The 2016 US Presidential election is only hours away from it's completion however, as a Canadian, I have been thinking a lot about whether a Trump-like figure could happen here.
Canada is known as a Liberal forward thinking nation who have fought for human rights and peace around the world. This includes being one of the first countries in the world to adopt same-sex marriage.
Despite our rich history of progressive policies, one must wonder whether a divisive political figure like Donald J. Trump is possible in this nation. The following five reasons are why I am convinced that this kind of national leader would not ever be possible in Canada.
First, cultural tradition that has created Canada as a culturally diverse country. This tradition has engrained the integration of various different cultures. Canada's immigration policies have been marked by openness but fairness then programs to help them integrate into the multiculturalism fabric of the country. Canada rarely separates different minorities or cultural groups into certain neighbourhoods so we live and work among different cultures.
Second, the legal framework of diversity have been included in our constitutional documents. This tradition began with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau declaring in 1971 by the federal government declaring that Canada would be the first country in the world to adopt a multiculturalism policy. This policy was enshrined the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. Section 27 states that "this charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians."
This policy has forever affected Canadian culture that embraces immigrants and those from different cultures rather than fear them.
Third, the political fabric of Canada makes extreme viewpoints almost impossible to take root. This is because since 1982 when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was adopted, we have included all people into Canadian society. Even the most conservative minded Canadians rarely want to exclude races or cultures from the country on this basis.
Fourth, the Charter is the supreme legal document in Canada and this document guarantees certain rights and protections for minority groups. This type of political document infuses every public policy no matter the political party. This makes it impossible for extreme views like those of the Tea Party or figures like Trump to be possible. The history and importance of this document is taught in schools around the country so children learn it from a young age.
Fifth, the Canadian political system is a more layered process to become the national leader. First the individual must win the party's leadership race then this person must gain a seat in the House of Commons to govern. The individual's party must win the most number of seats in the House then the person can be sworn into office as Prime Minister of Canada.
The 2016 American election have been dominated by such fear, hate and divisiveness that has largely been defined by personalities, not major issues such as immigration, health care and education. Hillary Clinton has constantly been dominated by her emails while Trump has argued that Clinton is corrupt. Hillary Clinton tried to talk about policy and her vision as much as she could whenever Trump wasn't attacking.
Trump has shown less maturity in this race than my 7 year old niece. Trump has put fear in the hearts of the American people, especially minorities, LGBTQ people and others. No matter what has happened or said in this campaign citizens around the world want the US to move on and work together.
A lot of American voters are interested in Trump because he's the so-called change candidate but in reality, Hillary Clinton would be the first woman elected to the office of US President. That's a major change candidate who will have an entirely unique view and approach to the Oval Office .
These 5 things help separate Canada from the US and help prevent there from ever being a fear mongering, racist figure like Donald J. Trump from successfully running in Canada. Despite this reality, Canada must continue to work towards inclusive public policy that is created based upon evidence.
The words of Margaret Mead seem timely to remind us the importance of citizens being engaged in the democratic process. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
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