I've reorganized this table, and added the territories. The statistics for population, gross domestic product, net debt and gross debt (total liabilities) are from Statistics Canada. It would be nice if they had a summary table online for all the provinces' and territories' debt, but they don't. The debt/GDP ratio is from the respective province's 2007 budget statements or finance ministry's website. If it doesn't appear to exactly match the other columns, that may be because the statistics for GDP are from 2006, while the statistics for net and gross debt are mostly from 2004 or 2005. Some provinces calculate debt/GDP using net debt, while others (and the federal government) appear to calculate the ratio using gross debt.
While compiling this table, I was amazed at how many different ways there are to calculate debt, net or otherwise. I was also reminded of Mark Twain's famous statement about 'lies, damn lies, and statistics.' Dear reader, these are not my lies- I'm just quoting.
(All debt/GDP figures in millions of Canadian dollars. Population in 1,000s. Net and gross debt for Atlantic Provinces are for 2007; for N.W.T. and Yukon for 2004; all other provinces and Nunavut for 2005.)
I've noticed an odd trend in China: a return to the old religion. In a country so devoutly atheist (believers in any religion are prohibited from Communist Party membership, and therefore excluded from power and limited in their careers) it is surprising to walk into an internet bar and see a shrine to Buddha. Very few restaurants are without their 'golden frog' or 'lucky cat' (with the paw that moves up and down, every time you put in money). Even the university where I study Chinese, and will be working next year, which is publicly-funded, has a decorative incense burner in the foreign languages center. Chinese don't see these as idols, of course, and perhaps they aren't much different from the good-luck charms some people in the West use: a horseshoe over the door, rabbit's foot on a key-chain, etc.
Another sign of the return of the old beliefs is the way billions of yuan have been spent on restoring temples- many of them damaged or destroyed in the Cultural Revolution. Some of the money comes from private donations by wealthy donors. Municipalities have also constructed new statues and monuments to mythical heroes and gods, ostensibly to attract tourists (pilgrims?). Also, on certain holidays, one can see people burning fake 'money' on street corners throughout China, believing that whatever they burn can be used by their dead relatives in the afterlife. They also burn paper models of cars, houses, etc. on the same principle. Some Chinese even burn paper 'credit cards' (does heaven accept VISA? Or American Express?)
I think this shows that Chinese are hungry for something to satisfy them, spiritually. If you ask most Chinese what they believe in, they'll say, "I believe in myself." Obviously, that's no longer enough.
Preface: A few years ago I taught a 'Western Culture' course to ESL students. We discussed the myths of western culture, including fairy tales. This entry is based on the research I did for those classes.
Feminists often criticize fairy tales such as Cinderella for being chauvinistic, or anti-feminist. But let's look a little closer at these fairy tales. Who are the protagonists in Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, and all the most popular fairy tales? That's right: girls or young women. Who are the villians in these stories? Witches, wicked stepmothers, evil queens- also women. But, feminists say, what about the Prince? Oh yes, the Prince- who always comes at the end of the fairy tale, and is called- oh, what's his name? 'Prince Charming'? Is that a name? And we know nothing about him except that he's invariably handsome and always wants to marry the young woman. In other words, a young woman's dream suitor.
Now one might ask, where is the father in these fairy tales? In Cinderella, he dies, or is so witless that he forgets he has a daughter. In Snow White he is simply unmentioned. In Sleeping Beauty he tries to stop the witch's plan, but is completely ineffective. In Hansel and Gretel (which has a boy and a girl) the father meekly goes along with the wicked stepmother's plan to kill his own children. So much for the father.
Why do women so completely dominate classic fairy tales? Consider who traditionally tells fairy tales to little children. Not the father- usually a mother or nanny. Imagine she is telling fairy tales to a little boy and a little girl, tucked snugly into bed in the evening. What fairy tales will the girl request? Naturally, romantic stories with a girl or woman as the star character. The boy will, in turn, ask for stories about pirates or knights. But the girl will grow up to be mother or nursemaid to the next generation of children. It is she who will pass on the oral tradition of these stories; and what stories is she going to remember? The ones she loved most as a child, of course: the ones with a girl as the hero.
What feminists don't want to admit is that fairy tales- including Cinderella- are tales told and treasured by generations of girls and women- and probably invented by women, as well. They express the dreams- and sometimes nightmares- of the female sex. What young boy dreams of becoming a prince? What young girl doesn't dream of becoming a princess?