Jodi posted an ad for a job in her department looking for candidates able to teach "American Politics/American Political Thought." The idea of "American Political Thought" (the ad gives the example of the Federalists/Anti-Federalists) and wondered what it means to have a national tradition in "political thought." Regarding "American political thought," wouldn't the two main texts be the Federalist Papers and Democracy in America? Tocqueville, of course, was French, an aristocrat and not a fan of democracy - is that "American" or "French" political thought? My copy of Tocqueville's book, the Mansfield edition, says that it is the most important book on America. (Does Martineau's Society in America count as English or American? Does anyone actually read it?) But, does "French" political thought even describe Tocqueville's book? Is there a "French" tradition in political theory? The most famous book of "French" political theory was written by a Genevan, not a Frenchman. This, of course, lead me to thinking, "What would a course in Canadian political thought look like?" Certainly, Canada has produced some fine political thinkers - but there is nothing essentially "Canadian" about them that would characterize their thought as "Canadian." James Tully, Will Kymlicka, Charles Taylor, G.A. Cohen, Michael Ignatieff, Shumalith Firestone, George Grant, H.S. Harris, Thomas Pangle, (Alan Bloom, IIRC) ... they're all either "Canadian" or spent time at Canadian universities. Does that make their thought "Canadian"? George Grant is likely the only "Canadian political thinker" we've ever produced - but I'm not sure there's anyone who could sit through a twelve week lecture course on his thought.