CANADIAN histories dutifully record the glum surmise of the 16th century explorer Jacques Cartier, who sighted Labrador and declared: "This must be the land that God gave Cain." Voltaire dismissed Canada as "a few acres of snow." Canada's massive, historical inferiority complex is without question the biggest in the Western world, a longstanding wonder and delight to analysts of various national psyches. If the U.S. worries about not being liked abroad, Canada worries about not liking itself at home. Hugh MacLennan, one of the country's best-known novelists, writes wryly: "If it be true that God turns his back on a people...

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