Written By: Finn O’Connor
For some, the holiday season is an opportunity to connect with family and friends who we often do not get to see more than once a year. For others, it is a chance to remind ourselves why we only see our family once a year as we get the opportunity to revisit the same old disagreements from the last holidays and sit uncomfortably around the dinner table for five hours.
International relations can seem a lot like the latter at times, especially between democratic countries who are often forced to interact in global forums despite their personal misgivings with one another. Most of the time, allies bite their tongue and get to business without dredging up the ugly stuff. However, from time to time, two family members get into a row across the table while the other patrons awkwardly watch from the sidelines.
Despite being on other sides of the world, the two countries have a surprising amount in common. A parliamentary system inherited from the late British Empire, a vast territory covered in a harsh climate that sometimes borders on unhospitable, and an array of regional cultures that often chafe against the idea of a national identity. However, within these similarities are fundamental differences. Canada is temperate and can be bitingly cold, while India is tropical and brutally hot. Canada’s regional identities stem from its population’s colonial homelands, whereas many of India’s cultures predate the European nations themselves. And, while Canada’s democracy persists in a recognizable form, the Indian government has increasingly toyed with authoritarianism and nationalism. Continue reading…