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Political culture of Canada

Canadian political culture is in some ways part of a greater North American and European political culture, which emphasizes constitutional law, religious freedom, personal liberty, and regional autonomy; these ideas stemming in various degrees from the British common law and French civil law traditions, North American aboriginal government, and the writings of US President Thomas Jefferson, among others.

Peace, order, and good government are the major goals of the Canadian government. These words reveal a lot about the history of Canadian political culture. There is a strong tradition of loyalty, compromise, and conservatism in Canadian political culture. In general, Canadian politics have not operated through revolutionary, swift changes. In general change is relatively slow and worked out through compromise between interest groups, the regions, and the government of the day.

Canada also has a tradition of liberalism. Individual rights have traditionally been very important to most Canadians as demonstrated through support for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a relatively free economy, and liberal attitudes toward Censored page, women's rights, and equality for all citizens. However, there is also a sense of collective responsibility in Canadian political culture, as is demonstrated in general support for public healthcare , gun control, foreign aid, and other social programs.

Jefferson's ideal Republic?

Indeed, some have commented that Jefferson's ideal republic exists in Canada and has incorporated some of his most treasured ideas, such as regular constitutional review (at least once in a generation, as Canada has historically done), free public education (totally privately funded universities were, until recently non-existent in Canada, though the cost of a "public" university education in Canada is escalating), and an economy based on agricultural productivity. However, Canada is not a republic, but constitutional monarchy and some Canadians, such as United Empire Loyalists might resent having Canada compared to the country their ancestors escaped from when republicans like Jefferson drove them out of the thirteen colonies seizing their lands and destroying their property.

Is Canada subservient to America?

It is sometimes argued that Canada and the United States have a marriage-like relationship, in which Canada plays a traditional role as cautious housewife, and America is an arrogant world-conquering cowboy. Such imagery is evident in various Canadian political cartoons.

See also: Political culture:United States, US-Canada relations, US-Canada politics compared, Political culture:Quebec, and etc.

Last updated: 02-19-2005 06:31:26
Last updated: 03-18-2005 11:16:12