Us and the Canadians

Karl Smith writes:

Contrary to Jonah Goldberg and others who see Canada and the United States as examples of two clashing ideologies, they are actually examples of two different ethic distributions. The United States is not Canada because there is ethnic strife between Southern Blacks and Southern Whites. That strife reduces the sense of moral obligation on the part of the white majority and so reduces government spending.

I don’t think that’s quite the right story. My understanding of the situation is that public opinion in Anglophone Canada and the non-southern United States is extremely similar. You may recall this old map of the United States of Canada vs Jesusland:

This is a mistake, but it captures a certain truth. Generally speaking, if you look at a Canada-adjacent part of the United States and compare it to the part of Canada right across the border, you see a lot of cultural similarity. And on both sides of the border there are differences between the big cities and the rural areas. But Québec is quite different from Anglophone Canada and in the USA “the south is different.” The interesting thing is that not only do Québécois people speak French, they also have unusually left-wing views on economic policy. Meanwhile, white southerners have more rightwing views on economic policy than do other North American white Anglophones. If you redrew the borders, you’d get very different political outcomes.