Not Here: Why American Democracy Is Eroding and How Canada Can Protect Itself
by Rob Goodman
Simon & Schuster
What does it mean to live beside an eroding democracy? As this powerful and timely book argues, that question will define the next generation of Canadian politics.
As a congressional staffer in the United States, Rob Goodman watched firsthand as a rising authoritarian movement disenfranchised voters, sabotaged institutions, and brought America to the brink of a coup. Now, as a political theorist who makes his home in Canada, he has an urgent warning for his adopted country: The same forces that have upended democracy in America and around the world are on the move in Canada, too. But we can protect our democracy by drawing on a set of political, cultural, and historical resources that are distinctly of this place.
In Not Here, Goodman outlines four such resources. First, the rejection of the dangerous idea of one “real” Canadian people. Second, the refusal of political charisma and founder-worship. Third, a set of social programs—embattled but still standing—that empower neighbours to see one another as equals. And fourth, Canada’s longstanding search for an identity separate from the great power with which it shares a continent.
Today, that great power is a democracy in decline, and so defending what makes Canada distinct matters more now than ever before. Canadian difference is not a curiosity, a luxury good, or a vanity item. It is a democratic immune system.
Laying bare the historical roots of today’s politics and making an urgent case for action, Not Here is a roadmap for safeguarding a democracy under unprecedented threat.