Canada isn’t the United States. While they talk a bit more like us than most non-Americans and we consume a lot of the same mass media, it’s a completely different country with different ideas about a lot of things.
It’s sometimes hard for Americans to really wrap their heads around it, too. After all, they seem so similar to us that it’s easy to miss.
However, it seems at least one writer over at The Hill wanted to point out how the right up that way differs from the right here in the US.
How did Canadians avoid the extreme political, cultural and social polarization afflicting the United States?
In a nutshell, America’s political centerline skews to the right compared to most other advanced, industrialized democracies.
Indeed, the deep social and cultural fault lines dividing America are largely absent in Canada. Perhaps more importantly, a relative dearth of money and corporate influence in the Canadian political system helps to sustain its vibrant middle class.
A comparison between Canada’s Conservative Party and the Republican Party illustrates these striking differences. In stark contrast to Republicans, the leader of Canada’s Conservatives is pro-choice. A Conservative Party source tells me that merely hinting at restricting abortion in Canada would amount to political suicide for any party seeking to govern.
But what explains this extraordinary cultural disconnect between America and its northern neighbor?
For one, the 1980s saw the rise of the Religious Right in the United States. In the span of a few years, Jerry Falwell & Co. mobilized millions of evangelicals – historically ambivalent about abortion – and conservative Catholics by weaponizing religion for political gain. No similar mass movement materialized in Canada.
Similarly, American conservatives may be surprised to learn that Canada’s Conservative Party supports reasonable gun control measures.
And with that last bit, the writer reminds me why I’m damn proud to be an American.
See, Canadians have absolutely no one in power willing to stand up for their gun rights. While Trudeau is fighting for his political survival, the truth is that no matter what happens, gun owners up that way won’t win. Their best hope is to not lose ground. That’s not a good thing.
Our right to keep and bear arms was enshrined in our Second Amendment. That’s something Canadians don’t have, and it’s hurt them. Their courts have ruled that individuals do not have a right to keep and bear arms. It’s the opposite of the Heller decision down here, and while it’s wrong–gun ownership is a human right, after all–the lack of any constitutional protections made such a thing inevitable.
I pity Canadians. Most of the ones I know are good people who deserve better than a government that is not just willing to disarm them but regularly ignores other basic rights as well.
That’s not the case here, thankfully.
I can make tasteless jokes and the worst I get is thrown off Facebook or Twitter. I also have my right to have a gun protected by the Constitution, a protection ruled to apply to individuals.
Canada and the United States are quite different, but when it comes down to which I’d prefer to live it, give me the good old red, white, and blue any day of the year.