Giving Up on Canada



There’s an old joke about the typical Canadian who is nudged off the sidewalk by a passerby and immediately apologizes, a humorously rueful sign of the national character. The other side of the debased coin is the sense of national superiority, in particular to our putatively boorish neighbor south of the border, a cultural factor that came politically to the fore during the stridently anti-American Liberal government ofJean Chrétien. Neither tendency does us much credit.

Of course, such attitudes presume that we still have a national character, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes we do not, having told theNew York Timesthat Canada has no “core identity” and is the world’s “first post-national state.” Trudeau may be right. We have become, apparently, citizens of the world, which means we are stakeholders in nothing tangibly visceral, that we have no civic identity…

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