USA vs Canada
The major difference between USA and Canada of a political nature. Perhaps it is more politically correct to say that the major difference is political involvement? Comparing the two countries effectively would take a very long article, one that you’re probably not interested in reading all the way through. Besides geographic and climate differences, and differences in predominant languages, there is a strong difference in world interaction. Some may see this as a good thing, while others interpret it as a bad thing.
Geographic and climate differences are rather obvious. There is more cold arctic air in Canada, and the US has portions that extend close enough to the equator to be considered subtropical. This is also the reason for difference in national pastimes, as winter sports are more traditional in Canada.
Canada also has regions with people who speak predominantly French, while the US has areas of inhabitants who speak predominantly Spanish. Both countries have areas where immigrants from all over the world have settled, creating their own subculture within the culture.
Canada has abolished the death penalty for all crimes, including capital offenses. The United States has a state by state allocution, that allows each individual state to make its own determination about the death penalty. Ironically, Canada’s murder rate is lower than the United States’, and convictions for murder are higher (when comparing percentages not numbers) than in the United States. Canada also allows for legal gay marriages, while this is considered a state by state issue in the United States.
Abroad, Canada has more of a voice than most people believe. However, the United States takes on a stronger political position, and has an increased vested interest in foreign affairs. Canada is willing to get involved in political maneuvers only when it is necessary. They tend to do so quietly, and are less intermingled with ongoing political problems throughout the world than the United States. This makes the country more autonomous, and able to stay much more neutral when it comes to difficult political issues and the responding actions.
Both countries are held to a high standard, and both countries have their own benefits. Each country operates on a voting system for political power, albeit there are major differences in each system. There is a political check and balance system in play for both countries. Canada has spent its energies, and time, building a country filled with its own resources, where it has been possible. The United States has an outreach budget for countries outside of its jurisdiction, which often conflicts with the needs of its own people. Being bordering countries, each share in an agenda of peace, and have managed to keep differing political practices from interfering with their peaceful agenda.
Noa A. "Difference Between USA and Canada." DifferenceBetween.net. July 28, 2011 < http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-usa-and-canada/ >.
Both Canada and the USA have governments that seem to work quite well, amidst their differences. While the USA is a republic, Canada is a constitutional monarchy, and both are based on the ideas of democracy. However, they are different in many ways, and each government has it’s share of better methods than the other. For example, the USA has a definite term of office set for the president, 4 years, so that the president will know when he is done, and elections do not come as a surprise to the citizens. In Canada, the Prime Minister may sit for up to 5 years, calling an election any time he/she wants, from his/her first day in office, until the day before their last day in office. This can come as a surprise to the public, leaving them unprepared for an election. This is one of the ways that makes the USA system seem better than the Canadian. However, with the exact date known well in advance, campaigns in the USA start over a year ahead of the election, which can be quite annoying to many people. Canadian campaigns last for only 50 days.
The Canadian system does have it’s strong points, as well. In the USA, presidents may only be in office for a maximum of 10 years with the rare possibility that their predecessor is no longer able to run the country, during a term. In most cases, the maximum is 8 years per president, in 2 terms. This is not a very good system, if a president that is liked by all and makes decisions well is kept in office for 8 years, he is no longer allowed to be the president, no matter how much he’s liked. In Canada, there is no limit on how much a leader may be Prime Minister. If the Prime Minister proves himself to be a very good leader, he will be kept in office for as long as needed. If the Prime minister proves to be a bad leader, they will not be re-elected. The parties keep or replace leaders as they see fit, and the voters have the final word.
The Americans have the better model for choosing government representatives, however. In an American election, the voters will vote on both the president and vice president, to ensure that they are who the people want. In Canada, we only indirectly vote for our prime minister, who then chooses his own staff all by himself, most likely all will be members of his own party.
Canadians also have a better separation system between the highest levels of government, as well. When the voters in America elect a head of government, they are also electing the head of state. This one person is the president, who occupies both titles. In Canada, the head of state is the Queen and the Governor General, who are above the differences between the parties. They are there just to be the monarch, not to get involved with all the different ideologies of the political parties. In the USA, the president will be either republican or democratic, which does not bode well for the patriotic symbol of head of state.
If there’s blame to be had, the American’s don’t know who did what, there are different parties in the different branches, and each branch blames the other. In Canada, it will always be the government party, so that the voters know for certain who did it.
I can’t say for certain which government system I believe is better. Each country has different strengths and weaknesses, which balance each other out quite nicely. Canadian voters are more involved in government decisions, but lack the involvement in who is running the government, the Prime Minister appoints his staff. America lets their voters get more involved in choosing their leaders, but they cannot determine who to blame when something goes wrong. If I had to choose between them for sure, I believe I would choose Canada as the better government. Canada has a few poor qualities, such as the prime minister having immense power, but they can be made up for simply, such as choosing a prime minister that everyone can trust.
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