What Canadians think does matter to Americans. In certain circumstances at certain times.

My evidence for saying this is that I've culled those quotes from the some 1,400 e-mails sent to me as a result of my column of last Sunday titled, "It's not our fault that we're morally superior to Americans."

What promoted the column was some hand-wringing by Deputy Prime Minister John Manley that any Canadian sentiments of superiority were actually a sign of a sense of inferiority, and should be silenced so as not to annoy Americans.

My rebuttal was that Canadian sentiments of superiority were actually a sign of a sense of superiority, and why on Earth not say so out loud, since Americans are certain they are superior to everyone in the world and can hardly be shocked to be challenged.

I expected some shots back, from both sides of the border. I got the verbal equivalent of a salvo of cruise missiles. As a journalist, I've never experienced its equal. The Drudge Report on the Web picked up the column, and, in a tribute to its power, triggered well over 1,000 of those e-mails. American radio and TV stations called for interviews.

Best of all, I got by accident, a fascinating insight into American opinions about Canada but also about their own country.


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