Brexit, Canada and the American Revolution

The United States originated in the English Colonies that were established in the 1600s. But in 1707, four nations of England, Wales, Scotland and later Ireland came together in one political union under the symbol of the Constitutional Monarchy. They called this British. It was at its core multicultural and inclusive.

The different cultures and assumptions lead the north American colonies to split into two different countries, Canada and the United States. These characteristics remain today. The English Colonists called themselves Patriots; the British Colonists called themselves loyalists. Canadians are still uncomfortable with overt displays of patriotism.

The United States remains monocultural and is referred to as a melting pot. Canada remains multicultural and is referred to as a mosaic. It is comfortable being a country of many nations including First Nations. Its form of government has been developed incrementally over millennia whose formulation was described by Aristotle as an ancient traditional Monarchy, an appointed Council which is our Senate and an elected Assembly, our House of Commons. Together this constitutes our Parliament and is called a Balanced Constitution.

King George III defined the difference between Canada and the United States with his actions during the idealistic first part of his reign before he was stricken by episodic mental illness. The United States considers taxation among the most important reasons for the split, in particular the tax on tea.

Canadians are more likely to point to three other decisions. The Proclamation of 1763 confirmed that aboriginal nations were sovereign until a Treaty was signed with the Crown meaning land held by wealthy Americans like George Washington were illegal. The decision not to appeal Somersett Case of 1772 meant King George III became the first Great Emancipator of American slaves; 15,000 slaves including Americans were released as a result. This galvanized slave owners like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and others. The Quebec Act gave legal status to the French language and allowed Catholics to serve in governmental and legal positions.

The American Revolution led to an endorsement of democracy as the only legitimate form of government. This was a true revolution against the British form of government that had incrementally developed from the system first described by Aristotle. The form of government that will achieve the most stability and avoid extremes is the Balanced Constitution.

The Balanced Constitution has three parts: a traditional and ancient form, an Appointed Council and an Elected Assembly. In Canada, this is the Monarchy, the Senate and the House of Commons which together comprise the Parliament. The presence of all three gives the greatest balance to society. It provides balance against domination buy a numerically superior group. The English Colonists prefer pure democracy which plays to their greater numbers. The British prefer the Balanced Constitution which protects minorities better.

Throughout the English-speaking world, the British and the English continue to struggle, patriots versus loyalists or in modern parlance the nationalists versus globalists. It is important for civic leaders in British Columbia to understand their inheritance and to defend it.