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Do Canadians more readily see a foreign-born citizen as "still one of us" than many other countries?

the lemur

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I knew that Australia (didn't know about NZ) had a high percentage of immigrants but I feel like the image given in the media is that Australia is not quite as friendly as Canada in openness towards outsiders such as immigrants, refugees etc. But maybe that isn't fair to judge since this is only something I have heard, and have no firsthand experience either way.

But I feel like something like this would not be as likely in our biggest city. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Cronulla_riots
There's a real insularity (on the biggest island in the world, ha) to some Australians who don't have any experience of the rest of the world that makes some of them pretty vocal/sensitive about identity in ways that we don't see as much here. People have been pretty upset that both Ford and GM-Holden will be winding down local production, for example, as that would spell the end of 'truly' Australian cars, even though both companies have been US-owned for generations (and all other manufacturers have been foreign-owned as well). The government has been focusing on preventing refugees from arriving by sea as if to keep the floodgates shut, but for all the popular sentiment that too many conventional immigrants are arriving and that the country is 'full' (which is weird for such an unevenly populated place), there are probably just as many people who think there's lots of room and that Australia's demographics require immigration.

There is a reciprocal agreement in place between Australia and NZ whereby citizens can live and work freely in either country - in fact for many years the largest group of newcomers to Oz has been Kiwis, but apparently for the first time in about 25 years there are now more NZers leaving Australia for NZ than arriving in Oz. NZ seems a bit more open to immigration overall.

What Australia could learn from becoming a little bit more Canadian
(some eye-opening comments ...)
 

King of Kensington

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Oh, wait, I remember now there were offensive remarks said about Jewish people, but that was Doug Ford, not Rob Ford, wasn't it, if I recall correctly?
Doug Ford defended his brother's own anti-Semitic comments (while on crack and apparently "only once") by saying his doctor, lawyer and accountant are Jewish! And when that failed he lied and said his wife was (which basically nobody but some hardcore Ford apologists believed)

I think the Fords probably did worse among Jewish voters than any other ethnic group in the city. They never would have won their vote anyway (Jews are more educated and mostly middle and upper middle class compared to the general population, demographics that are strongly anti-Ford) but that pretty much took whatever Jewish support they had to the floor.
 

King of Kensington

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As for the Fords being in the same ideological camp as Trump, the National Front and UKIP, I'd say no, they have far too multicultural base of support. Though they're certainly right-wing populists with a personality cult.

Note however that they have no influence on provincial and federal politics. The "Ford Nation" strongholds of Etobicoke, York and Scarborough voted heavily for Kathleen Wynne's and Justin Trudeau's Liberals, in spite of the fact that the Fords campaigned heavily against them.

So I stand by my point that I don't see a Trump/National Front/UKIP type movement really taking off in Canadian politics.
 

wild goose chase

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As for the Fords being in the same ideological camp as Trump, the National Front and UKIP, I'd say no, they have far too multicultural base of support. Though they're certainly right-wing populists with a personality cult.
Come to think of it, are there many examples of right-wing populists (outside Toronto or elsewhere in the world) with a support base that is mostly multicultural, or otherwise diverse in terms of the country's/state's/city's minority groups? I can't think of many. But then again, in a city where nearly half are foreign born, the Fords or any other candidate would have to draw their base from immigrants to some extent by a sheer numbers game.

In almost all the examples of populism I can think of nation-wide though (UKIP, National Front etc.), some minority groups within the country itself would be often the target of the populists' rage and bigotry (eg. whether immigrant, ethnic, racial or religious groups are singled out) and thus obviously such minorities would be turned off by them.

I suppose, theoretically, you could have a populism without an ethnic nationalist component (perhaps even a hypothetical country where the populists love citizens of any race within their own nation, but dislike any foreigners, such as temporary workers, any further newcomers wanting to immigrate etc.) but in reality I don't think this has ever existed -- almost all the examples people give for political movements called "populism" often divisively pit a (ethnic, racial, religious, etc.) minority within the nation against the majority within the nation.
 
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wild goose chase

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I think the Reform Party is probably the closest I can think of within recent memory to Trump/UKIP etc. but they are long gone anyway.
 

Riverdale Rink Rat

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I think the Reform Party is probably the closest I can think of within recent memory to Trump/UKIP etc. but they are long gone anyway.
As a native Albertan, I think I'm going to have to object to that. Reform very much had a fundamental Christian undercurrent, but I don't think they were ever anti-immigrant. They were anti-bilingualism, because who the heck needs to speak anything except English, but Alberta/Reform welcomed immigrants (from RoC or beyond). They just wanted the immigrants to 'become Albertan' instead of this Trudeauian multiculti farting around.

Reform was mostly about being disenfranchised politically at the federal level, and believing you had become really, really smart because you poked a straw in the ground and oil came out, so you were rich when you used to be poor.
 

Admiral Beez

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but I feel both native-born Canadians and new Canadians are more quick to see each other as "both Canadian" than many other countries.

but what do you think? Are we more willing to accept that a Canadian can be foreign born and still call themselves "Canadian" than most other countries would?
I suppose I’m one of those immigrants we prefer to exclude from such studies, being ethnically English, born in the UK. But I’ve often perceived that native-born Canadians from other ethnic backgrounds consider me more Canadian than they consider themselves. I’m never asked about my background, I’ve never once hyphenated my identify.

The latter is tricky to do anyway, since English-Canadian is more a linguistic differentiator from French-Canada, and British-Canadian never worked for me, since British is a passport or citizenship, whilst English is a people, like Han, Greek, Welsh, Zulu, or Anishinaabe. So, speaking as one immigrant, I’m basically accepted into the Canadian fold by default.
 
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pman

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It’s somewhat problematic to talk about Canada at all.

First, Quebec. Around 23% of the population of our loose confederation speak a separate language, live in a province that considers itself sovereign, and range between outright hostility and indifference to the rest of the country. They constitute a separate nation whose tragedy is that they lack a fully independent state. And most of us in the rest of the country are incapable of conversing with them and are more or less ignorant of their culture. If you disagree with that, tell me your three favourite Québécois teleromans from the last ten years, and confirm that you consider Tout le Monde en Parle to be must-watch TV. Let’s at least agree that for the purpose of this thread, our country doesn’t include Quebec.

Second, the rest. Us. What can you say about a society whose seminal political treatise was entitled, “Lament for a Nation”? English Canada is perhaps the only society on the planet devoted to the belief in its cultural non-existence. Unlike our Québécois co-passport holders, we refuse the possibility that we have a shared, collective culture that binds and unites us. Quite the opposite - English Canada’s dominant narrative is our collective culpability for historical and current injustices to aboriginals and a multiplicity of immigrant or gender/orientation groups, and the proper lack of primacy of any one common culture over the astonishing number of plants in our multicultural garden. English Canadians are perhaps the only people on the planet who believe that asserting a collective identity would be a morally wrong form of aggression. We tell ourselves ad nauseum that diversity is our strength because we have nothing else. Perhaps that makes it easier for immigrants to come here than any other place. I think Nino Ricci once wrote that Canada was more of a comfortable hotel than a real country. I haven’t been able to locate the quote, so it might have been another novelist. In any event, this hotel doesn’t demand anything of its guests, nor does it provide them with the sense of belonging that real countries confer on their citizens.

But perhaps something good comes of having meagre national identity. I travel a lot for extended periods, and as an English Canadian I’m struck by how at easily I can enter other cultures at least on a superficial level, how at home I can feel pretty much anywhere in the developed world. I mourn our inability to create a national sense of belonging. But it’s a big, wide, beautiful world, and with our bland inoffensiveness and Zelig-like lack of a cultural core, we English Canadians (I apologize if that term gives offence) are perhaps uniquely positioned to enjoy it. Something gained for something lost.
 
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Northern Light

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It’s somewhat problematic to talk about Canada at all.

First, Quebec. Around 23% of the population of our loose confederation speak a separate language, live in a province that considers itself sovereign, and range between outright hostility and indifference to the rest of the country. They constitute a separate nation whose tragedy is that they lack a fully independent state. And most of us in the rest of the country are incapable of conversing with them and are more or less ignorant of their culture. If you disagree with that, tell me your three favourite Québécois teleromans from the last ten years, and confirm that you consider Tout le Monde en Parle to be must-watch TV. Let’s at least agree that for the purpose of this thread, our country doesn’t include Quebec.

Second, the rest. Us. What can you say about a society whose seminal political treatise was entitled, “Lament for a Nation”? English Canada is perhaps the only society on the planet devoted to the belief in its cultural non-existence. Unlike our Québécois co-passport holders, we refuse the possibility that we have a shared, collective culture that binds and unites us. Quite the opposite - English Canada’s dominant narrative is our collective culpability for historical and current injustices to aboriginals and a multiplicity of immigrant or gender/orientation groups, and the proper lack of primacy of any one common culture over the astonishing number of plants in our multicultural garden. English Canadians are perhaps the only people on the planet who believe that asserting a collective identity would be a morally wrong form of aggression. We tell ourselves ad nauseum that diversity is our strength because we have nothing else. Perhaps that makes it easier for immigrants to come here than any other place. I think Nino Ricci once wrote that Canada was more of a comfortable hotel than a real country. I haven’t been able to locate the quote, so it might have been another novelist. In any event, this hotel doesn’t demand anything of its guests, nor does it provide them with the sense of belonging that real countries confer on their citizens.

But perhaps something good comes of having meagre national identity. I travel a lot for extended periods, and as an English Canadian I’m struck by how at easily I can enter other cultures at least on a superficial level, how at home I can feel pretty much anywhere in the developed world. I mourn our inability to create a national sense of belonging. But it’s a big, wide, beautiful world, and with our bland inoffensiveness and Zelig-like lack of a cultural core, we English Canadians (I apologize if that term gives offence) are perhaps uniquely positioned to enjoy it. Something gained for something lost.

I must say, I beg to differ w/this point of view in many respects.

By way of background, my family is 1/2 Quebecois, 1/2 Scots-immigrant

In that context, I have grown up w/francophones, both those who settled in Toronto, but were still fluent French, and moved here from Quebec, as well as family remaining in Quebec, with the counterpoint of anglophones, I think i have some perspective.

I really do see this country as having a clear identity and one that easily differentiates from other countries, while being quite similar here at home.

****

First off, while Quebec certainly does have a distinct culture from English Canada, it relates culturally more to English Canada than France or needless to say, the U.S.

We so share common bonds in hockey and other winter sports, we do have many common historical frames of reference, most Quebecers, in my experience, do speak English, albeit this is less so outside the biggest urban centres.

Even before poutine became a thing in English Canada, we did share many culinary loves, and not only those borrowed from the U.S. or elsewhere.

In the not-yet post-PQ era, our politics aren't sooo far apart either. Quebec's welfare state is only modestly more robust than Ontario's; the differences w/the U.S. being vastly more clear.

While I certainly wouldn't overstate the level of French among anglo-Canadians, its much higher than many give it credit for; I know several families w/kids in French immersion, where demand vastly exceeds supply, and know few anglos w/no French at all.

In respect of broader English Canada, having traveled it much; I can tell you there is more in common between BC and Ontario, or Alberta and Newfoundland than any North-South connection (the U.S.)

****

Moving away from that to a different question.

What makes national identity?

I think people imagine more things in national branding and history than are true for the most part.

People imagine a clear US identity, yet NYC and Alabama have little in common beyond language (sort of) ....

I would argue the Bible Belt is almost its own country when compared with California.

Sure Canada is has 2 major linguistic groupings.

The Swiss have 3; I'm not clear that this is an insurmountable barrier to common understanding.

After language, what gives a nation identity? Common culinary history? Common Religion? Common beliefs in a political sense?

I would argue it could, in part, be any of these, though surely the latter is most important, along w/general disposition. (how we see ourselves in the world and relate to it)

I would suggest Canadians writ large see themselves and welcoming, open, and strong believers than merit and shared values make you Canadian, not your place of birth, or skin complexion, or accent.

I think there is a genuine sense of pride in that, which is shared by a majority across the nation, and I would also suggest that is, as yet, relatively unique in the world, giving us a different point of view
from countries that judge your name to belong to their culture or language, or your appearance; whereas Canada asks, more about the person, what they can contribute and much less about the superficial nonsense.

I'm not for a moment naive on the many shortcomings Canada faces in respect of the above, but having traveled a great deal, I can say I've never seen anyone else do it better.

****

Despite idiosyncratic differences throughout and within the provinces, I see common threads from respect for the Charter and our Supreme Court, broad acceptance of immigrants, yes, a love of hockey, poutine and fairly similar levels of social programs across the country.

****

Finally, stepping way back to the OPs point.

Certainly in urban Canada, and amongst my peer group, I can't imagine anyone thinking twice about whether someone is fully Canadian or equally Canadian, because of their colour of skin or where from or when they immigrated.

I'll share an anecdote on this; I know a young woman (late 20s) who happens to be black, and is from the United States. She spent some time in Toronto, for the first time, a couple of years back.

She was so completely stunned about how she felt she was seen or wasn't on our streets that it left very lasting and positive impression.

She spoke about how she didn't feel she stood out, or was judged for being black, and how she mixed w/friends and strangers from here of all backgrounds and didn't feel noticed or judged about it.

She compared this w/home, in the southern US where if she was in a majority white area, she felt very conspicuous.

That's one person's story, and surely there are others, including negative ones.

But I think it does stand out that in many respects, we aspire to be a country like no other, where you can love ramen, or fried chicken (or both) ; be agnostic, atheist or of virtually any faith; speak any language, have any complexion, and we're all good w/that, as long as you aspire to a value of tolerance, peace, freedom, and social conscience, we're all Canadian.
 

JGHali

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Second, the rest. Us. What can you say about a society whose seminal political treatise was entitled, “Lament for a Nation”? English Canada is perhaps the only society on the planet devoted to the belief in its cultural non-existence. Unlike our Québécois co-passport holders, we refuse the possibility that we have a shared, collective culture that binds and unites us. Quite the opposite - English Canada’s dominant narrative is our collective culpability for historical and current injustices to aboriginals and a multiplicity of immigrant or gender/orientation groups, and the proper lack of primacy of any one common culture over the astonishing number of plants in our multicultural garden. English Canadians are perhaps the only people on the planet who believe that asserting a collective identity would be a morally wrong form of aggression. We tell ourselves ad nauseum that diversity is our strength because we have nothing else. Perhaps that makes it easier for immigrants to come here than any other place. I think Nino Ricci once wrote that Canada was more of a comfortable hotel than a real country. I haven’t been able to locate the quote, so it might have been another novelist. In any event, this hotel doesn’t demand anything of its guests, nor does it provide them with the sense of belonging that real countries confer on their citizens.

But perhaps something good comes of having meagre national identity. I travel a lot for extended periods, and as an English Canadian I’m struck by how at easily I can enter other cultures at least on a superficial level, how at home I can feel pretty much anywhere in the developed world. I mourn our inability to create a national sense of belonging. But it’s a big, wide, beautiful world, and with our bland inoffensiveness and Zelig-like lack of a cultural core, we English Canadians (I apologize if that term gives offence) are perhaps uniquely positioned to enjoy it. Something gained for something lost.
While it might be fair to describe Ontario as lacking anything approaching a cultural identity (okay, it's very fair), I'm not sure that's true of the Prairies. And it's definitely not true of the Maritimes and really definitely not true of Newfoundland. Canada fairly strong regional identities, even though in some ways there is a mainstream that is more uniform that in the US. But the stronger the regional culture, the less welcoming (or at least readily accepting) of "outsiders" it tends to be.

The author you were thinking of was Yan Martel!
 

pman

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Merci de votre correction concernant Yann Martel! Puisque nous sommes tous les Canadiens ici, continuons le discussion en l’autre langue officielle de notre pays.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Second, the rest. Us. What can you say about a society whose seminal political treatise was entitled, “Lament for a Nation”? English Canada is perhaps the only society on the planet devoted to the belief in its cultural non-existence. Unlike our Québécois co-passport holders, we refuse the possibility that we have a shared, collective culture that binds and unites us. Quite the opposite - English Canada’s dominant narrative is our collective culpability for historical and current injustices to aboriginals and a multiplicity of immigrant or gender/orientation groups, and the proper lack of primacy of any one common culture over the astonishing number of plants in our multicultural garden. English Canadians are perhaps the only people on the planet who believe that asserting a collective identity would be a morally wrong form of aggression. We tell ourselves ad nauseum that diversity is our strength because we have nothing else. Perhaps that makes it easier for immigrants to come here than any other place. I think Nino Ricci once wrote that Canada was more of a comfortable hotel than a real country. I haven’t been able to locate the quote, so it might have been another novelist. In any event, this hotel doesn’t demand anything of its guests, nor does it provide them with the sense of belonging that real countries confer on their citizens.

But perhaps something good comes of having meagre national identity. I travel a lot for extended periods, and as an English Canadian I’m struck by how at easily I can enter other cultures at least on a superficial level, how at home I can feel pretty much anywhere in the developed world. I mourn our inability to create a national sense of belonging. But it’s a big, wide, beautiful world, and with our bland inoffensiveness and Zelig-like lack of a cultural core, we English Canadians (I apologize if that term gives offence) are perhaps uniquely positioned to enjoy it. Something gained for something lost.
An analogue of not having a policy is itself a policy - the belief in cultural non-existence is in itself a national identity/belonging.

AoD
 

begratto

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There's a strong current of nativist nationalism within the Quebec sovereignty/nationalist movement, though it's certainly not shared by all.
I'd say the "nativist" wing is a very small minority of the Quebec sovereignty/nationalist movement. They generally don't really care where your family comes from or about your ethnic background, as long as you can speak French. If you do, you're "part of the gang".
 
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