to today, for instance, as a result of Norway trying to develop a written-word identity separate from their former Danish masters. Yet that idealistic quest is turning out to be more challenging than originally conceived in the late 19th century.
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:51 PM   #25
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Originally posted by Irvine511




yes, but Norwegians think they know all about the US.

so you're just an ignorant American.
That's just as much a generalisation as Americans being ignorant.

I think everyone is guilty of forming opinions about things they really don't know enough about, like us non-US citizens on American politics or American culture. But it's not true to say "Norwegians think they know all about the US". Sure, there are some who think so, as there are some Germans, Brits, French or whoever. But the majority wouldn't discuss American domestic politics in the way you picture it.

And Americans are as guilty of doing so about us. Just think how France and Germany got critizised, and even attacked, for not participating on the invasion in Iraq. It was not only Rumsfeld or Bush who talked shit about us, you would hear hostilities like these also from normal citizens.

We get to hear a lot about American politics in general, and I'm sure much of it gets simplified to a degree you can't even laugh about, but this being the only source some people draw a picture and live with that.
Of course that's wrong, but it's also wrong to speak in such generalisations about it.

Or did you encounter so many Norwegians who started to lecture you?
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:54 PM   #26
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Originally posted by melon

I think a lot of this comes from the fact that a lot of nations learn about the United States and learn English in school...then turn around and see that American students learn nothing about "them."

On the other hand, what the rest of the world doesn't understand is that we'd have to study the intricate details of over 170 countries to learn about "them." It ends up not being a fair match.



this is exactly right.
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:58 PM   #27
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But it's not true to say "Norwegians think they know all about the US". Sure, there are some who think so, as there are some Germans, Brits, French or whoever. But the majority wouldn't discuss American domestic politics in the way you picture it.



i was making an ironic point, nothing against Norwegians in particular.



[q]And Americans are as guilty of doing so about us. Just think how France and Germany got critizised, and even attacked, for not participating on the invasion in Iraq. It was not only Rumsfeld or Bush who talked shit about us, you would hear hostilities like these also from normal citizens.[/q]

and those normal citizens were idiots and i called them as such in here.



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Or did you encounter so many Norwegians who started to lecture you?
i have gotten ample elections from Europeans. ample.

and all i'm trying to say is that it's all idiocy.
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:00 PM   #28
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Okay...so I think I knew enough about Norwegian politics to answer this survey (although I, admittedly, answered in the "neutral" slot for a few of the questions):

The Liberal Party: One of Norway's more right-leaning "center" parties that supports tax relief but also a strong public sector, liberalized immigration and environmental protection measures.

49 % Liberal Party
48 % The Labour Party
36 % The Socialist Left Party
35 % The Progress Party
33 % The Conservative Party
25 % The Christian Democrats
24 % The Reds
20 % The Center Party

I guess that that sounds about right?
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:00 PM   #29
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I would venture a guess though that most Americans (present company excluded, although I would include myself) do not know as much about ONE other country as a tremendous amount of nonAmericans know about us.
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:06 PM   #30
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Lecturing is idiotic.

However, people can have educated views about your foreign policy which very much affect them. For example, the effects of NAFTA (95% of whose benefits only benefit the USA) on Canada, the provisions regarding Canadian oil production (to Canada's detriment, and America's benefit...not an uncommon thread, mind you), the illegal softwood lumber levies applied by the US government, the drawdown from Afghanistan which resulted in Canadian troops sustaining the greatest losses, due largely to an inadequate troop number when Bush decided to have fun in Iraq instead, the influence of Falwell et al. in Canadian politics during the gay marriage debate, the continued meddling regarding marijuana laws, the transportation of handguns from the US border states which have pathetic gun control laws, and so on. Likewise, your elections matter, because the party in power is going to largely determine trade policy, tax treaties, joint economic ventures and increasingly things like defence. Maybe you are particularly irked by Europeans for some reason, but the fact remains that just about EVERY single one aspect of your foreign policy affects Canada, for better of for worse. And no, it's not idiocy to advocate for your own best interests where that is concerned.
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