Just like in this country (the US), TC, it was (and is) NOT up to the everyday citizens whether or not a country (Canada, in LMM's case) would declare war.
In the case of WW1, the Canadian government had no say-so
. When England declared war, Canada became involved automatically, because Canada was still a part of the British Empire. It was not an independent country. That is a fact.
As for Maud's own views...
An excerpt from LMM's journal entry from August 5, 1914 (the day England--and, by extension, Canada--entered WW1). You can find it in the second published volume of her journals (1910-21)...
England has declared war on Germany!
Good God, I cannot believe it! It must be a horrible dream. It has come up like a thundercloud.
The Globe came as we went to dinner. I sat down weak and unnerved. I could not eat. I could only sit there dumbly trying to realize it--to realize that our Empire was at war. And such a war! No paltry struggle in an out-of-the-way corner--no Boer conflict which we all thought so terrible at the time--but a death grapple. For Germany comes to conquer or to die.
It has come. Britain or Germany must fal. But the death-grapple will be awful beyond anything ever known in the world before. Oh, if I could but waken up and find it all a dream! These last four days have seemed like a nightmare. Already Canada is ablaze. Volunteers are being call for Red Cross and patriotic funds are being started. The bottom has fallen out of the world's markets. Civilization stands aghast at the horror that is coming upon us.
Over the course of the war, LMM catalogued (if you will) the news from the front in her journals. I imagine her attention to what was happening helped her immensely when she would write Rilla of Ingleside
. While she was horrified at what was happening, publically, she had to keep up appearances. That included joining a chapter of the Red Cross and contributing to the war effort that way. Being openly against the war, or being a pacifist, was frowned on; you'd risk being branded a German sympathizer or a coward (especially if you were male and did not enlist).
As for the US's entering of WW1 in 1917? Only one short snippet from her entry for April 15 of that year...
The U.S. has formally declared war at last. I wonder if future historians will acclaim Wilson as a great statesman or a man of straw. It seems impossible to decide just now. I incline to the straw theory. He is too fine a phrase-maker to be anything else.
That short excerpt was, pretty much, her only mention of anything related to US politics in her journals. Maud was much more concerned about what was happening at home, how her family on PEI was doing, and--with the war on--what was happening in Europe.
(It's also interesting to note that when the Titanic sank in 1912, she made no mention of it in her journals. At the time, she was pregnant with Chester and was preparing for that, not to mention she was starting work on The Story Girl
. On the other hand, five years later, she would make note of the Halifax Explosion
. (Of course, LMM lived in Halifax for a brief time in the 1890s while attending university classes at Dalhousie, and working for a local paper, so she did have a connection to the city.))
On Monday, December 17, 1917, Maud voted for the first time ever. (By then, women had the right to vote in Ontario.) Two days later, she wrote about it in her journal. In the entry, she admitted that she didn't have that much interest in politics; nor did she have any real desire to vote until then. Yet, she believed women should be allowed the vote, if only on principle.
In the same entry, this bombshell of sorts (emphasis mine)...
It is rather too bad that I, who have called myself a Liberal all my life should have to cast my first vote against Wilfrid Laurier--whom at one time I thought a little lower than the angels. This was simply because I was brought up that way. In P.E. Island in the old days--and even yet for that matter--one was born Grit or Tory and so remained. My earliest political recollections are of anathemas hurled at old "Sir John A. [MacDonald]" whom Grandfather Macneill seemed to regard as a demon in human form. Wilfrid Laurier was Grandfather's political idol and I, who was nothing if not loyal to my clan, worshipped him also....
Well, Wilfrid Laurier is an old man now and he has outlived his glory and betrayed his country. Why? Senility--superstition--base political cunning? It is vain to ask. Perhaps even Laurier himself does not know. But on Monday I voted, with a queer little qualm of regret and a queer feeling of disloyalty to my own traditions, for the Government which is Union but which is headed by Laurier's long rival, the Conservative chief, Borden.
....The candidate I voted for was Major Sam Sharpe who has always been a rank "Tory". If Hogg, his opponent, had not been an equally rank anti-conscriptionist I would have found it much harder.
"Grit" = synonym for Liberal.
In that election, the Conservatives won a majority. The big issue at the time was conscription
(also see Wikipedia
In 1931, Canada declared its independence from Britain, which would then allow the Canadian Parliament to declare war on its own (again, the regular citizens DO NOT have a say in the matter...only the Members of Parliament). When WW2 broke out in 1939, Canada declared war a week after England did. Canada still considered England a strong ally, and vice versa, which is largely why they entered the frey.
Maud's own thoughts on WW2 are unknown; but based on her entries from when WW1 was taking place, I can't imagine the Second World War did anything to help her already much-broken disposition.
* * * * *
Meanwhile, yes, Canada--overall--IS more liberal than the US. I've followed Canadian politics for close to a decade. I live mere miles from the Canadian border. Members of my family and people whom I associate with offline are quite conservative politically (I'm probably the only one among them whose politics are left-of-centre)...and I would be willing to bet that if they talked to a Canadian who self-identified as being conservative politically, they would think that person was more liberal than they. Their views are quite different.
Bottom line: Read Maud's journals and some of the other literature on her that is out there. I also recommend, if at all possible, tracking down her episode of Life and Times
that CBC aired several years ago (it's not on DVD, but it is on VHS). Do some research on Canadian history and politics. There's a plethora of information online and in book form. Inform yourself.
It'll do you a lot of good.