B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix is a bit of a U.S. political junkie. With the province so close to Washington state, it’s hard to ignore the political coverage that seeps its way over the border, giving Dix a Trivial Pursuit ability to name that state’s governors and senators. He’s also a former volunteer for Barack Obama’s last campaign.

Dix will be watching the results at his parents’ place tonight. So who does Dix think will win? And how will it affect B.C.? He shared his thoughts with The Huffington Post B.C. hours before polls closed.

Nate Silver of The New York Times says the odds of an Obama victory are more than 85 per cent based on fact he’s ahead in Ohio. Do you think Romney can turn it around?

Of course he can. Nate Silver has a skeptical and interesting approach to polling, and I think that’s the healthy approach in this day and age. The actual ability to poll people has become more difficult over time. For example, my younger brother, who is 10 years younger than me, has never owned a landline so he’s very difficult to poll.

So in this election if you look at the polling, the candidates have never been far apart... within two to four points of each other.

Even though I think President Obama’s going to win tonight, I would expect that to be by a very, very slight margin. When you have a system like the Electoral College, rather than a two-point Obama win, if it’s a tie in terms of votes, who knows what will happen in the Electoral College.

No one understands the Electoral College. How would you explain it?

Five hundred and thirty-eight electoral votes in the country, so you get the number of electoral votes as determined roughly by the population of your state. Each state has at least three electoral college votes reflecting two senators and one person in the House of Representatives so you can’t drop below three even if your population is smaller than that.... It’s based on the population, so if you win Texas, you win all the electoral votes in Texas.

As we saw in the year 2000 for example ... Al Gore won more votes, but George Bush won the Electoral College and that made him President of the United States.

It’s a winner take all process by state.... What it means is that obviously the candidates focus enormous amount of their efforts on a few small number of states ... and almost not visit at all the most populous states like California, New York and Texas because all three are expected to be won by a wide margin by Obama or Romney.

There is something problematic about their Electoral College system. I think a lot of people in the United States think the system favours some states and some interests over others and the country would be better off if one person, one vote meant whoever got the most votes won in a presidential election. But I wouldn’t think that given how hard it is to change the U.S. Constitution and U.S. laws in this regard that any change will happen any time soon. They’re stuck with this way of electing presidents for a long time to come.

Every election, throngs of Americans threaten to move to Canada if their candidate of choice loses. Are you expecting an influx of expats to B.C.?

There’s already wide movement of Americans and Canadians back and forth across the border. I wouldn’t expect that simply the election of one or the other of these men will have that much impact in itself on immigration. I think it’s the kind of thing we hear in B.C. politics sometimes as well – where people complain that if the NDP win, they don’t like things and they’ll go away or vice versa – usually that’s just people talking.

There are several marijuana-related ballot measures being voted on in the U.S. tonight. Do you think any of them could have an effect on B.C.?

It’s interesting how the debate is being transformed in the United States. The difference is in the United States these tend to be state measures, where in Canada because of our federal system those decisions will ultimately be made at a federal level. There’s no question that movement in Washington and Oregon states will have some impact on us. It can’t help but do that.

Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is clear he’s an Obama supporter. Are you and if so, why?

You bet. I went down and did a little help on his campaign first time he ran just for fun. I think President Obama and his success in politics has been an inspiration for many people around the world and he’s a remarkable guy. Of course, it doesn’t mean we agree with everything particularly with respect to foreign policy that he may or may not done during his presidency but I’ll be strongly cheering for Obama tonight.

What of the things I’ve tried to emphasize here in B.C. though is that that the quality and characteristics of American politics I don’t think are things that we want to emulate. I think these candidates have raised a staggering sum of money each to run for president... and they’re running quite negative campaigns toward each other even though they’re both individuals with some talent clearly. For them to spend billions trashing on another is not something we want to emulate.

And for my purposes in B.C. I’ve been trying to emphasize that we shouldn’t be personal attacks in politics, we should be focusing on the issues.... It will be a test of my theory of politics if that works in our election or not.

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  • Olivia Chow: Obama

    "I think a U.S. president focused on creating high-quality jobs for all would be good for Canada. But as our leader said this weekend, we would of course work constructively with whomever Americans elect as their next president. Of course it’s no secret that many New Democrats are rooting for Obama, we have a lot of values in common with him and his administration. This vision includes an understanding of climate change and environmental responsibility, access to public healthcare, access to education, and basic social justice and equity — human rights, women's rights and same sex rights." <br><br> — Olivia Chow, NDP MP for Trinity-Spadina

  • David Frum: Romney

    "Mitt Romney is the better choice for Canada for 4 crucial reasons: <br><br> 1) Romney will approve the Keystone pipeline; President Obama cannot be relied upon to do so. <br><br> 2) President Obama favors heavier corporate taxes on US corporations that invest outside the United States. As the leading recipient of US investment, Canada is directly threatened by Obama's preferred policy. <br><br> 3) Romney has made clear he favors tighter US monetary policy and a higher US dollar, implying a cheaper Canadian dollar, which will boost Canadian sales to the US market. <br><br> 4) By repealing Obamacare and preserving gun rights, Mitt Romney will preserve the popular joke that a Canadian is an unarmed American with healthcare." <br><br> — David Frum, Canadian-American journalist, former speech writer for George W. Bush

  • Heather Jarvis: Obama

    "Obama would be better for Canada because U.S. politics and governance strongly influence Canada and much of the world. Obama has recognized that rape is rape and there aren't times when rape is justifiable or legitimized. Obama more strongly supports reproductive justice, the right for people who become pregnant to make the choice that's best for them and not be forced into invasive ultrasounds, intimidated into birthing a child, or forced into a decision because others feel entitled to make it. <br><br> Obama has recognized that LGBTQ people have humanity and that they deserve recognition, rights and safety as much as anyone else. Neither Presidential candidate is going to be everything the U.S. needs and both have criticisms that are important to understand, but if the U.S. is going to continue to influence Canada, I want a U.S. President that is going to support more people, among their wonderful differences." <br><br> — Heather Jarvis, SlutWalk Co-Founder/Organizer

  • Matthew Good: Neither

    "If we're to be honest, neither is a good option, which is why the United States desperately needs a significant third party option. Unfortunately, that will never happen given the significance of the historically engrained financial superiority of the two party system." <br><br> — Matthew Good, musician

  • David Suzuki: Obama

    "During the debates, Mitt Romney's only comment about the environment was to make a joke about President Obama's concern with rising sea levels and pollution. Obama is a disappointment in his timid response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and his support for increasing domestic pursuit of oil and gas rather than embarking on a major program to move the U.S. away from its dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy. But Obama's high-level appointments, from energy to NOAA, have been fantastic, and at least he acknowledges that human-caused climate change is real. No question, there is a world of difference between Romney and Obama." <br><br> — David Suzuki, scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation

  • Conrad Black: Romney

    "Romney would be better for Canada because he would take the U.S. deficit seriously and, starting with Simpson-Bowles and the Ryan Plan as a joint basis, would propose and enact measures that would enable the world to see the beginning of the end of this hemorrhaging deficit, which, since most of the resulting bonded debt is bought by the Treasury’s subsidiary, the Federal Reserve with spurious, newly issued notes, has the quality of immense money supply increases. Also, Romney is clearly prepared to use force if there is no other way to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. He knows Canada better than Obama does, having summered here, and would be reasonably attentive to the interests of this country, including in completing the Keystone Pipeline." <br><br> — Conrad Black, author, former media mogul

  • Elizabeth May: Neither

    "If asked how I would vote in the US election, the question is always Obama or Romney? There is a Green Party presidential candidate. Her name is Jill Stein and she is a serious and admirable candidate. She is against continuing to bail out Wall Street, noting that while George W. put $700 billion into Wall Street bail-outs, Obama has put in $4.5 trillion. Stein identifies the climate crisis as the cause of 60% of America being in drought, raising food prices, and that's only the beginning." <br><br> — Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada

  • Dan Mangan: Obama

    "Which president would be better specifically for Canada? <br><br> Well, Canada <em>does</em> exist within the commonly respected confines of human social reality, so Obama is better for Canada. <br><br> That being said, most of that decision was influenced by Romney's whole dog-on-top-of-van shenanigan. That was a real game changer for me. <br><br> Oh, no, wait, it wasn't the dog thing. It was logical and rational respect for knowledge, compassion and societal relevance. <br><br> Gobama." <br><br> — Dan Mangan, musician



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  • France

    The French are Obama's strongest international backers. <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Seventy-two percent</a> prefer Barack Obama to Mitt Romney. <em>Caption: The temporary results of a U.S. presidential election straw vote is displayed on a board at Harry's Bar in Paris, Wednesday October 31 2012. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)</em>

  • Australia

    Australians overwhelmingly support Obama. <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Sixty-seven percent</a> would vote for the current president. <em>Caption: President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard arrive to speak with Australian troops during a visit to Royal Australian Air Force Base in Darwin, Australia. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)</em>

  • Canada

    According to GlobalScan, <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">66 percent</a> of Canadians support President Obama. A recent Angus Reid survey indicated that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/31/obama-romney-canada-poll_n_2049167.html" target="_hplink">72 percent</a> of Canadians favor the president. <em>Caption: U.S. President Barack Obama greets Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper upon his arrival at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on May 18 2012 G8 summit. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)</em>

  • Kenya

    <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Sixty-six percent</a> of Kenyans champion President Obama, a 21 point drop in ratings since 2008. <em>Caption: Wangari Maathai, Noble Peace Laureate and conservation heroine, is seen with President Barrack Obama in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday September 26 2011. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim, File)</em>

  • Nigeria

    <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Sixty-six percent</a>of Nigerians endorse Obama. <em>Caption: A Nigerian security man sits under a campaign poster of Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, with President Barrack Obama, in Abuja, Nigeria on Wednesday January 12 2011. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)</em>

  • Brazil

    <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Sixty-five percent </a>of Brazilians back Barack Obama. <em>Caption: President Barack Obama meets with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Monday April 9 2012, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)</em>

  • Panama

    <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Sixty-five percent</a> of Panamanians are in favor of Obama. <em>Caption: President Obama shakes hands with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, in the Oval Office at the White House on April 28 2011 in Washington DC. (Brendan Hoffman-Pool/Getty Images)</em>

  • United Kingdom

    <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Sixty-five percent</a> of Britons root for Barack Obama, according to a GlobeScan survey. Angus Reid found that <a href="http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2012.10.30_US2012.pdf">62 percent</a> in Britain say they would vote for Obama if they could take part in this year's United States presidential election. <em>Caption: President Barack Obama and Britain's Prince Philip walk to view the Guard of Honor of the Scots Guard during an official arrival ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, on May 24 2011. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster, file)</em>

  • Germany

    <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Sixty-four percent</a> of Germans are fans of Barack Obama. <em>Caption: U.S. President Barack Obama greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel upon her arrival at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on May 18 2012 the G8 summit. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)</em>

  • South Korea

    <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Fifty-eight percent</a> of South Koreans are pro-Obama. <em>Caption: U.S. President Barack Obama, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak look down as they look for their toe-markers before a group photo session at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Coex Center, in Seoul, South Korea on Tuesday March 27 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)</em>

  • Indonesia

    <a href="http://globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2012/245-global-poll-obama-overwhelmingly-preferred-to-romney.html">Fifty-nine percent</a> of Indonesians declare themselves in favor of Obama. <em>Caption: Wearing traditional woven ikat shirt, U.S. President Barack Obama is greeted by his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Kristiani, upon arrival for a gala dinner at ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on Friday November 18 2011. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)</em>