Exploring our culture

What makes Canadians different?

The kinds of political freedom enjoyed in both the United States and Canada often have the same result: the freedom of the press, the freedom of religious expression, and so on. But the structural difference remains. The citizen has rights as opposed to government; the subject is guaranteed rights by government.

America has resistance to government at its beginning. Canada has the evolution of government at its beginning. In both countries, conservatives aspire to recapture a national original freedom. But the conception of that freedom is very different. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is the motto of the United States. “Peace, order and good government” is the motto of Canada.

How is it that Canada has Trudeau while the United States has Trump? As a tumultuous U.S. presidential campaign ends, Stephen Marche explores the conditions that have set Canada up to emerge, in 2016, as a bright light on a dark political stage.

Stephen Marche
Canadian Exceptionalism
from Open Canada
2016.11.11