|Canadian Public Opinion and European post wars decolonization (1950-1960)|
|In 1947, at the Grey Conference at Toronto, the Canadian external affairs secretary, Louis Saint-Laurent, outlined Canadian foreign policy for the future. During the fifties, Canada became a middle power with Europe interests, as evidenced by seats in world organizations such as the UN and NATO.
The growth of Canadian foreign policy in this era ran parallel the period of european post wars decolonization. Interesting is that, the Canadian government had often taken a position in these conflicts that for some Canadians were inconsistent with Canadian domestic policy. But, despite a general lack of knowledge about foreign events among Canadians, these remained a general interest for european events to be reported in the press. Even the mythological gap supposed to exist between the English and French in terms of interest in foreign affairs was absent; Anglophones and Francophones were equally interested in foreign events. The history of Canadian reaction to some decolonization events like; French Indochina War, Suez Crisis and Algeria War in the fifties and sixties, is very important in the growth of Canadian foreign policy.
How historians and others can used mass media and opinion polls to write foreign policy history? By examines a particular period of Canado-european relations, this paper will present a simple quantitative and qualitative method to analyze international history. I used quantitative methods similar to these used in political science and sociology (Kayser rating and statistics rating) in order to represent statistically the reaction of the Canadian press and public opinion to European events.