Canada more conservative than the US? Not likely.
In an opinion piece from the National Post, F.H. Buckley – a law professor at George Mason University – appears to argue that Canada is more conservative than its southern neighbor:
Canadians reveal their ignorance of their own country as well as of America. For what they fail to understand is just how conservative their country is, and how liberal the United States is by comparison.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Buckley's argument does not even sound internally consistent. To close his article, he claims that "Canadians employ conservative means to achieve socialist ends."
Conservative means to achieve socialist ends? That is analogous to obeying the laws of thermodynamics in order to build a perpetual motion machine. Otherwise defined as nonsense.
Other statements are even more problematic, such as this one about draft dodgers:
So it has always been, at the time of the American Revolution, at Confederation, and during the Vietnam War, when draft dodgers arrived at what seemed to them an admirably liberal country. Pierre Trudeau. Medicare. What was not to like? And yet, as they spent time here, they came to recognize Canada's deep conservatism and few of them remained here after Jimmy Carter amnestied them.
Few draft dodgers remained in Canada after Carter's amnesty? According to one of the leading authorities on the subject – John Hagan, a Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University and University Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Toronto, and himself a draft dodger – about half of the upwards of 100,000 draft dodgers who came to Canada remained in the country after the Carter amnesty. That is most certainly more than a "few."
One could imagine that many of those who did leave were, despite their liberal leanings, probably shocked at just how liberal Canada was. So they went home, but vast numbers stayed, in contrast to what Buckley claims.
Jimmy Carter was a pitchfork-wielding Tea Partier compared to the government of Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Yet another problematic quote:
The top marginal rates for capital gains and corporate taxes are about the highest in the First World, and if America wanted to compete it would have nowhere to go but down. As for income taxes, Ontario is a tax haven compared to California and New York when state and provincial taxes are added in. And there's not much the U.S. can do to correct inequalities with its welfare benefits. The United States spends more on welfare as a per cent of gross domestic product than Canada, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Japan, and all but four European countries. So much for the myth of stingy U.S. social benefits.
According to the Financial Times, the U.S. is definitely not spending more on welfare as a percentage of GDP "than Canada, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Japan, and all but four European countries." Using the latest OECD data, the U.S. spends far less on welfare (19.7% of GDP) than the U.K. (21.7%), Norway (22.0%), Japan (23.1%), the Netherlands (24.7%), and Denmark (30.1%). In fact, only three European countries (Iceland, Estonia, and the Slovak Republic) spend less on welfare as a percent of GDP than does the USA.
As for tax rates, if you want to know what the real tax rate for a nation is, it is defined by its general government revenues as a percent of GDP. There are shell games one can play based on location and income class, but the general government revenue integrates it all and tells you exactly what the overall tax rate for a jurisdiction is.
And as of 2015, Canada's general government revenue is 38.6% of GDP, while that of the U.S. is just 31.9%. Ergo, tax rates in the United States are – on average – far lower than in Canada. The corollary is that government is much bigger in Canada, which even a modicum of travel experience around North America will tell you.
Raising Ontario as a purported beacon of low taxation relative to California and New York is odd, given that "[w]ith twice the debt of California, Ontario is now the world's most indebted sub-sovereign borrower."
Apparently, Canada is more conservative because it is willing to admit Syrian refugees:
Canadians take justifiable pride in their willingness to admit Syrian refugees. By comparison the American refusal to take in more than 10,000 refugees looks churlish, especially given that the crisis in Syria is a consequence of U.S. foreign policy disasters.
Somehow, blaming America for the Syrian refugee crisis hardly seems like a "conservative" viewpoint. Indeed, it sounds like a talking point from the Obama administration – or Justin Trudeau's government in Canada – neither of which are "conservative" by any bizarre twisting of the imagination.
The delusions only increase in intensity:
But the real difference between the immigration policies of the two countries is the deep conservatism north of the border. Canada doesn't have a serious problem with illegal aliens – it deports them, at least those who don't qualify as refugees.
Canada's lack of a "a serious problem with illegal aliens" is evidence of its "deep conservatism"? That is easily one of the most ridiculous claims yet made in the mainstream media.
Canada receives far fewer illegal immigrants – at least an order of magnitude fewer even when accounting for population size differences between the two nations – than does the United States simply because the only country that Canada borders is the United States, and there ain't a lot of Americans wanting to illegally emigrate to Canada (why would they, when they could just emigrate legally and easily?). If Canada bordered Mexico, the roles would be reversed, to say the least.
Deportations under the supposedly conservative government of Stephen Harper dropped precipitously, and the Auditor General noted with concern that Canada had lost track of a massive number of illegal immigrants. Couple that with the fact that Canada has a notoriously easy refugee classification system, and the view of a "deep conservatism" evaporates.
Even economic mobility is not evidence of conservatism. The easiest way to improve economic mobility between generations and income classes is to impose socialist wealth redistribution mechanisms. Such taxes – estate taxes being the most well-known – are hardly "conservative." Since when did stripping away any inherent advantage of a child based on the financial success of his/her parents using the confiscatory power of the state – all in the name of "equality of opportunity" – become the benchmark for conservatism. Isn't this socialism?
We can add further to this list of Canadian non-conservatism.
Canada does not have constitutionally entrenched property rights, no right to bear arms (coupled with extremely restrictive gun laws), no true freedom of speech (hate speech and other laws effectively gut whatever "rights" are accorded in the Charter), and an actual state broadcaster (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) which operates along the lines of a propaganda unit for the political left and their affiliated governments having a budget that would be on the order of almost $10 billion if adjusted for population size in the U.S.
Canada also spends less than 1% of GDP on its military, and is wholly incapable of defending itself, instead relying entirely on the proportionally much larger defense expenditures of the Big Daddy U.S. – much like a young adult still living at home with mommy and daddly but not paying rent.
And under Canada's recent "conservative" government, "the government of Canada found $2.5 million to build a sparkling new museum in Tony Clement's riding, dedicated to the Communist sympathizer, Norman Bethune."
A conservative Great White North?