Political culture is the shared opinions, values, and attitudes of people about politics. There are several similarities between the political cultures of Europe and North American countries. Most of the countries in these regions emphasize on constitutional law, regional autonomy, freedom of religion, and personal liberty.
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Some of the political ideologies originated from the French civil law, British common law, and the North American aboriginal regime. The Canadian government has set some goals that determine how it functions.
These goals include the need to maintain peace, order, and good governance and are generally based on the Canadian political culture. The Canadian politics are encompassed of loyalty, tolerance, and compromise.
The changes in the Canadian political atmosphere have been quite slow with a lot of negotiations and compromise compared to other nations. The most important political culture of Canada is democracy. Its citizens elect most political leaders.
This popular sovereignty is only carried out during elections and when conducting national referenda. There are minimal referenda that have been carried out in Canada since the inception of democracy.
The most common ones are the 1898 referendum on prohibition, the 1942 referendum on conscription, and the 1992 referendum on the Charlottetown Accord. Elections are carried out periodically and all the citizens of Canada are treated as equals during elections.
Political freedom is exercised in Canada. A person is free to join any political party of interested. Every individual has the freedom to share personal political thoughts, expressions, opinions, beliefs, and conscience. In addition, the freedom of the press is also exercised.
Canadian constitution allows individuals to assemble provided that peace is maintained since the freedom of association is guaranteed in the constitution. This demonstrates the democratic nature of Canada.
The Canadian politics are based on the majority rule whereby an individual who garners the largest number of votes becomes the political leader. However, the constitution protects the rights of minority groups. Other special groups that are protected by the constitution include the aborigines and women.
The Canadian political values are quite different from those of the United States. For instance, the United States’ political culture revolves around liberty, pursuit of life and happiness, while the Canadian political culture focuses on good governance, peace, and order. This has resulted into the continental divide due to the differences in ideologies. The U.S. came into existence because of the revolutions against Britain.
This made its political culture to be based on suspicion and individual freedom. Canadians are group-oriented and they believe in collective responsibility. Their origin can be traced back from the original French settlers. They are peaceful people bearing in min that they never formed any rebellion against the British.
Other major communities in Canada are refugees from North America who fled during the era of revolution. These differences make Canada to be unique due to its corporatist and collectivist nature. However, the new generation in Canada is not in good terms with the current government. This has resulted into reduced party loyalty, civil rights movements, and low voter turnout during elections.
Generally, Canadians are cautious, nonviolent, diffident, dependent, and tolerant society. Most of them observe individualism, egalitarianism, and particularism. The government of Canada is a constitutional monarchy. Besides, the form of government is federal in nature.
The systems of law used in Canada are both the common and the civil law. Its ties with Britain are very strong since they share a queen. The queen exercises her powers through the governor who is the overall political leader in Canada.