When I was a kid growing up in Toronto, schools were visited by a police car named Blinky. It was regular police car fitted with bright blue eyes, long eyelashes and a funny nose. Blinky was a gimmick designed to teach kids about safety and help introduce school children to the police force. It was hokey, but it worked.
Now I live in New York, and one difference I've noticed between Canadians and Americans is that Canadians have much more trust in the institution of government. This distinction can even be traced back to the two nations' foundings.
With this in mind, it was a shock to see the images of Toronto police cars on fire.
For me, Toronto police cars are not an icon of the global capitalist system, they are an icon of my safe and orderly hometown.
I understand there is a legitimate critique of the current world order. But whatever the faults of Harper / Obama / Cameron, etc., at least they operate without balaclavas.
Like most Canadians, I have faith in the system. One of our founding principles is "peace, order and good government." It's less lofty than "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", but it's a modest goal, a worthy goal, and one that Canadians are proud of.
That's not going to be threatened by some coward with a ski mask.