Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Political and Social Attitudes in the United States and Canada

Political writer James Fallows, on Marty Moss-Coane's show, Radio Times, said today Republicans and Democrats have become almost completely separated by ideology and aren't communicating with each other. The Republican obstructionist policy could be turned around, he says, by televising the upcoming "Bipartisan Summit on Health Care" this month with President Obama.

America and Canada are already regional generally according to an American and a Canadian in two recent articles.  Petesearch, the blog of Pete Warden, describes seven distinct American regions with data from 210 million Facebook profiles:

  • Stayathomia: People in this Northeast region, stretching from New York to Minnesota, form very tight geographic connections, with most friends living in neighboring cities.
  • Dixie: A fairly intuitive “Old South” grouping, with Atlanta as the network’s hub. 
  • Greater Texas: Places like Missouri, Louisiana, and Arkansas are connected more to this Dallas-centric group than the South.
  • Nomadic West: In this huge region, even small towns are strongly connected to distant big cities.
  • Mormonia: A slice of tightly-knit Utah and Eastern Idaho towns inside, but isolated from, the Nomadic West.
  • Socalistan: LA is king here, linked to almost everywhere in California and Nevada—and many exterior cities, too. Outside the big cities though, Californians form very tight clusters.
  • Pacifica: This Seattle-centric area has surprisingly few connections outside of Washington.
Canada, too, has different regions and serial entrepreneur Jennifer McNeill describes them in an excerpt of this article in Toronto's Globe and Mail:

"Is it different selling to Canadians than Americans?
It is. It is even different selling to geographies inside Canada. In the Maritimes, you sell based on relationship. In Toronto, it is strictly business - delivery, price - and Calgary is very much about who you know, and those relationships. As you get to the West Coast, it is a matter of how much patience you have. They're like snails, very slow, a very different mind.
In the U.S., there are different geographies but they all buy the same...based on price and value and they have to believe there is some credibility to the company. They have to perceive value." 

Clearly, in America and Canada, political differences and friendly relationships are dividing the land invisibly. They always have, but let's hope modern communications improve the situation.

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