June 15, 2006


Political gurus explore U.S.-Canada split (SUSAN DELACOURT, 6/15/06, Toronto Star)

"Father knows best" isn't just an old TV show any more — it's where Canada and the U.S. beg to differ, according to Environics pollster Michael Adams. [...]

One of Adams' most stunning illustrations of Canada-U.S. differences to the conference was on the question of family dynamics —— specifically the idea of the father as head of the family.

In Canada, that notion has been slowly eroding since 1992. In the United States, it's been growing.

In 1992, 26 per cent of Canadians said they agreed with the statement: "The father of the family must be the master of his own house." In 2005, only 18 per cent of Canadians agree with that notion, according to Adams' numbers.

By contrast, 42 per cent of Americans agreed with that statement in 1992. But by 2005, more than half of Americans — 52 per cent — said that dad must be the boss at home.

"If my wife heard that, she'd be mad at Americans. Heck, she'd be mad at me," joked Liberal party president Mike Eizenga, who's one of about 150 delegates to this week's Canada 2020 conference.

Conference attendees were excited by the Adams' finding.

They believed it underscores the idea that Canadians are far more wary overall of authoritarianism, hierarchy and other hallmarks of conservative politics.

Some pundits, in fact, have taken to calling Prime Minister Stephen Harper "big daddy" for his tough, highly centralized style of governing since he took office in February.

More important is that morality is fundamentally male -- a necessary precondition of freedom -- while unconditional love (relativism) is feminine.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 15, 2006 9:00 AM

Why is hierarchy a uniformly bad thing? Modern 'liberalism' has become the mark of glib stupidity.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at June 15, 2006 9:17 AM

Hierarchy is anti-egalitarian.

Posted by: oj at June 15, 2006 9:20 AM

Are libs really, without any trace of irony, castigating a conservative for a "highly centralized ammner of gvt"?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 15, 2006 10:15 AM

It's from 2005 - before Harper.

Posted by: Sandy P at June 15, 2006 10:42 AM

Liberals are among the most herarchical people in existence. Don't believe for a minute that the likes of John Forbes Kerry, for example, considers his servants to be his equals.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 15, 2006 11:44 AM

John Forbes Kerry has servants? For shame.

Posted by: ratbert at June 15, 2006 1:55 PM

His family has servants.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 15, 2006 2:35 PM

To drive their SUV's.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 15, 2006 2:42 PM

As for the provocation: I've not known many women who accept the notion of unconditional love. Except where very young children are concerned. Other than that, I seem to have noticed any number of conditions ... a great many of them concerning male morality.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 15, 2006 2:46 PM

Kerry? Didn't he serve in Vietnam?

Posted by: obc at June 15, 2006 3:44 PM

That was before he served against Viet Nam.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 15, 2006 7:34 PM