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America: Do you believe Canada is a socialist country?

In order for a country to be socialist it requires a lack of economic freedom.

In 2018 Canada ranked ahead of the US in economic freedom. Hong Kong came 1st, Canada ranked 6th and the US placed 18th in the world. Yes, that's right.

It is a capitalist country, with social programs built in, offering public and private schooling as well and public and private health care. We have a social democracy, which is not to be confused with a socialist society.

Please tell me, is this news to you?

I post this question based on numerous direct messages I've received here asking about Canada. The most recent: "What are your feelings regarding the difference in our societies? The capitalist society of America vs the socialist society of Canada?"

Answer: Canada is not a socialist country. This has been a bill of goods American politicians have fed the American people as a scare tactic to win elections. No Canadian feels "un-free." We own our own homes, cars, businesses and can travel wherever we want, when we want to. It's true that we don't have to worry about going bankrupt over medical care, which is greatly liberating. The Canadian government also spends less on health care than the US government. There are many great countries in the world, but I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

Athena 8 June 15

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Only the fascist Republicans.


There is nothing wrong with Socialism. Canada is not a socialist country. They have Universal Health Care which the US desperately needs.


More of a socialist democracy. Growth and private business is not only allowed but thrives, but a strong social safety net is also in place.


Canada runs on a capitalist economic system with some elements of socialism built in which are designed to cater to the public good.

It's what the United States used to be before religious and massive private interest groups infiltrated our government and turned us in to a theocraric plutocracy.

Socialism was not in the USA until the 19th century and as I recall, the majority of social safety nets where in the eartly 20th century (social security and welfare in 1935 for example).


People need to learn what the heck "socialist" means before throwing it around like a bad word. that would start with the OP's clumsy definition as well.

a lack of economic freedom is not the definition of a socialist country. it may be a characteristic depending on what you are observing and comparing it to - but the term itself means simply doing things for a social goal or in a social manner. thus either the ends or the means will be social ... that is directed towards satisfying a group of people vice an otherwise-specified goal or method. nothing more.

now if you wanna get into means of production and ownership then we should bring in the word communism to show that these 2 terms are different. communism is one way to run a country in a socialist manner, but not the only way. thats why it is called "scientific socialism". ideally you want a economic method that is a fusion between socialism and capitalism. socialism to keep the state functional and protect the workers with some capitalistic tendencies to promote growth and investment.

yes this is true. I don't know why 'socialism' is such a dirty word. There is certainly a lot of misinformation being fed to people. Socialism is a good thing when it provides free health care, education and other services that come from our taxes. Australia has been described as socialist but it's not at all. Let me go to Denmark. Democratic socialism for me.

@MsDemeanour because of a decades long propoganda war that many americans have bought hook, line and sinker.


Right wing media has been drumming up the socialist boogeyman for so long that it has basically lost all meaning in casual conversation here. Too many Americans not only don't know the definition, but they'll apply it in areas outside of economic organization. Basically, anything Alex Jones is against is socialism.


Using the word socialist is simply a way to scare uninformed voters away from federal programs that would benefit everyone. It is being used much as the word Communist was in the 70's and 80's. Now before everyone goes off on me, I'm not saying Communism and Socialism are the same, the tactic is the same.

And I do not consider Canada as a socialist country, simply smarter than a lot of them.


I'm from the UK and cannot see anything about Canada that would make it seem a socialist country. Seems to be a good economy based on capitalist free trade structure with brilliant social programs to help the populace.

All the Canadians I have ever chatted with have a great sense of humour too, very close to the British sense of humour 🙂

If I ever move country, Canada is the place I would like to be.


IMO socialism does not require lack of economic freedom; that is cold war rhetoric. There are many who believe it in the US, but it is bunk. Today the US has become an awful place to live for the majority of its citizens. Enjoy Canada, I wish I lived there, but I'll stay here and fight back against fascist-Nazis, and try to make America great again, which Trump against.

EdEarl Level 8 June 16, 2018

Love me some Canuckians.
Way more socially democratic than we are is my impression? When are you guys going to invade us? Please????

Qualia Level 8 June 16, 2018

Yes please. That being said, IDK why Canada would want to take on such a massive problem child.

@Blindbird Yeah, we high maintenance boo...

@Qualia no joke


Americans are largely uninformed, ignorant, and brainwashed. This is not a criticism, rather a sad observation. In a dictatorship, people know the leader lies, and he knows they know. It is a giant game. Think North Korea or Saddam's Iraq. In the US, the lies are more subtle and large parts of the population buy the lies totally. To cite just one example, working class people voting for Trump, who turns around and guts social programs while giving 85% of the $1.5 trillion tax cut to the top 1%.

A good primer is to read Chomsky's essay on Manufacturing Consent, which explains how the process works.

I've skimmed over this but thank you. It's a reminder to read it properly! While I don't agree with all of Chomsky's views, I admire him greatly and use him as a reference in furthering my understanding on many issues.


In my opinion most Americans associate socialism with communism. We have been fed that crap as long as I can remember.


I don't believe socialism requires a lack of economic freedom. In fact, a capitalist society that subsidizes it's largest corporations through tax breaks, hand-outs, and protectionist legislation limits economic freedom far more than a socialist country that tries to level the playing field.

I think Canada is more advanced than the U.S. in every way that matters to most citizens. I don't think it's perfect, but Canada would be a good model for us.

JimG Level 8 June 16, 2018

No, Canada is not a socialist country. It is a social democracy -- a productive mixture of free enterprise, socialism, and a political democracy. We have a lot to learn from Canada's efforts.


It depends on one's definition of 'socialist'. The personal income taxes are a lot higher in Canada and there are a lot more public services. That makes you more socially conscious. I don't understand the 'economic freedom' bit and think there is too much emphasis on the economy. I am a neighbor of Canada and have friends and relatives that live in Vancouve. Yes, compared to the US it is more socialistic and that is a good thing.


a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."

Sounds terrible, doesn't it? How would all the plutocrats, oligarchs, militarists, imperialists and corrupt politicians feather their nests?

Gareth Level 7 June 16, 2018

The people who message you are confused about both countries it seems. USA is an oligarchy.

Marz Level 7 June 16, 2018

Quite true.


Sounds like you’re talking to conservative trumpets or something. Yeah that’s not news to me or anyone that’s had a global frame of reference at all. I’m the first generation to grow up with the internet though and made friends from all the commonwealth countries in some of the early 90s message boards. I could see how some older conservative people might be misinformed enough to think this, but those are also the kind of people that think trumps doing fantastic work making us great again. 🤦🏼♂️


Many of us view Canada as a positive blend of all the industrialized democratic countries. If only winter was a bit milder 🙂


I have yet to hear a Canadian say they are moving to America....


When you compare America to just about any other civilized country it clearly paints a picture of how badly we suck. Latest poll shows we ranked 18th in quality of life. Canada is usually at the top. If you're Canadian, your lucky.


If Canada was where Mexico is l would have moved there years ago. I hate long winters.


And while we’re at it, none of the European countries often cited by the US right are socialist either - Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, UK, France, Germany, etc. All are social democracies with fully functioning capitalist economies, and all often have right wing governments, as does Canada. The only one of them that has right wing governments that consistently seek to erode the social democracy is the UK. The Tory (Conservative) Party would prefer that we were more like the USA. It’s a constant struggle.

Agreed. I left UK for Australia 11 years ago and can't imagine what the social structure is like now

@Geoffrey51 Falling to bits mate. Absolute tragedy.

@KevinTwining Such a shame. I used to live in Hastings which, like a poor man's Brighton, had quite an eclectic community, especially the the Old Town. Probably a bit crap mow I guess 😟


No I do not. Just ignore those trump fuckers.


You can't have a socialist country without a degree of capitalism if you're going to run on a currency system. The entire point to having a government is to govern the tribal tendencies of humanity. Even a full blown socialist government will be open to corruption and hording of wealth. Capitalist use socialism as a means to scare the population into the belief their free market ideology is the only way that works. There's nothing free about it when it provides the means to monopolize. Capitalism mixed with neoliberalism eventually leads to fascism. And Canada is presently experiencing some afforded movements along with Europe towards those changes. Follow the issue with these trade deals closely! They are simply a means to help corporations make more and take more from us! "Out Of The Illusion "

"The entire point to having a government is to govern the tribal tendencies of humanity. Even a full blown socialist government will be open to corruption and hording of wealth."

Borrowing this.


It sure is a hell of a lot more Socialistic than we are, but Socialism is, sadly, threatened in Europe these days and I believe it has a lot to do with Russia. I am sure they were behind the Trump victory but also were instrumental in "Brexit" and are working hard to influence other European countries. Putin wants to destroy NATO and return the eastern bloc to the fold. Make no mistake about it. there is no connection between Socialism and Totalitarianism (Putin's X KGB mentality). The USSR or Stalinism called themselves Socialists but they were Fascist. The US has equated Socialism with Communism since the fourties (and especially the Fifties).

@SACatWalker You're quite welcome (if you're not being sarcastic). The problem with Social Media is that you can't see peoples face and eyes when they "talk". L.O.L.

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