I live in one of the northern states. Michigan, actually. In a little place called Detroit. Trust me, southern Canada is one thing, northern U.S. is another. Besides, southern Canada IS Canada. The vast majority of Canada's population, something like 90%, lives in southern Canada, along it border with the U.S.
I was born in Toronto, but my family moved to Ann Arbor, MI (job reasons), and I can tell you this.
Aside from our stupid hockey obsession, healthcare, devotion to monarchy, and gun laws Canada is full of the same (or similar) problems as the United States.
- The government was corrupt there too, countless scandals and (more recently) crack-smoking politicians fill the newspapers on a daily basis. Our government refuses/strongly discourages to let scientists and citizens publicly speak/write about the devastation in the oil sands, pollution from refineries, natives being abused and living in horrendous conditions, irresponsibility with sewage, etc... Many of the Provincial (state) politicians and national politicians are only good at playing politics and nothing else.
- Our cops are massive D**** too, the RCMP abuses native people (for no reason) on a daily basis and often performs multiple acts of police brutality. The G20 was martial law come true (people being kept in inhumane conditions, peaceful protesters being beaten and arrested, the media never mentioning this. Etc...) and many peaceful protesters protesting reasonable things were simply beaten black and blue and arrested just because ONE crazy (and possibly staged) group decided to burn some cars and break some windows.
- We have a fine amount of Bread and Circuses here too! To distract people from their problems hockey has become a national obsession to the point of it being 80% (at least) of the people's reason why they love Canada so much. Consumerism is constantly filling houses with tonnes of crap (I visited many houses in CANADA and saw this myself) and many people either shop, game, or watch sports to entertain themselves.
- We have an un-sustainable financial system too. Credit card and household debt SURPASSED United States household debt recently and many corporate elites (some our own and others from abroad) own much of the stuff in Canada and Canada is at the mercy of the NSE almost as much as the United States.
- Things like the MMA's, movies, MTV, Kim Kardashian, and Honey Boo Boo caused as much talk in my school years (and university ones) as hockey! (yes I am not kidding).
- We have participated in many of the US wars. World war 1, 2, Korea, and Afghanistan all received Canadian participation and Canadian and American solders fought alongside each other on numerous occasions.
- Many large corporations (the ones Canadians visit most- aside from TH and a couple others) from the United States that have expanded to Canada received fairly good turnouts and many Canadians consider McDonals, WalMart, CocaCola, Microsoft, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Johnston&Johnston, etc... To be part of their culture (although it is a weak culture) as much as moose, maple syrup, winter, and hockey.
- Many tourists who visit Canada for its landmarks are from mainly... The United States!
My list could go on... But I rather save this for Debate. I hope you know now that southern Canada and northern United States are very similar indeed.
Instead of re-wording my response to this, I shall just copy and paste the comment I just made as I find it pretty much covers it.
"To everybody else, Canada is pretty much the same as America, Just America allows maniacs to have guns.
As for the subtle differences, nobody is really interested enough to learn about them.
There's no significant difference, only slight differences and when you look into what Canada and the US fundamentally are, you'll find you're pretty much the same."