Do people in other countries “hate” their capital city?

The reason why we in Australia built Canberra in a middle of nowhere sheep paddock was precisely that the two main cities, Melbourne and Sydney, hated each other. NSW and Victoria were quite independent colonies before Federation; and Australia is a federation, as in decentralised state, precisely because of that independence.

(As with other federations, authority has gradually centralised to makes things practical.)

Sydneysiders and Melburnians don’t exactly hate each other, but there is a fair bit of parochialism and contempt on both sides about their respective quirks.

Buses here in Melbourne will proudly boast of TV shows that are shot in Melbourne; you have to pay attention here to notice how much of Australian TV is Sydney. Melbourne prides itself on how intellectual it is by comparison with the superficial Harbour City; how Melbourne is the home of comedy and the best comedy Sydney could come up with was the sitcom Hey Dad!; how we are the Most Liveable City in the world according to whichever survey we’ve bribed this week, etc etc etc. And I have no doubt Sydneysiders have plenty of stuff to come back at us with.

Canberra? We can’t summon up that much passion against it. We mostly just laugh at it. A jumped up country town full of civil servants, with nightlife to match. (Yes, it’s getting better. It started from a very low baseline.)

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