Symposium Introduction: Blame Canada! An Occasionally Serious Overview of US-Canada Relations
By David L. Leal, University of Texas at Austin
Canada – so important to America, yet so little understood in America. While Canadians are familiar with their powerful southern neighbor, we hardly know the nation that is our largest export destination and shares our longest border. As Canada celebrates an historic milestone, we might reflect on the significance of Canada beyond maple syrup, Mounties, and moose.
This is the third PS symposium to ask political scientists (and everyone) to care more about Canada and U.S.-Canada relations. John Oliver said that Canada was “the country you think about so little,” but the eight essays in this symposium might convince you to think otherwise. They cover a number of important topics, ranging from elections to immigration and from federalism to the binational relationship.
A partner in peacetime and an ally in conflicts ranging from World War I to Afghanistan, we have good reasons to better understand the politics, economy, and culture of Canada. And at a time when America’s economic and security partnerships are under scrutiny, learning about Canada is more important than ever. To speak in hashtags, we may discover that #HugCanada is more advantageous than a North American version of #Brexit.