It seems to me that over the past 150 years, the U.S. has been neither more nor less democratic than Canada, but noticeably more egalitarian (in a real and a pretended-phony way). This egalitarianism has many rhetorical consequences, one of which is the huge amount of self-perfection literature found in any American bookstore.
Also important for public language and a rhetorical take on public language in the U.S. is a greater attachment to the Whig view of history than is the case in Canada. The telos that informs much U.S. discourse is what might be termed *victory over darkness,* with Progress the lietmofif, and Confession and Redemption as intermittent themes.
In Canada I see a much more sceptical attitude toward ends, and thus means. The very notion of democracy is, I think, treated more problematically in Canada, especially by people like George Grant, Charles Taylor and William Christian. Sometimes this involves trying to come to grips with the fact of *elitism,* rather than treating it, ipse dixit, as a dirty word.
An understanding of American rhetoric, would, I think have to come to grips with a friction: a largely existential view of life (when existence precedes essence, you can become anyone you want) unreconciled with (at war with, perhaps) a huge tacit essentialism and certitude that motivate everything from the American consitution to Christian fundamentalism to Manifest Destiny.
An understanding of Canadian rhetoric would have to come to grips with many things, including linguistic pluralism, an Other-orientation that results from not being the centre of the universe, and, I think, a different type of friction: a strong belief in civil society that is unreconciled with a dose of scepticism about democracy.