Canada's Origins: Liberal, Tory, or Republican? by Janet Ajzenstat, Michael Sean Smith

By Janet Ajzenstat, Michael Sean Smith

Ajzenstat and Smith problem the belief of Canada as a rustic whose liberal individualism, in contrast to that of the U.S., is redeemed through a convention of presidency intervention in financial and social existence: the so-called "tory touch." This ground-breaking publication starts with the now vintage article during which the pink tory view used to be formulated. It then provides a brand new and illuminating photograph of Canadian political lifestyles, during which liberal individualism confronts no longer toryism however the participatory culture of civic republicanism. within the ultimate part the 2 editors, one a liberal, the opposite a civic republican, debate the the most important questions dominating Canadian politics today-including Quebec's look for recognition-from the viewpoint in their shared realizing of Canada's founding.

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My own opinion is that the point of congealment came later than the Loyalists. The indeterminate location of the point of congealment makes it difficult to account in any precise way for the presence of socialism in the English Canadian political cultural mix, though the presence itself is indisputable. If the point of congealment came before the arrival of the first radical or socialist-minded immigrants, the presence of socialism must be ascribed primarily to the earlier presence of toryism. Since toryism is a significant part of the political culture, at least part of the leftist reaction against it will sooner or later be expressed in its own terms, that is, in terms of class interests and the good of the community as a corporate entity (socialism) rather than in terms of the individual and his or her vicissitudes in the competitive pursuit of happiness (liberalism).

2 As a result of these efforts, a richer and more complex assessment of the political and social thought of the period is now possible. Critical to this new understanding is an appreciation of the debate between, on the one hand, civic humanism, with its emphasis on civic virtue and classical citizenship (homo politicus), and, on the other, a commercial ideology with its emphasis on the economic (homo mercator). 3 This is, indeed, curious, given that Canada received such an influx of immigrants from both the United States and Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The Liberal refusal to appear as a class party forces both right and left to mitigate their class appeals and to become themselves, in a sense, centre parties. Class voting in Canada may be lower than in the United States, not entirely because regional-religious-ethnic factors are "objectively" stronger here, but also because King liberalism, by resolutely avoiding class symbols, has made other symbols more important. He blunted us. 40 42 CONSERVATISM, LIBERALISM, AND SOCIALISM NOTES 1. Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1955).

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