This Democratic Empire
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 8 Feb 1940, p. 283-297
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This Democratic Empire

Contradictions about the British Empire, for example, the terms "democracy" and "empire." A closer examination of the term British Empire. Different meanings and usage of the term British. The attempt by the Statute of Westminster to explain the British Empire with the words "free association" and "Commonwealth." Scandinavian democratic customs and public assemblies. The Norman contribution to our democracy. Democratic traditions that lived on separately in England and in Normandy from the time of the revolt in Normandy as early as 997 A.D. The Magna Carta granted in 1315 and what that guaranteed to the people. A new set of ideas which influenced statesmen about the same time as the Norman conquest. The struggle in England between the classical theory of monarchy as discussed by John of Salisbury and the democratic ideas enshrined in the traditions of parliament, the struggle which came to a head in the time of Charles I. The same traditions of democracy which derived from the same sources as part of the inheritance of the two principal minorities of the Empire, the South African Dutch and in Canada the French Canadians. Some history of the French Canadians. The French Canadian "parlements" of the Lower St. Lawrence with a history of more than a thousand years as the corner stone of Canadian democracy. The parallel today in Canada to the situation in South Africa. The French Canadian view of the war. The characteristics of the democracy which we peoples of the British Empire have inherited from our forbears, English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch. What a nation such as Germany or Russia cannot do. Our Canadian democracy faced with two dangers: that public apathy will have the same effect on Canada as it has had before, that we shall leave all the work and all the responsibility and all the decisions to a few people; that evil shepherds masquerading as wise leaders will guide a large and ever larger number of sheep into the way that leads to destruction. The issue of conscription. Canada's need to have fifty men working here for every fighting man serving in the forces.