Canada a mystery to Americans: poll


Electoral Member
Jun 6, 2002
Canada a mystery to Americans: poll
Most Canadians can name Bush


MONTREAL—Canadians are much more informed than Americans when it comes to knowing the identity of their neighbours' political leader, national capital and largest city, an opinion poll shows.

The Léger Marketing survey found only 8 per cent of 1,500 adult Americans named Jean Chrétien when they were asked to identify Canada's prime minister.

Five per cent gave other answers, including Pierre Trudeau, who died two years ago after last being in power in 1984.

A whopping 86 per cent said they didn't know or refused to answer.

The Americans were polled Oct. 7-13, long before Chrétien's communications director, Françoise Ducros, created a stir in the United States when she called U.S. President George W. Bush a "moron."

Conversely, 90 per cent of the 1,502 adult Canadians who were polled Nov. 6-10 (also before the Ducros brouhaha) knew Bush was U.S. president.

When asked to name the capital of the other country, 88 per cent of the Canadians said Washington and 21 per cent of the Americans said Ottawa.

Such numbers didn't surprise Colin Campbell, a professor of political science at the University of British Columbia.

"I think Canadians are much more citizens of the globe than Americans are, and I think they're much more attuned to their own nation than Americans are," Campbell said. Stephen Clarkson, a professor of political economy at the University of Toronto, said the lack of knowledge about Canada south of the border shouldn't surprise people.

"Americans are much more insular," said Clarkson, who has recently written a book entitled Uncle Sam and Us.

"The Americans are ignorant about us. We're not important to them. We're not ignorant about the United States because they are important to us."


Electoral Member
Mar 24, 2002
Cache Creek, BC
The Majority of Canadians actually CARE about the rest of the world, which is more than can be said for most Americans. They tend to keep to themselves (wars aside) and only then in wars do they get mis-informed about everything outside of themselves.

I find it amazing that a lot of them dont even KNOW where Canada is (as per a poll done last year which I cant find now)


Time Out
Jan 9, 2003
Americans don't really know too much outside their own boarders. When I was in School we learned about other countries (history,geography etc) from all the polls I have seen over the years I guess world/international history is not taught in America.