In Canada, this is the way we have traditionally seen our culture. Unlike the American melting pot, we do not strive to eliminate all differences between people; we know it is impossible.

On the contrary, because of our acknowledgment of the diverse founding of our country, we celebrate the differences--not that it has always been the easiest way of nationhood.

But it has allowed us to see the desirability of providing for those with different abilities, or different incomes; what many in a monoculture ridicule as laziness, or stupidity.

Yes, this is a welfare state. It is one of the reasons for the strength of the public sector versus the private sector, for our belief in public ownership--because necessary, and desirable, sevices will not be provided by the private sector, or will be provided at such a prohibitive cost that those who need will not be able to obtain.

The diversity of Canadians, like different stones in a mosaic, create a image of Canada never finished, a work in progress--we know that there is no endpoint, nor anything to conform to, no final model.

That is why we, and others, cavil at the, sometimes, good-natured imposition of the American model.

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