California and Canada have some things in common, extending far beyond the trivial fact that each political entity sports in its name the same two first letters.  They are, for starters, similarly sized demographic entities, Canada’s 35 million or so people nearly matching California’s 39 million.  They are each considered, with reason, to be multicultural, meaning basically that within their boundaries live a multitude of folk of differing ethnicities, not infrequently speaking languages other than English. They both have been regarded, again with reason, as ‘outliers’ from mainstream tendencies, social as well as political: California is often heralded, by friends and foes alike, as the harbinger of trends yet to unfold elsewhere in America; Canada is taken, in this age of populism marching triumphantly through one political system after another in the Western world, to be one of the remaining unambiguous bastions of ‘liberal democracy.’ Finally, Canada tends, in American elections, to ‘vote’ very much the way California does.  Indeed, had Canadians possessed the right to cast a ballot in the most recent presidential election, their preference for Hillary Clinton would have been registered at least as strongly as was Californians’ own preference for the Democratic candidate.

Continue reading