Canada

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I grew up near Canada, in Detroit and Birmingham, Mich., and can remember traveling there in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In those days, the main Eaton's department store in Toronto proudly hung the Union Jack over the street. Things have changed now. Canada's politics today seems more Belgian than British, at least in its attitudes toward the United States. But it is terra incognita to most of us Americans. The American president, at least since James Madison, who knew most about Canada was Franklin Roosevelt. He contracted polio on his family estate on Campobello Island, which is in New Brunswick, and he made a point of including the rather wacky Canadian prime minister, Mackenzie King, in the wartime conferences in Quebec in 1943 and 1944. The most recent American politician who knew much about Canada was Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who knew an awful lot about an awful lot of things that most Americans know very little about.

Anyhow, Canada is slated to have a national election soon, because the Liberal government has lost a vote of confidence after a steady bout of scandal. Here's a posting from the redoubtable Ed Morrissey, who has followed the Canadian saga far more closely and acutely than most American mainstream media. As noted, I'm away from my desk now, but I have at home the results, riding by riding (that is, parliamentary constituency by parliamentary constituency), from the last couple of elections, and I intend to spend much of the next several days looking over these wonderful statistics, to see what may come next. It's quite possible that the next Canadian government may be headed by Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper—though conservative doesn't mean in Canada what it does in the United States. Scrolling through Morrissey's postings and through the postings of Canadian native David Frum may help you understand what's happening in Canada, if you care—and you should. Really. Roosevelt and Moynihan did, and they're pretty good examples to follow.